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Building a Sump

This is a discussion on Building a Sump within the Saltwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums category; --> ok, I think I understand the majority of how to set up a sump. One more question remaining for now. How do you get ...

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Old 05-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
 
ok, I think I understand the majority of how to set up a sump. One more question remaining for now.

How do you get the flow going? Is it kind of like a siphon?
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:01 PM   #12
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitch
ok, I think I understand the majority of how to set up a sump. One more question remaining for now.

How do you get the flow going? Is it kind of like a siphon?
For the overflow? Yes, you would have a continuous siphon. That would make everything in the sump "go" too.

That made me remember something; check valves. You will need one going down, and one going up to prevent accidently siphoing the tank. They are just little valves you can probably find when you start plumbing. Here is one: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...87&pcatid=4087
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:28 PM   #13
 
A couple of points to make here.

(1) The tank will not siphon out via the overflow box should the pump fail. Water flow will stop from the sump, as in the case of pump failure, and water will not flow into the overflow. It's physically impossible.

(2) Utilizing a spray bar instead of a directional return also will prevent the tank from siphoning. The spray bar is located above water an has no means with which to create a siphon. The utilization of spray bars will also increase oxygenation by breaking the surface tension of the water.

(3) Two key elements in building a sump are the sump size and pump size. The sump should be large enough to hold any water siphoned accidentally from the main tank. Pump size determines all pipe sizing, water flow rate, and overflow box size.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #14
 
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OK, Now it's my turn

A. A sump can be made from any "FOOD SAFE" tank or tub. If you're using a water trough, be sure it has not been treated with an algicide.

B. The sump can be any size so long as the following necessary requirements are met. (1)the inlet section need be large enough to house the skimmer, its pump if intternal, and any inlet piping. (2) the refugium, if incorporated, need be 10% of the total volume of the display. (3) the return section need be large enough to incorporate the pump, the water necessary to cover the pump completely, and enough water to compensate for maximum evaporation for a 24 hour period. If it takes 1 gallon to cover your pump, and your evaporation rate in the winter with forced air heat is 3 gallons per day, the return section need house 4 gallons of water minimum. (4) there should be ample room to house any additional equipment you need. i.e. Heaters. and (5) there must be enough room left over, beyond the normal operating capacity, to house any water drained from the display (and the skimmer) in the event of a power outage.

The tank will not drain from the overflow below the height of the lowest slot in the inlet section of the overflow box

The display will however drain from any inlet pipes that do not have a syphon break

you do not need a check valve to prevent excess drainage from the display in the event of a power outage. You need a syphon break. A syphon break is simply a hole drilled in the return pipes, where they enter the display, just below the surface of the water.

A spray bar should not be above the surface of the water. This will cause micro-bubbles. Micro - bubbles are not good for your corals. Increasing the surface area of your display will improve gas exchange. You increase the surface area of your display by increasing the disturbance of the surface water with flow from inlets and powerheads. Meaning the surface of your display should have lots of waves and ripples.

and to start a syphon in a u-tube for an external overflow, you place the end of a long section of air-line tube into the u-tube, place the u-tube in the filled overflow (both sides must be filled) and then suck the air out of the u-tube. The end of the airline tube should be in the highest point of the u-tube when you perform this, and you must do it fairly quickly once the u-tube is full of water, the flow will have started. remove the airline tube (without letting air back into the tube.). Small air bubbles in the u-tube should eventually be swept away with the current. Larger bubbled can often be removed by vigorously (but carefully) shaking the u-tube to chop the bubbles up a bit.

hope that helped.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:04 PM   #15
 
I had the man that owns the LFS to show me examples of his sumps and how they are put together and how they work. Basically I'll need a skimmer and he recommended some bioballs. He recommended I get a 29g tank and use a 20g as my sump. Not sure if I'm going to do this or not, but we shall see.

He is willing to order in any tanks I need and he will drill the correct holes I need and put the acrylic "walls" that seperate the sections of the sump into the tank for me. He only recommends a larger size so that I can put a skimmer into it. A good skimmer, not a small crappy one. But I dunno. I can't seem to find a good stand for my tank that will be able to hold a 29 on top and a 20g on the bottom. We checked PetClub but they didn't have any like that. (No, I don't have my tank on a stand yet)
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #16
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitch
I had the man that owns the LFS to show me examples of his sumps and how they are put together and how they work. Basically I'll need a skimmer and he recommended some bioballs. He recommended I get a 29g tank and use a 20g as my sump. Not sure if I'm going to do this or not, but we shall see.

He is willing to order in any tanks I need and he will drill the correct holes I need and put the acrylic "walls" that seperate the sections of the sump into the tank for me. He only recommends a larger size so that I can put a skimmer into it. A good skimmer, not a small crappy one. But I dunno. I can't seem to find a good stand for my tank that will be able to hold a 29 on top and a 20g on the bottom. We checked PetClub but they didn't have any like that. (No, I don't have my tank on a stand yet)
He sounds like a smart man.

However, Bioballs will raise your nitrates. A better suggestion is Live Rock rubble, but I'm sure there is something better. Rubble will most likely be your best option here.

Hmm, the stand can be a problem as you said. Both tanks are 30" long, so that can be difficult. I've seen tanks with like a 10G display w/ a 10G sump, but I am pretty sure the stands are custom built. It also may be best to build a stand, or have someone build one for you.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #17
 
Building one is near impossible. We can't build anything well enough for use. I might stick with my original plan of using the 10g as the sump as that will fit under a lot of the stands we saw. He was actually unsure of the use of rubble as he uses bioballs pretty much exclusively in his sumps.

I will talk to him tomorrow about possibly just using the 10g and see what he thinks is best. If I use the 10g I won't be able to drill since the glass is tempered so I will use the overflow box method.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:28 AM   #18
 
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Twitch...


Do not use bioballs. They are inferior to live rock and will quickly compromise the water quality.

Some people claim Live Rock 'rubble' become nitrate factories as well - this is true only when the pieces are reminiscent of 'rubble' (being very small shards, for example), allowing the buildup of a considerable amount of waste material.

Use large pieces of porous live rock, similar to what you would have in your display tank, and I assure you, filtration will not be an issue given the right amount of time.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:15 PM   #19
 
And the rock would go in the refugium? I like the idea of using the rock rather than using bioballs. Just sounds more natural and more efficient.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:18 PM   #20
 
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Yes, the rock will sit in the fuge.

It is the more natural, efficient choice. Not mention far cleaner, bioballs have a habit of trapping tons of muck and garbage inside them due to their shape and construct. This is the reason why they become nitrate factories.
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