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Old 05-05-2004, 05:01 PM   #1
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To sump or not to sump

Hey gang,

I am starting to setup my first Saltwater tank now and I am curious as to wheather I should include a sump or not.

Under the advice of my LFS I had originally decided against a sump. I was told that they were not neccisary on a 37 gallon tank like mine. I have purchased a Magnum 350 canister filter and a CPR Bak Pak 2R protien skimmer.

If you suggest a sump, Is there a good way to include my existing equipment into the sump design? I have heard of setups in which a Hang-on-back overflow piece empties into a sump which is then pumped through a canaster filter before being pumped back into the tank. Is this a do-able system? I am worried about water being pumped much to quickly back into the tank and overflowing it.

I would also like to move the water through the system very quickly to have a large amount of circulation without having to install ugly powerheads (hence the extra large canister filter for a small tank)

I know I have alot of questions, and whatever you can offer will help. thanks!

p.s. If it helps, my goal for this tank is to turn it into a mini-reef system with a few fish and a large number of healthy invertibrates.
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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 05-05-2004, 05:05 PM   #2
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You can certainly put your filter onto the sump. The advantage to a sump will be keeping all the other things out of the main tank (heater, skimmer, filter, etc.). If you have the room and $, why not? You will have to work on the flow, though.

I'm in the process of working on one for my 55. I need to build the stand and canopy first.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:27 PM   #3
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A sump with level switch and auto top off is the best way to keep specific gravity (salinity) stable. Auto top off is only practicle with a (under tank) sump. Great place to dose kalk too. Makes water changes easier. Allows you to use an oversize pump with a SCWD device for excellent random flow rates in yout tank. There are lots of advantages...
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:13 PM   #4
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I would do the sump. It increases the tank capacity, therefore making the whole system more stable.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:51 PM   #5
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Ok, so here is my next question, What are the possibilties that I will have a problem with water all over the floor should I go with a sump with a hang-on-the-back overflow box? (example, the power goes out for 2 hours, or, better still, there is a clog in the overflow box.)
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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 05-07-2004, 12:56 AM   #6
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you can also get by without a sump, unless you have the room and the$ for one - then go for it!
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketSeason
What are the possibilties that I will have a problem with water all over the floor
A sump properly thought out will hold enough water so that it cant overflow. The trick is setting the inlet up properly so that the siphon breaks after the water level drops (drilling one small hole just below the water line does the trick)

Another huge advantage to a sump is having your tank at a constant water level at all times.
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Old 05-07-2004, 03:45 PM   #8
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I figured that the sump wouldnt overflow, but what are the chances that my tank would overflow if The syphon in the overflow box stoped working and the pump kept pumping away. Is there a way to prevent the pump from overflowing the tank?

I assume the syphon works pretty much in the same manner as a syphon gravel cleaner does.
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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.

Click here to vote for AquariumAdvice.com: The friendliest, fishiest place on the net!

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Old 05-07-2004, 06:08 PM   #9
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Go check out this site for some great info on sumps, every time I visit this place I get ideas to build a new one LoL... which im in the process of #4 right now!

http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:12 PM   #10
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If you use a skimmer box you wont ever have to worry about tank overflow, I've been running a wet/dry for 2 1/2 years and never lost a drop of water to the floor even though I live in a rural area and the electricity goes off at least once a week.

With the Skimmer/Overflow the syphon action starts automatically when the tank level rises.
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