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Old 12-14-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Please critique this sump design

Hello everyone,

A friend of mine was looking to convert their own sump and I have done quite a bit of acrylic work. I thought I'd help them with their project so I'm curious to see what you guys think. They did a lot of searching and I have done some as well and this is what we have come up with. It will be a 29g tank used for the conversion and will be used on a 72g bow front for a reef tank. The capacities I calculated are approximate.

What would you guys change and why? The sections on the left are levels of egg crate capable of holding different filtering elements.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #2
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Just a question how does the water flow from the first chamber to the protein skimmer?

Besides that i feel like you should eliminated that lil gap after your refugiem and just let the water flow over the top
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:16 PM   #3
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The skimmer gets its water from the pumped that's in that second chamber. I'm not sure where the water will be returned to. (any suggestions?) It's an external skimmer.

What do you mean eliminated the little gap? I have the water level in the last chamber in its highest level where the return pump is. The baffle for the last chamber is lower than the baffle that starts the refugium so water will constantly be pulled from the refugium into the last chamber since water will be pumped out of it. The gap leaving the refugium is lower to change the current around a bit instead of it all being up top.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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That's a pretty standard design there. The only flaw I see is the first baffle coming out of the fuge section. It appears that you have the water passthrough mid-level. You'll want to put that up high and let the water overflow it into the bubble trap section. This will prevent any macros you might be growing in that section from proceeding into your bubble trap and clogging it up.

Lots of sump designs on melevsreef.com if you're still researching.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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Yeh I seen quite a few on that site. Will the fuge be ok with water entering from the top and leaving from the top? It seems like it wouldn't allow much circulation in the bottom? Maybe a small power head could be added for circulation ?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
It appears that you have the water passthrough mid-level. You'll want to put that up high and let the water overflow it into the bubble trap section. This will prevent any macros you might be growing in that section from proceeding into your bubble trap and clogging it up.

Lots of sump designs on melevsreef.com if you're still researching.
Thats exactly what i meant!

It just seems like the return area is sealed off
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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Its not sealed off. It will still fill the fuge until the last baffle lets water overflow into the last chamber. Maybe it seems that since i have the water level even. It would actually be a bit lower in the last chsmber depending on evaporation.

The low exit of the fuge might let items through like stated before so that could definitely be a design flaw. Still would function exactly the same though.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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i dunno if u plan to put eggcrate at the middle gap between the refu and return pump....if not, some of the macros will go there....other than that, i see no problem at all....
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
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Design looks ok,But I don't think I would bother with the filters,I would use that section filled with Live rock rubble then onto the skimmer,your return from the skimmer can go straight back to the first section,I would remove the gap in the first baffle,if your worried about mixing the flow in the fuge just put a seperator in the middle of the fuge section from top down to about 2" above sand level,any macro's entering return pump will restrict the flow back,also what flow rate will be entering the sump?
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:02 AM   #10
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this inspires me to turn my wet/dry filter into a refugium
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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i wouldn't have the water leave the refugium down at that opening. i would have it come over the top.
the last partition before the return pump is going to render the bubble trap useless, as water comes over that and splashes down to the pump.

the 2.5" deep sand bed will not be a DSB, because it's too shallow (they need to be 4" or more), so i would save that space for some rock rubble or more macro space, and just put about 1" or so in there.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:24 AM   #12
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I agree on that fist part of the bubble trap. You want the water going over the top, not through the middle. The last partition needs to be about 1" lower that the top of the middle section so that the water comes over the top and down the side without splashing (creating bubbles)
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:03 PM   #13
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but even if it's lower, as the water level goes down in the return area, it's still going to make new bubbles.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:57 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input guys! I'm going to draw up a couple new versions tomorrow morning. I am going to do this one posted for a friend and then work on another 20g design for myself that has the skimmer sitting inside of it.

So basically I need to ditch the lower exit of the fuge and make it so the exit is over the baffle going into the chamber for the return?

Should I move the bubble trap to right after the 1st chamber to get rid of the bubbles before the skimmer pump and fuge get them? Then the last baffle will just be a plain baffle with the fuge overflowing it into the return pump area.

I don't think the filters are going anywhere. I'm pretty sure that's a feature they want. I don't plan on using them in my setup. I think I'm going to use a HOB filter on the sump if need be.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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i like the bubble trap at the end. the way i make mine, i only put 2 partitions for the bubble trap- the first is solid from the bottom up, and the second has the gap at the bottom. the idea is, the bubbles go over the first partition and head down to go under the second partition, about half way, where they do an about face and rise back up, not making it to the return area.
i always found if i had the water come over a last partition, bubbles would form as the water came crashing down there. especially when the water level was a bit low.

nice and simple, like this 40 breeder-


or this 55 gallon-



besides maybe a filter sock, i agree completely about the eggcrate filter pad levels. any carbon or GFO could be implemented via HOB reactors, and i would not want to deal with multiple filter pads like that. .
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:04 PM   #16
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Is it ok to have bubbles getting into the fuge?
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:27 AM   #17
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yes.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:31 AM   #18
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Hmmm, Doug. I have my ATO float valve in the last chamber, and therefore never have a bubble problem for the return pump (unless I forget to fill the ATO container).
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:40 AM   #19
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Do you guys run a canopy on your sump or on your tank itself to help with evaporation?
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:29 AM   #20
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Ok here are some updated drawings. A-1 is the tank for my friend and B-1 is the tank I'm building for myself. The last chamber is pretty small for the return pump, do you think I'll have some issues with it evaporating too quickly? That last chamber is capable of holding about 2.26 gallons of water.

Call me too concerned here but I was thinking about issues that "could" go wrong. If my drain line plugs up for some reason my return pump is going to keep pumping of course. If that last chamber can hold a max of 2.25g as long as my display tank can hold that much more in it I shouldn't have to worry about overflows or anything right? A burned up return pump perhaps but that's it? Same with the return, if for some reason my return pump goes out my sump should be able to hold whatever can overflow from the display tank right?
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