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Old 02-21-2003, 07:08 AM   #21
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IME, the micro bubbles created by a skimmer have no bouyancy, and would not rise to the surface before making it to the pump. I would try using a sponge to remove them, have the skimmer return into a sponge. Just make sure the sponge is cleaned at least weekly.
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Old 02-21-2003, 09:51 PM   #22
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Great idea Kevin! I shoulda thought of that. Thanks.
Freshmaker,
How is the sump project going? Did you decide to go with the 10g or try a larger container?
Logan J
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Old 02-21-2003, 11:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
I think the trick will be to slow the water down enough so these bubbles can rise to the surface. Appreciate any ideas on how to do this.
The only way I know to do this is with baffles. If the water has to go under one baffle and over the next before getting to the pump, that usually eliminates 99% of the micro bubbles. That way you don't have to worry about a sponge prefilter.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:46 AM   #24
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I agree with RR, I let my in sump skimmer drain onto a Aqua Clear 300 Sponge allthough the skimmer is not putting out many MF bubbles right now, it sure does keep the sump quiet by absorbing the splashing..
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Old 04-26-2003, 11:44 AM   #25
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DIY wet/dry sump

I have a 120-gallon tank which will be set up as a FOWLR, carrying a heavy bioload. I'd been playing with Rubbermaids, aquariums etc for use as a sump/refugium, but due to the size limitations of my stand, off-the-shelf stuff just won't work. I therefore came up with a plan for a 3-unit set of custom-built acrylic containers plumbed together. I received a too-good-to-be-true quote on them from Jen's Saltwater Haven (jensalt.com) and made the mistake of ordering them. When they arrived, I was shocked. In my opinion, the sumps were utterly defective and so poorly built as to be unusable. The edges were unfinished, the corners didn't line up, and the seams were unbelievably bad. Even the best seam was full of bubbles, and many were full of large gaps in the glue. In some spots, the gaps went all the way through! After Jensalt refused to refund my money or even acknowledge the problems, I actually broke them up and threw them away.

You can see all the details on my Jensalt sump horror story site.

Since I had wasted $150.00, my budget no longer allowed me to have custom acrylic sumps made. I did a lot of research, and ordered some ideally-sized polyethylene tanks, which are designed for long-term storage of liquids, are used for aquaculture as well as other applications, and are inexpensive.

The total volume will be about 33 gallons. I have a Mag 9.5 for a return, and a LifeReef overflow box, which is wonderful.



As you can see in the above graphic, one sump unit contains a filter sock above it for easy mechanical filtration, housed in a Rubbermaid canister with large holes on its bottom and sides. It outflows onto a drip plate atop an eggcrate container of Bio-balls which rises partly above the waterline, providing great air/water exchange. (I'm using this arrangement in my 29-gallon's DIY sump, and it works very well. On it, I have a LifeReef overflow and a Mag 7 for a return.) Also inside the first box will be my Turboflotor 1000 skimmer, fed with an in-sump 600GPH pump.

The outflow from the first box goes to the 2nd box, containing heater, any chemicals, etc and the Mag 9.5 return pump. The return flow is teed through a ball valve, allowing a small flow to the 3rd box, which will be a refugium with live sand and live rock. I've read a lot about how flow rates through the fuge should be lower, thus the tee and valve. The outflow from the refugium goes to the 2nd box with the return pump.

Following my setback with the sumps, I now have the polyethylene tanks in hand, but haven't started plumbing them, etc. Time has been very short lately. I'll post an update as things progress.
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Old 04-26-2003, 12:01 PM   #26
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My 10-gallon wet/dry sump


This is the sump beneath my 29-gallon tank, which works well. It's made using a 10-gallon glass aquarium from Wal-Mart. If you imagine just the first box from the diagram above on this thread, except that it contains the return pump, and its skimmer is a hang-on, you've got the general idea.


This shows the sump off (left) and running (right). It is also running in the previous photo. In these pictures, it needs to be topped off, so the water levels shown are about 3/4" lower than normal.

I carefully calculated the amount of rise in the sump which will occur during a power failure, and also in the main tank in the much more unlikely event of the siphon breaking in my overflow box. I set the water levels in the main tank and sump accordingly. If the power fails, the sump will not overflow, based on the water level I maintain in the sump. I'm on a tight budget, so I haven't bought a float switch yet, but I intend to. In the meantime, the horizontal inlet pipe that you see is my version of a poor man's float switch. Notice the many holes drilled in its underside. Should the siphon break on the overflow box, the sump will only drain down until the inlet holes are exposed, at which point the pump starts sucking air. The level in the main tank is set so that it can hold the 1+ inches of extra water from the sump without overflowing should this unlikely event occur.

This isn't a perfect solution, since if it happened and the pump ran dry for a long time, it would probably burn up. However, it works well and didn't cost anything.

The red cup visible at left is my DIY splash/bubble guard for my BakPak skimmer. With the inlet pipe located across the sump, I don't get any bubbles in the main tank from the skimmer or filter sock. The only time I get bubbles is if the sump runs low due to evaporation and a little air starts getting sucked into the pump. Then it's just telling me that it's topoff time!

The tee, ball valve, and hose on the pump's output serve several purposes. By opening the valve a little, I have the option of bypassing some water back into the sump, thus reducing flow to the tank. However, I always keep it closed so that all of the pump's output goes to the main tank. The other great use for it is quick easy water changes! With power off, I shut the valve and move the end of the hose over to a bucket. When I turn the pump back on, almost no water goes back into the tank due to the head pressure. Almost all of it goes into the bucket. The sump drains down from its "off" level near the top until the inlet holes are exposed. I shut off the pump, and it usually continues to siphon for a minute or so. Once it stops, I have about 2.5 gallons of water removed, which is a 6.5% water change. I refill the sump with new saltwater, shut the valve, and restore power.

I use and strongly recommend LifeReef overflow boxes. They work flawlessly, and their construction is first-class.

I learned a lot fiddling around with this little wet/dry sump. I feel a lot more prepared to tackle the big one. Now I just need to find the time!
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