Design for a 20L Sump - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Design for a 20L Sump

Im currently in the process of getting my Protein Skimmer shipped, when it gets here I would like to build a sump, thats going to support my 55 gallon tank. I was just looking for some basic ideas to help me, maybe things you guys have learned the hard way.

I plan to put the Protein Skimmer in the starting area, followed by baffles, a live sand, rock, maybe some macro algea refugium, with another tall weir going into the section with the return pump. Its a simple design, what I'm having trouble getting my mind around, is the extra plumbing outside of the intake and discharge, valves and anything extra I may be missing.

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 03:11 AM
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 03:30 AM
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it would prob. also be a better idea to split the water that is coming from the tank so it goes to either side of the sump. skimmer on one side, refugium on the other with return pump in the middle.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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onefish, with a 55gallon tank, 20gallon long sump.. whats an idea flow I was thinking going with one of these

Reef Aquarium Filtration: Eshopps Overflow Boxes

and setting it up to do somewhere between 300gph and 800gph. Im trying to figure this out so that i can get to my next problem, the return pump

Thanks for the help guys
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 07:57 AM
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what do you plan on keeping in the tank? fish only? reef? if reef what kind of corals?

ill tell you what i have, its a 46 gallon bowfront, 45gallon sump with mag 9.5 return and i want to say my overflow is rated 1200 gph but i slowed down the flow rate. i keep corals so the stronger pump isnt hurting anything in my tank. i am planning on also using the same pump when i move to my 80gallon tank.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 11:11 PM
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Personally, If you are planning to buy an external overflow, I'd recommend you reconsider. Save up the little extra, and get yourself a reef ready tank. You should be able to get a new 55g reef ready for under $200. The peace of mind is well worth the extra cash.

Horror story to follow:

I had an external overflow on a 29g reef. The inner box was knocked slightly askew by some unknown means. This caused the water on one side to spill over the edge (rather than cascading quietly) and generated bubbles in the inner box. The bubbles accumulated in the u-tube enough to slow the flow enough where the return flow exceeded the overflow rate. The tank slowly filled until it just trickled over the top and dribbled right into the timer outlet. Luckily, my son was home and heard the crackling. He immediately turned the power strip/timer off. Had he not been home (or even been in a different room in the house at the time), we would have burned the house down.

Electricity aside, a SW flood is no day at the park. I've had to soak up my fair share of (several gallon) skimmer mishaps. An overflow flood is far worse.

Take pride in what you do, for it is a reflection of who you are.

The Haunting Grounds - SKAustin's Reef Diary - Part 2 (the 75g upgrade)
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-12-2009, 11:21 PM
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i personally have an enclosed overflow box that is practically fail proof until the aqualifter on it fails. what the lifter does is constantly suck the air out.
however the tank that im building very soon should be getting drilled.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-13-2009, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Ok this is getting frustrating , you get an idea of what you want to do and then somebody hits you with a horror story and why your plan stinks lol.

I cant go with a new tank, ive spent the money on this tank and adding that to the cost of a new one, it wouldn't be peace of mind at all.

With that said, I have a 55gallon tank, I have a 22 gallon tank im going to build into a sump. Refuge on one side, Protein Skimmer on the other... i was thinking of going 75% flow to the skimmer,25% to the Refuge, with the return pump in the center.

Now I need to have a means, the safiest in my situation to get water to and from the tank.. I'll glue the damn overflow if I have to. But i would like to know what you guys think of a GPH for this set up. The Sump is only about 3 ft below the tank and I do plan to haveAnemones, maybe some coral down the road (ive only researched what it takes in a tank to be ready for them, not the specifics of the coral themselves) maybe a few clown fish, a yellow tang and call it a day.

What Im looking for help on, is the feed and return system for the sump/refug. I cant get a reef ready tank, so what would be the 2nd best thing.

Thanks for the help!
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-13-2009, 02:43 AM
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is the tank empty now? what you could do is take a diamond drill bit and drill a hole in the back wall and add a bulk head basically turning it reef ready, or personally i would buy an enclosed overflow box + an aqualifter ( you plug it in and it sucks air from the overflow preventing siphon loss )

as for anemones, they NEED a "reef setup" meaning they need exceptable alk, mag, and calcium levels and do best under stronger lighting. what lighting are you planning?
and yellow tangs really need a minimum of 75 gallons.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-13-2009, 02:48 AM
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