DIY sump; progress update with pics - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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DIY sump; progress update with pics

here is a very rough ms paint drawing of what i intend to do to my all glass 55 gal tank:


will this work? I'm not sure since I'm going out the back of the tank instead of the bottom. i want to put the return line on the other side of the tank to help flow. anything else i need? any suggestions?

Last edited by landlord; 10-10-2006 at 02:41 AM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 01:20 AM
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 01:41 AM
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That's a good basic plan that you have there. Rather than having the standpipe take up valuable space inside the tank, why not drill the hole in one of the upper corners?

Also, you'll want to have a way to break the syphon of the spray bar in the event of a power outage or pump failure. This could be as simple as drilling a small hole in the return pipe near the surface of the water or installing a check valve after the pump outlet. Otherwise, the tank would drain down to the first opportunity for air to enter the spray bar.

To illustrate the upper-corner overflow, here's a picture of a 1" example that I DIY'd into a former reef tank. Inside the tank is a 90* PVC elbow (black Sch. 40 PVC) turned up with a 1" aquarium strainer attached at the top. The tee after the bulkhead allows for water to drain down, but also for air to rise up through a small hole drilled in the cap above the tee (the same concept as in your drawing).


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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i like the idea of keeping most of the equipment out of the tank, but i somehow was under the impression that surface skimming would be bad for a planted tank. the hob ideas i really dont like because i dont like the idea of what could happen if the siphon would break. i just planed on drilling a small hole in the return line to break the back siphon, should i put a check valve in there also?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 05:29 AM
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I'm with ya on the HOB overflows; I had several near-disasters with a CPR HOB overflow a number of years ago.

Anti-siphon holes are the best means for preventing back-siphons in my mind. I like to drill multiple holes, so that if anything is blocking one of the holes, there is some redundancy built in. I would only bother adding a check valve for peace of mind.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landlord
i like the idea of keeping most of the equipment out of the tank, but i somehow was under the impression that surface skimming would be bad for a planted tank. the hob ideas i really dont like because i dont like the idea of what could happen if the siphon would break. i just planed on drilling a small hole in the return line to break the back siphon, should i put a check valve in there also?
That is exactly why I went with a sump tank/filter for my 180Gallon planted freshwater display tank.

A sump however, if you are adding CO2 will cause more to be lost to the atmosphere than most other filters. The trick is to play with the setup here and there to minimize the amount of agitation to the water that is in direct contact with the air to minimize CO2 loss. If you are not adding additional CO2 this is not a problem, infact it may be a benifit by allowing the CO2 deprived water to disolve more from the atmosphere.

The hole should be enough to prevent back syphon provided it doesn't get clogged, which you can easily check for and clean to remove durring maintenance. Personally I don't trust check valves, I've had to many of them fail on me. If they fail open they are useless, if they fail closed you have a problem.

Here is a link to some of the things I did with mine, which might give you even more fun ideas:

Custom Sump Filter for Automated Display tank.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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OK, I'm finally done with my tank stand and the tools / materials for drilling the tank are in the mail to my house.

I've planned on going with the 90 elbow and strainer in the corner of the tank since the time it was suggested in this thread, but i have one more question before i start drilling.

they have the same setup in one of the lfs for there centralized filtration system and i noticed that the water flows 1/2 way up the strainer. now I'm worried if i drill too high I'm going to end up with water all over the floor! i would like the water level to be above the trim at all times, so anyone know how low or how to figure out how low to drill the bulkhead? all help appreciated!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2006, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landlord View Post
OK, I'm finally done with my tank stand and the tools / materials for drilling the tank are in the mail to my house.
I've planned on going with the 90 elbow and strainer in the corner of the tank since the time it was suggested in this thread, but i have one more question before i start drilling.
they have the same setup in one of the lfs for there centralized filtration system and i noticed that the water flows 1/2 way up the strainer. now I'm worried if i drill too high I'm going to end up with water all over the floor! i would like the water level to be above the trim at all times, so anyone know how low or how to figure out how low to drill the bulkhead? all help appreciated!
If you are drilling on the side, I would say put the bulkhead as high as you can because that will determine the waterlevel. If you want the waterlevel above the trim you'll have to put your bulkhead in the trim. How high the water gets above the bottom of the bulkhead opening is determined by the rate of flow relative to the sized of the opening.

Oh, wait did you mean a 90 elbow on the inside strainer pointed upward? If that is the case I'd set the height of your opening to your strainer either at or just a hair below the bottom edge of your trim. A large bulkhead and large plumbing coupled with a slow rate of flow from a small pump will keep the height above the bottom of the strainer opening to a minimum.

As for how to calculate it I'm not sure of the top of my head, and if I remember correctly it was a complex calculation. The book I have handy on flow measurement does not list the equasions that show relation between Flow Rate, Pressure, and Restriction Diameter. In this case the restriction diameter would be your overflow, Flow rate would be your pump speed, and pressure would be your head height usually expressed in the pressure unit Inches of Water column.

There may be some simplified equasions out there that eliminiate the other variables such as Temperature, Fluid Density, viscosity etc, if they just assume water is what is flowing at normal room conditions. I would think that at some point the physicists would have had to simplify things for plumbers, since plumbing doesn't require a PHD.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2006, 04:58 PM
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This equasion may help:
http://www.perfusion.com.au/CCP/Phys...%20diameter%22

This calculator might help:
Small Diameter Orifice Plate Flow Meter Calculation for Liquids


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the suggestions vidiots. btw that stuff up there is way above my head lol.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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just thought id give an update a need some more suggestions lol.

just thought i show my diy stand:



heres a pic of my over flow i left it able to be moved left or right so i can adjust the water line:



heres a pic of the plumbing in the back:



and here is some shots of my problem:





holy bubbles batman! this cant be good for the co2! any suggestions on how to cut the bubbles down any? ive though of throwing an elbow down there but havent gotten to the hardware store yet.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 12:18 PM
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If you use the black tubing from the pond section at Home Depot for the the bottom half of the line you'll be able to lessen the bubbles and reduce the resonance of the PVC, making the outflow quieter.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SCMurphy View Post
If you use the black tubing from the pond section at Home Depot for the the bottom half of the line you'll be able to lessen the bubbles and reduce the resonance of the PVC, making the outflow quieter.
interesting. abs will lower the bubbles? i wonder why that is? the noise doesn't really bother me and for what ever reason my wife loves it.

are your saying to replace the PVC with abs from the point that goes threw the stand into a strait down in to the tank? or replace the whole section that runs horizontal and then down?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM
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interesting. abs will lower the bubbles? i wonder why that is? the noise doesn't really bother me and for what ever reason my wife loves it.
I think SCMurphy is talking about a large diameter (and possibly flexible hose) so that the bubbles have a chance to "burp" instead of being pulled down. I use a "P" trap (like under a sink) for the same reason. At the flow rate you are running you might consider adding a second overflow or removing the strainer basket as it would only take a few errant leaves to ruin your day. My MALE zebra danios would ride my overflow down to the sump quite often.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I think SCMurphy is talking about a large diameter (and possibly flexible hose) so that the bubbles have a chance to "burp" instead of being pulled down. I use a "P" trap (like under a sink) for the same reason.
ahh a p-trap why didnt i think of that!?

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Originally Posted by BlueRam View Post
At the flow rate you are running you might consider adding a second overflow or removing the strainer basket as it would only take a few errant leaves to ruin your day.
im worried about this also. would totally submerging the strainer basket help?
do you think a course foam block would help or restrict the flow

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRam View Post
My MALE zebra danios would ride my overflow down to the sump quite often.
lol, what a ride! im trying to avoid it if i can though. lol

thanks for the p-trap idea, i would have never thought of it on my own.
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