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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a salt reefer and I am setting up a 125 gallon planted tank. My question is I would build sumps for a reef tank. Is this a bad idea for a planted tank? I have a "reef ready" tank with holes for 2 drains and returns. I also have plenty of smaller tanks to build into a sump along with return pumps.

Good bad?
 

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I use sumps on my planted tanks.
My advice would be not to flow to much water through the sump & recirculate the main tank water though a C02 reactor.
There are positives from using a sump in the same way as using one on a reef tank - added volume, hidden equipment, no noticeable evaporation in the display tank, huge biological filter space etc - but if you flow to much through the overflow you loose you precious Co2.
There are ways around this depending on how technical you want to be?
 

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actually, if you plumb your return sparaybar under the water level, you can keep gas off to a minimum, even with a higher flow rate.
but as mentioned above, it really depends on how technical you want to get.

also, with the additional water volume, you will need to raise the dosage of your ferts to accommodate the combined volume of the water column.
 

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I think the point foxfish as alluding to was you loose the CO2 on the waterfall side of the overflows... Which will not be fixed by putting the spray bar below the ware surface; however, every little bit helps!
 

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Exactly, however I have found a way around this situation.
Firstly I can tell you that sumps do work as I have successfully used them on planted tanks for 20 + years.
Secondly I must say I enjoy the technical side of DIY & build my own tanks & associated equipment & on that basis some may consider my tanks to have completely unnecessary or complicated sytems!?
However for those like myself this is how my main display operates....
I have a quantity of bio balls suspended in my sump & a dedicated powerhead that pushes the sump water over the balls. This allows consistent water movement & keeps the bio balls active no matter what the flow though the overflow.
During the gas on period I use a small powerhead to feed the tank from the sump, about 100lts an hour. In other words just a trickle.
When the gas goes off the main pump comes on & supplies 1500lts an hour down to the sump.
I recirculate the gas though bulkhead fitting & a dedicated pump.
So during the day (lights on, gas on) there is very little flow though the sump but at night the tank has a heavy flow though, I still have the benefit of the extra gallonage that the sump supplies but not the C02 loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Exactly, however I have found a way around this situation.
Firstly I can tell you that sumps do work as I have successfully used them on planted tanks for 20 + years.
Secondly I must say I enjoy the technical side of DIY & build my own tanks & associated equipment & on that basis some may consider my tanks to have completely unnecessary or complicated sytems!?
However for those like myself this is how my main display operates....
I have a quantity of bio balls suspended in my sump & a dedicated powerhead that pushes the sump water over the balls. This allows consistent water movement & keeps the bio balls active no matter what the flow though the overflow.
During the gas on period I use a small powerhead to feed the tank from the sump, about 100lts an hour. In other words just a trickle.
When the gas goes off the main pump comes on & supplies 1500lts an hour down to the sump.
I recirculate the gas though bulkhead fitting & a dedicated pump.
So during the day (lights on, gas on) there is very little flow though the sump but at night the tank has a heavy flow though, I still have the benefit of the extra gallonage that the sump supplies but not the C02 loss.
Interesting!! I love this kind of stuff!!!
Do you have any pictures of your setup or better yet a build thread?

Do you have two seperate returns? Or does the powerhead and main pump go into a "Y"? Or do you have 3 returns(powerhead, main pump and one for co2)?

I have 4 holes drilled. 2 returns and 2 drains thru two mega-overflows.
 

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I have never dealt with sumps but I have used multiple HOB filters on my tank. I had to run about double the co2 as I do now with a canster. I doubt a sump will effect co2 levels as much (I don't get a noticeable change on my drop check with my canister for a few days). Outside of co2, I can only see benifits. If you have pressurised co2, filling costs arn't usually very expensive. I wouldn't worry about that cost, the set up is expensive but filling it 2x as often will not break the bank.
 

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I've read many posts on +/-'s of sumps. It seems to me the only people saying it's a no no are people who have never had one.
 

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I also run a sump, i love it and i have very little gas off once I covered the sump.
 

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I posted a build thread but unfortunately my home desktop is giving me grief and I'm awaiting parts so it hasn't been updated in a while and I modified the sump a bit since the build thread. But with stand pipes in the overflows and submerging the sump inlet along with covering it you can nearly match canister CO2 containment levels in the water column. (hope that typed out right) minimum CO2 loss.
Several members have build threads where they used multiple drains since I changed/modified my trickle filter sump.

Cleaning a sump by simply lifting a lid and changing floss pads for me is a dream come true as opposed to cleaning a canister. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
do you have a build thread? Does anyone recommed a drip plate or is it best to have water fill the biochamber(area with balls etc)from the bottom and have it overflow? I know how to build a sump for a reef but a simple design for a planted tank has me baffled as the info available online is more geared towards trikle filter sumps or reef style sumps.
 

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Odie, you can see a few pics here http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/general-planted-tank-discussion/55349-project.html but I dont have any more pic space to post anything here (in fact there are loads missing from my link too)
Basically the sump severs to keep the display tank topped up with water, to increase the overall volume, & house the bio media.
The only real concern is loss of Co2, this happens when the water is exposed to air as it falls down the overflow.
Simply reduce day time flow & increase at night to allow efficient mechanical filtration.
I dont use trickle filtration but keep the bio ball submerged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I decided I am going to go with a sump setup due to the fact that removing the over flows would be very hard. So what I have is a 125 gallon with two corner overflows. It is a all-glass or aqueon. Here are some pics borrowed from the web.

So what I am trying to figure out is what is the best way to build the sump. Building a salty would be no problem for me but the planted tank has me a bit baffled!

One of the ideas I have is run all as drains to the sump and then return over the back of the tank with a spray bar. Or setup as it was designed by the company and have two drains and one pump branch to a "Y" for a return on each end.

Another option is have two main drains and one or two backup drains. In other words the larger diameter holes will be the main drains and one of the smaller diameter could be a return(s) while the other (or both) could be slightly taller as backup returns incase of blockage in main returns etc.
Ideas??
 

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It is all about gas, planted tanks need evenly distributed Co2 rich water.
You need to look at like this - your sump is an asset to you display but treat your display like a separate entity.
In other words set up your plated display tank with its own Co2 supply, dont inclued the sump with the Co2.
If your tank has a underwater bulkhead then take a feed from this to an external Co2 reactor & return the water back to the tank.
The return needs to evenly distribute the Co2 rich water to all four corners of your tank, you may need extra powerheads to achieve this.
You could inclued an external heater to the Co2 circuit.
Now deal with the sump.....supply some self circulating internal flow in the form of a powerhead (or internal cartridge filter) or two.
Add a bag (bags) of bio balls suspended in the sump, a small heater & a return pump to supply the display.
You dont need compartments in the sump but you will need some floss to run the return overflow water over (mechanical filtration).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So what you are saying is.... Do not inject Co2 into the return line from the pump but to have its own separate system? I was originally thinking of having a Rex Grigg style reactor inline with the return.

So would it be a good idea to use a pre-drilled drain from each corner equaling two to drain to the sump. Use a single return from one of the pre-drilled corners to return water from the sump with the option to return over the back of the tank(like you would with a canister) via spray bar.

Then use the left over pre-drilled hole that was built originally as a return to drain water into to a pump that will feed an external reactor to feed CO2 injected water into the tank?



I probably worded all of this terribly!!!
 

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When you talk about spray bars it worries me, the term is often used on this forum but this does not actually mean spraying water onto the surface.
A drilled length of pipe set along the back of the tank is a great method of returning the reactor water but it must be submerged. Mid water & pointing down would be good but also visible that is why I use a suction point at one end of the tank & a return at the opposite end.
I dont quite understand what you mean by drains?
Can you post a diagram if not a pic of your tank.
 

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It is all about gas, planted tanks need evenly distributed Co2 rich water.
You need to look at like this - your sump is an asset to you display but treat your display like a separate entity.
In other words set up your plated display tank with its own Co2 supply, dont inclued the sump with the Co2.
If your tank has a underwater bulkhead then take a feed from this to an external Co2 reactor & return the water back to the tank.
The return needs to evenly distribute the Co2 rich water to all four corners of your tank, you may need extra powerheads to achieve this.
You could inclued an external heater to the Co2 circuit.
Now deal with the sump.....supply some self circulating internal flow in the form of a powerhead (or internal cartridge filter) or two.
Add a bag (bags) of bio balls suspended in the sump, a small heater & a return pump to supply the display.
You dont need compartments in the sump but you will need some floss to run the return overflow water over (mechanical filtration).
Hmmnn....you've got me thinking on this one now. I have a sump with a pump-bio balls and so forth. My CO2 reactor (a huge overly complex home-made job) has it's own pump in the sump with the return going to the sump. I'm wondering maybe I could put the two pumps on timers and run the CO2 directly into the tank during the day and shut it off at night (the CO2 is off anyway) Could be siphon issues to solve.... Do you really think it's that much better to do it that way?
 

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Not necessary a better way but far more efficient.
However I enjoy this aspect of the hobby - you can just pump in more gas or get a little more technical?
Siphon issues are easy to avoid with a short piece of air line fitted just above the water level.
I will try to get a few diagrams up tomorrow (almost midnight here)
 
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