Please help design and rebuild this sump - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Please help design and rebuild this sump

Hello everyone!
I have a project on hand. I recently got this 75 gallon saltwater tank + sump setup which I am converting to a freshwater Discus tank setup. You can see more about that project here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...onversion.html
That is going very slow

Anyway, I want to modify the sump before I put it to use.
Here are my goals:

Must haves:
  1. Quiet
  2. Easy to clean mechanical filtration chamber.
  3. Return pump chamber big enough to hold water if pump is turned off.
  4. Automatic water change (AWC)
  5. Automatic water top off (ATO)
  6. Holds CO2 reactor's pump
  7. Holds heater
  8. Dosing pump dumps here
  9. Bubble trap before return pump
  10. Fool proof in case of failures of items like float valve, pump, siphon etc.


Optional:
Tumbling/fluidized K1 media compartment
Not sure if I actually "need" this but sure looks cool

Here is what the sump looks like right now. This is how I got it. Water comes in on the left, goes out on the right. Sure that rightmost chamber is super small.






For ATO+AWC, I have done some research and this is what I think I would like to go with:
https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/f...system.500155/
I have access to a utility sink in the next room. I already have a through wall hole, currently used for CO2 pipe on my 60 gallon. Maybe will use a water tank placed near the ceiling in that room and gravity feed water to the sump through the float valve.


I know planted tank guys usually do not use sumps, so the audience for this thread will be relatively small, but still it would be nice to discuss with others in the hobby

Your suggestions - comments welcome!

-Raj
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 04:08 PM
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That auto water change setup is so convoluted lol. Just buy a dual head stenner pump and be done with it. One head takes water out and the other puts it in all at the same flow rate.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thank you for the suggestion I did not know about this product, so I did a quick Google search and this came up
https://www.amazon.com/Stenner-170JL.../dp/B003LZ3TFO


At over 700 dollars, this is way beyond my capacity to spend!



By the way, that AWC system is the simplest design of all I read.
  1. A pump takes out old water. Volume out is based on run time of that pump, which is on-off using a outlet timer.
  2. Whatever new water is needed, gets filled back using that float valve.
This setup takes care of ATO at the same time (due to float valve).



Am I missing something which is convoluted in this setup?
Just want to make sure my inexperience does not overlook a potential problem.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
That auto water change setup is so convoluted lol. Just buy a dual head stenner pump and be done with it. One head takes water out and the other puts it in all at the same flow rate.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

-Raj
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post
Thank you for the suggestion I did not know about this product, so I did a quick Google search and this came up
https://www.amazon.com/Stenner-170JL.../dp/B003LZ3TFO


At over 700 dollars, this is way beyond my capacity to spend!



By the way, that AWC system is the simplest design of all I read.
  1. A pump takes out old water. Volume out is based on run time of that pump, which is on-off using a outlet timer.
  2. Whatever new water is needed, gets filled back using that float valve.
This setup takes care of ATO at the same time (due to float valve).



Am I missing something which is convoluted in this setup?
Just want to make sure my inexperience does not overlook a potential problem.
Float switches fail. It's not a matter of if but when.

Also, never go by amazon prices on industrial equipment. I paid $250 for my Stenner 100DMP5 brand new.
https://www.lockewell.com/index.php?...b499d8df0def59
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I totally agree with you on equipment failing, Mr. Murphy is the bane of my existence!


I always overbuild or over-compensate for these failure in my designs...I like to be prepared for the worst. I was thinking of having enough capacity in the sump so if (when) that float valve fails and dumps all the contents of the ATO/AWC tank, the sump would not overflow. Say, make that tank/reservoir only large enough to accommodate one day's worth water change quantity.





By the way, do you have a write-up or a thread somewhere which explains how you use this pump to do AWC? Sure sounds very interesting!



Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Float switches fail. It's not a matter of if but when.

Also, never go by amazon prices on industrial equipment. I paid $250 for my Stenner 100DMP5 brand new.
https://www.lockewell.com/index.php?...b499d8df0def59

-Raj
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post
I totally agree with you on equipment failing, Mr. Murphy is the bane of my existence!


I always overbuild or over-compensate for these failure in my designs...I like to be prepared for the worst. I was thinking of having enough capacity in the sump so if (when) that float valve fails and dumps all the contents of the ATO/AWC tank, the sump would not overflow. Say, make that tank/reservoir only large enough to accommodate one day's worth water change quantity.





By the way, do you have a write-up or a thread somewhere which explains how you use this pump to do AWC? Sure sounds very interesting!
No, I used it on my reef tank and now that I got out of reefing I haven't used it yet for fresh because I haven't setup my large tank trying to decide where to put it.

It's insanely simple though. It's basically a high output peristaltic pump that has 2 heads connected to the same shaft on the motor. Industrial peristaltic pumps will last a lifetime in our uses because they are meant to pass chemicals and are designed to take insane amounts of abuse. The only thing that needs replacing is the tubing which is a $10 part. Since you will only be passing water through it you can easily go 3-5 years before needing to replace.

So you just use regular RO tubing to run to the tank. Have the input of one of the heads go inside the sump with ro tubing and then the output of the other head in the sump as well. Also, one of the beauties of peristaltic pumps is that back-flow is impossible to happen with them.

I would also recommend 2 big blue holding tanks. One for clean water going into the tank and and another for the dirty water coming out of the tank. Reason being is that you can then use the dirty water to water your plants around your house and put it to good use instead of wasting down the drain. Also, unlike a cheap pump a peristaltic pump can push water insanely long distances so your holding tanks can be really far away.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question for ATO?

Thanks for the information,,,makes perfect sense. If only this pump was cheaper!



OK, you used it for AWC.

What did you do for ATO?



Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
No, I used it on my reef tank and now that I got out of reefing I haven't used it yet for fresh because I haven't setup my large tank trying to decide where to put it.

It's insanely simple though. It's basically a high output peristaltic pump that has 2 heads connected to the same shaft on the motor. Industrial peristaltic pumps will last a lifetime in our uses because they are meant to pass chemicals and are designed to take insane amounts of abuse. The only thing that needs replacing is the tubing which is a $10 part. Since you will only be passing water through it you can easily go 3-5 years before needing to replace.

So you just use regular RO tubing to run to the tank. Have the input of one of the heads go inside the sump with ro tubing and then the output of the other head in the sump as well. Also, one of the beauties of peristaltic pumps is that back-flow is impossible to happen with them.

I would also recommend 2 big blue holding tanks. One for clean water going into the tank and and another for the dirty water coming out of the tank. Reason being is that you can then use the dirty water to water your plants around your house and put it to good use instead of wasting down the drain. Also, unlike a cheap pump a peristaltic pump can push water insanely long distances so your holding tanks can be really far away.

-Raj
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post
Thanks for the information,,,makes perfect sense. If only this pump was cheaper!



OK, you used it for AWC.

What did you do for ATO?
ATO I used a litermeter peristaltic pump with triple redundant flow switches (low, high, emergency water levels). I say triple redundant because if the the low float switch worked that is all that would trigger the pump. The high would only trigger a shutoff if the low water one failed. Then emergency was higher up in the sump and it would trigger a complete system shutoff (pump, skimmer, everything) if that one was triggered.

https://spectrapure.com/collections/...g-pump-lm3-mpm

This is a cheaper version.
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-t...-minute-1.html

As you can tell I like my peristaltic pumps lol. I also used a cole parmer masterflex peristaltic on my calcium reactor haha.

If I was going to use a regular ato the only one I would buy is the Tunze Osmolator which I also have one of. These things don't really fail.
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/tunze...o-top-off.html
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 07:44 PM
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I have used a AWC setup like this for about a year without any problems. I prefer to have a timer on the inlet and an overflow on the sump controlling the water level, but that isn't always possible due to location.

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” -Jules Verne
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2020, 07:48 PM
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I built my sump for my 75 from a 40 breeder and it has been working extremely well.

Some thoughts for you:
Mechanical filtration: i bought 3" thick blocks of poret foam to fit the first chamber. Sized to width and slightly higher than the chamber. One block is 15ppi the other 30ppi. My water is ljke crystal. Easy to pull and rinse in a bucket of tank water. Good surface for bacteria.

What kind of drain does the main tank have. If you have a herbie or a beanimal with a full suction drain you can maximize space and skip the bubble traps. I run a herbie and have the drains enter the sump at about an inch below water level. With a tuned herbie or beanimal you get a quiet drain and no need for bubble traps that waste space.

Biological filtration:
I played with the idea of k2, etc and found its simply not needed. The poret has a ton of surface area and i just chucked a bag of ceramic rings where i get flow thru them. I run a very overstocked 75 gallon with big angels and have never measured detectable amounts of ammonia since cycling.

Return section...heres where you get out the calculator. You want to size the return section such that the return pump cant overfllow the display if a the drains to the sump get plugged.

Sump level: again calculate so that if return pump fails or power goes out the amount draining from the tank does not overflow the sump. This water is the water height you run over the weir of the overflow plus leftover in the pipes. Also drill a hole for a suction break just under the display tank waterline. This prevents the display from siphoning into the sump.

If the sump is calculated correctly there is no need for check valves or prone to fail float switches other than something to shut off the return pump if it runs dry. Many dc pumps automatically shut down if they run dry.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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thanks and an update

My apologies for no response in this thread for such a long time.
Life is so very busy! and with the cabinet refurbisment project going on, I did not get to spend much time with this sump. But now I am re-visiting this.


Thanks for the tips, bigtrout and I will answer your questions in the next post...


Update:
I tried re-designing the sump on paper. This is what I came up with. This design is a couple of weeks old. After watching a few more videos, I think I do not want to go with this design. Still, posting it here, as a design step I took...





Here is what I have in mind:

Go with fludized K1 media as the "eventual" biological medium, but since it takes way too long to establish, more like 6 months, I hear.........lets put Poret foam as a "hold me over" until K1 gets established.

Why K1? I do not know, it looks so cool! LoL

This video is inspiring me to go this route:

I am building a manifold for the sump. It will feed two things:
1. CO2 reactor (just an inline diffuser) and
2. Move K1 media with a water jet, instead of using an air stone

More on this idea soon....stay tuned!

-Raj
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtrout View Post
I built my sump for my 75 from a 40 breeder and it has been working extremely well.

Some thoughts for you:
Mechanical filtration: i bought 3" thick blocks of poret foam to fit the first chamber. Sized to width and slightly higher than the chamber. One block is 15ppi the other 30ppi. My water is ljke crystal. Easy to pull and rinse in a bucket of tank water. Good surface for bacteria.

What kind of drain does the main tank have. If you have a herbie or a beanimal with a full suction drain you can maximize space and skip the bubble traps. I run a herbie and have the drains enter the sump at about an inch below water level. With a tuned herbie or beanimal you get a quiet drain and no need for bubble traps that waste space.

Biological filtration:
I played with the idea of k2, etc and found its simply not needed. The poret has a ton of surface area and i just chucked a bag of ceramic rings where i get flow thru them. I run a very overstocked 75 gallon with big angels and have never measured detectable amounts of ammonia since cycling.

Return section...heres where you get out the calculator. You want to size the return section such that the return pump cant overfllow the display if a the drains to the sump get plugged.

Sump level: again calculate so that if return pump fails or power goes out the amount draining from the tank does not overflow the sump. This water is the water height you run over the weir of the overflow plus leftover in the pipes. Also drill a hole for a suction break just under the display tank waterline. This prevents the display from siphoning into the sump.

If the sump is calculated correctly there is no need for check valves or prone to fail float switches other than something to shut off the return pump if it runs dry. Many dc pumps automatically shut down if they run dry.
Answers to your questions...

The tank has two holes in it's bottom glass, one is for a durso, other is a return. You can take a look at it here...

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...onversion.html

More specifically:





About the return pump chamber... If it overflowed, won't the water first flow into the other chambers first, before overflowing the whole sump?

Wait,,,,you are talking about overflowing the DT (display tank) not the sump...Hmmm....good thought. I never thought about that situation. Thanks for pointing that out. I will do that calculation now.

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-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 07-20-2020 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Added photos
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 08:26 PM
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In terms of redundancy, I would drill if possible another hole in the overflow chamber area and install a stand pipe slightly higher than the durso. Should the durso somehow back up or plug the water will rise and flow into the emergency stand pipe. If no room in the overflow box than perhaps repurpose the water return. Can always return the water up and over the tank edge.

-=Bryan=-
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb new design

How about something like this:


This way, I will have poret until the K1 media establishes, then (maybe) I could remove the left side Poret to accommodate more K1. Right side Poret will stay to hold dead / discarded bacteria from K1.


The K1 chamber is starting to get pretty small now :-(




-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 07-21-2020 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Updated photo
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan_ View Post
In terms of redundancy, I would drill if possible another hole in the overflow chamber area and install a stand pipe slightly higher than the durso. Should the durso somehow back up or plug the water will rise and flow into the emergency stand pipe. If no room in the overflow box than perhaps repurpose the water return. Can always return the water up and over the tank edge.
Thanks for the tip, I appreciate it.

Unfortunately, I'll not be able to drill more holes. And I don't want a traditional return, don't like that look.

My "redundancy" is this...make sure that if the durso drain clogged up, all the water in the return chamber ends up safely in the DT without overflowing it.

Gotta do some math but I think DT should be able to take an additional 3.5 gallons.

As for the pump running dry, I'm choosing one of those pumps which promise to shut off automatically if running dry.

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-Raj
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