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Old 05-04-2006, 11:56 PM   #1
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Overflow and Sump Flow Rates

I Need a little help understanding flow rates in the tank. I am looking at an all glass reef ready 125 with dual overflows, they are rated at 1200 gph. so then UP TO 1200 gph run into the sump. The protein skimmer is rated at about 800 gph and then I can pump as close to 1200 gph as possible into the tank without exceeding 1200 gph. If you can make any sense of this is it correct. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:34 AM   #2
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I think the overflows are rated at 600gph each for a total of 1200gph. This only means that you can max out your flow into the sump up to this number. Therefore, you need to buy a pump rated around the same to pump water back into the main tank. Your overflows in your main tank will always match your return pumps output as long as its under the overflows rated flowrate. in other words, your return pump dictates the sump flow rate.

The skimmers rating is how much it can handle and effectively do it's job. It doesn't relate to the sump flow rate. If it's placed in the sump, it's input is from the sump and it's output is sent back to the sump for no net gain or loss.

When you are trying to establish a "total tank turnover rate," you can use the flow through the sump and any powerheads in the main tank. If the rest of your mechanical filtration is in the sump, then it doesn't get added into the equation.

Hope that helps.

Ryan
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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Just to add my own 2 cents. I would buy a pump close to or slightly over that flow rate (at that head) and then incorporate a ball valve to adjust the flow rate back if its too much. That way you are assured to get the maximum flow through your returns.
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:01 AM   #4
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Your sump size is also going to dictate how much flow you want also. You wouldn’t want 1200 gph rushing through a 20 gal sump for example. How large is your sump going to be? A 55 gal fits nicely in a 125 gal stand with 2 ft to spare.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:07 AM   #5
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I was looking at the megaflow model 4. It is rated to 225 gallons I don't have the exact dimensions right now. Also since there are two overflows shouldn't I use two return lines, one coming out of each overflow? Is the beat way to split one line or use two pumps? thanks.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #6
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The Megaflow model 4 is 36" x 13-3/4" x 19" or about 20 gal filled half way.

Just curious but why spend $260 plus shipping when you can go to any lfs and get a 55 gal for around $100? You have a lot more room in a 125 and could add baffles and custom build it for another $20 or so.

If you are dead set on wanting acrylic you can get a 38 gal tank from glasscages.com for $70.00 plus shipping.

You will need two hoses for the overflows but it’s up to you if you want one pump or two. I would just do one for simplicity but two would be nice if one failed.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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I am very interested in this method. Could you please help me with how I would put it together? What do I use as the filter media? Live rock? Are there any draw backs to a DIY sump? Is it going to be pretty loud or are there ways to quiet it down?
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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Everything in bold in that post was a link including the DIY walkthrough for making a sump with a regular tank http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=53046

I use a 20 gal long myself. There is nothing fancy in making it yourself. The only advantage of buying one is to save a small amount of time. The cost is 3 times as much and better spent elsewhere IMO.

The main thing is to use about 4-6 sheets of glass so you have baffles to keep the areas
separate and bubbles from entering the tank ie so the water flows up/down/up so bubbles
get trapped and keeps from going down (due to gravity).

http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html goes into more detail.

You drain the water on one side using lr rubble and baffles to separate, place a sump skimmer in the next part, set up a fuge if you want, and lastly separate the last part with baffles before the pump return to keep bubbles out of the main.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:18 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot I will definatly be doing it myself. That is a great link showing how to do it step by step. How does the Fuge work? Is there seperate water flow? I always thougth that the sump would go in this order: LR rubble, fuge, bubble trap, pump into the tank? Is there an advantage to how he did it? Thanks a millon, or at least $250! LOL!
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Old 05-06-2006, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
How does the Fuge work?
Fuge's work by removing excess nutrients in the system. Your chosen macro algae will utilise the nitrates and such to grow thus lowering your levels within your tank. Keeping the chosen algae trimmed will further nutrient exportation.

There should be a separate flow through the fuge because it needs to be no more than 500GPH to be effective and not cause disruption.

Ideally, you'd want some baffles right after the sump intake to reduce the bubbles created when the water stream enters the sump. then you can have a custom setup with LR rubble within the first or second chamber (or even in the fuge) . You can also create space for your skimmer, heater, probes etc. then have the last set of baffles before the return pump.

There are several ways to customize your sump/fuge, just check out several different ones and try to incorporate the features that you like.
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Old 05-14-2006, 05:00 PM   #11
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if I use the same floor plan as the one in the example and just use a 55 gallon tank instead of 40 gallon then will this be good. I would prefer to over filter rather than under filter especially if I will be building it myself. Does anyone have any suggestions on the floor plan or should I use the same idea he did. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:52 PM   #12
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As far as set up that is how most do it if you want to incorporate a fuge within the sump. Otherwise just use 3 sections. Main thing is to use baffles before the return to keep bubbles out of the main.
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:24 PM   #13
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After I priced out the live rock and all the little details it is going to be about the same price as the megaflow. I just want to confirm that it will be a much better filter setup. I am going to be incorporating a fuge as well. What kind of lighting do you recommend for the fuge? Also are there any secrets or pointers that can help me, (noise, bubbles, cleaning, stages) anything will help. I am drawing up a plan I will post it when its done. Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:44 PM   #14
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I’m confused. Is this going to be a FOWLR or FO tank? If you are not going to stock the tank with lr then I can better understand why you would want the Mega Flow 4 Sump with the bio-balls for bio-filtration.

Otherwise I assumed you were going to stock the tank with lr and you would naturally want to replace the bio-balls with lr rubble anyways so either way you would be getting lr rubble for your sump. If that’s the case you still should be able to save considerably DIY with the 55 gal tank.

If you priced out buying a 55 gal tank, the baffles and silicone and it still came to as much as the Mega Flow then you are looking at some pretty high prices for the materials IMO.
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:13 PM   #15
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Yeah you are right I did not consider the price of buying live rock for the megaflow. Is it a lot better to use the live rock instead of bio balls, even with a fuge? Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:39 PM   #16
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LR beats bioballs. nitrate reduction!
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:15 PM   #17
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At this time I only have about 70 lbs of live rock, thats .5 lbs a gallon do I still want to use the live rock over the bio balls?

P.S. I am still in the planning stages I do not have an existing system right now. I just want to make sure I do it all right. Also where do you buy live rock rubble? Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:31 PM   #18
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I would always use lr rubble instead of bio-balls even if you didn’t have any lr in the main tank. As for where to buy I would just get the 30 lbs small base rock from hirocks.com which is $39 shipped. It will build the biological base within a couple of months and cost a whole lot less.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:09 PM   #19
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Is 30 lbs enough? I will be using a 55 gallon long tank, I was planning on an area
15"L X 13"W X 15"H will 30 lbs do it? or should I go 60 lbs. After looking I am thinking 60 lbs. Ideas?
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:12 PM   #20
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It really depends on how large of an area your first divided part will be (the flow from the overflow)

30 lbs of that rock will fill a 12”X12” area which in my mind is pretty decent even for a 55 gal tank. That leaves you 36” for your skimmer, return area and fuge. (keep in mind that only about 35 gal or roughly 2/3rd of the 55 gal should be filled)

You could always make it larger but having more lr/base rock in the main tank would be more beneficial IMO. The real point of having lr rubble in the sump is to help add to the biological filtration of your lr in the main tank.
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