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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am putting together a 75 gallon sump to go under my 90 gallon tank. I have always used a canister filter, so a sump will be a new experience. Here is a diagram of what I have in mind.



There doesn't seem to be any universally accepted sump configuration. What I hope to achieve here is a sump that will be great when coupled to my new 90 gallon aquarium, and would still be great for a future upgrade to a 180 gallon starfire glass tank.

I am building the stand to give plenty of space (about 12 inches) above the sump for easy access. With the 90 gallon display tank, there are two overflows. The return from the sump will be over the edge.

By my calculations this sump configuration would provide a 17 gallon refugium, and have 20 gallons available space for water in the event of power failure or pump failure. I believe that would be up to 2.75 inches drop in a 180 gallon tank (25 inches high). From what I have gleaned, it would seem to be plenty of capacity here.

I have yet to acquire glass for baffles, and other materials, so changes can still be made to the plan.

The sump aquarium glass is about 0.3 inches thick. What I was thinking for the glass for the baffles would be 0.25 inches for the the pieces that seal to the bottom of the tank, and 0.125 for those that are above the bottom glass.

Is there a good source for glass that doesn't cost like crazy? So far, it seems my best bet is Lowe's or Home Depot. But they don't seem to have anything in clear glass thicker than 3/32". Maybe that would be sufficient for the above the bottom pieces? Maybe make a sandwich of two pieces for each of the bottom attached baffles? Does a sandwich provide the same safety as a single piece? Lowe's has 0.125 mirror glass. Would that work in the refugium chamber in place of tinted glass? Or is mirror glass not as strong as clear glass? Is there a reason to not just use mirror glass for all the baffles?

With the plan in the drawing, what are the errors or shortcomings that can be corrected? For example:

Overflow
In this area, is four inches wide enough? Maybe some wasted width? There will be two overflow pipes dumping into this. Also, there will likely be a valve on the return line to be able to switch to dump into the overflow chamber. I would like to be able to adapt this chamber to using sock filters, in the event that the clear space is never used. I thought it could be a space where small fish could survive if they went down the drain pipe.

Foam
The idea is to have a coarse foam in most of the space, and some filter wool or cotton at the top of the foam chamber.

Refugium
There will be bright plant-growing lights for the refugium. I hope to grow a variety of plants, and probably shrimp in this chamber. Maybe it will be a place also for some small fish that would otherwise fall prey to the angels in the display tank.

Bio Media
There is space for about 1-1/2 gallons each of lava rock, ceramic rings, and Substrat. Probably a fairly fine mesh would be used to keep each layer separated (what is that stuff? Needlepoint mesh?).

K2
I guess K2 is the bio media that is used in a tumbling manner powered by an airstone(?). How much K2 (or what else) should be used in this 4 gallon chamber? My first thought is two gallons media, but is that too much? Too little?

Pump
The pump chamber starts with a bubble trap. Is five inches enough width for whatever pumps would be located here? My one Hydor 1200 GPH pump would easily fit. But I expect to get a secondary pump for backup, if not necessary for maximizing flow. The rise from bottom of sump to top edge of the display tank is 62 inches, leaving me concerned that pumps might struggle to push a good flow(?).

Are any of these chambers too big or too small? Could this be better optimized? I hope that it can be run with low maintenance.

The intent is to run a line from my RO system providing auto-top-off, though I haven't totally figured out how it will be switched on and off. It should also work in conjunction with an auto drain that would probably need to be powered by a small pump. I thought of using float switches and whatever goes along with them. Maybe use something like a lawn sprinkler valve with solenoid in the setup. I'm just not sure of how to plumb and to wire up auto drain and auto top off.

I might also drill a hole on the back glass at some level in the pump chamber as a safety overflow to the outside of the house, though I am not sure how high to drill that hole. Probably it would go pretty high, since it wouldn't be generally used for draining. I just don't want to ever get gallons of water on the floor, no matter what power failure occurs, or what pipes might clog up.

I really appreciate any good insight you can give.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One change I will make to this initial sump design is to reduce the height of divider 3 from 14 inches to just 2 or 3 inches.
 

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Look for a local custom glass shop, they will usually take small orders at reasonable rates. My local one was a tiny hole in the wall cabinet and glass shop. They were happy to have the business and did a perfect job.

Lowes and Home Depot glass is too thin last time I checked, its mostly window pane or picture frame thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I have been re-thinking my sump configuration. Maybe going all foam media would be the trick.

With the three foam chambers at the left at 2-1/2 inches each, leaving wiggle room to insert 2 inch foam, and the foam chamber on the right at 3-1/2 inches leaving wiggle room to insert 3 inch foam, will this be easy enough to remove and reinstall the foam? Or is that looking for trouble?

Maybe my perceived benefit to using the egg crate dividers is not necessary or useful?
 

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You could skip baffles all together. I'm using this design now and it's simple and great at eliminating surface ripple im in the sump to save co2. However, it might be too effective as I get a very thick protein layer that builds up at the surface of the sump


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You could skip baffles all together. I'm using this design now and it's simple and great at eliminating surface ripple im in the sump to save co2. However, it might be too effective as I get a very thick protein layer that builds up at the surface of the sump

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Does using only foam work well for filtration with low maintenance? I mean, compared to using other filter and bio media? It looks like I could probably do this without using egg crate dividers at all. Except, I think I might use one gallon of space under the return pump for Seachem Matrix.
1033075

If I did this, I would make the egg crate two pieces, so that the media could be removed/added while the pump is in place. Remove one grate at a time, remove/add media, and replace the grate. Move the pump, and remove the other grate.

When using just foam media, do you need to drain the sump before removing the foam for cleaning? Or does water drain out of the foam quickly enough to be able to remove it while submerged? Do you find cleaning the coarse media nearest the overflow to be most of the maintenance? Or do you regularly need to clean it all?

I am leaning toward using, almost exclusively, Poret foam for filtration. There would be two glass baffles, and two egg crate dividers.

There is a preliminary location shown for the emergency overflow bulkhead from the sump to go outside to the flower bed. There will be a metal check valve at the outlet end of that pipe to keep mice and bugs from making it home.

The PVC piping shown is also a preliminary layout. For the overflows, there will be two. One a full siphon. The other would be open to air for excess overflow, located behind, and about an inch right of the siphon. I still have to do some measuring of the cabinet and display tank to make sure of the location of the bulkheads, so there may be need of some elbows. The gate valves on the overflow pipes may be better aligned to the left, or diagonal if the left side door would be able to close. Then it would be very easy access to the valves for adjustment or shutoff, rather than reaching from the front door.

In the return, I would like to incorporate CO2 injection, probably by incorporating a Cerges reactor in a bypass. I am not sure where to locate any unions on this pipe layout. There is one check valve on the return.

The CO2 tank, regulator, and several other items of electronics and general storage will be kept in the right 1/3 of the cabinet, which is off diagram. A 3/4 inch plywood divider wall goes immediately to the right of the sump.

Not yet sketched is the auto top off and auto drain and fill for water changes. Not yet sketched is the secondary pump to move water from the pump section to the refugium (or to the overflow/intake chamber?) when the primary pump is shut off during feeding (I am not sure this is really that useful. Is it? When else might that function be used?) Edit: I just remember that I would probably want to add a UV sterilizer to this flow.

I would also like to plumb for quick connecting a gravel vacuum that might go through a filter sock and into the sump. Maybe I would just use a spare canister filter to manage that.

What am I missing here? What should be reworked? What doesn't make sense? Help if you will! This is my first sump.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have pretty much finalized the configuration of my plumbing for the sump. Just about ready to order the parts. It was a lot more complicated and expensive than I had anticipated it would be. I'm still open to observations and suggestions before it is done.

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Soooooooo everything you are doing will work. I say this because filtering a tank is actually really simple and easy and what you are doing is 10x overkill to what is needed. Its tempting to to really over engineer a sump because it looks cool and makes us feel like everything we are doing is improving our tanks, but the truth is that the filtering capabilities of our tanks is reached pretty quickly and everything after that is just extra effort producing no additional results.

Additionally most of the sumps you will see online are for saltwater tanks or are sumps that copied saltwater tanks. In saltwater tanks they care about things we simply don't worry about for freshwater.

You do not need any dividers in the tank. You can do everything you want with 3 - 4 sheets of foam. You definitely do not need a refugium (which is a reef thing for removing nutrients, our plants do that for us and we add more nutrients into the water). You do not need more then one pump. You do not need any media other then the foam. Media is only good for providing surface areas for bacteria which our tanks already have plenty of and the foam provides even more surface area. You do not need to put the reactor inside the sump (if that's what this diagram is showing) but certainly that is an option if you feel like it.

A bigger issue is your overflow, not sure which one you decided on but definitely consider a bean animal if you haven't already. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Soooooooo everything you are doing will work. I say this because filtering a tank is actually really simple and easy and what you are doing is 10x overkill to what is needed. Its tempting to to really over engineer a sump because it looks cool and makes us feel like everything we are doing is improving our tanks, but the truth is that the filtering capabilities of our tanks is reached pretty quickly and everything after that is just extra effort producing no additional results.
Likely there is wisdom in what you are saying. However, in my existing aquarium, I have not been satisfied that my filtration was enough. In this new one, I may be overdoing it. Better too much, than too little.(?)
Additionally most of the sumps you will see online are for saltwater tanks or are sumps that copied saltwater tanks. In saltwater tanks they care about things we simply don't worry about for freshwater.

You do not need any dividers in the tank.
Current plan is for two glass dividers only at the right end of the tank. One is to maintain water level in everything to the left. The next one is a bubble trap, which may not be so necessary, but makes it possible to use Seachem Matrix at the bottom of the pump section. The two egg crate dividers are simply to provide a certain means of locating the foam, and to keep the foam from moving to the right. Maybe unnecessary? I don't know. They could be removed later if it would be better.
You can do everything you want with 3 - 4 sheets of foam.
The current plan is for four sheets of Poret foam.
You definitely do not need a refugium (which is a reef thing for removing nutrients, our plants do that for us and we add more nutrients into the water).
Perhaps a refugium is unnecessary. What I had in mind for this freshwater system is a place for plants in the refugium, and for livestock that are not kept in the display tank. In time, it is possible that I would convert to an African cichlid tank, without plants. In the refugium, plants could still be grown to remove nutrients. And before then, it is also possible I would overstock the display tank with fish, with the plant mass in the refugium helping to keep it healthy.
You do not need more then one pump.
I will have three pumps. One for the main return. A second for the CO2 return. And a low flow pump for the UV sterilizer, which do not work with high flow rates. The sterilizer will get a 120 gph pump, and will be controlled independently of any other pumps. It pumps water from the pump section, through the sterilizer, and returns to the refugium. For the main pumps, I don't know how much flow I will get from one or both returns. I would rather not have to run the pump(s) at full throttle. And with two of them, the redundancy against pump failure should be a good thing.
You do not need any media other then the foam. Media is only good for providing surface areas for bacteria which our tanks already have plenty of and the foam provides even more surface area.
From what I saw on the website for Poret foam is that Seachem Matrix provides vastly more surface area than the next best thing, which is Poret. I wouldn't use just Matrix in the filter, because it would have to be washed very frequently. In this setup, the foam should catch all the gunk.
You do not need to put the reactor inside the sump (if that's what this diagram is showing) but certainly that is an option if you feel like it.
The reactor is behind the sump tank, hanging on the inside of the back wall of the stand. I would also rather have the return pipes not go behind the display tank at all, but the 90 gallon tank in this setup is drilled only with two holes. I will use them for two overflows.
A bigger issue is your overflow, not sure which one you decided on but definitely consider a bean animal if you haven't already. Good luck!
I would like to do a Be-An overflow setup, but I will have to do a Herbie, because there are only two overflow holes. I thought about drilling a third, but in the limited space for the overflow, I think it could weaken the glass with them all being so close together. If/when I change this up to the 180 gallon tank, which I built to stand to accommodate, I would want five holes, probably all at the middle of the back, drilled through the bottom of the tank. In the diagrams above, the right side of the stand (1/3 of the total) is not shown. It is the dry side, 24 inches wide. There will be a divider wall between the wet and the dry sides of the stand, only transited by power cords and the CO2 line.

I hope that between the check valves that are integrated into the two big ball valves on the return pipes, also having accommodation in the sump for about 2-1/2 inch water level drop in a 180 gallon display tank, and the drain to outside located in the pump section of the sump, I hope that all the redundancy will be sufficient. There shouldn't be worry about the sump overflowing. I figure that my main concern should then be with the display tank overflowing. There will also be float switches that manage power cutoff to the pumps. There is a battery backup that will be for the pumps.

Without drilling a third hole, is there a solution to the Herbie overflow? Would that only be possible by making sure that either down pipe alone can handle anything the returns can send up? Shouldn't the concern for this be limited to only the amount of water that can reach the pump section? I mean, if more water is not entering the system, then even if the pumps want to pump more than the overflows drop into the sump, then they will be starved when the water level drops in the pump section, and the pumps auto shut off.

If the auto top off and auto water change system should fail to drain excess water, and it kept filling the tank, it would be a very unfortunate coincidence if the overflows failed to prevent the display tank overflowing the edge.

I am still considering any advice or observations.

This is the current state of things for the stand.
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Likely there is wisdom in what you are saying. However, in my existing aquarium, I have not been satisfied that my filtration was enough. In this new one, I may be overdoing it. Better too much, than too little.(?)

Current plan is for two glass dividers only at the right end of the tank. One is to maintain water level in everything to the left. The next one is a bubble trap, which may not be so necessary, but makes it possible to use Seachem Matrix at the bottom of the pump section. The two egg crate dividers are simply to provide a certain means of locating the foam, and to keep the foam from moving to the right. Maybe unnecessary? I don't know. They could be removed later if it would be better.

The current plan is for four sheets of Poret foam.

Perhaps a refugium is unnecessary. What I had in mind for this freshwater system is a place for plants in the refugium, and for livestock that are not kept in the display tank. In time, it is possible that I would convert to an African cichlid tank, without plants. In the refugium, plants could still be grown to remove nutrients. And before then, it is also possible I would overstock the display tank with fish, with the plant mass in the refugium helping to keep it healthy.

I will have three pumps. One for the main return. A second for the CO2 return. And a low flow pump for the UV sterilizer, which do not work with high flow rates. The sterilizer will get a 120 gph pump, and will be controlled independently of any other pumps. It pumps water from the pump section, through the sterilizer, and returns to the refugium. For the main pumps, I don't know how much flow I will get from one or both returns. I would rather not have to run the pump(s) at full throttle. And with two of them, the redundancy against pump failure should be a good thing.

From what I saw on the website for Poret foam is that Seachem Matrix provides vastly more surface area than the next best thing, which is Poret. I wouldn't use just Matrix in the filter, because it would have to be washed very frequently. In this setup, the foam should catch all the gunk.

The reactor is behind the sump tank, hanging on the inside of the back wall of the stand. I would also rather have the return pipes not go behind the display tank at all, but the 90 gallon tank in this setup is drilled only with two holes. I will use them for two overflows.

I would like to do a Be-An overflow setup, but I will have to do a Herbie, because there are only two overflow holes. I thought about drilling a third, but in the limited space for the overflow, I think it could weaken the glass with them all being so close together. If/when I change this up to the 180 gallon tank, which I built to stand to accommodate, I would want five holes, probably all at the middle of the back, drilled through the bottom of the tank. In the diagrams above, the right side of the stand (1/3 of the total) is not shown. It is the dry side, 24 inches wide. There will be a divider wall between the wet and the dry sides of the stand, only transited by power cords and the CO2 line.

I hope that between the check valves that are integrated into the two big ball valves on the return pipes, also having accommodation in the sump for about 2-1/2 inch water level drop in a 180 gallon display tank, and the drain to outside located in the pump section of the sump, I hope that all the redundancy will be sufficient. There shouldn't be worry about the sump overflowing. I figure that my main concern should then be with the display tank overflowing. There will also be float switches that manage power cutoff to the pumps. There is a battery backup that will be for the pumps.

Without drilling a third hole, is there a solution to the Herbie overflow? Would that only be possible by making sure that either down pipe alone can handle anything the returns can send up? Shouldn't the concern for this be limited to only the amount of water that can reach the pump section? I mean, if more water is not entering the system, then even if the pumps want to pump more than the overflows drop into the sump, then they will be starved when the water level drops in the pump section, and the pumps auto shut off.

If the auto top off and auto water change system should fail to drain excess water, and it kept filling the tank, it would be a very unfortunate coincidence if the overflows failed to prevent the display tank overflowing the edge.

I am still considering any advice or observations.
So like I said, your plan will work. But to use an analogy, if you need to go to the grocery store to get a jug of milk, your regular every day car will work fine. It would also work fine to buy a brand new lamborghini and take that to the grocery store for the jug of milk. The latter will look really cool, but it's overkill.

This setup is overkill, it will work, but if you want, you can simplify it.

For one thing you can use 1 pump instead of 3. Just use bypasses off of that pump and with ball valves to control flow on those bypasses. This way you can have as much or as little flow as needed and fine tune it.

For the pump I would definitely use a variable speed pump. They are pretty cheap and will allow you to oversize the pump considerably and then tone it down to your desired flow level. I'm not sure if your pump is in this picture, but to be clear you should definitely be using a submersible pump inside the sump to cut down on possible leaking issues.

You do not need dividers to maintain water level. It doesn't matter if your water is exactly 10" deep or 20" deep or whatever, what matters is that it's staying inside the tank and is at least deep enough to allow the pump to function. Nothing else matters beyond that. The dividers will however make a lot of noise which is really unnecessary in a herbie or bean animal overflow.

You can definitely still have a bean animal overflow if you want it. BUT it will probably require some work on your part. There are off the shelf overflow boxes you can attach to the outside of tanks. Its unlikely your two holes are perfectly made for those off the shelf units, but you could DIY up your own using silicone and some cut glass. This would allow a bean animal if you want it. Here is an example of what I am talking about:

The seachem matrix works fine as media. BUT so does literally everything else from pot scrubbers to lava rock to foam you will already have in the tank. The reality is that bacteria grows to accommodate the amount of ammonia/nitrites being produces in our tank and then stops. Your water does not get more filtered the more media you have. Unless this is a bare bottom tank with a ton of fish in it, you will likely have enough surface area to remove ammonia/nitrites already in the actual tank. The foam in the sump is there as backup and mechanical filtration (the latter mattering much more for our purposes since mostly what we care about is removing floating bits of crud and mulm). So you can save yourself some money and maintenance by skipping the seachem matrix which doesn't do much of anything for mechanical filtration except get clogged up. That said, I keep a bag of ceramic rings in at least one filter simply at any one time so I can seed new tanks /shrug. You don't need anything special for this though, the beauty of a sump is you can throw a bag in anywhere, you don't need baffles to make it happen. Also I didn't notice it but you will want some room somewhere for a heater (probably?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
For one thing you can use 1 pump instead of 3. Just use bypasses off of that pump and with ball valves to control flow on those bypasses. This way you can have as much or as little flow as needed and fine tune it.

For the pump I would definitely use a variable speed pump. They are pretty cheap and will allow you to oversize the pump considerably and then tone it down to your desired flow level. I'm not sure if your pump is in this picture, but to be clear you should definitely be using a submersible pump inside the sump to cut down on possible leaking issues.
The one pump I have so far (Hydor Seltz D 1200 GPH) is variable speed, and submersible. I will wait on the second pump until I see what kind of flow I get from this one main pump. But I do like the idea of having a secondary pump for backup. Perhaps when CO2 is in the off cycle, the pump for the CO2 return would shut off, and then the Main return pump would take over. In this scenario, the CO2 return pump may need to be similarly capable to the Main return pump. If either pump should fail, then it wouldn't be an emergency. The UV sterilizer should be independently controllable (on a timer) away from the main pump(s).
You do not need dividers to maintain water level. It doesn't matter if your water is exactly 10" deep or 20" deep or whatever, what matters is that it's staying inside the tank and is at least deep enough to allow the pump to function. Nothing else matters beyond that. The dividers will however make a lot of noise which is really unnecessary in a herbie or bean animal overflow.
In the current plan, there is only one glass divider to drop over. The other glass divider is flow under. Since the refugium may contain livestock, I wouldn't want to risk the sump level dropping to very low, before the pumps auto shut off.
You can definitely still have a bean animal overflow if you want it. BUT it will probably require some work on your part. There are off the shelf overflow boxes you can attach to the outside of tanks. Its unlikely your two holes are perfectly made for those off the shelf units, but you could DIY up your own using silicone and some cut glass. This would allow a bean animal if you want it. Here is an example of what I am talking about:
The existing overflow is in the corner, through the bottom. I don't want to add holes to the back of the tank. If any, they would have to go in corner with the other two. The alternative is a different tank. Which is my aim... to upgrade to 180 gallons. And that I would drill in the bottom, not the back. The goal with the 180 gallon tank is to have nothing hanging off the back.
The seachem matrix works fine as media. BUT so does literally everything else from pot scrubbers to lava rock to foam you will already have in the tank. The reality is that bacteria grows to accommodate the amount of ammonia/nitrites being produces in our tank and then stops. Your water does not get more filtered the more media you have. Unless this is a bare bottom tank with a ton of fish in it, you will likely have enough surface area to remove ammonia/nitrites already in the actual tank. The foam in the sump is there as backup and mechanical filtration (the latter mattering much more for our purposes since mostly what we care about is removing floating bits of crud and mulm). So you can save yourself some money and maintenance by skipping the seachem matrix which doesn't do much of anything for mechanical filtration except get clogged up. That said, I keep a bag of ceramic rings in at least one filter simply at any one time so I can seed new tanks /shrug. You don't need anything special for this though, the beauty of a sump is you can throw a bag in anywhere, you don't need baffles to make it happen. Also I didn't notice it but you will want some room somewhere for a heater (probably?).
The Seachem Matrix was an afterthought. I may/may not use it at all. It would take about 1-1/2 gallons of Matrix.
Both heaters will go in the bottom of the refugium. Or I could put one in there, and the other in the overflow section(?). The heaters are much less long than the 17-1/2 inch width of the tank.

I am still thinking about the plumbing configuration for this aquarium and sump. In studying over my schematic, I am having a hard time understanding the purpose for the ball valves on the return pipes. Why do ball valves belong on the return pipes? If the pumps are controllable DC pumps, the valves will not be used for regulating the return flow. Would it be better to just have a check valve with union?
 

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Hey some people like having tanks and some like building them... '

Even if it's over built it's not y'alls tank. As long as something doesn't hurt livestock or waste rare plants it should be applauded.
Keep up the good work Sir...

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey some people like having tanks and some like building them... '

Even if it's over built it's not y'alls tank. As long as something doesn't hurt livestock or waste rare plants it should be applauded.
Keep up the good work Sir...

I feel the same way. As for going to the store to get milk, I would rather do it in style. Moreover, our aquarium displays are not going to the store to get milk. If we post pictures, it is often because we want to show something worth seeing. We like to have nice things in our homes. Otherwise, maybe just a goldfish bowl would suffice.

Meanwhile, I do also appreciate seeing a different perspective on my plan. I have incorporated modifications based upon others comments. I don't think I have succeeded in shaving much, if anything off of the cost. But I hope the function (along with some style if I am fortunate) will prove out.

I want to have a great looking aquarium, and have it be relatively low maintenance, so that I might spend more effort on the art of it.

It looks like the emergency overflow from the sump will be laid out something like this:
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I reworked my plan. It took a lot of work, but I think the hard pipe plumbing plan is done. Now to list out the parts that still need to be ordered. The parts not in these diagrams are soft tubing and their fittings.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow! What software did you that up in? Wish I had done pre planning like this instead of just starting to cut and glue

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I used Inkscape. Certainly it would be better to use a CAD program or even better, 3D CAD. But I didn't want to learn how to use the software, so I just used what was simpler.

I hope that much of my latest diagram is self-explanatory, but I will try to anticipate and clarify what may be unclear.

The lavender colored (may look off-white) tank below the overflow downpipes is a UV sterilizer. It will be connected to a small pump of it's own and either recirculate directly back into the sump, or potentially use one of the four ports from the manifold at the bank of the assembly.

The manifold is intended to provide access to one of the return pumps to connect tubing that goes through the floor to other tanks in the house. The other tanks will have their own overflows that go out through the floor to the waste pipe which dumps outside. The idea is that 15 to 30 gallons per day will auto change in the 180 gallon tank, and the 15 to 30 gallons removed will pump to the other, smaller tanks. There will be electrically operated valves that connect below the ball valves to control water delivery.

The big blue tanks at the right 1/3 of the front view diagram are the CO2 reactor, and another tank for carbon or other filter media as needed. The inlet for these is at the right, and outlet at left. They reconnect to the main pipe above the manifold. The gate valve is to be able to tune or close off flow that goes to the return directly from the pump. Flow could be forced to go through the two big blues, or be mixed.

The emergency overflow on the right end of the sump goes to the waste pipe leading outside of the house. The ball valve on this downpipe is to connect flexible tubing to the bottom of the big blues when needing to drain them for servicing.

The CO2 tank, battery backup, and all electronics will go in the dry section at the right front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
My parts list is pretty much complete. Here it is along with diagrams.


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Haven't been active on the forum in a while so I'm a little late to the party... 75g fresh water with a 20g sump running 3 sheets of porret foam (10ppi, 20ppi, 30ppi) up and running for over 6 years with no issues. Every 4-6mo I pull out ONLY 1 sheet of foam and hose the (literal) crap out of it and stick it back in. You're keeping 2/3s of your bio-filtration in tact on the other sheets. I actually realized a few weeks back its been 2 years since I cleaned the middle 20ppi sheet! Super-simple setup and very effective.

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One thing I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking at a freshwater sump is an Automatic Water Change System. You already have the "Sump Emergency Overflow" so you might as well put it to good use...and I assume by the sketches you have a sufficient place to drain. My system has a 1" bulkhead on the sump to a 3/4" hose-barb with a clear vinyl hose that goes into the wall and down into the basement slop-sink. Tap a 1/4" saddle, like a refrigerator hook-up, onto a cold-water line and run a line up to the tank with a valve. I have mine set to drip about 4g a day into the tank. With the volume of my tank, 4g mixed in slowly doesn't need any dechlorinaters or pre-treatment.
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