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Old 10-05-2011, 02:34 AM   #1
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Need help with sump: 5.5g for 29g..

I'm leaning towards going with a sump for my 29g. The only tank I could fit below it in the stand would be a 5.5g, so that's the only size I could use for a sump.

I do have a few questions since I've never done anything like this.. First, I need an overflow. I cannot drill my tank anymore as it is already filled. My LFS sells overflow boxes for $30 and they seem to work fine as they have some on their tanks. I know the overflow will siphon-feed water from the main tank down into the sump.

This is where it gets tricky for me..I know sumps are compartmentalized into 3 different compartments, and then there will be a return pump to return the water into the main tank. I do not, although, understand the details behind how this needs to be done.

So far my plan is to get the 5.5g tank from my LFS, then some acrylic from Lowes. I know I have to cut the acrylic to the dept and width of the tank, but what should the height be? Does it matter?

My configuration would be compartment 1 for a protein skimmer/mechanical filtration, compartment 2 for a fuge/biological filtration, and 3 just for return. Do the acrylic panels have to be different heights, or bent to fit an upside down "L"? What kind of tubing would I used for the return? The pump I plan to use is a 250gph JBJ SP-1300.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

- Vic
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:08 AM   #2
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Hi Vic,

Take a look at this video for a DIY sump:
Reef Tank D.I.Y. Sump part 1 - YouTube

Ideally, the height of the baffles will correspond to what you think will work well for your system, as well as the recommended depth of water for your return pump and skimmer. The acrylic panels do not need to be bent at all. Flat rectangular panels work best for this.

Are you sure you want a sump for your 29g? You should be ok with PWCs at that small of a size tank.

If you do decide you want a sump, I'd suggest using a HOB skimmer so that you don't have to waste the space inside the sump. Depending on your return pump, you should be able to use regular schedule 40 pvc pipe and then connect it to your return output in your tank, using flexible pvc and 2 clamps etc. Most return pumps have threaded female connections that will work with pvc fittings etc. I'd suggest adding a pvc union and a ball valve. The union will allow you to work on the set up without too much haste; and the ball valve will allow you to have better control of the flow of your return line from your pump to tank.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AquaRick View Post
Hi Vic,

Take a look at this video for a DIY sump:
Reef Tank D.I.Y. Sump part 1 - YouTube

Ideally, the height of the baffles will correspond to what you think will work well for your system, as well as the recommended depth of water for your return pump and skimmer. The acrylic panels do not need to be bent at all. Flat rectangular panels work best for this.

Are you sure you want a sump for your 29g? You should be ok with PWCs at that small of a size tank.

If you do decide you want a sump, I'd suggest using a HOB skimmer so that you don't have to waste the space inside the sump. Depending on your return pump, you should be able to use regular schedule 40 pvc pipe and then connect it to your return output in your tank, using flexible pvc and 2 clamps etc. Most return pumps have threaded female connections that will work with pvc fittings etc. I'd suggest adding a pvc union and a ball valve. The union will allow you to work on the set up without too much haste; and the ball valve will allow you to have better control of the flow of your return line from your pump to tank.
Sump seems like a good solution for filtration. I like the idea of added water volume for better water stability and being able to hide my heater in there and whatnot. That is, if it's worth doing a 5.5g sump.

I haven't looked much into skimmer sizes,but a HOB skimmer does sound like a good idea since I will only have a 5.5g sump.

Here is a preliminary plan that I drew out from what I've seen..I don't understand why the baffle and heightened panel between the mech filtration and fuge section? What is a "bubble trap" and what purpose does it serve? The tank is 10" high, at what height should the silicone dividers be for this plan?

The pump is 900 liters/hour. Again sorry for the ignorance..trying to learn as much as possible.

Thanks for all the advice.

- Vic
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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The middle piece of the bubble trap goes from top of the sump to about an inch above the bottom to force the water up, under, and back up to the fuge area. The bubble trap helps to reduce micro bubbles that occur from water coming into the sump from the DT. By reducing micro bubbles in the sump, you limit the bubbles going back into the DT with the return pump.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:35 AM   #5
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The middle piece of the bubble trap goes from top of the sump to about an inch above the bottom to force the water up, under, and back up to the fuge area. The bubble trap helps to reduce micro bubbles that occur from water coming into the sump from the DT. By reducing micro bubbles in the sump, you limit the bubbles going back into the DT with the return pump.
Thank you. I've decided to go with an Octopus HB100F HOB Skimmer, and then for my sump go with a design as attached, added measurements since I'm starting to understand how this works.

I would not have any mechanical filtration in the sump, basically just the fuge, bubble trap, and return compartments.

Feedback always appreciated
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:09 AM   #6
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That design works for me. Since you don't have any mechanical filtration, i'd suggest to use filter socks on the line coming down from the DT. I'd suggest to buy an extra or two so you can change them up while you wash one.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:55 AM   #7
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That design works for me. Since you don't have any mechanical filtration, i'd suggest to use filter socks on the line coming down from the DT. I'd suggest to buy an extra or two so you can change them up while you wash one.
I just built up all the piping/tank compartments today. Cut up all my PVC, got my overflow installed, and siliconed in my cut acrylic.

Tomorrow I'll be cementing the PVC pipes and letting the sump dry another 48 hours. Being the first time handling silicone and being in such a tight space made for a bit of a mess..but I made it happen and I hope it'll be leak-free.

- Vic
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #8
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Nice! I'll be putting my sump together tomorrow. I've heard using a small wooden dowel helps to get the silicone in tight spots; most notably the bubble trap area. Good luck and let's hope for a leak free sump!
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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So the pump didn't cut it with the head pressure. Have now ordered a Mag3 and will be waiting for it to arrive before the sump gets hooked up.
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