Thanks for the quick responses!
I totally agree at the importance of filtration
. My other 3 tanks are "overfiltered", here I am looking to balance slower water movement and efficiency. The lower bioload on this tank-which will have plants as well -helps. I plan to have only the bettas and possibly nerites or otos. It's an excellent point not counting on water flow between dividers.
I'm using the "#7 plastic canvas" mesh and figured on no more than 25% flow. That's merely a "guesstimate", but it will
flow a lot more than the plastic aquarium tank dividers you buy at "PetWhatevers"
. It's actually too coarse for fish fry or juvie shrimp, they could easily swim right through.
The 2nd scenario using the 2 HOBs on the outboard sections would also include a sponge filter rated for a 10g tank in the center section.
Mignon 150s (rated for 8g tanks, flow 32g /hr) have the uptube on the left, outflow on the right. By butting the filters next to the dividers, the left filter might flow some filtered water into the center and the right filter draw water out? Theoretically, lol? and the sponge filter takes up any slack..?
The scenario having the HOBs straddle dividers is tried and apparently successful- it was that system on another forum that inspired this build. I found a few more since.
Using Mignons, the flow would start drawing from the left section, dropping filtered water to the center, then in turn dropping filtered water into the right. My concern is where does the #1 section get its filtered water? And does gunk build up in #3? The build I originally saw used plexi dividers and he fashioned the holes in them to optimize flow back
from the last section to the first. Apparently smaller/ fewer holes were drilled in the back of the dividers nearest the filters, larger ones to the front, specifically placed. It encouraged a circular water flow, clockwise as viewed from the top. A marvelous exercise for an engineering student, waaay too much for me
. That being said, it would be easy enough to enlarge some of the holes in the mesh...
I had originally decided to get the mini sponge filters for the outboard sections for insurance. I'm very used to doing 25-50% water changes weekly using a vacuum siphon, so gunk isnt a deal breaker either... In any event, I suspect the second scenario has a lot more flow throughout, which as long as its baffled, has to be a good thing...
I'm tempted to run the HOBs empty when its first put together and use a drop or so of food coloring to see where the flow goes... Plan on flushing it out for several hours, anyway, then running it with carbon before actually filling it with treated water .
I'm sure either would work, just looking for the best
. I'm probably waaay overthinking this, bad habit of mine
Thanks for all your input!