04-01-2013, 01:06 PM
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Okay big tank, visible from all sides. Drilled in center for an overflow (presumably a stand pipe) and another drilled hole for the return. These would lead to/from a sump which might be a 90g tank. I agree that a sump in the basement can be done, but will require a more powerful pump for the return as well as more plumbing. But it's not a bad way to go!
Sump setups can vary quite a bit and don't have to be in an aquarium. Commercial sumps with various compartments seem somewhat over done and expensive to me.
Basically you can have mechanical media in a drip tray or 'socks' to collect particulate matter. From there, you might have wet/dry followed by other bio-media. You could have a refugium with plants and lights. Heaters could be in the sump and that's where you'd do water changes....Or add some more plumbing and you could setup a fresh water drip and overflow in the sump to automate water changes.
Now here's a twist...with it in the basement, the 'sump' could be nothing more than a 55g drum or other open holding tank with a return pump, that has heaters and uses a canister or diatom filter to filter the water.
There are some pretty inventive DIY aquarium sump setups out thereand you'd find a search on youtube very enlightening.