Sump Design - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Sump Design

I have wondered if reversing the long planned over under plan for a simple divided sump is a reasonable way to go. Original plan on left, under/over newly thought up plan on the right.

Advantage, the sponges would be underwater all the time which is my whole thing with them just standing on end now, part is always above water.
Disadvantage, evaporation area would be smaller and dirtiest sponge would be at the bottom of the stack.

The sketch is not quite right as the various areas would be the same in either case. This is a 29 gallon tank, 12x18x30 and is the largest size I can fit in my stand which is ridiculous as this is a 180 gallon tank but I put the legs the wide way on the ends, should have put them the other way around. 'Should' be just fine, ran a 14 gallon tub under a 150 gallon open tank for years without the pump pulling air between water changes.

I've got the glass cut, the silicone ready, even know what changes need to be made to the plumbing. I am so stalling, been doing so since I bought the tank for a sump in February!

Any suggestions? I'd so love to have this thing done at last but this is the first divided sump I've planned.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 06:40 AM
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I would go with the left one if I had to choose.

back here in holland we have a whole different design when it comes to fresh water sumps.
we use the design pictured above for reef tanks.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 12:52 PM
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Generally you want the return pump in the smallest chamber possible so that it doesn't drain the majority of the water from the sump into the display tank overflowing the display in the event of a loss of siphon of the overflow.

Your drawing on the right would empty less water from the sump.

I have a PhD in crazy.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsenrex View Post
I would go with the left one if I had to choose.

back here in holland we have a whole different design when it comes to fresh water sumps.
we use the design pictured above for reef tanks.
Could you point to references on what you folks use?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 01:11 PM
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http://discuszolder.nl/wp-content/up...r-versie-c.jpg

this is what we use as a fresh water sump with on the left side the inlet and on the right side the return to the aquarium.
the canister on the far right is a nitrate filter which is optional of course.
in the first chamber you can use filterbags as a pre-filter and in the other 3 chambers the filter media depends on the type of fish you're keeping in the tank.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUFxNprhGzg
this is what you normally would find in a reef tank
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 03:42 PM
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Personally I have a sump on my 55g low tech set up and my sump is nearly identical to the one on the right and it works flawlessly for me. The only difference on mine is the sponges are directly under the drain and the second chamber is full of seachem matrix. The only change I would make is, as someone else mentioned, make the chamber for the pump as small as possible. You could put a float switch in to prevent an overflow though.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 05:51 PM
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Thanks fietsenrex, sorry to the OP for the diversion.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 08:00 PM
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I'm in the middle of setting up a system that is similar to the OPs right side sketch. The difference is that I have a set of vertical pre-filter foam that the water goes through before flowing up through the main media. The bottom layer of media in the up-flow area is Seachem matrix, so it will flow pretty well no matter how dirty it gets, but the four inches of foam before that should catch a lot of the junk.

-Justin
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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insane, I've run a sump for 15 years and even with the U tube any potential floods due to the overflow malfunctioning were very slow moving, the U tube never gave up completely and/or the prefilter sponge clogs slowly enough that I notice the problem long before there has been an issue. The pump area isn't a whole lot smaller either way, that's for sure. I have had numerous little floods [biggest might have been 5 gallons] and flood scares over the years but that particular type hasn't been an issue.

fietsenrex, wow that is a sump! I don't run but biomedia and prefilter sponges all over the place so don't want to get involved with that many sections.

Nexgen and jrygel, great idea to put sponges below the drain as well. I always have a sponge on the drains and the pump intake. I am hoping just having sponges half the size and weight of the ones I have now helps motivate me to rinse them out more often, if the sponge in the drain area is easy to get out that would be a big help as well.

Think I will go with the plan on the right then. I like the idea that the sponges are always underwater even though there might be a bit of a waterfall if water level drops that much.

Okay, enough procrastination, I'm going to go prep the tank for baffles now!

Thank you all!


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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An update.

I did go with the under/over plan. It went together fine, passed the leak test and went into the stand as expected, I had to take off one door and it was hard wrestling the heavier glass tank compared to the light weight acrylic one. Really glad I made the sides of the stand removable and the doors as large as possible, makes major plumbing changes easier to manage.

The drains and pumps switched places and the drain's ball valve is mostly open now. Not sure more water is moving through the system or what is going on. I do think the water level might be a bit higher now.

Huge water fall over the baffle to the pump area. I built a little platform of eggcrate and put foam on top, no more water fall sound.

Sponges get pushed up even though they are clean. Guess I cannot really increase GPH through the sump or over the overflow even though most of the teeth are cut out now.

Changed the double return to a single one at the front. Way too much flow. It was hitting the psuedo epiphyte branch and splashing on top of the top brace. I put a tee on the return for a 2 hole x 1" 'spraybar', problem solved except that the tee is still white!

Initial fill was startling. Water level in the pump area went down to 3" but after a normal water change the water level was as expected ~4" below tank rim with pumps on. After 5 days water level is well above the pump intakes so my calculations were about right. I think I want to put a down facing elbow on the intakes anyway some time soon.

The 20" Cerges type CO2 reactor is in rough shape after 3 years, the 'brass' screw fittings are badly corroded and the cap is basically crumbling. I put a hose clamp around it and smeared lots of silicone. It doesn't seem to be sucking air or leaking now but I may be building a new reactor, cerges style, of PVC pipe soon. The original Grigg style was solid until I recycled it after maybe 10 years. I'll miss the clear housing though.

Power was off for about 9 hours as I made good and sure to take frequent short breaks so I didn't do anything really stupid, temperature in the 180 gallon tank dropped only 2*F, that was nice. 2 trips to HD as I bought a bushing rather than a reducer to finish up the new return.

Thanks everybody, this project took me YEARS to get done!


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