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I'm new so please be patient with me if I make a mistake on these forums. I want to set up a live tank to save money and time (in the long run) and have a more natural environment for my gecko. I am trying to figure out a system where I have at least two small, gently flowing waterfalls, that also waters the plants throughout the tank.

I was thinking of using a small external canister filter meant for a 25 gallon aquarium. The tank, with false bottom taken into account, can hold about that much. I could use connectors to connect the smaller tubes to the end of the outlet tube on the filter system, and a Snip-n-Drip Hose along the top and/or in the soil. Maybe have the smaller tubes coming out of the Snip-n-Drip. The inlet tube could use the water collected in the false bottom, topped off when needed.

This would create a contained system that saves me from having to keep as much water in the bottom of the tank. I know from goldfish owning experience that this kind of filter works quietly and efficiently, but have only ever used it for an aquarium. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this and comments.


A few Questions I Need Answered

  1. I'm worried about the strength of the water flow even with a small unit. The water could come out over places that are hard like rocks or wood and could keep the pressure from making pot holes in the dirt. Would this work?
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  2. Would the smaller tubing idea would work or just overtax the unit by having to push water through such small spaces. Might this be a problem or am I worried over nothing?
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  3. I wouldn't be using the filter media the unit normally pushes the water though since my gecko does not have the strict water condition needs of a fish, so could that compensate for the effort the machine would need to push water in a big tube into smaller ones?
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  4. Are there large to small tubing connectors that would allow me to do this without caulking glue, with multiple smaller tubes AND a Snip-n-Drip Hose?
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  5. There are a few sizing options available through the Snip-n-Drip link. Which would you advise I get?
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  6. If one of the smaller tubes goes upwards for several inches before getting to the waterfall opening, will it still work?
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  7. If the out of tank filter is a bad idea, is there a brand of one of those mini water pumps that you would recommend to me? Something that doesn't require constant cleaning, isn't likely to need replacement a lot, and doesn't make a lot of noise? I had one a while ago in an Exo Terra Waterfall that fit none of those categorizes, and it was exasperating.
 

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What I do on my builds for waterfall/drip walls is use a basic water pump and put that in one side of a plastic tub with a lid on. I cut a small hose hole above the pump and on the opposite side cut a window and use a fine mesh silicone into place to stop debris getting through. Then filter foam next to the pump and fill the rest of the tub with clay leca balls. This creates filter as the water is drawn through. The pumps are usually adjustable so you can play with the pump speed while testing. ALWAYS make an access hatch so you can service it as Ive done it before and had to rip a tank apart which isn't fun.

You can get Plastic reducers/ t-pieces etc for tubing from hardware or car parts shops.
 

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I'm about to start my own vivarium build with waterfall and rain/mist system running on a microclimate Evo pro.. so when humidity gets low it kicks in. I'm thinking the same idea with a external canister filter but one with UV in it to help sterilize the water. I'm thinking a pice of piping 3" ish, going to the bottom of the viv then building the water fall and land scape around it. Then the pick up pipe for the canister filter can can just drop right down to the bottom in it. As more water will be added through rain/misting I'm going to drill a hole in the viv just above where I want the water to be so it will drain away in to a tub. I will restrict the return flow with a valve till it flows how I want. I run 2 media reactors on my Marine tank that have valves to restrict the flow and they seem fine so wouldn't worry.
I'm still not sure if I'm going for false bottom or the balls, I think I'm inclined for balls for the surface area.

This is my first viv build so I'm no expert but that's my plans so far
 
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