Planning to get back into the hobby, i have a few questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Planning to get back into the hobby, i have a few questions

First off, hi everyone

I'm planning to get back into the hobby and I have a few questions regarding my plan.
I've had 10 Gallon and a 20 gallon tank before with some guppies/betta's. However this time I want to start a planted tank with some hardscaping and I want to include a Sump.

I've never done any plumbing before and recently did an impulse buy at Petco for a 20 gallon long at their dollar per gallon sale for the sump.
Now after purchasing the tank I ran into my first problem. How on earth am I going to get this sump in a cabinet of sorts?

The tank I was intending to get is an ADA 60U 20.5 gallon
Now I can buy a cabinet that fits this tank but thinking about that, the 20 gallon long is never going to fit in the cabinet that perfectly fits the tank.

So my first question is how big should my main aquarium be to fit this sump.

My second question is: I travel for my work 4 days a week, so I'm not home between Mondays and Thursdays, is it feasible to even set-up a tank since I can't do water changes for 4 days? once the tank is cycled I don't envision this being a problem.

Regarding the sump itself, i was planning on having a refugium in there because i like the concept of it and it could be a nice spot to put a fish that's not having a great time in the aquarium or acclimate them to the aquarium. Also are there any resources towards "calculations" of the sump compartments to reduce "flooding" my main tank, i found one for water flow i was more looking to wards the compartment where the pump will be, how high should the baffle be and how much water should be the maximum for that particular spot.

Finally, since I'm starting out again should i go for a low iron glass aquarium or not? I've never drilled glass before either so I'm slightly scared of buying an expensive piece of glass and shattering/breaking it. Then again i really love the rimless look.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 09:22 PM
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It is adviced to do frequent water changes when starting up a tank. But if you can't do it there is nothing to do about it.. I wouldn't delay to set up the tank because of that. But take your time to get the hardscape "perfect". A good way for this is getting a cardboard box with the dimensions of your tank, fill it with sand and play with the hardscape in it. Make pictures! I find them really usefull to be critique on the scape. Once flooded it is hard to change and you wan't to be happy about it.

If you have the money for it I would definitely go for low iron glass. I really like it compared to float glass.

Why do you wan't a sump? Using a filter with some lily pipes is nice and fine to..

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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The reason I wanted a sump is that I'm considering having a small "breeding section for perhaps some shrimp in my sump's refugium i saw someone else do it and I figured it would be cool to have some spare plants/hardscape/stock in there. Also, it is a good way to get fish used to the aquarium without having them interact with other fish. And it adds 20 gallons of capacity to my main tank which i've heard is a lot of changes in water will be more gradual

Besides that, i'll look into the lily pipes I've never heard of them so I'll do some research.

Also hello fellow Dutchman!

Last edited by damnitdutch; 08-07-2017 at 10:09 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 11:42 PM
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My last tank wasn't planted and I added a sump to it. I LOVED having the sump!!!! It worked so nicely in so many different levels. The tank was a 180g tall and I had to build a custom stand to house the sump/filtration the way I wanted it. I married three 2" x 6"'s as the main support across the front of the stand so I didn't have to have a middle support blocking access to the internals of the stand.

1) Are you sure you want a sump with a planted tank? I am also just getting back into the hobby and setting up a planted tank for the first time in many many years. After doing a lot of reading I decided against a sump. Sumps release CO2 from the water. This is great for a non-planted tank but counter productive for a planted tank.

2) Decide on your tank, then decide on your stand then get a sump the fits.

3) If you do decide on a sump I HIGHLY recommend you drill your tank! My sump was miserable in my 180G with a siphon overflow until I finally worked up the nerve to drill the tank. I would never again attempt a sump without a drilled tank!

4) A basic sump for bio and mechanical filtration can be REALLY simplistic! In my opinion the more simplistic the better! To me a perfect sump is a 5 gal bucket. Put a return pump, a submersible heater and an air stone in the bottom. Dump a bunch of bio balls on top until about 2/3rds full. Put a plate with several drilled holes in it to break up the stream of incoming water to drops of water. Put a fine matt filter on top of the drip plate. Attach a filter sock to the top rim of the bucket and direct the incoming tank water into the filter sock. You can make a much more complex sump / trickle filter but you are going to be VERY hard pressed to make a more efficient one. If you want a refugium then the sump will be more complex. "I" would consider separating the trickle filter portion of the sump from the refugium.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great info, I'm really liking the low iron tanks there is a local aquarium shop near my house that I can go check some out at they carry ADA which is what I was thinking about but those tanks are mostly square so I might look for another brand with long tanks.

As for the sump, I'm really worried about my tank flooding since I'm not home 4 days out of the week. so I want to make sure the water in the sump's pump compartment can't go higher than let's say 2.5 / 5 gallons ish.

Thinking about it now I might need to use the 20 gallon long as a quarantine tank if it doesn't fit under the display tank, there is no point getting a massive cabinet for a display tank that's way smaller.

Did you do anything special to drill your tank? any precautions?
Also if I run a C02 setup in my tank would that negate the sump's C02 release?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damnitdutch View Post
... As for the sump, I'm really worried about my tank flooding since I'm not home 4 days out of the week. so I want to make sure the water in the sump's pump compartment can't go higher than let's say 2.5 / 5 gallons ish. ...
Sumps and floods are not at all unusual. If the overflow gets blocked or you have a power failure and the return line back siphons, you will have a flood.

Since your going to be away four days a week, I highly recommend you do not use a sump. You don't want to come home to a big smelly mess.

It's not that I don't like sumps, but there are times when your better off not using one.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 12:10 PM
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Most floods occur because the siphon breaks in the overflow.

If you drill the tank and place the overflow inside it will eliminate a huge amount of risk.


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50g co2 planted tank-lighting: custom leds (cree xml-2)-filtration: 2xcanister-output: lily pipe + co2 atomiser
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 03:33 PM
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must have drilled tank that will prevent problems and headaches in the long run tons of planted tanks with sumps and running co2 no problems
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by easternlethal View Post
Most floods occur because the siphon breaks in the overflow.

If you drill the tank and place the overflow inside it will eliminate a huge amount of risk.

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Is there like a "golden ratio" for drilling the tank?
Do I drill the bottom or do I drill the sides?

I've watched several videos and googled several guides but I find most of them very contradictory in their concepts.
If there is a guide you used somewhere i'd really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sick1166 View Post
must have drilled tank that will prevent problems and headaches in the long run tons of planted tanks with sumps and running co2 no problems
Is C02 a must in a planted tank? it seems like quite an investment.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by damnitdutch View Post
Did you do anything special to drill your tank? any precautions?
I used a ~ 6" x 6" piece of thin plywood. I drilled a hole in the plywood the same size hole that I wanted to drill the hole in the tank. I used a couple of plastic clamps to hold the plywood to the side of the tank where I wanted it drilled as a template and to keep the hole saw from wandering. Then with a constant trickle of water I drilled the tank slowly using a hand drill.

The first tank I drilled I was all nervous and went extremely slow. The second tank I drilled was in use and I just lowered the water level half way then drilled the tank in place. Both worked fine. On all the tanks I drilled I stayed a couple inches away from the edge of the glass... so there was enough glass that I was not creating a weak spot.

Most bottoms are tempered glass. You do not want to drill tempered glass, it will most likely shatter.

With a siphon overflow I did have a couple floods when the siphon was lost. With a drilled tank I never had a flood. When the power would go out I had enough capacity in the sump to handle the overflow water. I was very happy with my sump once I drilled my tank!

As far as sumps releasing CO2 from the water... I am not an expert but decided to give the non-sump route a try. On my current planted tank I am trying to keep all the beneficial bacteria in the tank and I am running a mechanical filter only (but I am sure there is bacteria in my mechanical filter). I am not currently running any sort of CO2 injection. So far it is working well but the tank has only been setup for a few weeks and has only had fish for a few days.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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So something like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bhxXJLHZOQ the 2nd installation in this video?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 03:43 PM
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Yep, that is pretty much what mine looks like. Note that the threaded portion of the bulkhead is on the OUTSIDE of the tank. Small amounts of water will actually leak through the threaded portion of the bulkhead and the retaining nut if the threaded portion of the bulkhead is inside the tank. With the threaded portion of the bulkhead outside of the tank the washer inside the tank seals everything very well!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
Yep, that is pretty much what mine looks like. Note that the threaded portion of the bulkhead is on the OUTSIDE of the tank. Small amounts of water will actually leak through the threaded portion of the bulkhead and the retaining nut if the threaded portion of the bulkhead is inside the tank. With the threaded portion of the bulkhead outside of the tank, the washer inside the tank seals everything very well!
I've been playing around with what I want to do with my tank,
I might need to do a bit more saving and being nice to the wife.

I was thinking of a 40G tank with a shadow overflow by synergy reef. (they come with a drill guide which is great)
that means I can do a bean animal overflow which is apparently the most silent out there.
Not quite sure if I want the back of my tank clear or painted. I kind of do not want to see pipes and it's not going to be a peninsula tank so maybe I should?

I think that if I build my cabinet properly for the 40G I can just fit my 20G long underneath as a sump.

Now I just have to get all the pieces together and become a master at plumbing.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 05:10 PM
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I think showing off the pipes behind the tank looks shabby... I prefer to hide the pipes in some manner.

I have never had a fancy overflow... if you are going to go the route of a nice commercial overflow you will want to do it from the start so the tank is drilled in the proper location. Doing it right from the start will most likely save you money in the long run! That shadow overflow looks very nice!

It is amazing how expensive all the plumbing fittings get when you have to buy them from the local Homedepot. I have a small fortune in fittings!
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