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Old 09-17-2008, 01:13 AM   #1
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build sump in one side of a long tank?

I am a novice, so apologies if this is obvious or already covered elswhere.

I have been reading lots of posts explaining why I need a sump and how to make one. However I do not have room under my tank to store a sump. Also, the tank will sit on a side table between two couches and will be viewed from the two long sides and one short side. So I can't have a power filter hanging of one of the sides.
How about this plan:
I will start with a relatively long tank. I will cut a sheet of (black) acrylic or Plexiglas to form a divider and glue it in so that it portions of about a quarter on one side of the tank. This portion will be the sump and will sit at the back side of the tank that cannot be viewed anyway. The divider will have holes for an overflow and return. Behind the divider I can build a little mini sump, using more acrylic sheet to create the layout described in other posts. Add some black paint on the outside of the glass to hide the sump from view from the outside. In effect it will be a DIY nanocube, but a narrow and long one, instead of the standard quare shape.

Advantages: Everything is contained in the original tank, no danger of messy leaks, no need to drill glass, nice clean look with no plumbing going in or out, sump is easily accessible from above.

Do you think this will work? Would a 20 gallon tank divided into a 15 gallon tank and 5 gal sump work or is that too small?

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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The idea is sound and works well for the nano-cube tanks. If this is going to be a SW tank you will have to keep up with your top off as the small sump will evaporate and your return pump will end up sucking air.

I'm certain that it has been done before and will work just fine.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Ziggy. I will post some pictures if I go through with this. I am a beginner, so I will try this as a FW tank.

By the way, why would a SW tank/sump evaporate faster than a FW?
Two more questions: do you think I will get enough flow with a single return line in one corner? Any suggestions for a pump for a 15g tank/5g sump setup ?

Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:15 AM   #4
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SW tends to have more evaporation because we have a lot more flow and surface agitation for O2 exchange. Also with the sump/overflow you are going to have more water exposed to air and that will cause evaporation. SW also uses skimmers which mix air and water to remove DOCs from water column, again increasing the amount of evap. I have a 120 with multiple sumps and a 55g frag tank plumbed into the system I have to replace about 3 gallons of water per day in my system.

FW doesn't need the amount of flow that SW does so I think a small pump such as a Maxijet 900 or something similar will be more then enough flow for that size tank.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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a 33L would be a good tank if you wanted something a little bigger for this sort of setup. It is 48" long by 13" deep and 12" high I think. If you used a full ft. for sump you would still have 3 ft of display length plus the shallow depth would not need as many watts to light.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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I would try to go just a bit bigger then 20G if you can. It will make the DIY part a bit easier since you will have more room to work in the tank and it will give you a few more options for fish once its set up. 15 is real small i will require quite a bit of work. I have a 12 and i ran out of room in there fast.
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