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Old 01-18-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
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Help with building sump please

Hello, I am setting up a 90 gallon reef aquarium and I am trying to get the sump figured out. I bought a G2 skimmer and have a 30 gallon tank for a sump. Is there enough room here to do what I want? It looks a little snug. How much room do I actually need?



Do I have enough room to add the baffles? How do I determine where to mount the baffles and how high/far apart ect?

Also what size/kind of return pump would you guys recommend?
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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Got room to put the skimmer outside of the sump? Then the pump only goes inside. Mag 9 maybe. I'm just guessing. Look up the mag 9 to check gph on it and tank recommendations. Still gotta consider head loss too.

Looking for anywhere from maybe 8 - 10 times the turnover of the 90g. So 10 x 90 =900gph desired.

you doing fish only or fish and reef?
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
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I will be doing fish and reef. I think I may be able to fit the skimmer outside, under my cabinet. I didn't want to have to drill my sump tank though. I am really uncertain how the skimmer even works. Does it just fill up via the inlet and then dump out of the outlet pipe directly into the tank?
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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Yep. Basically.

Pumps up into the skimmer. Out from the skimmer mounted high enough so that a vertical line from the output can elbow down over the tank down into it. you can make a nice little pvc stand for the skimmer to get it up that high. Make sure where you do mount it, you can get to it and clean/service it.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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The skimmer is fine right there. What you need to do now is silicone in the baffles, placed about 1" apart, to seperate the chamber where the skimmer will be from the rest of the sump. The skimmer MUST be in a section of the sump where the water level stays the same. I think those ASM's run best in about 8" of water, so make your baffles 8" high. Silicone the 1st one to the bottom and both sides. Leave about a 1" space, then silicone the 2nd one ONLY ON THE SIDES. You want the 2nd baffle to be about 1" off the bottom of the tank. Then silicone the 3rd one, about 1" away from the 2nd and silicone it to the bottom and sides.
Now you have isolated an area of your sump where the water level will always be 8". Just be sure the overflow from the tank empties into this skimmer section. The return pump can be on the end of the other section.

This skimmer can not be run externally. It must be in the sump.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:54 PM   #6
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Ok, I have a few more questions. Please take a look at the attached file I drew up.

The overflow from the tank, does that just dump right into the skimmer area?

How far off the bottom of the tank does the overflow pipe need to be? Does it need to be submerged in the sump water? Above the water line?

The tube that the skimmed water comes out of, does that just dump directly back into the same area the the overflow from the main tank dumps into?

For the baffles, I know I need 8" of water for my skimmer so I'll cut the first one and last one to 8" tall and silicone them to the bottom and sides. I know the middle baffle needs to be about 1" off the ground but does it need to be any certain height? Does it need to sit a certain distance higher than the inner and outer baffles?

Also the area where my return pump is, does it need to be a certain size or just big enough for the pump/lines to fit?

I think thats it for now...
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #7
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Your return area needs to be large enough so as not to run dry and burn up your pump. That is where you are going to see the evaporation of your tank. (that water level will drop as water evaporates) How tall is that tank?

This is what I would do.

I would make a platform for the skimmer to sit on to raise it alittle bit in the tank. From the base of the platform I would measure the 8" of water that you need, by doing this you will get more water volume in your sump. Then cut the baffles accordingly. If you don't want to hear the noise of water dumping into your sump run the drain line below the water level if you have bubbles in that area it isn't a big deal because you skimmer is there.

After you have your baffles in place you are going to have to tweak the opperating level of your sump. What I mean is the return area. The rest of the sump will remain constant. You need to keep in mind power outages because when the return pump shuts off water is still going to flow out of the tank into the sump until the water level in the main drops below the overflow. You have to leave enough room in the sump to accomidate that water.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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I have a 90 gallon main tank w/ built in overflow and a 30 gallon sump tank. The sump tank is about 16.5" tall. So basically I need to put everything in place, fill with water, and then shut the return pump off to make sure I have room? Is there anyway to guestimate the size of return area I need? It's a MAG9 pump. The Skimmer is an ASM G2.

Also should the intake of the skimmer be pointing any certain way? Like I have it pictures or turned 180?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:34 PM   #9
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I don't think the way the skimmer is turned will make a lot of difference. As long as your pump for the skimmer can pull water you should be fine. For the skimmer section I would make that baffle 12" tall and make a stand out of eggcrate and pvc to raise the skimmer to the height it needs to be to be in 8" of water. (about 4")

I would make the return area as large as you can stand it to be. If you have too small of a return then evaporation is going to be a problem and you will have to top off a lot.

You will need to determine the working level of the return, the amount of water needed to keep the pump submerged and the amount of room left to allow for a power outage or just having the pump off.

How long is the 30g tank?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:52 PM   #10
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I just measured the tank and it is 17" tall, 12" wide, and 36" long.

when you say make the skimmer baffle 12" tall do you mean the section I labeled "egg crate"? I was under the impression that this didn't need to be a true baffle, I was just tring to put some seperation between the skimmer pump and the LR rubble.

When you say raise the skimmer 4" off the bottom it still only needs to be in a total of 8" of water correct? Or does it now need to be 12"
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