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Old 04-21-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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Cleaning the sump

Hi, I was wondering if there is a way to vacuum the sludge that builds up on the bottom of your sump?

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Old 04-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #2
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bubble traps are probably the hardest to "clean" but you can suck out all that buildup when you do a water change, it will be hard to start a siphon that low but it can be done, you might not have enough flow in your sump to keep the detritus material suspended for your skimmer to pick up, also what kind of sock are you using? how many times have you reused it? also how often do you change it? after about 7-10 days and even sooner a clogged up sock loses its ability to properly catch all the material draining from you tank and may overflow or seep it out.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:17 PM   #3
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I use a 200 micron sock and change it every 3 days. I have 3 socks that I clean and rotate. This last weekend did a clean out of my sump. I took out the rock and brushed it in the salt water I siphoned out of the sump. There wasn't much build up on the bottom of the sump. I would like to get it out though. I tried to siphoning but couldn't get it started. I'll try again. My skimmer dosent pull much out. It's in its own little compartment do you think I should move it? I think the sump may be a bad design. It came with the tank. SC Aquariums. As well as the skimmer. I was wondering if I should replace the skimmer. I bought the tank used with all the equipment.

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Old 04-21-2014, 05:20 PM   #4
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it doesnt look very large at all, the entire sump, what size is your tank? what brand and model is the return pump? what model is the skimmer? and that refugium chamber im guessing thats what it was intended to be is extremely tiny.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:33 PM   #5
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My tank is a 55 gallon cube, te sump when running has about 12 gallons of water in it. I bought a return pump it is a ssicon. Pump. Not to sure how to spell it. I'm at work right now so I couldn't tell yo gph. I can let you know more tonight when I get home.

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Old 04-21-2014, 05:43 PM   #6
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yeah let me know the details, i would say a 29g diy sump would be great for your tank, i have a 29g on my 75g and my corals are thriving, its not hard and very inexpensive to do.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:45 PM   #7
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Thanks, I will chime in this afternoon.

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Old 04-21-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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I use an old powerhead and hook some siphon tubing and it sucks almost all of the crud out
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:21 PM   #9
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Ok her we go. My sump is 18 gallons, return pump is sicce 3.0 (714gph), my skimmer is made by sc aquariums it is Sc-s50. I'm assuming fot 50 gallon tank. My sump fits pretty snug in the cabinet, not to sure if I could go any bigger.

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Old 04-21-2014, 11:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Melissajk View Post
Ok her we go. My sump is 18 gallons, return pump is sicce 3.0 (714gph), my skimmer is made by sc aquariums it is Sc-s50. I'm assuming fot 50 gallon tank. My sump fits pretty snug in the cabinet, not to sure if I could go any bigger.

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If you have at least 30" wide, by 18" tall by 12" wide you can fit the 29g in there. Also you want a skimmer at least rated for 2x your tank volume or greater thats the general guideline so a 50g rated skimmer on a 55g tank is really under skimming, that might explain the sludge or buildup in your sump, also you can keep the detritus material suspended by using a small powerhead in the chamber so that it doesn't settle, but a sump thats built right wont have that problem. Its just insufficient circulation thats all.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:28 AM   #11
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One more question. If my skimmer is not strong 5, would that raise my nitrates. There not to bad but a little high. .20 on the test strip at the lfs. I do weekly water changes of 10 ti 13 gallons. So I'm wondering if a stronger skimmer would be my answer. I feed 1 to 2 times a day. Pellets and frozen. I have 5 small fish.

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:21 AM   #12
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One more question. If my skimmer is not strong 5, would that raise my nitrates. There not to bad but a little high. .20 on the test strip at the lfs. I do weekly water changes of 10 ti 13 gallons. So I'm wondering if a stronger skimmer would be my answer. I feed 1 to 2 times a day. Pellets and frozen. I have 5 small fish.

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well, your water changes sound good especially weekly, but for 5 tiny fish, your feedings are killing you, and im going to assume that yes your skimmer is not able to keep up with the bioload in your tank from overfeeding, and detritus material. also i dont think i asked you, what is your clean up crew in your tank? believe it or not they actually help out alot with uneaten food that settles in your rocks where fish cant get to it.

your answer right now is take your feedings down to 3x a week, like monday, wednesday, and friday, and maybe some small treats on the weekends like a few mysis shrimp but its up to you. that should drop your nitrates, and even if it only drops 5-10ppm its helping you out, but a consistent 20ppm nitrate level even with weekly water changes is just overfeeding.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:15 PM   #13
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I have a good clean up crew, maybe to much. I have 5 hermit crabs, 5 or 6 snails. I have a cleaner shrimp that is always hungry scavenging for food.
I have 2 clownfish, 2 blue green chromis, and a 6 line wrass. Also a Condy anemone. I will try feeding 3 X week. It's hard because they always look hungry.

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Old 04-22-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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Here is a picture of my tank. I love this hobby, it is so interesting. I'm seeing a echo system more so now. IV noticed a brittle star in my rock and last night a small little clam must of came off my live rock. And a white starfish. I think I take more pictures of my tank than my son. Lol.

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Old 04-22-2014, 01:20 PM   #15
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Melissa that tank looks great, and i know how you feel about the fish always looking hungry, but theyre active fish, all the fish on your stock list are active fish, so activity usually doesnt mean hunger, and fish do have good memory believe it or not so if they learn that daily whenever your near the tank they get fed, well whenever you or anyone get close to the tank they will get excited and wait at the surface for food, its just what theyre used too. i hope the less frequent feeding work out for you, i know it will.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #16
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Thank you Big Tex, you have helped me alot. I will use your advise and do some changes. Have a nice day!!!

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Old 04-22-2014, 04:48 PM   #17
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Thank you Big Tex, you have helped me alot. I will use your advise and do some changes. Have a nice day!!!

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your welcome Melissa, thats what were here for, keep us updated in this thread about your findings and your parameters, any other questions, im subscribed to this thread so ill see em and try my best to answer em as they come,
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:00 PM   #18
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Here is a update. My protein skimmer died. It wasn't a very good one. Just bought a eshops s-120. I think it will be much better. Also I got rid of the divider in my sump between the sock and skimmer so there will be more flow.

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Old 04-27-2014, 04:38 PM   #19
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How's your sludge problem now?
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:37 PM   #20
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Not bad, it just looks little sandy. Next time I clean the sump, I'll use a hose and pump to get it all out. I'm feeding even other day like you said and I'll do another big water change later this week. Hopefully my nitrates will start to come down.

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