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Old 04-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Putting together first sump

I'm setting up a 55 gallon freshwater planted tank. I want to build a sump with a refugium and the tank is not drilled so I'm going to use an external overflow box. I also plan on eventually upgrading to a 155 so i dont want to have to buy everything twice. I would like to use a pump, overflow box, sump, etc that would also be suitable on a 155. Here are the questions:
- The stand can only accommodate a sump of about 15 gallons. That seems barely adequate for a 55 let alone a 155. I'm thinking of turning my empty 29gal tank into a sump and having it on the stand next to the 55. Is this a good idea? And would a standard 29 gal fit in a stand for a 155 and be adequate?
- If the mutated 29gal is a bad idea or wont be adequate for a 155 anyway can I use a pump and overflow box suitable for a much larger sump on this 15gal sump?
- How many gph do I want my return pump to put out? Is there some kind of formula? Or is bigger better as long as my overflow box is a bit bigger?

Thanks for all the help everyone
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Everything you'll need to know: Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums

The general rule of thumb is the sump should be at least 10% of volume of the display tank. More is obviously better, especially if you want a refugium.

An empty aquarium can make a great sump. A longer tank is better than a taller tank of the same volume. I plan to turn an old 55g into a sump eventually.

You don't want water rushing through your sump. Use powerheads to generate more flow if you need it. You can put a tee on the pump output to reduce flow. One leg of the tee goes to the display tank. Put a valve on that leg to control the flow. The other leg goes back into the sump. A 1250gph pump would be good for the 155g.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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also get an eshopps overflow box but just use one u tube until you get the 155.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I've been looking into drilling my tank since it will be empty. Does anybody know about the aqueon 55 gallon from those complete kits? I know the bottom is tempered but I can't seem to find anything conclusive about the sides and back. Id really prefer to drill it after researching the pros and cons.

If the sides are tempered then I'll look into that eshopps overflow. If I get the PF-800 with a max gph flow of 800 and a Mag-Drive9.5 with a gph of 800 at 4feet head height am I cutting it too close? I could always get a ball valve and slow the flow. Would this 800gph water turnover rate be acceptable for a 155 in the future?

Thanks again guys I really appreciate this. I'm hoping to get started this weekend.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Nevermind I see you said a 1250gph would be necessary for the 155.

Any idea if the sides of my aqueon 55 are tempered?
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:33 PM   #6
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You could always run two pumps. Get one for the 55g, then add a second pump when you upgrade. You'll add redundancy to the system which is good in case of equipment failure and you won't turn your 55g into a whirlpool.

No idea about whether the glass is tempered.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #7
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2 pumps is a good idea. From what I read virtually all large volume tanks (125+) are not tempered glass so I could always drill a second return for the second pump in the future 155. As for the current 55, is 800gph too quick a flow through the sump? I was thinking of dialing it back to the Mag7 which would be around 400gph at 3.5 feet. I want to include a refugium in the sump so I dont want the flow through to be too crazy.

Thanks again you're a huge help
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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Just got back from my glass guy and he's gonna drill my 55 for me for cheap. It's also gonna be a pain to build the sump, he was saying he could drill two 5 gallons and use them both as sort of a chain of sumps...has anyone ever heard of this?
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