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Old 01-16-2003, 12:22 PM   #1
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Tell me if I'm crazy...

While preparing to setup the new tank in about 2 months I've decided to use a sump (just seems logical after all the posts I've been reading). Now it may sound like reinventing the wheel but I'm trying to make it so that my sump not only acts as my refill spot for water, but also as my filter/heater area and where I can put the additives in. I plan on having a total of 5 stations/chambers in the sump. (FYI sump will be 12" Tall X 18" Wide X 20" Long = Total 8 Gal)

The first will be where the water flows into the sump and will have an overflow safty valve so that if the water level gets to high it will stop the flow.
The second chamber will the a waiting area, here the water will sit and wait to be drawn up through my TetraTec 150 filter/heater (the TetraTec is basically my 3rd chamber). I'm using this since its an over hang piece (and looks ugly on the back of the tank) and it came with the heater so that will be an added perk...plus it can filter out lots of the heavier things that get sucked into the sump (food, exoskeletons, etc).
This will then flow into the 4th chamber...which is where I start needing help...this is going to be the largest chamber in the sump measuring 12"X18"X9"...though I maybe able to make this larger if I need to. My idea is to set in live sand/crushed coral, a few pieces of liverock, and maybe a snail or two. My thinking is that lots of the biofiltration will take place down in this area thus limiting what my main tank will have to handle. Finally this will flow through some fine floss filter pads to try and remove as much of the micro gunk out of whats left in the water (also to keep the snails from getting out).
All that will lead to the 5th chamber which is the return chamber, which leads me to my second question...how powerful of a return pump will I need to push water up about 40+ inches back into the tank?

And my final question is does anyone know of some way to either manufacture or where to by a drip system that will add my additives as needed? I've seen some that add in mL per HOUR...I need more like mL per WEEK. Any ideas would be much appriciated.

Thanks to everyone in advance,

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Old 01-19-2003, 01:55 PM   #2
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are you going to use a skimmer of any type on this tank. and also you might want to post how large your tank is the size of the return pipe, bulkheads your using before you can calculate your pump size.

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Old 01-19-2003, 09:45 PM   #3
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As for the kalk dripper, this is the cheapest and best, this is an ebay link but the people who sell these sell other models on their website. Also, all it is, is a product from a hospital, ill let you figure out what they used YOURS for.
If you don't love what you do, you'd better find something else to love. Otherwise, you don't have a reason for living.
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Old 01-19-2003, 11:22 PM   #4
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OK...first...what size is the main tank going to be? I apologize if I missed it in an earlier post.
Are you going to use an overflow to get the water out of the main tank and into the sump? If not, I think you are inviting disaster. The "safety valve" is a great idea as long as it works...every time. I guess I have a natural mistrust for these things. Unless the main tank is large, the sump should handle the water that will drain down in the event of a power/pump failure.
The power filter, IMO, isn't necessary. If I used it for anything, it would be as a place to put activated carbon and/or any other "chemical" media. The heater is a plus, but will it handle the job? Depends on the wattage of the heater...never used the Tetra Tec...sounds like a neat idea if it's large enough. I use a pre filter in my internal overflow that works great at removing the chunky stuff and it also prevents inquisitive inverts from taking a trip they didn't buy tickets for.
The live sand/live rock sounds good. I wouldn't bother with the crushed coral...JMHO. Will there be room in the 5th chamber for a small skimmer? It would be a plus and would eliminate the need for any filter floss. Actually, the floss will catch any little critters such as pods and keep them from being pumped up to the main tank where they are beneficial. There are varying opinions as to the survival rate for these critters after a trip though a pump impeller though.
Finally, before we can recommend a pump, we need to know what size tank you have and how much flow you want through the sump. You'll want at least 10x (550 gph for a 55 gal tank) total flow. If you're going to use powerheads in the tank, you could lower the flow through the sump some. I currently have about 20x flow in my tank and everything seems happy with it so far.
Logan J
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Old 01-20-2003, 12:10 PM   #5
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Ok I'll try and answer all the questions to give you the best idea of what's going on. First my beautiful wife went ahead and got me my new main tank....I wanted the 100 gal but she found a deal and got me a nice 45 gal one (21 1/4" X 21 1/4" X 23 1/2", its a giant cube...not bad for $30...included the stand). I hadn't planned on useing an overflow to get the water out of the tank, mainly cause I'd hate to cut or drill any part of my tanks if I ever want to upgrade them and resell. Instead I plan on using a suction method (my current power filter gave me the idea). The inlet will have a screened filter to let most everything in...but will also be surrounded by bits of live rock enough to keep my shrimp out of it and hidden behind a large wall of live rock.
The reason I'm using the power filter is actually 3 fold. 1) if large particles gets into the sump this should help filter those out...plus it's easier to clean this out. 2) My main heating piece attaches to the power filter so I won't have to show people my ugly heater...which by the way is 150 watt (I know it's small but I have a secondary 100 watt heater I plan on placing somewhere else later.). 3) it will give me a great place to add my chems if I can get them to regulate correctly.
I'm using a live sand/live rock with crushed coral for the only reason in that when I first started with SW tanks my wife liked how the crushed coral looked....so I figure it's better to reuse it then get rid of it.
I am trying to avoid the use of a skimmer...mostly for the fact of the price of most of them. Also I can avoid the use of the filter floss as long as none of the little "bugs" will jam up the pump.
I want to try and keep the flow rate between 10x to 15x....I'm hopeing to keep 2/3 of that coming from the sump and 1/3 through a wave maker.
Finally I'm not sure if this matters or not but I'm thinking of going with 1" tubing...but I may lower that to 3/4" but no lower for both the inlet and out flow pipeing.
Finally over the weekend I had an idea of how to do my return without putting holes in my tank. I have an old powerfilter used for my old 10 FW tank (hasn't been used in about a year). So I was thinking of removing the power piece at the bottom and attaching my return hose....thus the watter would flow out through there. Just another idea...

Thanks again to everyone,
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