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Old 04-29-2019, 01:55 PM   #1
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Lightbulb 500 Gallons project, Help needed with overflow and sump

Hello Everyone

I'm not new to fish keeping in general but this is my first time trying a very large aquarium and sump system, I really need your thoughts about this project to modify anything if needed.

About the project:

500 Gallons freshwater "Planned for Severums mainly" it will be made as in-wall aquarium viewed from both sides, filtration will be based on sump system below the main display, drilled two holes on the side for the overflow pipes which will be moving the water down the pipes to the sump and 2 water pumps feeding a spray bar will be returning the water back to the tank.

* I have attached photos for the work in progress build.

Help and advise needed:

You can tell from the photos that my water level of course will be at the overflow holes level. What if because of water evaporation the water level went below the overflow hole, what will happen to the system, and if you have any advise on how I should setup my system in general please guide me.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:34 PM   #2
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I'm not experienced with sumps or setups like this but my guess is if there is no water going down the overflow pipe then the sump will run dry after awhile. The pump in the sump will continue to pump water into the tank until the sump is empty or below the pump level. Since you are doing such a beautiful setup have you thought about an auto top off system? Then you wouldn't have the worry of water levels falling.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magedsabri View Post
What if because of water evaporation the water level went below the overflow hole, what will happen to the system, and if you have any advise on how I should setup my system in general please guide me.
That will never happen.

Sump will always pump the same amount of water into the tank resulting in the same amount of water being drained into the sump resulting in water evap from sump not main tank.


Sump pump will run dry before water level in tank would drop.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:47 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot , yes auto top off system is part of the plan I will have another small tank beside the sump to be a new fresh water container which will be filled by a 3 stage filter from the water source with an air-stone to make sure water is chlorine free before it is added to the tank, but I'm still not sure yet shall I put the sensors in the sump or the tank and should I pump the water from the new freshwater container tank to the sump or to the main tank, since I'm new to such systems I'm still lost in a lot of thoughts
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by magedsabri View Post
Thanks a lot , yes auto top off system is part of the plan I will have another small tank beside the sump to be a new fresh water container which will be filled by a 3 stage filter from the water source with an air-stone to make sure water is chlorine free before it is added to the tank, but I'm still not sure yet shall I put the sensors in the sump or the tank and should I pump the water from the new freshwater container tank to the sump or to the main tank, since I'm new to such systems I'm still lost in a lot of thoughts
ATO should be RO or Distilled water, otherwise you'll send TDS through the roof unless you are performing a 50% water change plus another 10% to account for the additional TDS from topping off with tap water. Bigger = Better

If you put the sensor in the tank, it won't do anything. Remember, the sump is where you will see the water level drop, never the main tank.

You should top up into sump.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:58 PM   #6
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ATO should be RO or Distilled water, otherwise you'll send TDS through the roof unless you are performing a 50% water change plus another 10% to account for the additional TDS from topping off with tap water. Bigger = Better

If you put the sensor in the tank, it won't do anything. Remember, the sump is where you will see the water level drop, never the main tank.

You should top up into sump.
Thanks for the clarification, I will not use tap water directly, I will have a container filled by a 3 stage filter but not RO that will remove almost all the chlorine from the water and since the water will be stored in another tank with airstone the rest of the chlorine if any should evap then the ATO pumps new water to the sump. "This is my understanding, is it right or I'm missing something?"
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the clarification, I will not use tap water directly, I will have a container filled by a 3 stage filter but not RO that will remove almost all the chlorine from the water and since the water will be stored in another tank with airstone the rest of the chlorine if any should evap then the ATO pumps new water to the sump. "This is my understanding, is it right or I'm missing something?"
That is correct.

But, you should use RO or Distilled water because your TDS will sky rocket (evaporation of water leaves behind all dissolved organics and minerals), adding tapwater will result in a build up of these dissolved compounds.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:05 PM   #8
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Your chlorine will evap fairly quickly but chloramines won't. I don't see how you'll use filtered tap water without using water conditioner.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:16 PM   #9
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Your chlorine will evap fairly quickly but chloramines won't. I don't see how you'll use filtered tap water without using water conditioner.
Where I live "Egypt" they only use chlorine not chloramines in the main water system of the country.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:32 PM   #10
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That is correct.

But, you should use RO or Distilled water because your TDS will sky rocket (evaporation of water leaves behind all dissolved organics and minerals), adding tapwater will result in a build up of these dissolved compounds.
I never thought about TDS honestly! I'm not an expert in the hobby , I always make a weekly water change around 10 to 20%, I never faced major issues with my small old tank, I'm planning to do around 15% weekly water change for my new setup, will this work or shall I get a new RO system to feed my ATO storage tank
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by magedsabri View Post
I never thought about TDS honestly! I'm not an expert in the hobby , I always make a weekly water change around 10 to 20%, I never faced major issues with my small old tank, I'm planning to do around 15% weekly water change for my new setup, will this work or shall I get a new RO system to feed my ATO storage tank
Get an RO unit for the top ups. Tap water is perfectly fine for water changes.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:21 PM   #12
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Get an RO unit for the top ups. Tap water is perfectly fine for water changes.
Sorry for a stupid question , why tap water is fine for water changes but not for top ups
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:34 PM   #13
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Sorry for a stupid question , why tap water is fine for water changes but not for top ups
Water change = removal of water with slightly higher TDS to be replaced with water slightly lower in TDS = stable TDS.

Top ups = addition of water with slightly lower TDS than the tank, but NO REMOVAL of higher TDS water from the tank.

100 gallon tank, 250ppm TDS.
50% weekly water change with tap water that is 200ppm in TDS = 225ppm TDS after the water change (250 + 200 = 450 / 2 = 225).

As organics dissolve into the water throughout the week, it will slowly rise back to 250ppm and then drop back down to 225 after the water change.

If you top up with tap water, you are adding more dissolved solids, but not removing any via a water change.
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