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Old 12-20-2003, 05:23 AM   #1
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DYI - Basic of an Sump system

Hi;
I been looking at the sump for the last couple days but doesn't seem clear to me how the basic sump can be setup, so far this is what I can think of about the DYI Sump

A container divided into 3 sections, how does water from the tank go into the container? per gravity? If it is gravity the intake hose have to be position at some high to prevent the container from being overfill? (What I meant here is when the water level drop to a certain level, then out going water will stop, the tank is not drill in this case). The water come into the first section which is contain the dirty water, flow thru the second section (charmber if some prefer) thru some sort of media and then into the third which container a water pump which then pump the water back into the tank? Of course there a fancy ways of doing this, but is this an very basic idea of how to?
Thanks
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Old 12-20-2003, 11:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
how does water from the tank go into the container?
An overflow. This is either something built into the tank (predrilled) or hangs on the back (HOB overflow) Overflow box's are also sometimes refered to as prefilters. The U tube overflows are better IMO than the C style. The U tube ones use round tubes shaped like U's to get the water up and over the edge of the tank.

The intank part of the overflow has fingers our fringes at the top. Water sifts thru these and then into the intank box. from there syphon pulls the water up and over the tank thru the U tube, the outside tank portion of the overflow is split into two chambers. with a wall going approx 1/2 way up the overflow box. The first chamber is where water exits the U tube and then cascades over into the other box. This keeps both ends of teh U tube constantly under water even in the event of a power outage. Thus the syphon will not break simply by unplugging the pump. In the other chamber there is a drain line that drains down to the sump.

water is pumped UP from the sump via a pump and plumbing and is returned to your tank.

Your 3 sectioned sump is actually more fancy than it needs to be. For example my sump is 1 chamber. No partions, no baffles. Its just a 30 gal long tank where water enteres on the left and the pump takes the water out on the right. In the sump i have my heaters and some large live rocks to increase bio filtration. If you had a skimmer you would have it in the sump aswell if you wanted.

If you look thru the photo gallery at the Members tanks and setups section you should see a fair number of sump setups. Below is a link to my sump. You can see part of the instank and out of tank overflow box's and the u tubes.

http://www.vafishfreek.com/gallery/v...me=Sump_Photos
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Old 12-20-2003, 11:51 AM   #3
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Cool fishfreek;
Pictures worth thousand words, but in the case of a small FO tank like 10-30gals, doesn't the intank overflow will take up all the space within the tank? Is there some sort of overflow that HOB outside of the back of the tank instead of inside it? I see you have a minireef on your site there, and don't see overflown in it! Sorry for asking so many questions!
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Old 12-20-2003, 12:11 PM   #4
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The overflow I have on my tank is a double sized unit that handles close to 1200GPH flow. Stock overflows are usually about 1/2 that size. For a 10gal tank yes it would takeup about 1/3ed the space but for a 30 gal tank it would not be to big of a deal.

I dont have an overflow in the 20 gal tank because I dont have a sump on it. If I had a sump on it you would see the overflow.

You have to have some kidn of inside the tank presence else your not gonna get water out of the tank. You could drill the tank and use a 90 elbow and some pvc to act as your intank overflow.
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Old 12-22-2003, 09:59 AM   #5
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Fishfreek
Again thx for the info, few more question tho, is the water from the inner overflow box go thru those four U hoses that you have into the outside part of the overflow box by just regular mean of normal gravity drain as like when we sucking out water in water change process? And also there have to be some kind of check valve on the return hose to prevent water going back down when the pump stop?
I have decide to go with the sump system since that gonna give me little more room with water for my 15gals tank, but I'm little worry since this tank gonna be on second floor's room. Don't want it to drop into my main tank in the living room
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Old 12-22-2003, 10:46 AM   #6
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Water flows thru the U tubes via the natural actions of a syphon. The water level in the outside portion of the overflow box is lower than the water inside the tank. Once you start a syphon in the U tube by pulling all the air out of it the water will be pulled up and over the edge of teh tank thru natural methods. The exact same spyhon action happens if you graval vac your tank.

I do have a one way flapper valve on my return pump. This only allows water to flow one way so when power goes out the flap closes the and traps the water in the plumbing. Never trust a mechanical method like this 100% so also drill very small holes just under the water level of your return plumbing. This way if the one way valve fails the syphon on the return lines will be broken when air is pulled into the small syphon break holes.

Always leave enouh capacity in the sump to hold the water in your return lines and the water from your overflow plumbing and the few gallons of water that will continue to come out of the tank until the water level is below the inside overflow box.

For example if you use a 20 gal sump leave room for appox 5 gal of water. Test it by unplugging your pump on purpose and making sure the water that does backflow is contained within the sump. One interesting way of finding your max safe water height of your sump is to fill your main tank to capacity and have your return pump off. Keep filling the main tank with water till water starts to flow out the overflow and down into your sump. Once this happens then fill the sump up with water. So at this point you have a full tank and a full sump. Then plugin your return pump. The sumps water level will lower as the return lines are filled with water and as the water level in the tank increases to operational levels.

What ever the water level in the some ends up at should be marked with a perminent marker on the glass as the max full level for safe operation. A min fill level mark should also be established at the point that the water level is highenough that the pump does not suck air. Then for daily operation you need to topoff your sump so the water level is within those two marks.
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