Another sump build...

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Apr 16, 2015
Hey all it is time to make a few changes my fish room and first and foremost is the re location of my salt water tank. Presently it is a 75 g Aqueon with 1 pre drilled mega over flow.. This will be getting changed to my 120 Aqueon with 2 pre drilled mega overflows. This alone requires 're confirguration ' of the sump so what the heck...Why not just build a semi new one ?
I have lots of goodies so only need a few things [ IMO ]...
I am constantly evolving * [changing my mind :facepalm: ] * so have no hard fast rule for how this sump needs to be or what I may want to do with in the future..
I also strongly dis like overflows /baffles that restrict the amount that can be removed from the system with out effecting the sump operation.. Be it evap or water changes I want to be able to pull water without issue.
I want to use certain things for sure in sump like protein skimmer ,Bio pellet reactor ,GFO reactor, algae turf scrubber, and a pump for water changes. The skimmer will be large and there will be 2 pumps in the sump also so I need some size.

Here is the planned equipment so far *
Berliner WD 125 sump modified slightly...:whistle:
MTC HSA 1000 protein skimmer . I have this already with flow pump and an Alita 6a or 15a air pump for air through ozone generator . The skimmer has the pin wheel accessory that makes this unit a breeze to maintain. I also have 2 ozone generators so expect I will be injecting to the skimmer. This skimmer is a beast at 48 inches tall...:brows:
Aquamaxx XXL Bio pellet reactor [ in use ] BioMaxx BioPellet Reactor .
I will probably use a Phos ban large reactor for the GFO..I have my choice of reactors and honestly can't remember what the others are but there may be better in the fish attic..:whistle:
I need to DIY a turf scrubber but that should be fun so ...
I'll be using a Jeboa CP 40 cross flow for circulation that I have on shelf for back up to the one in my 180..Strong gyre !
I will be using Jeboa DC pumps to run the tank and the skimmer [seperatley] thinking new 15000s. I use one now on my 180 and it is nice enough for the money..
I have 2 older jeboa dc 12000 so I may use one to save loot and it matches the skimmer pump requirements @1,100 GPH.
I may make a manifold for the reactors but haven't got that far..I have internal pumps to run more reactors then I plan using so I can be patient on this.
For lights I have 2 of the Mars Aqua 165w LEDS and several Current True Lumen Pro 48 inch 50/50 and 12k that I may use as supplemental light. I do also have 2 almost new 250 watt MH light fixtures [complete with LEDs] that if I could incorporate for a mid day burn might be interesting.. Probably over kill and not really on the board but always an option.

My water comes from my BRS 6 stage RO/dual DI unit that has a booster pump and four pre filters [redundant and all inline] that are temperature controlled at around 78f. They go 5micron/1micron catalytic carbon then 5 micron again before another 1 micron and 2 catalytic carbons [I got the chloramine deluxe unit] then passing to the two 75gpd [150 total gpd ]TFC membranes to the dual[2] color changing DI resin canisters .. I have
built in TDS meter [in and out] and have it hooked up nice.

I must be forgetting something so chime in and help !

Oh yea if this all sounds like too much for under the tank it probably is..
I will be removing the sump set up for the 75 and be placing a new Deep Blue 60 gallon frag tank in its place under my stairs ! H**l yea a 60 gallon sump with a 4' X 2' foot print.. I think I will fit everything in there I have planned so far..:eek:
The 60g tank is said to be arriving tomorrow so I am on my way to getting the new tank all ready to be plumbed through the wall to the space under the stairs...
For this I am removing a 6 outlet electric box on the stair wall and re wiring for one out let in the stand and leaving the hole for drains and returns !
Pics of before and after will be happening...
I don't do a lot with my marine tank but have had these fish I plan on moving for over 3 years . Before the fish move completely I will be cleaning up their tank and removing parts of the filter as the first section a Marineland model one sump will fit under the 75 and be enough for the time until the 120 is ready... The tank is rotten with Cyanno so I will be working on that.. Funny part is LR in sump now has none ! It looks perfect..
Mostly just trying to upgrade as much as possible to make the tank even easier and claim its space back rightfully to the FW fish room...:dance:
Nice bandit! I have always been curious about building a sump
This should be fairly simple like packing a box ?
This will actually be a whole tank build but the emphasis is on the filtering aspect..
I only need to drill holes in the Berliner sump that I also already have to allow water to flow right out of it . I am think 3 holes drilled to fit large bulkheads I have so the sump is not ruined. It is acrylic so should be easy enough . I could just water bridge it but then that part would fluctuate with the sumps level. If I can drill I will. I have to bring in the Berliner and measure it up.
I need to determine how high to drill these holes as they will be responsible for keeping the skimmer pump in a constant level of water to avoid any fluctuations if that is even possible with huge flow...Mainly it has to be deep enough to keep pump from drawing air from surface [cavitating ] but still low enough to let the design of the sump flow properly.I may just have to water bridge it?
I plan on having the 60g body filled at least to 40 g . That is about 8 inches deep so If I can make it work with holes 8 inches up I will drill it .

I am struggling to decide how to treat back of tank.. Need to get this done by tomorrow :whistle:. The overflows are black so I am just thinking of painting back black..Is there really any other good choices?
I have seen 'frosted glass' from krylon but really don't want to be able to see through tank at all .
My plastidipped back is holding up well so far, anyway. And the “rice paper” static cling back on the other tank is going strong too, after, what, 4 years? I think I like the plain black better, despite my thoughts on the static cling at the time...
Outlet is done.


You might be able to see the hole drilled in bottom corner. I drilled holes in each corner so I can cut it out from under the stairs.

The tanks back is cleaned and ready for paint [I didn't clean inside]

This is the filter running the 75 in place under the stairs


It is a Marineland Model 1 water bridged to 29g with 2 inch PVC and then water bridged again to a second 29g.This system has worked well for years now.
I am not sure the Model 1 will fit under the 75 so I will just remove the 2@29g and place return pump and bio pellet reactor in the model 121.
The eshopps PK 150 has just had a pump seizure so I will not be hooking it up now..

This is the LR in my sump which I think looks pretty good.


Especially in compare to the LR in the tank....

I know my nutients are out of control probably but the difference in the LR makes me think the cyano is really growing due to light as it is cleary the same water in sump with less flow then the tank for sure?

Off to get paint..:dance:
Work went well yesterday but the 60 g may be delayed a week...
I was told it did not ship and will check on its arrival later today. I need more salt anyways as I only had 100g worth in the fish room. I am thinking next Thursday for the 60g though so I will try to do as much as possible with out it.

The 2@29 are out and the model 1 is running the 75 now..

It was right in the way of where I need to cut the hole so I moved it out of the way and should have hole cut today..
The tank was pained in 30 minutes with one can of black Krylon.. No biggy ,but lots of fumes ! I don't think they effected me at all..:eyes:

Here it is getting filled with the Jeboa CP 40 on top..
I will have to video this 'gyre' to show what it really does.. I am impressed with it in a 4' tank..The one in my 180[6'] rocks so can't wait to see this in a 'reef' type application..
Think white sand for this tank so the wait for the 60g will only help me get more organized . I have lots of old 'LR' that has been out in the sun and cold so I will take my time getting some sort of pile of rock going in the mean time. This will also give me time to test my pumps and order if I need new..
Pictures of equipment coming today as the Berliner and MTC HSA 1000 are in the house ! Still have to put in bulk heads and the overflow hardware into the actual overflows so I may just rig it up to an empty tank for now? I have a few empties including a new 20 long that has been waiting for purpose in the shop for almost a year now ! Should be enough to run the tank till I can complete the work with the 60g.
So far so good...:dance:
So although I am waiting for the sump body [60 g frag tank] I am still moving forward with the set up.
Added some base rock I have had for years [possibly a decade] and 40 lbs of Aragonite..
I didn't rinse it all so it clouded the tank completely yesterday ,but today with just mechanical pads in the temporary 20g sump it is clearing...


Still got to clean up the skimmer and drill holes in the Berliner.
I thought I had 2-3 jeboa 12,000 DC pumps but a quick scavenge through my electronics drawer finds 5 ! I always like having back up so I am hoping at least 2 work well. 1 is running the temp sump now for 24 hours so looks good for 1 so far ..
Skimmer is cleaned up.
I would never get an acrylic tank never mind for marine..But what do they do about coralline?
Drilled 3 large holes in Berliner sump down low. I will use a 90 and then extend with a pipe to height I want constant for skimmer pump. This will allow final adjustment to be easy . When I had my other 120 set up with acrylic sumps I connected two together for more volume. I found that there was a difference between sumps level with 2 large bulkheads so I drilled 3 in this one..
These will both sit in the 60 that I hope to run about 8 inches [40g ] deep.


Tank is clearing up so I added the 5g of live rock to the 20g sump from the 75s sump..
2-3 astaria already spotted in the 120 !
The 60 should be here tomorrow so I hope to get this all running Friday.
Still have to figure final plumbing ,but that should be pretty straight forward..
If enough pumps work I will strongly consider a manifold for reactors.
When I got the 12,000 they were new a couple years ago [maybe over 4] and replacement parts were not available but now they seem available and cheap..So far I only need a controller which I think is about $15 ?
I like to have a working spare for big ticket / specialty items on the shelf so hopefully I can get all working..
60 gallon frag tank is in the house !
I didn't mention I have to de rim it to get the Berliner in it did I ?
Hopefully it won't be horrible..I would like to not destroy the trim so will try with wire first...:confused:
Once de rimmed I will sit the Berliner in it and notch it [I think] so the frame can go back on. The tank will not be filled over 2/3 so maybe it would be ok without but IDK so hoping getting off and back on is no biggy.. Got a swap meet Saturday I have to prep for so may not get this all done tomorrow but all that is missing [ I think] is the hose/final plumbing which is 5 minutes down the road...:whistle::dance::dance::dance:
60 is de rimmed . PIA...I cut one corner to help out and managed to get whole frame off in one piece..Took too many hours...Cleaned up all the black calk it looks nice .
Thinking this is the basic lay out I will go with. The hose is the supply to skimmer that will come from pump in Berliner sump and return faces the side to help with micro bubbles? Still have to hook up the three 90s with extensions to hold the Berliner at specific depth.



Thinking I should be able to fit a sponge bubble trap before the final pump easy. Space between Berliner and other side is 12"..
Thinking I will 'American Eurobrace' it by dadoing a piece of hard wood and installing it right after the Berliner which is 30" and why I had to de rim to begin with. That way I can remove it easy . I may even build supports off of it for the drain lines as they need even pitch to the sump with no sags. Probably make the move and install this filter Sunday.
Don't think I have been completely idle in this lack of post...
I ended up dropping the top section of the marineland model one in the 60g sump last weekend . So the 75 has been running over a week in it .
Last night and this am I finally got the 120 plumbed to the filter also .Then got skimmer running !
A little bonus to the huge sump is now I am running both tanks off same filter and they are sharing water. This buys me time and makes the move almost not important . I am now moving their location with zero water differences.. They are transitioning now in their happy place ! They now swim in a 75 g tank that has 200g volume and 2 running sumps basically..Crowded and possibly to assume a little better order when I remove the Marineland that goes when I start moving fish and rock here it is...
From the entrance to under the stairs ,skimmer waste container is out to show where drain goes.

Looking down and in on it ;

The 2 hoses going to right go to the 75 from the Marineland 3 drawer drip and a mag 9 return and the 3 to the left go to 120 into the Berliner with 4 socks and 12,000 pump for skimmer and then 3 1" overflows to maintain steady height for pump..The 120 is returned with a 12,000. Both the 12,000's are running full out.
I picked up some cheato at swap meet last week for $8 and tossed into a basket with a powerhead flowing to it .

Here you can see bio pellet reactor and 2 of the 3 overflows in the berlin sump and the skimmer return with elbow pointing down. The red handle makes for easy adjustment on the outflow.

The tank will still be changed a little?

I love empty cabinets under tanks !
I can see it now. I trip on my duck feet. Pull a line and don’t realize it. Come back to a puddle. I triple check my canisters after a cleaning and am still nervous
It could be seen as an open top canister with 10-20 gallons extra space...Made for mistakes..:whistle:
The whole idea behind all the madness is it is all in a tank...60g:brows:
Only pipe/tubing connections can leak. :facepalm:
There is risk with all aquatics ! I am still brave !:nono:
Old ,tired and brave {seems the easiest !]:dance:
So 2 days running tanks together and no issue..
The skimmer is my favorite 'filter device' I have ever owned or seen .
2 days running after a cleaning from storage and this skimmer is kicking butt !
It is by far the simplest thing I could stare at all day. I still dream of the 6-8 foot tall 12' wide skimmer I saw so long ago...But this one rocks !:dance:
I noticed your sump has three ports on the side of it. What are you using these for? 1"?
Yea I drilled the Berliner for 3 bulkheads that fit 1" PVC.
I just hooked up a 'street elbows' [90] and 1 inch pvc to get right height.
I can just tip them to the side to get them all even if they are an 1/8 off or so..
I am liking the simplicity of this feature .
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