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Old 04-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
dasob85
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Building a sump?


Hey guys, picked up a 40 breeder from petco at their sale and figured since I will be building a stand for it, why not also put in a sump? I've always wanted to try it and I think it will be a good learning experience for a 100+gallon tank in the future I basically want to figure out some of the questions right now before I build a stand to make sure the sump will fit. Ideally I would like to fit a 20H as the sump. Unfortunately the DIY stand builds I looked at all seem very sturdy but dont seem to have enough space for a 20H. I'll look for other stand builds but if not, will a 10 gallon work as the sump? I dont want any flooding issues because I didn't have enough reserve volume in the sump. Unfortunately the DIY stand builds I looked at all seem very sturdy which isn't a bad thing but dont seem to have enough space for a 20H.

Anyway, on to the sump system! First the overflow. I think I will be buying one because too many DIY things all at once is a bit too much for me to handle. I was looking at oversized ones with double bulkhead outflows with max flow over 1000gph. (they dont cost that much more than a single) I figured since I would be shooting for 400gph in my tank, I could possibly be really lucky and not get any gurgling or if I do get gurgling, adjust one of the outflows higher to make it a herbie? any thoughts on this plan?

About the actual sump, I think I will avoid a wet/dry configuration and go with a splashless style with foam and random ceramic media I have lying around the house. I dont plan on running CO2 at this minute, but I could see myself taking the co2 off my 12g long and putting it on this. Since a picture would make things more clear, I attached one. Please excuse the bad drawing and handwriting I want to know if the baffles are acceptable and if I could fill the center portion between the pump and the fine pads with ceramic media.

Finally, should I use all pvc tubing or is it possible to use some soft tubing between the sump and the tank?

so quick recap:
1. 10gal sump or 20gal sump? If 20 gal, I think I have to find a less sturdy design for the stand.
2. overflow box: is a double outflow good idea?
3. sump: Do the baffles and water flow look okay?
4. tubing: is soft tubing okay?

Thanks
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
mstamper
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I have not done a sump before. One of the things you mentioned putting in the sump was ceramic media, yet, in your drawing notes there is nothing mentioned for the media.

I too am looking at putting in a sump on my 75 gallon tank. My issues is noise. The tank is in my bedroom and I am looking for ways to have a sump or wet/dry as quite as possible.

If you build this let me know how much noise you have from this design.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #3
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Oh yea, I drew that last night but kept browsing threads today. I figured some extra ceramic media in the middle wouldn't hurt and I do have some lying around the house.

Since I secretly bought the tank and stuffed it in the attic, I probably wont start building the stand until my birthday in May and I can ask for something as a gift :p and I foresee it taking waaay longer to finish lol. I will definitely post an update when I'm done here though.

btw, about the stand, I found some other designs on another site that used less wood internally but instead used metal braces externally. Any thoughts on stability?
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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A few thoughts:

1) 10g vs 20g: Bigger is always better, but it really depends on what you want to do with the sump. Will your heaters and filter media fit in a 10g? If yes, it's technically big enough.

2) Overflow box: I'm assuming you're talking about a standard commercial hang-on overflow that uses one or more siphon tubes to get the water into an outer box, where the standpipes are located. This is a hard arrangement to optimize. In order to keep the noise from the standpipes down, you want extra capacity. But extra capacity means slower flow in the siphon tubes, which means they're more likely to gather air bubbles and lose siphon. Double units are nice for redundancy at least.

3) Baffles in your drawing look OK. How tall will the middle baffle in the set of three be? You'll need to allow for drain down when the power goes out, and the water level is more or less set by the baffles. I typically estimate drain down at 10% of system volume, so in your case that's maybe 4 gallons.

4) Soft tubing is definitely OK.

Noise in a sump system can come from lots of different points. The "hardest" for most people to solve is probably the standpipes in the overflow box. Most hang on boxes are just an open standpipe, sometimes with a strainer or foam block on it. That's about the worst design possible from a noise perspective. On a lower flow arrangement like this, you should be able to get it relatively quiet with any of the common modifications, i.e. a Durso or Stockman standpipe. You mentioned Herbie, that will be dead silent but is a little more complicated and might be overkill. The good news is it's easy to play with standpipes until you find one that works for you.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Two drains for the overflow box are good so you can run a quiet full siphon and have the other for emergency. If you are handy it could be possible to drill another hole in the box on the side or bottom so you could have a smaller box, 2 drain boxes are kind of large. Might look into it anyway.

I doubt the DIY stand is not sturdy, most people overbuild stands. See the DIY stand on reefcentral for how tos. If you put a floor in and skin the stand then you can put a tank in that is nearly as wide as your display tank. You won't need to use any center supports either.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1169964

Soft tubing is just fine, in fact it is a good idea for at least part of it as it can absorb some vibration and is easier to deal with when installing and during maintenance. I was fine with all PVC for the drain because the bit that goes down into the sump can be pressure fitted and removed when needed as it is fine if it has a bit of a drip but cannot imagine how you could completely hard plumb an internal pump without going bonkers trying to get it in and out to clean it.

Sump size depends on how much evaporation you get. My 100 gallon tank with a 14 gallon tub sump was a pain as the tub held exactly enough water when properly filled to get through a week and after that I was nagged by the pump pulling air. Now that the tank is covered the sump doesn't lose enough water to notice so I haven't a clue as to how long it would take until the 40 gallon sump would start nagging me!

I am no expert in putting baffles in sumps as my sumps have been irregular shaped and impossible to glue anything to. I just put vertical Poret sponges in with room between for bagged media although actually there isn't anything but spare prefilter sponges ready for emergency use there yet. I would love a couple of baffles so my foam is completely submerged and somewhere on the swiss tropical site is a diagram of how to accomplish that but I haven't bookmarked it and cannot find it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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So this answers my "is anyone using a sump?" question thread.

ePlastics.com will cut plexiglass to order so you can make a bigger sump custom fit to your DIY stand for less than you can buy any off the rack plexi sump. I figured its about a 30% savings. The pieces come ready to glue together and their glue is tip top. Mine arrived on the 4th day after I placed my order. Just specify "exact sizes" and you wont lose any specs due to saw blade width.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
3) Baffles in your drawing look OK. How tall will the middle baffle in the set of three be? You'll need to allow for drain down when the power goes out, and the water level is more or less set by the baffles. I typically estimate drain down at 10% of system volume, so in your case that's maybe 4 gallons.
Yes, for #2, I do mean the standard commercial ones. I figured it should be easy to raise or lower one of the pipes and attach a ball valve to make the herbie work. Ideally, the double unit itself should be big enough to deal with the flow without making gurgling noises and not lose siphon! I've never used an overflow before so I dont see how it will lose siphon with the upside down U shape. I didn't mention brands yet since that will be one of the last steps in this build but i was looking at the lifereef double, eshopps double or cs102 in order of desirability. I'm not too sure of the difference between the lifereef and the eshopps since the picture is kind of small.

3. the set of 3 baffles are all 13 inches, with 1 inch opening either above or below depending on water flow. i set them that way so that the water has to go through the sponges, but can go over in the event of a major clog. I'm a little confused by what you mean when you say the water level is set by the baffles. Should I lower or raise them? technically in the event of a drain down, all the water can still flow over the set of 3 baffles to the left side right? I calculated I have around 7 gallons of capacity on the left side for extra water.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Two drains for the overflow box are good so you can run a quiet full siphon and have the other for emergency. If you are handy it could be possible to drill another hole in the box on the side or bottom so you could have a smaller box, 2 drain boxes are kind of large. Might look into it anyway.

I doubt the DIY stand is not sturdy, most people overbuild stands. See the DIY stand on reefcentral for how tos. If you put a floor in and skin the stand then you can put a tank in that is nearly as wide as your display tank. You won't need to use any center supports either.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1169964
I think I'd get the 2 drain overflow box for ease of mind and if there is one thing I've learned, its to oversize what you want because manufacturer claims are always disappointing lol. Again, I didn't think of the siphon issue but with some of these overflow boxes, the design does seem pretty good.

that diy stand does fit my needs very well! Definitely saving that link and will get a 20H from petco since they are on sale. Although I think if I sanded the super overbuilt one I saw, I could fit in the 20H perfectly. I'll make that decision later on down the road though.

I want to get some of that poret for inside the baffles I think 1 of each of the sizes would be perfect.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernynhel View Post
So this answers my "is anyone using a sump?" question thread.

ePlastics.com will cut plexiglass to order so you can make a bigger sump custom fit to your DIY stand for less than you can buy any off the rack plexi sump. I figured its about a 30% savings. The pieces come ready to glue together and their glue is tip top. Mine arrived on the 4th day after I placed my order. Just specify "exact sizes" and you wont lose any specs due to saw blade width.
I saw a lot of sumps! I have sump envy! Most of them were trickle ones though. I've always wanted to try and see what makes it work but I've never really had the room or the time. I figured since I'm building a stand instead of using whatever leftover furniture I have, I'll give it a shot!

for eplastics, do they actually have a "sump" category or do you have to provide a drawing of what you want? some of the off the rack sumps I saw were like... 200 bucks! ridiculous for something that is going to be hidden in the cabinet
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasob85 View Post
I've never used an overflow before so I dont see how it will lose siphon with the upside down U shape.
Air tends to accumulate in the top of the U tube, and if the flow through the tube is very slow it accumulates faster. In some circumstances you'll get enough air buildup that the siphon will break. Often people will use an aqualifter pump or an airline running to a powerhead or other source of vacuum to keep the air from building up. IMHO this is a very good idea for a hang on overflow.

Quote:
I'm a little confused by what you mean when you say the water level is set by the baffles. Should I lower or raise them? technically in the event of a drain down, all the water can still flow over the set of 3 baffles to the left side right? I calculated I have around 7 gallons of capacity on the left side for extra water.
Yes, perhaps my wording was not clear. You understand it correctly. The baffles towards the right in your diagram will set the water level to the right of them (where the drains are in your diagram) as high as the middle baffle. Water level to the left of those baffles will basically be set by how full you make the system, and will decrease via evaporation, until it gets low enough to hit the lone baffle you have way over to the left.

Speaking of the baffle to the left, how tall is it? It looks like your return pump's compartment is very small, this means you'll get a very quick drop in water level as water evaporates from the system. Unless you have an automatic topoff, you may find that you'll need to be adding water to compensate for evap several times a week to keep the pump from sucking air.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
Often people will use an aqualifter pump or an airline running to a powerhead or other source of vacuum to keep the air from building up. IMHO this is a very good idea for a hang on overflow.
oh that is a great idea. I will definitely make sure to get one (or 2 for the second siphon as well)

Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
Speaking of the baffle to the left, how tall is it? It looks like your return pump's compartment is very small, this means you'll get a very quick drop in water level as water evaporates from the system. Unless you have an automatic topoff, you may find that you'll need to be adding water to compensate for evap several times a week to keep the pump from sucking air.
I didnt really have a set height in mind. I figured anywhere from half of the pump's height to full height. The primary purpose is for any dirty stuff and ceramic media to stay away from the pump. From my understanding, if the water level drops below the level of the pump, I'll have issues anyway?

I do plan on covering both the tank (avoid jumpers) and the sump with glass ((avoid mold inside the stand) which hopefully will cut down on evaporation. This tank is going to be on a different floor from the ro/di machine so dont want to be carrying water up and down stairs although I wonder if I could find a super long piece of tubing and let gravity work for me

So I picked up a 20h today as I passed a petco. I also remembered while I was at petco, a 2x4 piece of wood isn't actually 2 inches by 4 inches so my issue with the 20h not fitting in the super sturdy stand is moot
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Two drains for the overflow box are good so you can run a quiet full siphon and have the other for emergency. If you are handy it could be possible to drill another hole in the box on the side or bottom so you could have a smaller box, 2 drain boxes are kind of large. Might look into it anyway.
re-read this and I assume you mean drilling a smaller one drain box and making a second drain myself? The eshopps 2 drain is only 20 bucks more than the 1 drain so I think I'll just live with the extra long box. Its going to be hung off the back anyway. I also dont have the drill head for drilling a 1 inch hole handy either.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #13
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That is what I meant. Good that you can fit a larger box with two drains then.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:02 AM   #14
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That is what I meant. Good that you can fit a larger box with two drains then.
awesome, thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:11 AM   #15
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Having a sump is one of the best things I have done (even though it is only a 29 gallon), so it is good to see others that are interested in doing it for freshwater. Anyway, it seems like you have already got a lot of good info already. For a standpipe I built a hofer gurgle buster since the amount of space was pretty minimal in the overflow box. It works very well for keeping things quiet. I used an extra u-tube slid over the CPVC that was plumbed to the sump inlet. It has been working well to keep things quiet there (other methods exist for that purpose, but I worked with what I had being cheap), and it worked to minimize surface disturbance that would outgas my CO2.

A 20 gallon for a sump is a nice size to work with, have you thought of adding a refugium? As for the stand, using dado joints would help hold the weight better, but a good amount of the stand plans I have seen here are designed to be overkill for the amount of weight they hold. Also, here is a link that may be helpful since it covers the whole sump setup pretty well. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/fa...=sump_articles
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