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Old 08-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Another Sump Project

All, been reading a bit about sumps and am in the initial phase of planning / thinking about it. We picked up a 95G (based on my measurements) cycled tank from Craig's List. It has a couple chromis, star fish and several crabs. It also has about 75Lbs of LR and sand. I don’t plan to add any more fish until I get it all set up and running like I want it. It really wasn’t taken care of and the previous owner had power shut off for about 2 days prior to us picking it up. So daily water checks are in process with good results thus far. Our end result is to end up with a fish and reef tank.

I have a couple questions to start off with for the planning.
1. The tank is not drilled. What's the best way to set up the intake and return to the display tank?
2. Where should the intake and returns be positioned in the display tank. I would imagine that you want the intake just at max water height to minimize overflow in the event of pump failure.
3. I plan to build a 30G sump either using an existing tank or from scratch with acrylic. How many chambers should it have?
4. How do I plan for the proper pump size to get the water back up to the tank to make sure the sump stays running properly?
5. It appears that all the equipment goes into the sump; protein skimmer, filters, bio-balls; heater / chillers. Is this a correct assumption?
6. I haven't seen any good examples of just what equipment of filters and media is placed in the sumps and in what chamber. Any ideas or links?
7. I am also thinking about setting up a automatic water level control for this. Your thoughts on this?

I know this is a lot to ponder and appreciate any help you can give. Any other questions, please let me know.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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I think someone may post before me so sorry if this is a repeat:

But I shall answer them according to what I know.

1) get a hang on back overflow box. Eshopps are the best in my opinion.
2) The intake isn't a problem because the overflow will stop overflowing if the level changes. (bad explination, just don't worry about the intake part)
3) I would just go with the 30g tank. The baffles depend on how you want to lay it out.
4) the main thing is to make sure the pump isn't rated for more than the overflow. Make sure the overflow can handle a little more than what the pump can put out.
5) yes all of that goes in the sump, from what I know, bio balls aren't the best bio filter. I plan to have my sump mainly open and maybe build a refugium into it.
6) A standard sump has a minimum of a skimmer and a return pump. you can add in a mechanical filter sock or a bag of carbon if you need to.
7) the auto level control (auto top off) is good for keeping salinity constant. I would suggest building your own if you have the tools and supplies to do so.

Hope that helps.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. What kinds of filtration would you recommend? I'd like to keep the tank as clear as possible. Right now, I have all kinds of little white things floating around.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:30 PM   #4
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I haven't started up my tank just yet, but if you need mechanical filtration that's only temporary (like to clear up the water) you could get a micron sock and put it under the drain line to catch debris, but they clog quickly so keep an eye on it.

If you have a sump with a bio trickle filter like the retail ones, they have a spot for a filter pad.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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I'll have to get some of the bags to filter the little debris floating around. I'll add that to the project part as it doesn't make much sense to do it now.

I am not sure if the existing protein skimmer and filter box will fit into my sump. I will have to measure it. If it does not, will I need to cycle the tank again? The only reason I ask is becuase the guy I bought it from said that the filter box/skimmer is part of the balance in the tank and not to mess with it much.
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