FAQs About Sump/Filters
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Baffles; Welcome to the World of Versatility! By Joshua
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Sump Woes, The Frustrated And Perplexed Seeking Advice and
I have a problem with sumps perhaps you can help me with.
I have a 12 gallon saltwater tank currently. (It is an acrylic
Marineland Eclipse 12, bow front type.) It has one 9 watt mini light.
The current filtration type is a carbon cartridge Bio-Wheel type. I
have a sintered
airstone bubbling in the tank and a submersible UV sterilizer with an
adjustable water flow outlet. I am getting an Oceanic protein skimmer
(about 8 in. tall or so). I also have a small water pump (capable
pumping 80 gph) It sticks to the inside of the tank with suction cups.
The water pump has a small line going from it to the carbon filter
already in place in the tank (this is a small modification I made
myself. I did this
in hopes of helping water filtration a little. Let me know if I am
wrong on this.
<Mmm, there is such a thing as "over-driving" any such
filter functionally, but you're likely fine here>
This modification can be changed or removed if needed). I have reef
sand substrate and several decorations and fake plants. (I do not do
well with real plants, so the fake ones are a real godsend for me.) I
also have 1
peppermint shrimp, 1 Nassarius (pardon if my spelling is wrong here,
sometimes I do not spell very well)
<Oh! I learned/improved your spelling greatly over years time by
using spell and grammar checkers... Easy to do, even fun>
snail, and 2 fish (1 red head goby and 1 filefish) in the tank. I plan
on adding a inertia (again pardon me if the spelling is wrong here)
snail and a Cerith (again please forgive me if my spelling is lousy
here) snail to help
with an algae problem I also seem to be having. (Let me know if I am
overstocking or anything.)
<Firefish species need more room/volume than this. See WWM
But my real problem is this:
I have heard sumps are wonderful for marine tanks. I have looked into
obtaining one for my 12 gallon tank. I had no luck. All the sumps I
found were too large and cost way too much.
<Mmm... you can make one yourself out of most anything that is
chemically inert and holds water... Read here:
and the linked files above>
And I do not have room for another aquarium sized tank in my tiny place
of residence (even one that is 1 or 2 gallons would be pushing my
<Mmmm, troubles with such small volumes, moving water twixt>
I looked into making one myself ( a DIY style sump). No luck there
I tried making one. But all I wound up doing was making a mess.
Silicone sealant all over my hands (which fortunately comes off easily,
but it is still sticky and gooey, and takes forever to peel off your
from the tank on the floor (saltwater and wood floors do not mix and
the water makes the whole house smell), and the two pumps I bought
(cheaply fortunately) did not work together
<!? Don't do this!>
well enough to control the water flow adequately (even with control
valves), and not to mention the stress on the poor fish (my red head
goby came down with a case of Ich, most likely from all the stress.
thing!) Anyway, do you have any thoughts on what I might do? Is a sump
really something that would help a tank that is only 12 gallons?
<Yes... but am given to suggest you save up, locate a space for a
larger system period... perhaps use the existing one for acclimation,
Do they make sumps small enough for a tiny tank like mine? What could I
try that I have not already tried besides a sump or overflow boxes for
water filtration? Any help here would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
<Best for you to read, learn to search, peruse WWM. Bob
Improving Nano tank sump/DSB 2/26/10
I have a question about "fixing" the shallow sand bed in my
sump, but first a brief system description...
I have a 29g display with around 40lbs of live rock and base rock, with
an overflow into a 20g (long) sump. The sump has an Aqua Remora skimmer
in the first chamber, then a refugium area that is about 18 inches
long, with a 5-6 inch layer of (very) live rock rubble suspended on an
egg crate rack over a shallow (1-2 inches) bed of live sand. Water
flows over this area, and the live rock rubble is covered with
tunicates <Nice!> and small feather duster-like worms. This
spills over into a pump chamber housing a Marineland 3000 pump, which
goes to a SCWD that I have estimated to be flowing around 450gph.
Display is lit by a set of 65w PC bulbs for 11 hours a day. The sump is
<Really? Your system might benefit from this.. have you read WWM
Primary inhabitants are a single purple Condy (which is large and
beautiful), a few Mushrooms, one Gorgonian, a single Rock Anemone, a
Green Brittle Starfish, a few Hermits and Snails, and a huge bristle
worm. <No fish? Unusual>. I will not add any more livestock other
than either some Peppermint Shrimp or a pair of Coral Banded
My question is what is the best course to take regarding the sand in
the sump? I don't want to compromise the fauna on the rock there,
or risk an event with the sand that's already there. I feel like
the shallow depth is a time bomb of sorts, and I am leaning toward
adding sand (1mm or smaller) an inch at a time, covering 50% of the bed
at a time, until I get it to an acceptable depth (is 3" enough, or
should I go deeper?).
<I would either remove an inch, or, better, add several inches, one
inch at a time, a month at a time. To a total of not less than 4
inches, preferably 5-8>
If removing the sand altogether from the sump is best, I will go that
<I would not. This is a habitat for a multitude of animals>
My display is 1" or less.
Thanks for all your efforts at putting together and maintaining such a
<No problem, although most of the work has been compiled by
'older' crewmembers than me!>
On a personal note, you were very helpful a while back in setting up
what has been my favourite tank in my past 20 years of aquarium
keeping, and it is looking very much like the Caribbean biotope I was
<That's marvelous news!>
I did cave when I saw the Anemone, but have been resolute in not adding
a fish to the aquarium as I feel it would be irresponsible.
<Could indeed be. I am not an expert here, but I don't think
this Anemone is easily paired with Clowns, and is definitely a danger
to other fishes>
I committed myself to waiting for the tank to mature, and this has made
all the difference!
The fun my family and I have watching all the tiny creatures in and
around the rock has more than compensated for the lack of fish and
heavy coral stocking I see in similar tanks.
<Outstanding Stan! There certainly are several different ways to
'skin a cat'>
Sump And Skimmer Question, des./sel. 1/21/10
Hello, Hope all is well today.
<Is OK now that my annual physical is done with. I think my doctor
had a large ring on when he did a particular exam. Yuk.>
I have a 55g FOWLR and a 34g reef tank. I am in the process of
upgrading and I have two 135g tanks that are in the planning stages of
becoming my new FOWLR and reef tanks. I am trying to decide on what
skimmer/skimmer's I want to use before I pick out my return pumps.
I've heard that you want the same flow through the sump as the
skimmer pumps flow rate, for the skimmer to be at max efficiency. Is
there any truth to this?
<Not that I'm aware of. Most decent skimmers do not process that
much water per hour, at least compared to what a required pump would
put out properly matched with your size tank.>
I am playing with the idea of doing a large stand alone DIY skimmer and
have it feed both sumps. I haven't really seen any pros or
con's of doing one skimmer for two tanks. So my options are set up
both tanks separately, 135g tank with 75g sump each and have two
skimmers. One large DIY skimmer stand alone (as mentioned above), or I
have an acrylic 180g that I could setup as the sump and plumb both
tanks to it, and use one giant skimmer.
One last question, if I did both tanks plumbed separately, could I use
the ASM-G1X off of my 55gallon setup on one of the tanks, or do you
think that the ASM would be too small for a 135g setup? Sorry for the
long set of questions.
<The problem I have with a community sump is that if a disease
outbreak should occur in one tank, it can quickly spread to the other
tank. I'm in favor of a separate
sump and skimmer for each tank. The other negative factor is if you
have a problem with the skimmer, both tanks suffer. The ASM-G1X is
rated for a 150 gallon tank and is powered by a Sedra 3500 pump. This
should be fine for a 135 provided the tank is not heavily stocked with
Extremely thankful for your time,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Sump design thoughts 9/2/2009
Thanks again for having such a wonderful site. Perhaps one of these
days when I stop buying aquarium equipment I can make a donation
I have been considering a better way to improve my filter system in my
125g reef tank. Right now it has a 2"-3" live sand bed, about
60lbs of live rock in the display tank, (working on getting another
70+lbs when I can...here and there) and a 30g aquarium baffled out with
one empty chamber (water input also gets siphoned out when waste
accumulates), one chamber for the skimmer, and one chamber for a
refugium (about 13" long with a 3 - 4" live sand/miracle mud
mixture planted with various Caulerpa, mostly prolifera, lit 24/7). It
has been working....though I don't think my wife's stocking
ideas are helping matters any (sometimes its frustrating to come home
and find a new "tank mate" swimming/crawling
around....especially when its a CC Star in a reef tank!!) .
<Ah no... Perhaps taking your spouse about when you both can visit
LFS, even to local to regional meetings, a conference...>
We have enough outside sources causing issues in our tanks...one could
always do with one less...but I don't really want to get rid of my
<Ah, no... better to incorporate, amalgamate your interests, values,
goals... by far. Elements of your relationship>
so I am hopeful things settle down as she learns. So I went on a
mission to try and put something better together to help augment my
wife's habits until one day she figures it out.... hopefully
<Maybe she could/would like a system of her own?>
Anyway, I came across some excellent deals to start my new filter
1 Little Giant 4-MDQX-SC $2.00 (not a typo...actually $2.00. It even
still works and looks brand new)
1 Oceanic Trickle Filter 250 sump $20 (going to require me to install
baffles, since it is basically an empty tank, but surely worth every
penny, since it has the bulk heads already factory installed, and glass
for my baffles with cost me a fraction of a new $300-$400 sump) so
naturally I started planning everything out in my head, and wanted some
input, and I thought "who better to go to than WWM?" So, I
really hope you guys can give me some input.
Question #1. Now I have been spending a lot of time here, and decided
in my new sump design to stay away from the bioballs due to the
negative response in most cases (of course my brother argues left and
right that they are the staple in any quality wet/dry system, or they
wouldn't be there....yadda yadda...I told him to go read =).
Anywho, my question is: can I/should I use something else in it's
<I would, yes>
Something along the lines of refugium rubble/smaller chunks of live
rock, SeaChem's De-Nitrate, or Eheim Substrat. Will these still
lead the designated chamber to an eventual "factory"?
<Mmm, no... these materials are different than the two dimensional
material called/labeled "balls" in being 3-D, having small
spaces that are hypoxic-anoxic where organisms that live in low to no
oxygen "do" the opposite reaction series:
I plan on having a filter sock on the water input to the sump, as well
as building a shelf (egg crate with some finer mesh to stop the media
from falling through the holes) for said media to rest on with a
powerhead underneath to push water up in the hopes that the added flow
will continue to keep more of the particulate matter the sock might
have missed, suspended in the water column to be either be skimmed out
or removed via a Lifeguard mechanical filter on the return line after
<Do plan on frequent disassembly, cleaning of the cartridge... at
least weekly... with a substitute cartridge to clean, let air dry twixt
I don't remember coming across anything addressing this, but I am
prone to mistakes, and maybe I just over looked it. With an additional
70lbs of LR am I going overboard with bio filtration?
Question #2. I am planning on getting a few additional components from
Lifeguard systems - the mechanical and chemical modules.
<Mmm... I would interject a comment: I am not a fan of this line...
for a few reasons I'll state: For one, their design is flawed in
making water flow through two 90 degree turns per module, requiring a
good bit of pump pressure; two, they're limited in volume for
inserting/using media... lastly, they require too much time, effort to
service... I would instead just rely on the filter sock, and place
other media in area/s of your new sump, in Dacron bags, that can be
I want to run a ball valve in between the mechanical and chemical
module, so that when I run the carbon, I can turn the valve on and off
(really to use it on an "as needed" basis, while still
allowing whatever particulate matter missed (from the above mentioned)
to be filtered out through the mechanical filter. Am I taking this
concept to far, over thinking, and actually causing myself to have more
headaches, or is this somewhat of a good idea, and worth investing the
<I wouldn't go this route>
I guess I am just not a fan of "filter socking" carbon, and I
feel much more at ease when I know there is virtually no water
bypassing any step of the filtration process.
<Enough flow can/will get through if such media is bagged, placed in
a flow area twixt baffling...>
Question #3. Should I just forget about question 1, and build a larger
version of the one I have, with 1 chamber dedicated to skimming, and
the other for the refugium (though this time I think I will stick to
Chaeto), ensuring that none of the water passing into the fuge makes it
<Could, but I wouldn't necessarily>
Thanks for taking the time to read/respond. I just really needed some
other outside input, before I can fully justify it to my myself....and
my wife (she always thinks I am doing something wrong...lol). I am sure
if there is a flaw in my plan you guys will certainly let me know.
<Enjoy the process. Bob Fenner>
DIY Sump: A novel idea, but with a few pitfalls.
I'm looking to construct a new reef tank. I've decided to
sump it rather than use canister filters as I have done on my
much smaller reef tanks.
My tank is going to be well stocked and about 200 litres in
<53 gallons for our readers challenged by the metric
I have enclosed plans for a sump I've designed, I wondered if
you could look over it and see if it has any shortcomings?
<It is a novel, space saving design, but I can see one glaring
problem and three that could be either serious or an annoyance,
depending upon your view: A top down view would have been very
helpful in this case to help visualize as well.>
1. As you have drawn it, with water entering the top skimming
area and then dropping down a sluice to a refugium, there is
going to be a fair amount of suspended weight which could deflect
or fail at some point
without additional reinforcement or thicker acrylic than you may
have planned for.
2. The sluice between the skimming area and the refugium will be
extremely difficult to clean, as will the live rock area.
3. It may be difficult to get the proper amount of light to the
4. I don't see this as something that is going to be easy to
Baffled about baffles 6/23/09
I am delving deeper into my inconsistent skimmer production. A year ago
I bought a 125 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump. It has a nice
Euro-Reef skimmer. Off the top of my head, I can't remember what
model it is and I don't want to pull it out of the sump to check as
that would involve a bit of monkey business. I know it's rated for
my 125 anyway as the fella I bought it from knew his stuff pretty well
I'm sure. Anyway, the sump is rigged according to the way he laid
it out and I'm not sure it's baffles are in the right place for
the water line to stay level for the skimmer. I know the skimmer is
supposed to be sitting in about 6-8" of water according to what I
have read from your posts.
<About right for this skimmer, yes.>
But as it sits now, it's in about a foot of water which is equal to
the "max fill" line in my sump for the water I tried to find
a diagram for my particular skimmer to see how the baffling should be
but haven't found any help. I will explain how mine is set up.
From left to right, the skimmer is first, which also has the drain
water coming in from the tank.
The first baffle is glued to the bottom of the sump and is about
Then there's a gap and the next baffle is about a foot tall and has
open space at the bottom for water to flow through. Then another gap
and the next baffle is like the first, glued to the bottom and about
Then it's the return (Mag 18) pump. At this point we're in the
middle of the sump. From here on I'm not concerned as it's my
fuge on the other half of the sump, which has drain water coming in as
well and trickles down to the pump.
I've always tried to keep my water steady at the max line for the
sump that he had drawn with a marker. I thought he said that's
where it should be for the skimmer to work best. But at this level, the
water is well over that first baffle. Also, the water level goes down
equally in the skimmer chamber as well as the pump chamber. I'm
certain the water line needs to stay constant for the skimmer to work
best. At least in the skimmer chamber.
<The water line needs to be consistent for the skimmer's
performance to be consistent.>
I drip Kalkwasser at about a drop a second in the sump to compensate
for evaporation and to keep water line consistent. This works great and
beats buckets for sure, but I'm not sure my sump is configured
properly to begin with.
<To keep the water level in the skimmer chamber from fluctuating
you will have to keep the water level in the pump chamber below that of
the first baffle,
6". If you wish to run a higher level than this you will need to
extent that baffle up to whatever
level you want to run.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Many a questions for you.... Reef sump... skimmer sel. Qs
Hope all is well with everyone. I have a few questions for you. I have
a 180g reef tank that I would like to retro fit a sump to. I want to
add a HOT overflow box to the tank and would like to know:
1. What kind? I am thinking a CPR overflow, but what size?
<As large a model that you can fit, ideally two for redundancy with
the return pump only flowing what one can handle. You can not have too
much overflow capacity!>
2. How big of a sump?
<As large as you can fit in the space.>
3. How big a return pump? I would like to have an underwater pump. The
distance from the sump to the tank is about 5-6 feet.
4. What skimmer do you recommend? I am looking at the Bubble King, the
Royal Exclusiv Alpha 170 or the Vertex IN-250? I don't know if you
have any experience with these but I would love you opinion on which
you think is the best for the money.
<The Vertex hands down for the dollar. Both are fine skimmers
Thanks for your help in the past and on this question.
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Re: Algae Scrubber Question
Dear Mr. Fenner,
Thanks for your reply! Well, I took the plunge so to speak and
installed a sump. I have a hang on overflow from TOM going, nifty
little item that uses a powerhead to keep air out of the siphon. I know
some of the people you have manning this site are not big fans of these
overflows, but this is a temporary stop gap (max 2 yrs) until I can get
a bigger tank going.
<I hope it works... till then>
It's a simple job, just a 10 gallon glass tank with 3 panes of
glass 1 inch apart (middle one is 2 inches off the ground) to act as a
I have a small amount of extra live rock in the make shift refugium
area, and I moved my protein skimmer and heater down there as well. I
have some purple algae, Ochtodes I think, growing in the main tank that
I'll move mostly to the sump. Beautiful Algae! Hopefully that will
help with the red hair algae menace. Failing that I'm thinking of
using Chaetomorpha. I also have a light rigged down there on a reverse
photoperiod, it's just a cheap clamp on reflector and 60W plant
growing light I got at Home Depot. No discernable effect on temperature
so far! Thank you for your encouragement, plumbing the sump has been a
real education. The tubes that came with the overflow were kind of
flimsy (and ribbed, just begging for something to get clogged in there
like algae), so I opted for some of my own tubing from Home depot.
<You are/were wise here>
The drain pipe is 1" ID, and the return is 3/4" ID. I
installed ball valves on both of them so I can control the flow rate to
and from the tank. I have a 475 GPH pump for the return, and a Koralia
1 Powerhead in the tank. Too much flow for Zoanthids, mushrooms, GSP, a
couple LPS and a small finger leather?
<Mmm, no... not if blasting them directly>
I'm actually thinking of getting rid of the leather, he sheds
almost once a week, and only open up 2-3 days per week. He might need a
new home I think.
Possible allelopathy etc.
I tested the tank with a bunch of conditions, (power-outage, pump
failure, siphon break) and it started right back up again with no
overflows. No unwanted siphons etc, just need to make sure everything
is clean. It sure makes water changes easy. My only concern is that the
water has gone a light milky white color since the sump was
installed... bacteria? dust from new live rock? micro bubbles from a
bad plumbing job?
not sure there. All the water parameters check out...
Alk - on the low end 1.9ish, so added some Seachem buffer.
<Mmm, see WWM re... needs to be added to the new/make-up water, not
directly to the system>
Calcium - has always been highish at 400-450.... can't get it down
even with weekly 25% water changes.
NO2, NO3, NH4 are all undetectable.
Magnesium is at 1250ppm
S.G. is stable at 1.026
That's my other worry, is that with the high calcium I started a
<Yes... very likely the high Ca is responsible for both the
diminished alkalinity AND the dust in the water>
But I'd expect that to look different than just milky water....
with actual crystals forming. I'll try to get a picture of the
setup so you can see for yourself, my fiancÃ© just got a
new camera that she's learning to use. Thanks again for all your
help, it's a privilege to get information from someone with as much
experience as yourself. Cheers!
<And you my friend. Bob Fenner>
Tank Configuration 5/5/09
< Hello Ramon and Sons ! >
I have two questions that I need help with,
< Ahh, I thought you might. >
I have a Red Sea Max 65 Gallon All-in one( just cycling for about 2
weeks now) a 29 Gallon that has some Fiji rock 2 inch sand bed and a 10
Gallon tank that I am using to kill off BGA.
I would like to know which would be the best way to connect them all
< That would depend on your plans for each tank. >
I can't drill the RSM, 29 Gallon, or the 10 Gallon.
< Can't? >
I have 2 Maxi-Jets 1200s that I can use and buy an overflow for the 29
gallon to the 10 gallon and use the 2 pumps, one would be for the flow
to the 29 gallon and one pump for the return from the 10 gallon to the
< O.K. If I am reading this correctly the plan is as follows:
The 65 gallon to the 29 gallon with a maxi -jet.
The 29gallon to the 10 gallon with an overflow.
The 10 gallon will then return to the 65 gallon with another
If drilling is absolutely not possible I would scrap the 10 gallon frag
tank and have the 65 overflow into the 29 and then returned. The two
Maxi-jets will not pump the same even if they are rated the same.
initially this could be corrected with the use of a valve, it is still
a recipe for future disaster. You should also check the Maxi-jet with a
head loss calculator to be sure it will be sufficient.
I was thinking of making the RSM into a reef tank, the 29 gallon into a
refugium and the 10 gallon into a Frag tank or do you have any
suggestions on what to do with the 29 gallon and 10 gallon?
< You took the words right out of my mouth...or my keyboard. That
would be my suggestion as well if drilling were possible. >
Any Ideas would be helpful.
< Please write back if you decide to drill and/or have anymore
Thanks, Ramon and Sons
< You are quite welcome. G A Jenkins >
Freshwater to Saltwater Sump 4/11/09
Hi guys, and girls, I'm back with another quick question.
<Hello! I hope I can be of some help.>
I found online the Marineland model 4 new sump that a guy had been
using for 6 months in his freshwater tank. What do I need to do, as far
as the bio wheels having freshwater bacteria compared to saltwater
bacteria, to make it work in my 125 gallon reef ready saltwater tank
that has been going for 3 years. Can I rinse off the bio wheels in
saltwater and let them sit in my sump for a month and let new saltwater
bacteria grow on them.
Plus what do you think of the new Marineland acrylic sump model 4, and
also the Marineland pro 300 skimmer...??
Thanks for all your past, present and future help.
<Aaron, I would not reuse the bio wheels. They are fairly
inexpensive so I see no reason to expose your tank to possible
contamination. Especially since you do not know the current owner and
have no clue as to what he/she may have dosed.(medications, additives,
etc.....) The model 4 looks a bit expensive to me considering the price
of a glass aquarium with a similar footprint. Building your own with a
new or used aquarium, acrylic and some time could save you a nice bit
of those hard earned dollars. It would also give you a bit of room for
a refugium. Here are a couple of links with good refugium DIY info and
After doing a bit of research on the Marineland skimmer it seems to be
pretty good bang for your buck. You should also consider The Reef
Octopus Extreme 200. Very nice skimmer for the price. I think you
should be fine either way. Adam Jenkins>
Sump Design 2/25/09 Hello, <Wes.> I've
been spending quite a bit of time reading the helpful insights that you
have on your site. Excellent!! <Thank you.> I have a new system.
75 gallon sump. Will have it plumbed to 2 tanks. One sump pump for each
tank. I have the option of 3 or more drain lines going to different
parts of the sump. I will have a collection sock sleeve followed by a
small wet/dry Bioball chamber at one end,. Next to it will be about
50lbs of Live Rock and a protein skimmer. Then the water will pass
through baffles for a small refugium area and finally overflow into the
area with the 2 pumps. My question is this: Will this be too much
circulation through the fuge? Should I have one of the drain lines go
straight to the Pump area to lessen the flow? <How much flow, what
sized lines and what size refugium are we looking at here? See:
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Sump/refugium design 1/22/09 I've been
working on this build of my 150 gallon reef ready tank for some
time. At first, I thought I was limited to the under the cabinet
space as there is no room for anything next to the tank -- a wall
on one side, and a hallway on the other. After some measurements
however, it appears as though I can drill through the back few
inches of one of the walls and get through to a very large
walk-in storage closet. <Great! Nothing like a bit of
demolition work to get things going!> I already have
everything I would need for this setup, but just wanted to send
my plans your way for input on to whether this would work well or
not. <Ok> Now the 55 refugium on the left would actually be
turned 90 degrees, as in from the front we would see the short
side; it was just easier for illustration to draw it this way. My
main concern is height and gravity. I know the top of the 55
would have to be lower than the bulkhead on the 150 so that it
would drain downwards towards the tank. <Yes.> Then it
would flow either out of a drilled hole in the 55 or an overflow
(leaning towards a drilled hole, just haven't done this yet)
and would have to continue downhill into the sump below. The
refugium would output into its own chamber in the sump that is
separated from the skimmer so to allow all the beneficial stuff
from here to have a clear path into the pump and back into the
display tank. Could it become problematic that I am only
technically skimming the water that overflows from the right side
of the tank? <No, you will still skim plenty.> I had also
thought of splitting the flow from the left to be 50% into the
refugium and 50% back into the skimmer section. This would both
slow the flow through the refugium as well as increase the amount
of water through the skimmer section. Do you foresee any problems
with this setup or the splitting the left overflow idea? <I
would not split the flow, just how it is diagramed will be fine.
Do keep in mind most 'reef ready' tanks use 1'
throughputs on the overflow good for about 300 gph safely each.
With the long horizontal run you will have I would plan on about
half this flow through that line.> Thanks for all your help as
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Overflow Redundancy For Sump 1/13/09 Hi Bob,
Many of the in-sump skimmers require water levels of 6 to 8"
to operate efficiently. Once installed, most or all of the
remaining capacity of the sump is reduced which will then
overflow the sump should a power outage, pump failure, etc.
occur. I've attached a pic of what I have done to remedy the
problem. The components used were about 10 bucks. Pretty cheap
insurance for protecting your flooring material. Regards,
<Good idea. BobF>
Re: Overflow Redundancy For Sump
1/15/09 I just wanted to throw another idea out
regarding the email below that doesn't involve drilling the
sump or using up more space within the stand. <Please do>
To maintain a consistent and high water level within a sump for
the skimmer without having to keep the water level high in the
sump as a whole (and no glass cutting or silicon handiwork), we
did the following: * added a 2.5 gallon tank inside the sump,
raised with a PVC shelf * moved pump for skimmer into 2.5 gallon
tank * pointed overflow drain pipes into the 2.5 gallon tank
<Ahh, I see> Doing it this way maintains the water level
that the pump is in (for consistent skimming) while allowing the
water level in the sump as a whole to deviate without any issues
(assuming you don't allow so much to evaporate that you have
salinity shifts!) and you can maintain it as low as your other
pumps and equipment will allow. As long as your overflows move
more water then your skimmer takes in, it works fine and the
excess water goes over the edges of the 2.5 gallon directly into
sump. If your overflows aren't draining properly, you've
already got bigger problems on your hands (or floor...) I'm
beginning to suspect this hobby has a larger range of potential
solutions for individual problems then any other! Hopefully this
will inspire others to come up more ideas to share! David
<Thank you David... did you See James'/Salty Dog's
recent related piece re this? Here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/sumpdesf8.htm Requires dumping the water
back in by hand... but a good/worthwhile stop-gap measure for
keeping water off the floor in many cases. Bob Fenner>
Overflow Redundancy For Sump 1/13/09 Hi Bob, Many of the in-sump
skimmers require water levels of 6 to 8" to operate
efficiently. Once installed, most or all of the remaining
capacity of the sump is reduced which will then overflow the sump
should a power outage, pump failure, etc. occur. I've
attached a pic of what I have done to remedy the problem. The
components used were about 10 bucks. Pretty cheap insurance for
protecting your flooring material. Regards, James <Good idea.
Re: Overflow Redundancy For Sump
1/15/09 Yes, James has a very innovative idea! <Well
thank you and this is James.> It's actually what inspired
me to pass along the changes below that allowed us to maintain
drastically lower water level in sump (I tried to find a
non-drilling/cutting solution because adding a large bucket in
the stand would be challenging, and knowing my luck I would
probably crack the sump while drilling the overflow hole to drain
into the bucket!) <I just used a hole saw available at Sears
or other hardware stores. You do have to drill at a relatively
slow speed to keep the acrylic from heating up. Using a dull hole
saw will make things even worse.> I meant to mention in the
original email (per advice from a LFS)... I've gotten into
the habit of also laying an oversized piece of pond liner in
every stand to keep the water up during clumsy maintenance! <A
good idea also along with applying a few coats of polyurethane to
protect the wood if need be.> Reading through the responses
you post really is a highlight I look forward to every day. There
is so much more time to enjoy the hobby when we do not have to
constantly deal with problems. <Amen.> I'm confident
our tank would be a maintenance and emergency nightmare without
the wonderful stocking, equipment, and maintenance advice the
entire crew has made readily available. Thanks again for the
incredible public service you provide. I'm looking forward to
reading the next round of responses posted from your awesome
team! <Why thank you David, and another thank you from the
Crew at Wet Web Media. James (Salty Dog)> David
Sump Design 1/12/09 Comments or suggestions?
<Looks fine, the water will flow downhill! Scott V.>
<Bob, I reattached the images as .jpg files.>
Re: Sump Design 1/12/09 Is it
going to be posted on your site? <They are as I write.>
Then I will be famous. <Heee, in a way!> Further FYI it is
for a highly modified AP 24. I could provide detailed photos if
interested. <Feel free to send them along, limited to few
hundred Kb.> Dan