Sump Planning & Build

Hungriee

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I've been planning my sump build for awhile. The sump/refug will be a 20G long tank. I plan on using this sump for my current DT which is a 37G tank. I will be upgrading in the future to a 75G-180G tank, depending on the space i have in the house.

For now I have gathered a bunch of equip for the sump. So far, I'll be using an Aquamedic Turboflotor Multi SL protein skimmer which uses the Ocean Runner pump, and the return pump will be an Eheim 1260.

The first chamber will be about 10 Long by 12" wide by 9"H (this is where the intake is and mostly mech filtration / skimmer) the next 10" by 12" W x 9"H will be my refugium (w/ a DSB and Chaeto Algae). After the fuge, there will be 3" of space allocated for a bubble trap using three baffles, then the remaining 7"L x 12"W x 9"H will be for my return pump (which will house the Eheim 1260).

I will be using an Overflow Box for my current 37G DT. The tank isn't drilled but for my future tank I will be havign it reef ready. The Overflow box I got is a Lifereef Overflow Box (600GPH). The Bulkhead is 1" so I plan on buying the following:

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem~action~view~idProduct~FT1375~idCategory~FIFTTUFP~category~Flexible_PVC-Tubing-Plumbing_Parts-Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies~vendor~.html

which will be used as an intake tube from teh overflow to the first chamber and also used to return from 3rd chamber back to the tank.

I will like to add a check valve ( not sure the diff b/twn a Swing Check and a True Check Valve) between the return tubing.

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem~action~view~idProduct~FT9055~idCategory~FIFTVLCV~category~Swing_Check-Valves-Plumbing_Parts-Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies~vendor~.html

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem~action~view~idProduct~FT9255~idCategory~FIFTVLTC~category~True_Union_Swing_Check-Valves-Plumbing_Parts-Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies~vendor~.html

Last item is to put in Ball Valves or Gate Valves (not sure which one) to control/stop flow, and where to place these valves to effectively control flow.

Will any unions be necessary for easy equipment access? If so, where will it best be placed?
 

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boardryder

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It is actually a true union check valve that looks to incorporate a check valve and true union in one. I think ball valves are the way to go, and I think a union could be helpful if you want to do maintenance easily.

Also, just because I'm planning my sump almost identical to what you have, why did you choose 9" as the hight of the baffles? It's the second time I've seen that dimension.
 

DaddyReefer13

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My sump set up is very similar to the diagram you have included. The height of the baffles was also a concern I had when setting mine up. In the end I settled at 9 inches because my skimmer required the water level between 8-10.5 inches. Also, the extra 3" was sufficient enough to prevent floods incase of pump failure.

good luck with your set up and hope this helps.
 

Hungriee

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I chose 9" for the first baffle mainly b/c my skimmer is external or in sump but I plan on putting it external and for either, the outflow is at 7" H so I plan on doing 9" so their wont be splashing or water noise. The other sizes are 9" mainly b/c its easier to cut all four the same size. For it being 9" for the last chamber, I'll have more water supply in case I run out or if power fails.
 

autoponicz

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my sump is similiar too..(this is a basic deisgn for most sumps)but its 32x16x15 made from 1/2" acrylic
i have my skimmer compartment larger so i can change to a larger/different skimmer in the future if needed...the fuge is smaller but its only to grow pods and some algae..i have a phosban reactor to pull out the needed phosphates...im running a eheim 1262 for the return pump.you will want a ball valve/gate valve on the drain to control the noise of the falling water...and a ball valve on the return plumbing to regulate the flow going back to the tank...you might only need 1 union on the reutrn pump plumbing just so you can easily remove the pump for cleaning...is the tank a oceanic 37g cube?...if so...when you plan to upgrade?:tongue1:
 

Hungriee

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great advice auto,
The tank is the worst tank ever its a 37G AGA tank. (30x12x23H). Thats one of the main reasons why I want to upgrade. I'll probably upgrade once I learn enough about reefs and have successfully grown out my current mixed reef collection before I move to a larger tank.
 

Eznet2u

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Just a couple of suggestions. I have built a ton of sumps...

Lose the bubble trap. It is totally unnecessary in your setup. The Chaeto will serve the same purpose.
This will allow you to expand the Refugium (More Export) or your return section. (Easier topoff.)

If it were me, I would increase the size of the return. This is assuming you are not using an auto-top off. As it looks now, you will have to add water quite often to keep the pump under water.

On bubble traps...after a couple of months they serve no purpose as the bacteria will cover everything and reduce the micro-bubbles to nothing.
 

autoponicz

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the bubble traps is always a good precaution....
and an ATO should be used for any tank just for those few good reasons a ATO provides..
any microbubbles will depend on what kind of skimmer and how its tuned...some skimmers will produce microbubbles ...maybe because its not a well designed skimmer or the owner dont know how to tune it for max foam and min. microbubble ouput...
and if he decides to not use macro algae...then what is going to stop the micro bubbles...or his return pump is a strong one and circulating the water in the sump faster than the bubbles can dissipate...

i say a phosban reactor will work faster than using macro anyday....and you dont need an extra light....but having that extra natural filtration is fun
 

fernandokng

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In my current sump, I have the same set up as you - but I got rid of the baffles.

Do you really need it? It's a nice to have, but I'd rather save space for a bigger skimmer compartment or fuge, so I got rid of it.

Do I notice microbubbles from the skimmer? Nope, all the bubbles are gone by the time it passes through the fuge.

The only time I have microbble issues is when my water in my return pump section evaporates, and the water line becomes lower than the fuge glass. Thus, the drop of the water from the fuge splashes to the return compartment, creating bubbles and sending it to the display via the return pump.

Fortunately, I got an ATO, so that solved the evaporation issue. Hope that was clear.
 

autoponicz

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heres a pic...
the first baffle is mainly to keep the water level constant for the skimmer..but if the skimmer is external...then you dont need a baffle there....but i say the baffles help keep each compartment to work for what its intended...like for the fuge area...if i had no baffles then the macro will be floating all over the sump
the fuge area is cool to have...plenty of pods and stuff in there....but im thinking of turning it into a frag section..
 
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Hungriee

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heres a pic...
the first baffle is mainly to keep the water level constant for the skimmer..
the fuge area is cool to have...plenty of pods and stuff in there....but im thinking of turning it into a frag section..
is there a reason the first baffle after the fuge is so short? Does it do any purpose? For the reactor I plan on putting it where the skimmer chamber will be? In your pic you have it where the return is. Is there a specific reason?
 

autoponicz

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the short baffle is for water to flow through and down the fuge for a stronger current...and to keep the sand in 1 place...but thats how i wanted it...seems to work good so far...the reactor is in the return section just because i have room there....and my manifold is on that side..you can put it anywhere you want...
now im not saying that 1 or 2 baffles wont work...like how these guys are explaining...but thats how i like mine...
 

Hungriee

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cool.. I just wanted to know how it works b/c in my diagram I planned all the baffles to be the same height. Makes sense for it to increase flow since its lower.
 

boardryder

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Nice work! This is very similar to what I'm going for. I decided for using the short baffle at the beginning of the fuge, and the intent was also for better flow through it. I was also planning on two bubble traps, but I'm not sure why exactly.

Question about your extra outlets off the return pump. What is your return pump rated for and how much does using those extra outlets affect your return pump?
 

autoponicz

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if i was to do it again....i would make the last baffle (towards the return pump) about 1/2" to 1" shorter than the first baffle so theres a slight waterfall going from the skimmer compartment to the fuge for a bit more water current...right now its almost the same height....

my return is a eheim 1262...rated at 900gph...i was planning to use the other 2 outlets for a calcium reactor and a chhiller......the phosban reactor i have on it now dont need much flow...the return pump is dialed back 1/4-3/8 turn or else the flow in the sump is too fast...
 

boardryder

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So you have little current even with your short baffleforcing the water to flow through(not over) the refugium?

I originally had two bubble trap setups in mind, but I was now thinking of setting it up like yours, but the last baffle near the return would be the same height of the baffle between the skimmer and fuge(already got my peices cut).
 

autoponicz

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the current is good...but im just saying i want to let the water fall down from the first baffle a little more...like on the left side of the fuge....im not sure if im explaining it right...:eek:
 

boardryder

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Yeah I understand. You could probably just cut some grooves in the last baffle if it is plastic. I was just curious about how yours is working out before I build my sump.
 

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