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Old 03-01-2015, 07:10 PM   #1
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Building and Designing a sump

I have a 20 gallon tank, and once I finish building a stand I plan to add in a sump, I really have no idea what to do. I tried to research it and to be honest i'm even more confused now then I was before, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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There are many personal preferences. Do you want a refugium section, or not? That is probably the main question...

My 20 long sump has a drain section with some egg crate and it forces the water under (so I can add rock, carbon, etc whatever I want really) followed by a middle section with a protein skimmer, heaters, and media reactor, followed by the last section that comes after a bubble trap and that is the return pump section.

You can combine sections 1 and 2, or use the middle section for a refugium, or do something entirely different. Just wanted to share what I did...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:12 PM   #3
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okay so i dont know what i want, i do want a section for my heater, carbon, i plan to get a skimmer so probably a bubble trap?
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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Found a pic while I was building it for reference. Also, comes to mind... Pick your skimmer our first to find out optimal water level so you know the baffle height to install...



Here's my middle section...

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:15 PM   #5
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With my design, you can drop a bag of carbon right on that egg crate media tray, very easy to customize from there...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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i planned to only have a 5 or 10 gallon sump, could i add the skimmer in after i build it, but have the model picked out?
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:19 PM   #7
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There's not going to be much space in a 5 gallon. You building a custom stand? Is there any way to snug a 20 gallon underneath? You could do a 10 if needed, but the point of a sump is to add total water volume to help limit parameter swings. Also keep in mind that you need to have enough room in the sump for any water that will back drain into it in case of a power outage...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
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i planned to only have a 5 or 10 gallon sump, could i add the skimmer in after i build it, but have the model picked out?

For example, the skimmer I bought specifies an operating water level between 6"-10", so I knew to make the water height in that middle section between 6"-10"...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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Yes I am building a custom stand, here it is, I can't remove the exact dimensions of the to of my head but I think a 10 would be the most, maybe a 20 tall?

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:24 PM   #10
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Yes I am building a custom stand, here it is, I can't remove the exact dimensions of the to of my head but I think a 10 would be the most, maybe a 20 tall?

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Ps the stand isn't done yet

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
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If you can do a 20 tall, do it. If not, do a 10. Don't go as small as 5 though, it would essentially be pointless.

Find a glass shop to have the baffles cut. I got 1/4" thick baffles for $8/each.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:25 PM   #12
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Is this tank drilled or are you going to do a HOB overflow?
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:28 PM   #13
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I was going to do a HOB overflow, I didn't really want to be doing any drilling, but I'll do the minimum necessary

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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I was going to do a HOB overflow, I didn't really want to be doing any drilling, but I'll do the minimum necessary

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Well drilling is a better way as the water will be gravity fed. But if you're going to do a HOB, send SniperHank a message. He uses one and has a pretty solid setup and can help make sure you get the right one...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:40 PM   #15
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okay, i was thinking as simple of a setup as i could get, i really wanted to just make space in the tank because i dont like how cluttered its getting
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:44 PM   #16
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okay, i was thinking as simple of a setup as i could get, i really wanted to just make space in the tank because i dont like how cluttered its getting

Drilling would involve emptying the tank, etc... So if you want simple, add a HOB overflow, and if you can only
do a 10 gallon sump, then just do a 2 chamber. The first chamber will be the drain in, skimmer, heater, etc, then do a bubble trap, followed by the second section which will just be a return. Easy.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:48 PM   #17
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yes, that is exactly what i want haha, but how do i get the water from the tank to the sump, and then the sump back. that is the part that i am really confused about
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:51 PM   #18
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yes, that is exactly what i want haha, but how do i get the water from the tank to the sump, and then the sump back. that is the part that i am really confused about

So the HOB overflow will have a pipe connected to it that will lead into the sump. Fast forward to the return section, a pump will have pipe connected to it that will lead back to the tank...
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #19
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hahahaha well i understood that part, i meant like what type of pump or what? i dont understand what forces the water
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:54 PM   #20
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see the pic I put up of the entire sump? You can see the pump in the chamber to the right...
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