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Old 09-30-2015, 07:09 AM   #1
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Need help/input on my first sump

Hi everyone

I am planning to put together my first sump within the next week or two after I receive some input.

The sump will be a 40g breeder for 120g Freshwater turtle tank.
Bought the tanks from craigslist. I've actually had them for a couple months but have been busy with school. I have a bit of free time the coming weeks and would like to get this done.

Previous owner was using the 40g breeder as a sump but no baffles were installed. He did however drilled 3 holes and installed 1inch bulk heads Left, Right and Center along with ball valves for each one.
Left and right sides are drains from tank with pvc pipe going down towards the bottom of tank leaving about 2" gap between pipe and bottom. I guess this was meant to reduce noise with pipes submerged under water.

The center return has pvp pipe running down towards the bottom and is tightly connected to a mag 9 pump. Connected to the pump is a pvc piped drilled with multiple holes encased in rectangular coarse filter sponge.

I would prefer to have the return pump on one end of the tank but I was unable to dislocate the pump. Nor could I remove the pvc drain pipes Previous owner had everything fitted real tight or maybe im just weak
So I decided to leave them be and work my sump design around that.

My plan for the sump is to have filter socks around each drain. A bunch of filter floss and coarse sponge sponges in between the gaps of baffles.
Dump a bunch of biohome ultra sintered glass media in the return compartment which will be about 7"L by 17" W 10" H area. Will also be keeping 2x 300W heaters in the return compartment. Right side will be a refugium to grow anarcharis and java fern and maybe breed some feeder fish. Since there is a valve above Drain to refugium I could reduce the water flow.

Planning to use 5 glass baffles 1/4 inch thick. Will visit local glass shop
3x 10" x 17"
2x 12" x 17"

I actually cut pieces of cardboard to these dimensions to try out in the tank. They seemed ok, I pushed the cardboard to one side and had about quarter inch spacing. So I guess there would be about 1/8 inch gap on each side when centered. Planning to have 2 inch gap between bottom of tank and baffle. And debating between 1 or 2 inch gap between each baffle. Open to suggestions.

The spacing towards the left side is sorta limited because the sponge sticking out from the pump is about 6 inches in length which reduces my options for baffle placement.

Below I will attach photos of the sump and plumbing
All suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading

Sump layout


Photo of Sump now


Back plumbing Valves and PVC tubing


Overflow 2 drains and T Return
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
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images not displaying in thread
hopefully attachments work
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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Your plan should work.
You should also be able to move any of those fittings simply by un doing the bulkhead nut on outside of 40 and then move whole piece.
The mag can have impeller cover removed(6 screws) and the pump is not attached tyo piping any more so separating from pipes may be easier.
The final size of the area you have pump is the determining factor on top off schedule.
Make as big as you can and put the 'media ' of your choice where you want the fuge,
They serve little purpose in FW.
If you have to have fuge for your plans then add the bio media after the socks but not in final chamber(you'll be sorry IMO).

I also feel in freshwater that's all the over flows in sumps are not needed at all and even detrimental to plant growth as they enhance outgassing.

Your going to fill this tank to the top with turtles?
What kind of turtle???
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:55 PM   #4
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Attached a new sump layout

I gave up on the idea of moving the pump to 1 end. The left and right nuts are covered by wood. I would have to unscrew the boards to get to the nuts.
too big of a hassle. The previous owner built custom stand

I wanted a fuge so that I may grow anarcharis, java fern and some breed some rosy red minnows for my turtles to save a bit of money. I spend about 6$ per week on anarcharis at the pet store, they seem to love these more than romaine lettuce. The previous owner had light fixture installed under the stand so I figured it was perfect to grow some plants.

Could never have too much filtration though. I would not sacrifice water quality for a fuge. Especially since turtles poop so much I guess I will abandon the fuge and put more media.

I was able to remove the sponge and pvc tube sticking out the left side of the pump which gave me 7 more inches of room to widen compartments on the left side. Since the sponge to the pumps intake has been removed would you recommend covering the pump with a filter sock? I dont want it to get clogged. Or should the water be debris free by the time it reaches the pump?


Here are a few questions

Would it be better to have to have 3 small compartments created by baffles or 2 wide ones?

I am currently planning to have two wide ones on each side about 3-4" One for sponges the other media. I figured it would be easier to reach/change out and clean sponges/media with wider compartments.

What if I narrow it down to three 2" wide compartments? Would this be better as the water would be forced to move up and down an extra path for more filtration?


My next concern is distance between the bottom of the tank and baffle?
How would water flow be affected between 1" , 1.5" and 2" Gap?
Does it matter?


Lastly, would it be a good idea to add k1 micro media in the final return compartment along with some airstones to create a moving bed filter?



Here's my story of how I got the turtles and into the hobby.

I rescued the turtle from my older sister who neglected their health. She got red eared sliders when she was away in college. I discovered the turtle when I drove 500 miles to help her move out of her apartment. There were originally two turtles (one died) which lived in a 10 gallon tank for about 4 years. There was no basking platform or light, glass and the turtle shell was caked with white stuff. All she ever did was top of 2 inches of water which was really brown. Yes, I know unbelievable. When I got home I rinsed the tank and gravel about 20 times before the water began to clear up. She never cleaned the the tank ever. The poor turtle was only about 3-4" because there was no room to grow and basking light. My dad had a old 55G stored away in the garage for nearly 25 years. He left the hobby when he married my mom. I cleaned up the 55g got a pretty good canister filter and provided the turtle with a new home. This was about 2 years ago. Today the turtle has grown to 9 inches, she got too big for the 55g which is why i picked up the 120g off craiglists. I also recieved a 5 inch male RES from my cousin. 55G was converted african cichlid tank. The 120g will have to do until I can afford a house so I could dig a pond. I could then convert the 120g to saltwater when I have a pond Gf and I are saving up.
I live in San Francisco, unfortunately houses here are pretty expensive close to $1 million. I graduate next semester hopefully I can start making more $.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:12 PM   #5
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All the baffles are smoke in fresh water .
I can't recommend any really.
The outgassing is important in marine tanks where they were devolped,but not so much in freshwater.
Filling 18" wide areas is going to get really old and be more work then in common 12" wide sumps(ask me how I know?!).
I also after 30+ years(sumps since the 1980's) don't use a single 'special bio media".
I am the sponge guy!
All media(bio/mechanical) need to be cleaned rinsed and sponges fit the bill 100% with way less money!
The socks are going to clog real quick with turtles!
Your new design makes the final (pump) area even smaller which is a bad choice IMO as far as top offs go?

Where is the basking area going to be in this tank??
It looks like it has a CTC(Coast TO Coast) overflow which means the tank fills till overflow before it goes to filter????
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:33 PM   #6
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current basking area in the tank is a large 3 foot piece of driftwood.
Once the sump is ready I will have a large plastic storage bin container secured above the tank with a large hole cut in the side. Will attach some eggcrate to the container as the ramp. This will be temporary until I can build a canopy with basking area as I have seen some people done on youtube videos.

Since I am new to this. May you please further explain what you mean by top off?
Why is it return compartment considered small?
The baffles on each side of the return pump would be 10 inches in height
wouldn't that mean the pump would be submerged beneath the water line?

Thank you
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jLazy View Post
current basking area in the tank is a large 3 foot piece of driftwood.
Once the sump is ready I will have a large plastic storage bin container secured above the tank with a large hole cut in the side. Will attach some eggcrate to the container as the ramp. This will be temporary until I can build a canopy with basking area as I have seen some people done on youtube videos.

Since I am new to this. May you please further explain what you mean by top off?
Why is it return compartment considered small?
The baffles on each side of the return pump would be 10 inches in height
wouldn't that mean the pump would be submerged beneath the water line?

Thank you
Glad to hear you have planned for tank being full and a proper basking area!
Top off is replacement water for evaporation.
Especially if the tank is going to be open top a lot of water will evaporate.
It will lower the level where the pump is in the sump(only).

If you only have 5 gallons in the final(pump) chamber and your tank evaporates 2 gallons a day(I have a 180) then you will need to add water to sump every two days or risk burning out pump.
I have 90 s on the end of all my pump intakes pointing down to bottom of sump to avoid cavitation(drawing air from surface) which will fill your tank with micro bubbles.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:30 PM   #8
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Wow, I did not realize that much water evaporates per day.

With that in mind for my 2nd sump layout I plan to push back baffles on each side back 2 inches and raise the baffle height by 2 inches. My final compartment will then be about 10 inches wide x 17 inches depth x 12 inches height. which brings me to about 8.8 Gallons. Which means I could go 3-4 day without topping water.

Wish I had a bigger sump haha
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:45 PM   #9
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Decided to go with 6 baffles 17" x 13" 1/4" thick flat polished
I got quotes from 7 different glass shops most were asking between 25-30$ per piece

The last shop I checked was alot lower than the other. They asked for 16$ per piece
So the cheapest total is $96 other places were quoting $200-220
Never bought glass before, is this a reasonable price?
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:06 PM   #10
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Reasonable for 1/4" IMO.
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