sump for 30 gal tank... some general quiries

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Freak
Jan 5, 2007
Canton, MI
In an attempt to optimize my tank, I was thinking about how to get rid of the stuff hangong off it and place it on a sump tank below the main tank.

The problem is... I guess I dont know if theres a way to do this (safely) since my tank isnt predrilled or set up with an overflow.

These are my theories and someone can slap me for forgetting the most obvious one lol... (also correct me if im using any terms wrong please :))

1) set a powerhead to suck water from the main tank down into the sump, have skimmer, some live rock, ect do its thing to water, another powerhead pumps water back up into main tank. Set maintank powerhead at a point in the tank so if the water level goes too low itll stop pumping water.
---issues: if the maintank powerhead fails, the sump will get all the water pumped out and assuming the main tank doesnt overflow, the sump pump will burn out from no water. if the sump pump fails, the main tank wont get water pumped back in, and the sump pump will either over flow (or not hopefully if ive set it up right) but the maintank pump will burn out from no water.
2) some how get a technique to drill/cut a hole in the side of the tank to place a tube and for overflow down into the sump.
---issues: im pretty sure theres absolutely no way to do this with out the causing the pane of glass im modifying to shatter.

Also... if the 1st option is the best, wont the pumps have to pump exactly the same amount of water to keep the flow going correctly?

herlp :)
You already addressed the reasons why it's not a good idea to use pumps to take water out of your tank.

Just a standard U-tube or continuous overflow siphon works fine and an auto top off controller can stop the sump pump if the water rises from a siphon failure.

See for more info.
Top Bottom