freshwater sumps and flow rates - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-10-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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freshwater sumps and flow rates

I am planning a 55-75 gallon freshwater Mbuna tank. I am a humongous fan of overfiltration for certain fish, to include Mbuna. (A previous 26 gallon had roughyl 500gph of filtration in it, custom bio/mechanical setup) They seemed to thrive.

This tank will be setup using the 75 gallon long, a custom built sump wiht a HOB overflow. This is where my question comes in...since sumps provide so much more biological and mechanical filtration seems as if most of the time the GPH recommended is nowhere near the 10x mark. Now i know for most HOB filters you ignore the MFR rating and go with the 10x rule and this has served me well in the past. However for example, Eshopps recommends their 300 gph HOB overflow for tanks up to 75 gallons...and the 800 gph up to 100.

In order to get a pump to match this I would be looking at a 300 or 750-800 gph return pump.

My question is, for a 55-75 gallon tank, is 300 gph through a SUMP enough, or should i go up to the 800 gph range? My two worries are a: excessive return and b: too much water flow.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-11-2010, 02:15 AM
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Like you said, the filtration capacity (especially biological) of a sump is going to be much higher for the same GPH than a power filter. I think the 300 gph would be fine but for pure water movement purposes (and added mechanical filtration, more than anything else) you might want to slap a couple of power filters on there anyway. Or, if the price difference between doing that and just getting the 800gph system isn't too great, you might just want to trust your instincts and get the bigger sump.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-11-2010, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. The price difference isn't too great, maybe 20-30. Since I am building the sump, the refugium/sump itself would stay the same size, it would be the flow rate. I think I am going to shoot for the 800, as it will be a 75 gallon and more movement isnt necessarily a bad thing.

Anyone else have any thoughts? Any tips on a freshwater sump?
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-12-2010, 03:23 AM
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Oops, by "bigger sump" I meant "bigger overflow."

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-12-2010, 02:19 PM
I have a FW sump as well I have an 1800 GPH pump for the 150 gal tank. I do not feel that it is too much water movement I have 4 out flow tubes in the tank and have them pointed in different directions. The fish can find spots that don't have as much water movement if they need too but it isn't as currenty as you would think. I also have a whisper filter mounted in my sump mainly for carbon filtration, it is in the "filtered water" section of the sump right before it goes back into the tank. Right now I'm running my Mag 350 diatom filter to filter out the very fine particles because I do not have fine particle filtration going with my sump for now. After it gets the small stuff out I'll take it out (probably tonight) and save it for another time when I need to filter out more small particles. Really, I could set it up to run in the sump too but right now I just have it on the front of my tank.
So, anyway, 75 gal is half of 150 so 800 would be less than half of 1800gph. I think you'll be fine, you'll have to realize as well for every foot of rise, you loose some GPH. If you think it's too much you could always branch off the outflows making it less GPH per outflow, pointing them in different directions. That's one thing I like about the sumps, you have lots of options to experiment with. I think you'll really like it. When I add anything to the water it always gets added to the sump, water top off, any kind of water conditioners, meds, Ph adjustments, etc. That way it goes everywhere in the tank instantly. Pretty cool, I even have my three heaters in there. Also, you can add different kinds of media in there as you see fit. I have bio balls and the small ceramic cylinders in the trickle part. I think it's the bomb!
Is your tank drilled?
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-12-2010, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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No, I'll be using a HOB overflow box.

I am going to go with the 800 gph overflow box, lose the prefilter foam, use silicone tubing to avoid elbows (also decrease flow rate) and go from there..I am currently planning a relatively simple, but pretty thorough system:

Starting from beginning:
Biological (a bunch of pot scrubbers)
Drip tray to foam polishing filter, with polyfil below it
flow into center chamber, which will have extra ceramic bio beads and a few pot scurbbers, only as a catalyst for any future tanks I need to start up, as well as the heaters.
A divider with a drip/slot wall dripping falling into the next chamber where the pump will be.

Obviously I'll have to play with the flow to make sure its not too much/too fast through the filters but it should work out great.
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