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Old 08-27-2003, 01:10 PM   #1
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Sump question

I know this has been asked, but I can't find the topic. How does a sump work? Is it it's own filter? Do you put the heater/protein skimmer in the sump to pump back clean and heated water? I'm getting a 30 gallon sump and I have no idea how to use it
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
How does a sump work?
A sump will come with an overflow cup. The water will in some fashion siphon out of that cup and eventually end up going to the intake on the sump. Then it will hit a water-diffusing plate that will make the water drip evenly across the biomedia and then collect below the biomedia and eventually get pumped out.

Quote:
Is it it's own filter?
There are many kinds of filtration. You have UV sterilizing filters, physical prefilters, biological filtration, and protein skimming. The sump (or "wet/dry") will be physical and biological filtration. The physical filtration will be from multiple prefilters (between overflow cup and intake, between intake and biomedia, between biomedia and return pump, most likely). The biological filtration is from the biomedia that the water drips across. This biomedia will eventually grow a population of bacteria that will process ammonia into nitrites and nitrites into nitrates.

Quote:
Do you put the heater/protein skimmer in the sump to pump back clean and heated water?
This is a very common practice if they do fit in the sump. Many of the smaller sumps are a bit inadequate to fit appropriately-sized heaters, and many people own HOB protein skimmers. In these cases, you will not be able to put them in your sump. However, if the heater does fit, and you have a protein skimmer designed to go in a sump, then you should do that.

If I didn't adequately answer your question about how the sump works, I can post some pictures tonight and give a better description.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:24 PM   #3
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yes you want to put all the unsitely equipment in the sump so you don't have it in the main display tank. these could be things like a skimmer, heater, carbon, refugiums. my sump on my 65 has all of those except for the carbon. on my 10 gallon i use my sump as a refugium. the biggest thing about a sump is that it adds water volume to the system along with allowing you a place to put the unsitely equipment.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:46 PM   #4
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So I would acually need 105 gallons for my main 75 and my 30 g sump? I wouldn't think that the water going from the tank to the sump and back up that it would have enough time to heat up. That doesn't make much sense to me. Am I wrong?
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:11 PM   #5
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I kind of doubt that's true. I've only heard two kinds of measurements in terms of gallons are how big of a tank the sump is designed for in gallons and how many gallons of water the sump can hold before it overflows.

I doubt it is the former because I've never heard of a sump designed for tanks smaller than 75 gallons. It's more likely the latter, which means that it would hold 30 gallons before it overflowed. The actual volume of water that should be in it while it is running should be a little less than half that... my sump, for example, is a 9.5 gallon sump designed for 75 gallon tanks. It only runs with like 3.5 gallons in it, though.

I'm going to start posting replies with pictures of different parts of a sump setup. Each part will be in one reply so I can get the pictures spread out instead of all at the end of a reply bunched together.
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:56 PM   #6
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Okay, first thing is the overflow cup. There are at least two types of overflows that I am aware of. The first is like mine, and I will explain it in a moment. The second is a type which overflows basically directly into the sump. The water overflows into a cup with a prefilter and then goes directly to the sump. These usually require a bit of tank modification, specifically drilling your tank.

Now, onto the type of overflow that I have, and most likely the kind you will have. This consists of two cups. One is inside the tank, and the other is outside. There is a "U-Tube" between these two cups. The water overflows from the tank into the cup that is inside the tank. The level in that cup rises, obviously, and then is higher than the level of water in the cup outside of the tank. The U-Tube is a siphon and it works to keep the water levels equal, so when the cup in the tank has its water level go up, the siphon then (through gravity) moves the water over to the cup outside of the tank. That cup, however, has an overflow of its own which lets water flow down a hose and into your sump.

The genius of this plan is that when the pump is turned off, both ends of the U-Tube siphon are still under water, so the siphon does not run dry. It simply stops moving water because the water levels in the two cups equalize.

Here are what the different colored lines represent in the first picture...
RED - Water levels in each cup and the disparity between them which causes the flow through the U-Tube
BLUE - The flow of water
GREEN - The ends of the U-Tube (which you can't see very well in the picture) which will both be under water still when the pump is turned off and the water stops overflowing into the cup inside the tank.
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Old 08-27-2003, 10:25 PM   #7
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Now on to the sump itself...

First, the water comes in through the intake. It then hits a diffusing plate (which usually has some sort of sponge-like material on it to filter junk and prevent noisy water flow). This plate spreads the water out to flow evenly across the biomedia. It then drips through the biomedia and collects that the bottom of the sump. It flows through another sponge into another chamber where other equipment can process the water. This is where you put your UV-Sterilizer, protein skimmer, GAC, etc. It is then pumped back up to the tank from this chamber by the return pump.
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:14 AM   #8
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:| I'm amazed by that responce, geeees that was amazing. THANKS!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
Okay, first thing is the overflow cup. There are at least two types of overflows that I am aware of. The first is like mine, and I will explain it in a moment. The second is a type which overflows basically directly into the sump. The water overflows into a cup with a prefilter and then goes directly to the sump. These usually require a bit of tank modification, specifically drilling your tank.

Now, onto the type of overflow that I have, and most likely the kind you will have. This consists of two cups. One is inside the tank, and the other is outside. There is a "U-Tube" between these two cups. The water overflows from the tank into the cup that is inside the tank. The level in that cup rises, obviously, and then is higher than the level of water in the cup outside of the tank. The U-Tube is a siphon and it works to keep the water levels equal, so when the cup in the tank has its water level go up, the siphon then (through gravity) moves the water over to the cup outside of the tank. That cup, however, has an overflow of its own which lets water flow down a hose and into your sump.

The genius of this plan is that when the pump is turned off, both ends of the U-Tube siphon are still under water, so the siphon does not run dry. It simply stops moving water because the water levels in the two cups equalize.

Here are what the different colored lines represent in the first picture...
RED - Water levels in each cup and the disparity between them which causes the flow through the U-Tube
BLUE - The flow of water
GREEN - The ends of the U-Tube (which you can't see very well in the picture) which will both be under water still when the pump is turned off and the water stops overflowing into the cup inside the tank.
Dude, we have the same tank!!

Todd
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:56 PM   #10
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