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Old 03-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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Adding Sump to 75 Gallon

Hi All,

Looking for some advice for my 75 gallon marine setup. I am relatively new to the saltwater world. Have kept freshwater and planted tanks for years and figured I was ready for a new challenge.

Long story short, I switched from freshwater to saltwater essentially on the fly and 2 years later I realize that I need a sump. There was never a good time to break my tank down and have it drilled and all I have read on overflow boxes scared me.

As it stands....in the 75 I have around 65 Lbs of live rock and an Aquamedic Turboflotor Multi SL protein skimmer hanging on now, but will end up in my sump. It is mainly fish only right now knowing that my water quality could not support many corals. I know my filtration is a nightmare and need to make a move. I am running an Eheim 2213 and an Eheim 2217. Both canister filters. After some research, it is clear why my nitrates can never get below 25 ppm. Sounds like my canister filters are nitrate farms or traps. I don't have the time to clean the 2 filters weekly. I was thinking I may be better off just replacing the media in the canisters with bio balls or something. Or perhaps taking them right out of the equation. I am using a little aquaclear hang on filter with no media to simply agitate the surface to try to avoid the protein layer.

So many questions, here are a few for now:

Am I better off without the canister filters?

What size hole is standard for drilling?

How many holes and where should I put them?

Is drilling something I should attempt myself?

Is a 29 gallon sump a good choice? I think I am looking at moving about 900 gph when the sump is functioning.


Sorry this was so long. So many questions. Looking forward to hearing some advice.

Thanks
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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I have been using HOB overflows for over 3 years now with no issues. My current setup has dual 1200gph overflows on it. Eshoppes very good brand.

I would not put bio balls in the canister filters. Really the best option for you to improve your filtration is to add another 60lbs of LR to your tank. 1.5-2lbs of LR per gallon will give you all the filtration you need. Add the rock and ditch the canister filters. The sump size you selected will work just fine.

Drilling a tank is not difficult you just have to take your time and be careful. I have done it several times. Keep in mind that overflows aren't as bad as you may have heard.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Ziggy. With my luck I just know that I would have issues with the overflow. I have had enough problems with my hob skimmer. I can't wait to get it into a sump. Also, i really like the idea of hidng everything underneath.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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+1 on the ESHOPPS Overflows... Although I just added one to my tank last week

They are REALLY well made and not expensive at all. I've tested the failure scenerios like 20 times since it's been installed and the siphon starts up every time. So far so good!! I even Kill my return pump now when I feed.

I think a 29g sump would be perfect. I'd add a baffle and add a refugium with some MAcro Algae.. You'll have those Nitrate near Zero in no time!

I'd also just ditch the canisters. Your 65lbs of LR should provide enough biological filtration... Save the electricity!

You can also ditch the AC filter as your return line from the sump will provide the same surface agitation. I split my line at the tank surface and have two spraybars.

I'm really new to this as well as I switched from FW in Nov08. But I've learned sooo much in this short time! This site rocks
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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This is great. I knew I switched over too fast and took poor advice from the kids working at local stores. I have always wanted a sump so I figure I am just going to drill it to be safe. I think I will sleep better. I figure I am going to drill 2 holes...one in each corner. I like the sump design where the return is in the middle portion of the sump.

With 2 holes drilled. Is it better to have multiple returns to the tank? Or would one be better with the higher volume flowing through it? Also where is the best spot for a return?

With the 2 holes? What is best..internal, external, or no overbox at all (just return pipeline?

I am looking to run around 500 gph. Does that mean I will need 2 smaller overflow boxes that have around 250 gph capacity?

I'll leave it there for now.

Thanks so much.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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I wouldn't ditch the canisters at all. The key is taking all the sponges out and just using them as big powerheads. You can put LR rubble in the sections for additional biological filtration. They also give you the ability to run selective media based on your day-2-day needs (carbon, purigen, GFO, etc). They would also be a quick way to setup a QT if/when you need one. Just move the can to the QT tank.

While I'm not sure I recommend you go out and but a canister filter given where your going not making use of existing equipment just makes no sense.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply Captain. I like the idea. I agree that the Eheim's would act as great powerheads for the tank. I hope to see a drop in nitrates once I strip the canister. Should I run it with asolutely nothing in it. There is alot of eheim substrate in them. Should I get rid of all that also? I won't need that biological filtration?
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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You def want to take all the sponges out of them. You could leave the ceramic rings , replace them w/ LR rubble or use a mixture. I'd leave at least on compartment open in case you ever want to run media.

If you're going to run it/them empty I'd take the current media out 1/3 per week just to make sure the tank has a chance to adjust to the change. Doesn't hurt to play it safe.

Even if you run it empty, I'd still get on a 60-90 day cleaning cycle for the can itself.

I have a fluval 404 running on my SW. I have LR in 2 compartments, Purigen in one and GFO in another. It also gives me an option on shoving a micro pad in there if I ever need to polish the water or get a sand storm.

There are tons of uses for a running a can.

BTW: A 1" hole is going to get you 600gh. Remember you want 2 holes anyway. 1 for the drain, one for the return. 600GPH on a 75 is standard.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:46 PM   #9
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LOL... I like Capts advice better
Great point re: media... I'm currently figuring out how to add my purigen sac to my sump.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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stick a small HOB stuffed w/ purigen in your sump
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