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Old 10-16-2011, 04:06 AM   #1
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overflow/15g sump: tons of questions!

So I feel like every day I'm learning 20 new things when it comes to plumbing, overflows, sumps, and the likes. I started off with a 5.5g sump for a 29g tank, and realized how that was too small to handle my tank's size. I then moved on to a 10g, and due to poor baffle design and poorly siliconed acrylic, some of my baffles have given way and it's essentially falling apart.

Since I cannot fit a 20g long under my DT's stand, I have decided to go with a 15g tank for my new, and hopefully final, sump.

The dimensions of the 15g is 24"x12x"12".

My current plan:



My main questions are..is this design effective? From my understanding the skimmer will pull water out of the return section and then spit it back it, and it will all spill over into the bubble trap and end up in the fuge.

The fuge will be some chaeto and a chunk of LR, debating whether to do DSB or no DSB..input?

What would it benefit me to add eggcrate between the fuge/return area? Would this simply prevent any critters/algae from easily spilling over and clogging the pump?

Are there any ways I could do this to make the sump area better/more efficient?

Next is the issue of glass vs. acrylic panels. I did use some acrylic panels for my current sump. From my understanding, silicone does not hold acrylic as well as it does glass? Would it maybe be better to go to a glass shop and get glass panels cut for my sump baffles, or is that just not necessary?

And lastly my overflow.. I have an overflow I bought at my LFS. I don't have any pictures right now but it's your typical overflow with adjustable height and teeth on the inside box.

My biggest worry right now is having siphon if the power goes out and comes back on. I understand that if the power goes out, the overflow will siphon only enough to drain the main tank until water no longer flows under the teeth. My question is..how about when the power comes back on?

After testing with my overflow, it seems as if when I cut/restart the power, the siphon does not start back up. There is water on both ends of the u-tube, but my tank just keeps overflowing until it spills over.

Is there a specific level I want the overflow box to be or some way to set it up so that it would continue the siphon after a gap in energy? I wish I could find an easy answer to this but I'm not all very familiar with how siphons work and why it won't re-start or how to make it restart itself once it has stopped.


Any answers would be greatly appreciated..I know I've posted a lot and asked a lot of questions lately, but man these things just keep stumpiung me, lol.

Thanks for all the help!

- Vic
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
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Lots of questions but I'm only gonna he able to answer the one since I don't have much history in sump builds... silicone shouldn't be used on acrylic ever it needs to be welded...glass= silicone acrylic= weld

Edit* oh ya and u shouldn't really mix and match for best results go all glass or all acrylic
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrc8858 View Post
Lots of questions but I'm only gonna he able to answer the one since I don't have much history in sump builds... silicone shouldn't be used on acrylic ever it needs to be welded...glass= silicone acrylic= weld

Edit* oh ya and u shouldn't really mix and match for best results go all glass or all acrylic
Thanks I've heard that a lot..but don't people do acrylic panels in their glass aquarium sumps all the time?
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:56 AM   #4
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U can but then u risk having the seals give way like u were talking about glass on glass or acrylic on acrylic and u don't have to worry if sealed/welded correctly
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:33 PM   #5
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DSB it wouldnt hurt and every little bit helps.

What would it benefit me to add eggcrate between the fuge/return area? Would this simply prevent any critters/algae from easily spilling over and clogging the pump?

i wouldnt put it in there. keep it a solid glass baffle. kiss.



Are there any ways I could do this to make the sump area better/more efficient?

they are what they are. if you have the resources, play around but this linear design is tried and true.

Next is the issue of glass vs. acrylic panels. I did use some acrylic panels for my current sump. From my understanding, silicone does not hold acrylic as well as it does glass? Would it maybe be better to go to a glass shop and get glass panels cut for my sump baffles, or is that just not necessary?

glass with glass tank. acrylic with acrylic. if you want to use acrylic baffles with glass, the thicker the better. and try epoxy. loctight makes a two part that spirals down the "needle" and mixes. good stuff and sets up fairly fast. if you want peace of mind then silicone after that. i used the epoxy on my sump and then let it set up and cure then silicone over that.



. My question is..how about when the power comes back on?

After testing with my overflow, it seems as if when I cut/restart the power, the siphon does not start back up. There is water on both ends of the u-tube, but my tank just keeps overflowing until it spills over.

could be that its not set up quite right? maybe a picture would help. could be air in the u-tube so its not a full siphon.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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Hi Victor,

Glad you went bigger on the sump. Just a few things:

1) I would think about putting the bubble-trap baffles to the right of the return line. This eliminates the need for eggcrate. Micro-bubbles in your fuge won't do any harm since it's not your DT. Having it set up this way eliminates the bubbles right before they go back up to your DT.

2) I'd go for a DSB. It can't hurt and with a small area, it's really not that much more sand to go 4-5" on it.

3) Panels: You'll be fine with acrylic panels in a glass aquarium. The best tip is to make sure the acrylic is very snug in the aquarium. Precise measuring is pretty important here. Also, go for the 1/4" stuff. It's not much more expensive. It won't bend due to pressure of the water and is less likely to warp. Ample silicone will also help hold it in place.

4) If the siphon is working correctly and then will not work after power comes back on then it is most likely an issue with the height of the weir or overflow tube. Can you post a pic? That would help out a lot.
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