20 gallon sump - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-10-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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20 gallon sump

I've been putting off this post for a long time because I thought I could find all of the information I need myself in order to build my custom 22 gallon sump, but there are too many variables and it seems that I have to start my own thread for my custom sump. I would like people to critique my design. All information will be appreciated and please feel fee to add/remove anything from my design. The questions that I have are indicated in red.

Some prerequisite information:
  • This is my first saltwater tank
  • I have a 55 gallon
  • This tank will be used for live rock, fish, and coral
  • I will be building the sump tank INSIDE of my stand to maximize size (since the aquarium is already set up and I do not wish to take out the center brace to put the sump in

First, let's start with the build of the sump tank itself:

I will be building my own tank for the sump. I will be getting my glass cut into the specified measurements from my local hardware store and will be using 100% silicone to seal it.

Sump Tank Statistics:

Length: 36"
Width: 8.5"
Depth: 18"
Glass Thickness: .25"

For these dimensions, I will need the following cuts of glass:

2 Front/Back: 36" x 18"
2 Side: 8" x 18"
1 Bottom: 36" x 8.5

See attached image #1 for a visual representation.

Now let's look at the sump design itself:

I researched designs, built a prototype, re-researched designs, built another prototype, washed rinsed and repeated.

I decided on a 3 section sump with the INTAKE on the left, REFUGIUM in the middle, and RETURN on the right. My design will need 4 .25" thick baffles. The baffles will be 15" X 7.75".

This is where my first question comes in: I decided to leave .125 or 1/8" on each side of the baffles for silicone. Is this too much? not enough? or just right?

I will have the following contents in each section:

INTAKE: Live rock rubble, protein skimmer (the protein skimmer will pump into the first baffle chamber into the bubble trap), 200 micron sock (15" length x 5" diameter) Is this too big?
REFUGIUM: macro algae, sand, and mineral mud
RETURN: return pump (information and questions below)

The baffles for the bubble trap will be 1" apart Is the 3 inch gap between the bottom of the sump tank to the middle baffle enough space? or too much space?

See image 2 for the sump design.

Equipment time:

Here is a list of equipment that I will have:
  • Eshopps PF-800 Overflow Box - Up to 125 gal. http://www.amazon.com/Eshopps-PF-800-Overflow-Box-gal/dp/B001K5IK8S/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1357863684&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=overflow+box
  • Coralife New Style Super Skimmer Protein Skimmer for tanks up to 65 gallons http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-Style-Skimmer-Protein-gallons/dp/B00374TUZM/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1357863910&sr=1-2&keywords=coralife+protein+skimmer
  • Maxi-Jet Pro Aquarium Pump 1200 GPH (used with protein skimmer) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004IMPOJ8/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00
  • Danner 02722 Pondmaster 1200GPH Pump http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00026Z49Y/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00Is this overkill? my overflow box has a 1" bulkhead and is rated for 800 gallons. I will have 5 feet of head, and will also be using a ball valve. According to the box of the pump at 5' head, the GPH is 800, but the slip of paper that was inside of the box says that at at 5' head the GPH is 1000. Does anyone know which one is correct? If it is too much, will I be able to decrease the flow with the ball valve?
  • Sump light: Any Suggestions? (I am also open to suggestions on what else/ what kind of macroalgae/miracle mud to put in the refugium)


I have not planned out the plumbing fully because I would like some of these questions answered first, but suggestions will be VERY appreciated (I will be drilling a siphon break hole into a u-tube on the display tank to avoid overflow in case of power outage.)

Thank you very much for reading this. I tried my best to do as much research on my own as I could, but still need help because I am a total n00b. Does anyone want to be my saltwater mentor? lol I am willing to trade software development/programming experience!
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post #2 of 2 Old 01-10-2013, 11:23 PM
#1- I don't understand what your asking here. You just want to know if 1/8" is suffiecient room for silicone? If your leaving a 1" baffle space, i'd say you have room for error.
#2- Micron sock is of your choice, being its size will not hurt anything.
#3- The llast divider up 3" off the floor, is a bit small, you could go up a few more inches. Or I am just reading it wrong. Just how far from the top do you have that baffle?
#4- I believe thats the same as a Mag 12, isn't it? : http://www.marinedepot.com/powerhead...upreme-ap.html Pump is 1120gph at 5' head loss. A bit much for your needs. If your using a 1" T off the main return, you should be able to dial it in to your needs. I'd go lower myself, but you don't really have to.

And here is your best friend when it comes to Sumps/Fuges. Anything else, just shout.

Last edited by Reefing Madness; 01-10-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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