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Old 11-04-2004, 03:18 AM   #1
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Sump basic question

Heya guys,

I am planning to add a sump to my existing reef setup.

My problem is i dont have space below or beside the display tank. Moreover, the display tank is not drilled for the overflow. What i plan to do is to have the sump located above the display tank, pull water from the display tank to the sump, and have a overflow in the sump to get the water back to the display tank by gravity. I believe this should work.

My question is ...

Is it Mandatory to have the sump located below/sides of the display tank? I mean i can see only ONE advantage of that design which is "it removes the oily film which covers the water surface from the main tank and enables better aeration". Do u guys know any other real advantage? or m i missing some basic?

regards,
~ viv ~
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Old 11-04-2004, 10:01 AM   #2
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Now that is a new way of thinking about it. What I see as the problem here is with backflow from the sump when power is cut to the supplying pump. When you cut the power to the pump pushing water up to the sump then water will back flow down this line as well as some part of the sump will drain into the main tank via the overflow till the water level is below the overflow inlet. To compensate you would have to run the display tank slightly lower in water level. This might not be that big of a deal depending on the size of your sump and the level that you have to lower the water level to keep from having the main tank overflow when power stops feeding the sump.

You could install a one way flap valve on the pump to somewhat reduce the amount of water backfeeding into the main tank but you would still have some water drain from the sump into the main tank.

The above is the only disadvantage I see. With the sump below the tank you can run the sump at a level less than full capaity to account for this backflow from the main tank. Most folks want to run the main tank as full as possible so having the water level lower might not be desired.
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Old 11-05-2004, 12:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply fishfreek,

Okay ... i am only a novice but this is what i think ....

I think the problem you specified will only happen when the sump is below the main tank. But if the sump is above then that problem wont happen. For eg. lets assume that the pump failed, then all that will happen is that there wont b any flow from the sump to the tank. This is because the sump wont have any excess water at any given time. Also, in my case when the pump is off the only water which will run the reverse way (to main tank) is the water in the "line" which is hardly measurable. To clarify here is the link of the image http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-...sumpDesign.gif an image of the proposed design.

Although, i will be loosing a sweet little benefit(side effect) of having the sump below which is that of having a constant level of water in the main tank despite of evaporation.

I think having a sump above the main tank has an extra safety(no overflow ever/autoshutoff) than having it below the main tank ... well at the cost of loosing "Constant water level & reducing the oily film in main tank. What do you think?

regards,
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:35 AM   #4
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One concern you might have is with a bulky pump in your main.

Great graphics!!
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:55 AM   #5
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Thanks buddy .... the pump needed would be too big ... but then i have an external filter which pumps good enough ...

hehehh thanks for the comment on the graphic ... i m a designer ...

regards,
vivek
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:02 AM   #6
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Seems like a great idea... how were you planning on hiding a 10g tank above your display?????
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:29 AM   #7
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When your pump stops water that is in the plumbing WILL backflow to your main tank. If your sump supply plumbing is below the water surface of the sump then water WILL backflow via the supply plumbing into the main tank until air is introduced into the supply plumbing to break the syphon.

Those are pinciples of gravity and a syphon. Reguarless of how your sump/tank is orented. If your sumps above the tank then water will backflow to the tank. If your tank is on top then water will backflow into the sump.
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:09 AM   #8
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why not do it in a waterfall type fashion? this would require building a custom sump from scratch, but It's an Idea that I have been kicking around for a while, and I do think its possible. and! you would not have to keep the top of your sump more than an inch or so above your main.

that way if the pump goes out, the water stops flowing into the display tank, no messy cleanup!
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
When your pump stops water that is in the plumbing WILL backflow to your main tank. If your sump supply plumbing is below the water surface of the sump then water WILL backflow via the supply plumbing into the main tank until air is introduced into the supply plumbing to break the syphon.
Agreed and understood .... That's precisely what i would be doing. The sump supply plumbing will be an inch above the water surface of the sump (my design reflects that .... the plumbing is above the Pink Dashed line which indictaes the top water level) .... man! ur basics are too clear! Happy to recieve any more tips or ideas
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketSeason
why not do it in a waterfall type fashion? this would require building a custom sump from scratch
Oh yuh waterfall type! ... never tot bout that one!.... I dont mind building a custom sump coz i have yet to build it first. Can you elaborate more on that so i can carry it further? .... meanwhile i want to get the sump basics right. I can add the finishing touches(waterfall or other ideas) later ... ie. just before i start putting the sump together.

Thanks .... ( i can already see the mermaid's bathing under the waterfall )
regards,
vivek
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