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Old 01-22-2004, 04:05 AM   #1
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sumps

ok i don't know if i am just a thick but i do not understand how sumps work, i read the info on this site but it does still not make sense, what stops the water overflowing into the underneath container and what is the benefit against a canister filter, or should i run both, i have just spent a fortune on a big filter and these sumps seem to be much better as all of you guys and girls use them..
Can someone please give me a link with diagrams and info set out in laymans terms.
kindest regards kell
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:26 AM   #2
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The benefit of the sump vs the canister is that the sump is easier to access. It give you a place to put equipment such as heaters, skimmers, ect... Since the sump doesn't have filter media, although some will have a pad or bag to catch the chunky stuff, it doesn't contribute nitrates to the system. I don't have a link with diagrams handy, but I'll try to explain it. In the tank, you must have an overflow. This can be internal in a drilled tank or int/ext in a tank that has not been drilled. The internal/external is probably the most common. It consists of two boxes...one inside the tank and the other outside. They are connected and usually just hang on the top edge of the tank like a HOB power filter. The height of the inside box is usually adjustable. This is what controls the water level in the tank. Water must spill over the top of the inside box. The int and ext boxes are connected by a siphon tube. Water enters the inside box and is siphoned into the external box. You may recall that a siphon always trys to equalize the levels. The external box has a standpipe that keeps the water level from dropping too low and breaking the siphon. The water spills into the top of this pipe and goes down to the sump where the return pump is. As the pump moves water up to the tank and raises the water level in the tank, water will flow into the internal overflow where it is siphoned into the external box and returned to the sump. So, the only water that can be returned to the sump is what is pump up from it. If the pump quits, the water will continue to flow to the sump until it reaches the level of the internal box. At that point, the flow stops, the siphon equalizes the water levels in the boxes, and it all just sits there until the pump is restarted. I'm going to attempt to attach a really bad diagram of an overflow box...perhaps it will make sense. If not, don't hesitate to ask again. I know it's hard to understand until you've seen one working.
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Old 01-22-2004, 03:15 PM   #3
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i think that the biggest prob people have setting one up is that they fill the tank and the sump and then when the pumps are shut off it then over flows!! why when setting up a sump i fill tank and half the sump start up everything make sure all's good then power everything down !! then look at the water level in the sump and adjust it to where i know the water will stop an inch or two under the lip of the sump(i use rubbermaid containers) !! then start the pumps and then mark where the water level is when running and then it easy to see how much water evaporates and adjust when need be !!
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:42 PM   #4
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Here is a thread with some pictures describing how a sump works... << thread >>
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:21 AM   #5
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nope sorry, still don't understand what you guys are saying, i think i will hunt local and see if someone has one, and check out theirs.. If that fails please feel free on your next vacation to australia to come and stay here, set it up and make sure it all works, I will shout the beer and food and take you out for a good night or two..
Steve, you look like you are out there, should be fun lol.
Oh and i have some real good dive spots on Cairns..OH AND THE LADIES lol
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:01 AM   #6
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Ok ill take a stab at this.

If you look at logans diagram. On the right is the inside portion of the overflow. The tanks water line will be equil to the top of the overflow box. Water will flow into this overflow box. Water will then syphon up and over the edge of the tank via the "U" tube and into the outside overflow box. In this overflow box there is a wall splitting the box into two sections. This wall only goes up about 1/2 way. The end of the U tube is below the wall so that it is basicly always under water.

Water flows out of the bottom of the U tube in the outside box and fills that chamber. Water then flows over the wall into the other chamber. In this chamber is a hole that leads down to the sump via plumbing.

When water stops flowing into the overflow box (ie the water level drops below the edge of the inside overflow box) the water will stop flowing down to the sump. If the overflows U tube remains full of water the syphon process will start up automaticly when the water level in the tank is once again above the lip of the inside overflow box.

The pump that is down in the sump is plumbed back to the tank and this pump is what is constatnly trying to fill the tank thus keeping the water level at the point it flows down into the overflow box.
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Old 01-24-2004, 02:49 PM   #7
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ohhh yea my dream vacation is to go there one day !! just need faster planes being in one for 20 some hours would drive me nutttyy heheh

nice explanation fishfreak one missed thing !! to get the water to start flowing into the "u" tube you must put an airline up into the up-most portion of the "u" tube and suck all the air out !! once thats done the water will flow !! if you return pump doesnt return enough flow air can/will build up in the "u"tube which will slow the flow down !! just keep an eye on it like everything else
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:12 PM   #8
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IMO the best site for starting to learn about sumps.

http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html
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