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Old 02-05-2005, 08:46 AM   #1
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Need direction: To sump or not to sump

8O 8O I have just purchased a 125 that I will use to set up my first salt water tank (FO maybe with LR later). I have taken the about.com saltwater 7 day course and done allot of research. Most of what I find is opinion orientated rather then hard fact. The article on this web sight "sumps explained" did a great job of describing the sump, however, I am mechanically or plumb deficient. I can however usually follow pictures and step-by-step methods. Can anyone tell me where I might find a step-by-step, with pictures, that I can use to setup / build my sump or help in any way? I want to get off on the right foot and thanks in advance to all who can help.

the old newbie
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:21 AM   #2
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Hi Dewight, Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!
Sounds like you have do your homework, that is great to see. I am a big fan of sumps. Maily because they offer a nice place to hide heaters, skimmers and other equipment as well at add water volume to a tank. They are not hard to put together or use, but I a likeyou, and would rather not deal with making it myself. I bought a manufactured sump. I got an Pro Clear Qauatics system sump/wet-dry and modified it a bit. It is a good system and has a built in skimmer and came with an overflow box for tanks that are not reef-ready. There are also other companies out there that make them as well. From personal experience, I would go witha sump. Lando

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Old 02-05-2005, 10:35 AM   #3
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I don't really mind putting it together..... if I knew how that is. I really haven't priced them and I have heard they are expensive. Right now I am trying to keep the cost down. I really would like to have one if for nothing else then to hide some of the equipment. I am running 2 Filstar XP'3s. If you know of a sight please let me know.
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Old 02-05-2005, 11:35 AM   #4
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I wish i would have bought a sump when i started up. I wasted a lot of money because i bought a HOB skimmer and power filter instead of a sump with a built in skimmer. I am going to switch to a sump as soon as i can. HTH
75 gallon reef oak canopy and stand
4x65 watt Coralife Luner Aqualite
Seaclone skimmer (works for me)
(all glass) modle 3 acrilic sump
300 watt heater

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Old 02-05-2005, 11:35 AM   #5
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wellcomme to AA.
Lots of people don't like sumps because they are afraid of flooding. I am not.
I hide all my equipment in my sump and have a return system plumbed to my tank that I don't need to have a powerhead in there.
If you do a sump, make sure it is "idiot" proof. Unplug power and keep checking all your waterlevels to make sure no flooding will ever hapen
Once you are sure of that make sure the system is a self starter after a power outage.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:07 PM   #6
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There is a very simple way to build a sump, then there is a SLIGHTLY more complicated way to build one, but it has much more of a finished look. First...the simple one.

Route the pipes from the overflow box (or built in bulk heads) into a rubber maid tub. This is as simple as attaching the hose to the over flow and laying the other end in the rubber maid. Put a pump in the rubber maid. attach the plumbing to it and the return side of the over flow. Fill the rubber maid an inch or two over the intake of the pump...and turn on. Have some extra saltwater ready. The water level in the sump will drop as the pump starts filling the pipes with water. Its a simple principle. Water in.....water out. As long as you have the returns near the surface of the water, your sump should not over flow

**IMPORTANT** It is very important that the opening of the returns be close to the the surface of the water. If the power ever goes out and your sump turns off...your returns will loose pressure and start a back flow....its going to syphon the water out of your tank. The easiest way to prevent this is to keep the opening of the return near the surface of the water. When it starts to draw air, they syphon will be broken.

The slightly more complicated version involves attaching both ends of the hose. One is attached to the overflow, the other end is attached to a bulk head that is mounted to the rubber maid. I can give you more details on that if you like.

Hope that all made sense. 8)

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Old 02-06-2005, 10:11 AM   #7
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thanks for the advice and your explanations helped. I really want to build one but...... What I need at this point is to find a step-by-step with pictures of how exactly to put it together.
the old newbie
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:58 AM   #8
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You might get some ideas from some pre-made sumps. Check out the designs at:


http://www.lifereef.com/frame.html for some custom made sumps and they will also sell all the parts you need to make one.

http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_....asp?ast=&key= Great diagrams with dimensions

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-01/gt/ Probably the best article on sumps.


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direction, sump

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