To sump or not in a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 145
To sump or not in a planted tank

Well, I am going to set up my dream tank. A rimless 120cmX60cmX60cm(4'X2'X2') tank and I have been having a terrible time deciding what form of filtration to use.

Looking at the cost of running 2 larger Eheim 2217s on the tank and the double outflows and returns for visable on the side as well as the cleaning to maintaing them and try and hide the green tubes, I started looking at sumps.

That brought me to some reef sites (reefcentral, etc) and looking at Silent and Failsafe Overflow System to run the tank. I am considering doing a "coast to coast" external overflow either on the 6' side or the 2'side depending on the how the tank will be setup with viewable sides (still deciding).

My question is this: what would be the disadvantages of using a sump with an overflow like this on a planted tank. Since it basically skims the water surface and filters that, would it result in more build up of debris on the substrate buttom, and thus problems, or would it work the same way as the canister (though that usual sucks from near the substrate surface)

Co2 loss is not an issue if the flow to the overflow chamber is smooth and not falling (this has been proven by many studies I have read that show that the loss of Co2 is mimimal and most loss of Co2 is due to surface ripples especially in the ruturn not from the sump if used correctly.

anyone using a sump on a planted tank or with experience using a reef setup on a planted tank, please help me decide
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Clear Spring, Maryland, USA
Posts: 138
Not using a sump, but I did consider exactly the setup you're looking at on my 40 breeder that's in-process. Only reason I didn't was because I couldn't get anybody to drill the tank and was nervous about doing it myself. It looks like a very well thought out setup. Yeah, I guess you'd still have to vacuum the bottom occasionally, but I think you really need to do that regardless of the filtration system. IMO. If I set up a larger tank in the future, like you have, I will definitely have it predrilled for that type of setup. I see no reason why it shouldn't work well on any tank, plants or otherwise. With the full siphon that it uses I hardly see CO2 outgassing as a problem since there's little or no air mixing into the water flow. Good Luck with it!!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 405
I myself don't have a sump on my freshwater planted tank, but a guy I know does and I have seen...and done some work on...his tank which is a 150-gallon planted tank with a 55-gallon sump. The plants are doing beautifully and have for over two-years, so I don't think you should hesitate for any reason to use a sump. One thing I'd recommend though, is that you do not use a diffuser for getting the CO2 into your water, but rather use a reactor so that the water enters your tank already fully infused with the CO2. There would be some CO2 loss using a sump, even though it would be very little if you do it right, but using a reactor, IMO, is more efficient and the CO2 would be even further minimized.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 884
Take a look at this thread.

This may not answer your question directly, but its relative and you may find it useful.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2009, 09:58 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 45
I don't have a sump but I do run a wet/dry filter on my 72 gal which is similar. as far as co2 I have been filling a 20lb bottle every 3 months using a pH controller. I recently stop using the controller and switched to a timer its 2 months now and I'm still looking good. As far as small debris go I use a filter sock and floss for that and I have no problems with debris just make sure you over flow takes water from multiple levels. and with the money you save add a few power heads. that will also help with the filtration by not letting stuff settle on the substrate.
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