DIY Sump Plumbing Help
Im making a 10 gallon sump for a 28 gal bow front. the picture below is a general layout for it. M<y problem is i dont know what power head to use and what type of pipes . If any one can point me to a site or layout , and give tips advice a'd appreciate it. Also is an over flow box necessary? If so how do i go about making one
Powerheads are not designed to pump water against head pressure. I do not know of any that can pump water at 4 to 5 feet of head against it. Go with a submersible pump like the "Supreme Classic" by Danner. Model 3 is rated to pump about 270 gallons per hour at 5 feet of head. Model 2 pumps about 80 gallons per hour at 5 feet of head. If you are going to grow plants, the model 3 may create too much current and your plants may look like they are in a storm. But if you go with the model 3; you can reduce the flow with a ball valve. Hopefully some else can chime in and suggest a flow rate for a 28 gallon tank and 10 gallon sump. I do not know if the model 2 will do the job. Perhaps another can chime in with their experience.
I would advise against a deep sand bed. The recommended depth of sand is 2 inches whether its in an aquarium or sump. If the sump is not designed right, you could end up with a sand storm. Again, another will have to advise on designing the sump.
Use 5/8 inch id vinyl hose for your discharge line. Then use 1/2 inch pvc pipe just before it goes into the tank. I believe an overflow will be needed because without one, the water will syphon back into the sump if your electric goes out. When the electric is restored, the overflow will automatically start up again. But if the tank is drilled for water flow to the sump, then it should have an overflow already built in.
Now the discharge line will also syphon water back to the sump if the electric goes out, depending where you install it. If you install it above the surface of the water, then you need not worry. No syphon can occur. Most hobbiest's install their discharge below the surface. So in order to prevent a syphon, you need to drill a 1/4 inch hole in your 1/2 pvc pipe in an area that will be about 1 inch below the surface when installed. So now if the electric goes out, no more then 1 inch of water from your aquarium will flow back into your sump. As soon as the water level reaches your drilled hole; air will enter and break the syphon. When you drill it, make sure its facing the front of the tank; so that you can see if its starting to clog.
You will need an assortment of 1/2 inch barb fittings for some of your connections and some regular pvc elbows and straight fittings, both male and female.
Check out "Similar Threads" at the bottom of this page for some ideas. You can also do a search on both this forum and the saltwater forum for ideas on designing a sump.
I agree you'll have to use a "real" pump not a powerhead.
I recommend you get a couple of 10-15g plastic storage containers and setup us a test system in the dirveway/garage to learn operations, how to adjust, and so on. Adjust for 1) power out, 2) power return, and 3) drain failure. In each case you can adjust to no flooding occurs. Better to flood the driveway then the carpet.
You can use pvc to do a safe overflow. (And you will need some king of overflow) The idea of each of the following is to form a water trap which allows the tank water level to drain down to a ceretain level and "traps" water in the pvc and stopping the drain. Then when power returns normal operations return.
For a simple diy pvc overflow you could use:
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