Sump Design - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Sump Design

I am STILL in the process of setting up another 75g planted tank (currently have one with Rainbows - powered by canister filters) and I am absolutely adamant about using a sump. As a bit of a backstory, I have a very succesful 200g mixed reef system that is fully automated mostly using Apex equipment (ATO, water changes, dosing, etc) and the hope is to make a similar setup with my new 75g planted system.


All of the above being said, I am struggling a bit to find any information on the actual sump design for CO2-injected planted tanks. It seems many people run one, but I just don't see many pics and/or design ideas.


So....let's have at it - if you run a CO2-injected planted tank with a sump - show me some pics and provide as many details as possible about your setup. Similar to my saltwater setup - I am going to hide ALL of my equipment in my sump (Griggs-style reactor, heater, return pump) and plan to use both biological and mechanical filtration.


Thanks!


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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 04:56 AM
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There really arenít any standard good sump designs for a planted tank that I was able to find. I ended up buying a kit and modifying it to fit my needs better. It is post 23 (or around there) of my build thread. It is...ok. I would prefer a nice custom lifereef which still might happen in the future.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fftfk View Post
There really arenít any standard good sump designs for a planted tank that I was able to find. I ended up buying a kit and modifying it to fit my needs better. It is post 23 (or around there) of my build thread. It is...ok. I would prefer a nice custom lifereef which still might happen in the future.


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Thanks for the reply - and your response is what I am 'afraid of'. Part of me wants to save money, take a 20B or something, throw a few baffles in and call it a day. Another part of me thinks I will be unhappy over the long term and wish that I would have added filter sock holders, media trays, etc. The cost of a 'pre-made' sump is a bit daunting, so I was hoping that someone that has actually used one in this application could also chime in.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 03:32 PM
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I just built a 29g sump because I couldn't find anything that really met my needs. I was able to get a piece of acrylic cut with 2 holes for filter sock holders; the bracket fits into the lid groove and is pretty stable.

Order in picture below is 200 micron filter socks, heater chamber, 100 micron polishing pads, biological filtration, optional chemical filtration, then return. Still in the process of setup.

edit - there is space for a CO2 reactor in the last chamber next to the pump, but I'm going to start off with a diffuser right next to the pump intake and see how that works out.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amnoor View Post
I just built a 29g sump because I couldn't find anything that really met my needs. I was able to get a piece of acrylic cut with 2 holes for filter sock holders; the bracket fits into the lid groove and is pretty stable.

Order in picture below is 200 micron filter socks, heater chamber, 100 micron polishing pads, biological filtration, optional chemical filtration, then return. Still in the process of setup.

edit - there is space for a CO2 reactor in the last chamber next to the pump, but I'm going to start off with a diffuser right next to the pump intake and see how that works out.

Perfect - exactly what i was looking for!


On a side note - are your baffles a bit high in the event of a tank backflow?


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 05:17 PM
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Freshwater is significantly more forgiving then saltwater. This is no "right" way to build a sump, just what people prefer. I am planning to make a sump for a 120 gallon down the line. My plan is to use K1 Micro as a static bed for both mechanical and biological filtration. However... this might not work. For that reason I am going to build my sump to be extremely modular so I can simply slide sheet pvc baffles into place essentially anywhere I want and thus change my sump on the fly as it were.

As designed my sump will only have 3 chambers. The first is where water comes in. Then in the second chamber will be the k1 micro floating. From there the water will flow through a hole (or possibly a durso overflow) into the third chamber which will house the return pump, and heater. That's it.

There is no reason to have the reactor actually inside the sump and plenty of reasons not to. So mine will be separate from the sump sitting next to it. Auto Doser will have lines into the sump. That's really it.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Freshwater is significantly more forgiving then saltwater. This is no "right" way to build a sump, just what people prefer. I am planning to make a sump for a 120 gallon down the line. My plan is to use K1 Micro as a static bed for both mechanical and biological filtration. However... this might not work. For that reason I am going to build my sump to be extremely modular so I can simply slide sheet pvc baffles into place essentially anywhere I want and thus change my sump on the fly as it were.

As designed my sump will only have 3 chambers. The first is where water comes in. Then in the second chamber will be the k1 micro floating. From there the water will flow through a hole (or possibly a durso overflow) into the third chamber which will house the return pump, and heater. That's it.

There is no reason to have the reactor actually inside the sump and plenty of reasons not to. So mine will be separate from the sump sitting next to it. Auto Doser will have lines into the sump. That's really it.

Well, 'easier' than saltwater is highly debatable (I personally would disagree), lol, but I agree with the gist of what you are saying. I'm certainly not looking for a right or wrong way, just opinions and ideas as have been presented thus far.



My concern, much like you have pointed out above is that if things don't work out - is it modular enough to accept change? Will my components still fit? Is it easy to clean? Etc.


Appreciate all of the input!


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amnoor View Post
I just built a 29g sump because I couldn't find anything that really met my needs. I was able to get a piece of acrylic cut with 2 holes for filter sock holders; the bracket fits into the lid groove and is pretty stable.

Order in picture below is 200 micron filter socks, heater chamber, 100 micron polishing pads, biological filtration, optional chemical filtration, then return. Still in the process of setup.

edit - there is space for a CO2 reactor in the last chamber next to the pump, but I'm going to start off with a diffuser right next to the pump intake and see how that works out.
This looks really sharp! Nice work... and thanks for sharing!


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProndFarms View Post
Perfect - exactly what i was looking for!


On a side note - are your baffles a bit high in the event of a tank backflow?
They are a little high, but there is still 1" minimum to the top from any baffle so water can flow over in the unlikely event of a backup. I calculated it should hold about 15-20 gallons, leaving 10-15 of space left for back flow safety. I did install a check valve on the return and drilled the return holes pretty close to the top to minimize volume if it decides to siphon.

If I were to do it again, I'd probably lower the baffles a bit and worry less about trying to maximize circulating water volume.

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Originally Posted by DigityDog70 View Post
This looks really sharp! Nice work... and thanks for sharing!
Thank you! Gluing glass was quite the pain.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fftfk View Post
There really arenít any standard good sump designs for a planted tank that I was able to find. I ended up buying a kit and modifying it to fit my needs better. It is post 23 (or around there) of my build thread. It is...ok. I would prefer a nice custom lifereef which still might happen in the future.


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First off - thank you. Now I just spent the last hour or so reading your entire build thread....what an amazing build. I have a 200g reef system that barely compares to that setup. It's also interesting as I currently have the 2016 Apex running on my reef and will be incorporating a PM1 module to monitor and control the pH and temp on my freshwater tank. How do you like the Apex on your freshwater setup?


I checked out Exotic Marine's website and really like their kits (so much say that I have one in my cart at the moment ); is there anything you would change?


Thanks for the feedback.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:10 PM
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So as someone who also keeps a reef tank (40br with a 30br sump) I think there are some major differences between what a marine sump and a freshwater sump looks like... Note that I'm just getting into the FW planted side of the hobby (Just ordered a 45x30x30cm tank last night!) and I was also like "why aren't sumps more popular in FW?" Here are my thoughts:

1) Saltwater carries larger organic particles. Because the specific gravity is so much higher detritus stays in the water column longer. Thus why marine tanks rely so much on a good protein skimmer. My understanding is that FW relies more on the natural breakdown of waste. I ran a canister on a reef tank once and I had to clean it wayyyy too often. Yet a canister filter is standard equipment in FW.

2) No protein skimmer in FW. HOB skimmers are basically useless so one of the primary purposes of a sump is to hold a skimmer

3) A marine tank is all about flow and how many times you can cycle the water through your tank. Saltwater has a lower dissolved oxygen content so stagnation = death, or not doing very well at the least... A planted tank has a higher level of dissolved oxygen also due to the plants producing it as well. This is probably one of the reasons why a FW substrate can be so productive in breaking down detritus?

4) A place to stick extra filtration. Saltwater tanks rely on the live rock for biological filtration so having a sump is a place to keep extra filter media.

Given these things I think that a FW sump would be pretty simple. Having a filter sock chamber isn't a bad idea but I don't think it's necessary - it may be useful during trimmings but overall it probably won't get dirty that often so you could accomplish the same thing cheaper with filter floss or a sponge. Here's how I would design a FW sump. The horizontal black lines are egg crate/lighting grid.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:19 PM
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Many great freshwater sump designs out there. One in particular that I liked was basically blocks of poret foam placed in the sump vertically. Water entered at the left end, then flowed thru 2 course foams, 2 medium foams, 2 or 3 finer foams, and then into the return chamber.
As a single foam block got dirty, it was removed - cleaned - and replaced in it's original location. Very simple and very effective as each foam block supported varying levels of biological filtration.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ajmckay View Post
So as someone who also keeps a reef tank (40br with a 30br sump) I think there are some major differences between what a marine sump and a freshwater sump looks like... Note that I'm just getting into the FW planted side of the hobby (Just ordered a 45x30x30cm tank last night!) and I was also like "why aren't sumps more popular in FW?" Here are my thoughts:

1) Saltwater carries larger organic particles. Because the specific gravity is so much higher detritus stays in the water column longer. Thus why marine tanks rely so much on a good protein skimmer. My understanding is that FW relies more on the natural breakdown of waste. I ran a canister on a reef tank once and I had to clean it wayyyy too often. Yet a canister filter is standard equipment in FW.

2) No protein skimmer in FW. HOB skimmers are basically useless so one of the primary purposes of a sump is to hold a skimmer

3) A marine tank is all about flow and how many times you can cycle the water through your tank. Saltwater has a lower dissolved oxygen content so stagnation = death, or not doing very well at the least... A planted tank has a higher level of dissolved oxygen also due to the plants producing it as well. This is probably one of the reasons why a FW substrate can be so productive in breaking down detritus?

4) A place to stick extra filtration. Saltwater tanks rely on the live rock for biological filtration so having a sump is a place to keep extra filter media.

Given these things I think that a FW sump would be pretty simple. Having a filter sock chamber isn't a bad idea but I don't think it's necessary - it may be useful during trimmings but overall it probably won't get dirty that often so you could accomplish the same thing cheaper with filter floss or a sponge. Here's how I would design a FW sump. The horizontal black lines are egg crate/lighting grid.

Agree with all of the above. I am pretty certain I am going to order the overflow kit for a 20L (should be plenty big enough for a planted 75g) and instead of a fluidized bed utilize foam blocks and bio-balls.


I should probably bring this up in a new thread, but I noticed you added the ATO - thank you, I had forgotten about that. Coming from the SW world, this is a no-brainer, however, in the FW world, what is everyone using for their ATO water? Straight from the tap? RO? Storage containers? etc.


Thanks


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 08:01 PM
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Agree with all of the above. I am pretty certain I am going to order the overflow kit for a 20L (should be plenty big enough for a planted 75g) and instead of a fluidized bed utilize foam blocks and bio-balls.


I should probably bring this up in a new thread, but I noticed you added the ATO - thank you, I had forgotten about that. Coming from the SW world, this is a no-brainer, however, in the FW world, what is everyone using for their ATO water? Straight from the tap? RO? Storage containers? etc.


Thanks
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...g-sump-37.html
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Perfect. Many thanks - that's exactly what I was looking for. And FWIW, the modular marine overflow is already ordered, ha, so I agree with the post 1000%.
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