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Old 03-31-2004, 07:00 PM   #1
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General sump question

Hello all - I recently setup my 90G FO tank and I think all the equipment that was added: powerheads, skimmer, Fluval systems, heater, etc..takes away from the natural look of the tank. It looks soooooo cluttered. I would like to have this stuff hidden from view. I have read about a lot of people using sumps for underneathe the cabinet for accessories such as these.

Forgive me since I am new to the modern way of doing things, but I was wondering if someone could assist me in determining what I would need to accomplish this. Any info would be great.

This is a FO tank for now, but may turn it into a FOWLR later.



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Old 03-31-2004, 07:41 PM   #2
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Check out this article on sumps:

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Old 03-31-2004, 10:00 PM   #3
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Hey Mike,

The simplest sump is simply a container of water underneath the tank. I use a Rubbermaid 15 gallon container I bought from Wal-Mart for $3. Works great. You can see pics of it in my gallery.

You will have to have a way to get the water down to the sump and then back up. For those of us without a pre-drilled tank (meaning there is no pre-built overflow box either inside the tank or on the outside) you will have to buy a HOB overflow or have your tank drilled and have an overflow installed. The allows the water to "overflow" from the tank into the sump. There are two types of HOB overflows. One is made by a company called CPR while the other is a generic U-style overflow box. I would suggest the U-style as it is less prone to fail and cause a flood than the CPR. I believe our sponsors actually carrry both.

Once in the sump, you will need a pump to return the water bank to the tank where the cycle continues. Mag drive pumps are great for this purpose.

I have everything in my sump. My heater, protein skimmer, GAC, and auto topoff is located down there. I even have a fan that blows across the top to help keep the water from getting too hot.
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Old 03-31-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
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Thanks! That sounds way too easy! I am just looking to get all that stuff out of the aquarium since it is such an eye sore looking at it. If you have more time, can you send me the information so I can setup a sump like that? Unfortunately, I just don't know enough about how this works, and I don't want it over-flowing or anything. I have seen them at many placed and they want extra $$ for it, which I don't really have right now. The Wal-Mart solution sounds great to me!

Thanks again,

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Old 05-16-2004, 07:17 AM   #5
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If you use a bare aquarium and buy some plexi glass, you can build in baffles and have a refugium all ready to go at the same time. Put in some macro algae and a 'pod population and you've got a nitrate filter and constant food supply.

I believe that as long as your overflow will pull slightly more water than the pump can return, it will maintain balance and neither will overflow. The overflow will only be able to pull what the pump is able to push. This is in theory to me as I'm using a filtered siphon right now, but my overflow should be showing up in the mail soon. Got a 500gph for about $40 on ebay : )
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Old 05-16-2004, 09:52 PM   #6
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yeah, but what happens if the overflow stops syphoning water? due to a clog? now you have a pump which is pumping 15 or so gallons into an already full tank!
Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 05-18-2004, 12:24 AM   #7
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now that's where your daily checking comes handy
30 gallon SW tank;EHEIM ECCO 2235 Canister Filter w/Miracle-Working Chemi-Pure
TetraTec UV1 UV Sterilizer;Rio 50 Powerhead ;130w PC lighting;33 Lbs. of Tonga Branch LR;Nature's Ocean Live Sand (the bagged stuff)
Livestock:2-Ocellaris Clownfish;9-Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs;1-Regal Tang;Zoanthids, Pineapple Brain coral, Sebae Anemone, Colt Coral, Galaxea
Tank Specs as of December 29, 2005:Ammonia:0;Nitrite: 0;Nitrate=0;Cu:0
PH: 8.3
SG: 1.028;Temp: 79-84 degrees F (Adjusts throughout the day)
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:08 AM   #8
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The general idea is to get a good quility overflow that maintains siphon in the event of of a power outage and will restart when the pump returns to power. Also to always have an overflow that will handle more water than your pump is producing. A simple method is to have a ball valve above your return pump to control the flow. The so called "foolproof" method is to still have the ball valve just in case, but to have a much larger overflow for your pump. Example: for a 90G tank say you have a 1000GPH pump at the appropriate head height, you'll want at least 1200gph rated overflow. Also once setup you can test for such anomoles by running the system and pulling the power to the pump then turn it back on and watch the action ready to jump in in the event of siphon break. Hang in there it really isn't that difficult. You'll be fine. Good luck.

I wish I had a nickel for every miracle that you easily tricked me into. -Chris Robinson
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:23 AM   #9
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Rocketseason: another nice part of having the sump/fuge baffled is that the return pump is more or less sealed from the rest of the fuge. Mine's not a 100% water tight seal, but only a few drops leak past. So if my overflow stops, the pump compartment is maybe 1/2 to 1 gallon. Main tank can take that without any troubles.

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