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Old 03-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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Basement Sump

Hi all!! Newbie here...I have a 75 gal tank and I'm looking at putting my sump in the basement. I would think no more than 20 ft of pvc for the run. Can I use the same sump that I am currently using under the tank now or would i need a bigger one? Also, would i need a larger pump to push that water back up to the tank?

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Old 03-20-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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You'll need a big sump that can hold a lot of water in case the power goes out. All the water from 20 ft of tubing will flow back into it. I have a big pump and the flow rate drops dramatically with each foot it has to pump vertically. After seven feet, the flow rate drops to zero and won't work. That information is printed on the side of most aquarium pump boxes, by the way. You'd need a massive pump to have a decent flow rate after going up at least 12 feet vertically (assuming 8 ft from basement floor to floor above and an extra 4 feet to top of aquarium.)

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I haven't seen any pumps made for aquariums that are strong enough. You may have to go with a pool pump. I'm not sure if they're safe for aquarium use though.

Have you considered a canister filter? It could go under or behind the aquarium and work well (quiet, good flow, good filtration, freedom to use your filter media of choice, etc).

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Old 03-20-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with any pumps designed for aquariums that can handle 20 ft of head pressure. Only thing that comes to mind would be a well pump, and that probly isn't a very good idea.

Aquarium Water Pump Head Pressure and Pump Performance
As the head pressure increases the gph will decrease.
Each 90-degree bend in the plumbing will add about one foot of head due to friction. Each 45-degree bend will add 1/2 foot head pressure. This includes any bends in filters, chillers and uv sterilizers.
As a result of friction, each 10-foot horizontal run of pipe will add a foot of head pressure.
In an open system (a system using a sump), each foot of vertical distance from the intake of the pump to the return into the aquarium will add one foot of head pressure. The vertical distance in a closed system does not affect head pressure. A closed system is one where the pump draws water directly from the aquarium and returns water directly to the aquarium.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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I don't do it (FL here, no basements!) but I have seen several people on this site and others put their sump in the basement. Give it some time for others to chime in as well and see that they are doing.

I will agree that you will have to account for more water going into the sump in case of power outages and needing a good pump as you current one wouldn't make it. The sump is easy enough to fix but I don't know anything about the pumps...
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:48 AM   #5
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Thanks to all for the comments so far!! Since posting, i have done some more researching and see that that there are many who have sumps in the basement. I understand now that I would need a larger sump to account for the extra water in the run. So...to get more speciic, can anyone tell me, given that I have a 75 gl with 1" bulkheads:

What size sump would be required (55gl?)
Can I use 1" PVC for both the drain and the return?
What pump (brand and model would be much appreciated!!!) would I need?
Anything else I would need?

Thanks again for the comments and help!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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My moms sumps are in her basement and one of the tanks are on the fourth floor and she has well pumps to pump the water back up plus there are union check valves on the PVC so if the power goes out also our whole house is on a natural gas gen. But there are three pumps under the tank for flow in the tank
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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i'm sure with an industrial strength pump its more then possible you, just need soemthign that can do 20 000 galons per hour to get a normal flow rate or place a few inline pumps to get the water flowing better. one in the sump and oen every 6 feet or so
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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You need a pump that can output what your current pump does, but at 12' of HH (head height). The pump should not be very difficult to find.

I know someone using a kiddie pool in the basement as the sump. It has a DSB and lots of macro. He occasionally sells detrivore kits on eBay by removing some shell & rock rubble along with some macro and sand from the pool. There's always good stuff in there, but he seeded it properly too.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Newbie with basement sump questions

More newbie help!! i measured tonight and below is what I came up with:

Starting from the top of my tank, 4 feet to the floor.
From the floor to the sump in the basement, is 6 feet. The pipe would slope down from where it goes thru the floor to the sump 11 feet. I am guessing I there would be two elbows in the pipe to get to the sump.

Given the above measurements, can any one suggest:

Sump size (I'm thinking 55 gl)
Pump size for the return
Anything else I would need?

Thanks in advance for any help/comments!!!
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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Merged 2 similar threads.

In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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base, sump

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