Jump to content

Sump Advise


Sissy36

Recommended Posts

Hey, so I need advise. I've been doing my research and I'm overwhelmed by all the options, different advantages, disadvantages, and ways to build a sump. I want to build a 10 gal sump and I think all I need now is the glass dividers. Im trying to do this easily without compromising too much efficiency. There are so many ways to build and I'm just not sure what is best for me.

I'm also wondering if I should finish my sump before I add fish and coral or if it's OK to add them now. I'm scared to add anything because I couldn't get controll of my last tank. I constantly struggled with cyano, and illness in both fish and coral and felt like I was always on the defensive for everything. As I've said already, several times, I'm going to do this one right. Or at least to the best of my ability. Any suggestions are awesome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, so I need advise. I've been doing my research and I'm overwhelmed by all the options, different advantages, disadvantages, and ways to build a sump. I want to build a 10 gal sump and I think all I need now is the glass dividers. Im trying to do this easily without compromising too much efficiency. There are so many ways to build and I'm just not sure what is best for me.

I'm also wondering if I should finish my sump before I add fish and coral or if it's OK to add them now. I'm scared to add anything because I couldn't get controll of my last tank. I constantly struggled with cyano, and illness in both fish and coral and felt like I was always on the defensive for everything. As I've said already, several times, I'm going to do this one right. Or at least to the best of my ability. Any suggestions are awesome!

Best advice I can give you as far as livestock. Don't be in a rush. Throw in a few inverts. But take your time with corals and fish. I give my tanks a minim of 45 days to cycle. Then add pods and inverts. If your filtration setup isn't ready, build your sump run it for a week or so to make sure everything is running ok. Then start adding what you'd like. As long as your levels are stable.

For the sump, go to synergy reef, or BRS. And look at the trigger systems sumps. Base your design off of that. Those are designs proven effective. Good luck

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a sump I built for my original 10 gallon reef. I used a 5.5 gallon tank for my sump and then glued in plexiglass for the dividers. Was not expensive and pretty simple to do. It kept my 10g display looking sharp

2

.

1

.

3

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recommend a two chamber sump. Drain/Skimmer chamber -> 2 baffle bubble trap -> return. The baffles are there to keep bubbles out of the return line and maintain the water level in the first chamber. In-sump protein skimmers need a constant operating level. . If you have a hang-on protein skimmer or don't use one, then you can go with a refugium or other filtration in the first section. In a two chamber sump, I like a 1/3 or 1/4 size return section as long as all of your equipment will fit. The water in the return chamber will drop as tank water evaporates, so the return chamber should be big enough for the return pump and the float switch.

My stocking method is contrarian and not for everyone. I started with some snails and a shrimp after the tank had been fully set up for two months. How many you get will depend on how much algae the tank can support. A couple of weeks later I added a pair of clowns. I didn't add any corals until the tank had been set up for three months and the tests had been stable for three straight weeks. After 30 weeks I only have 0.086" of fish per gallon of water, but I have been stocking corals regularly. I'll end up somewhere around 0.50-0.65" per gallon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I;m the last person to answer this if you want to avoid confusion.... but I recommend making sure your display+sump base setup is in place and cycling water before you add livestock.

attachicon.gif20160303_122443_annotated.jpg

Oh my! I'll save that diagram for a day I'm not stressed and I'm thinking clearly, looks awesome though! I think I understood some of it [emoji12]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll get my sump finished and everything going for a while to make sure I'm in the clear.

I do like the idea of a 2 chamber with a bubble trap.

I've seen some set up with a chamber that has carbon, bio media/balls, and foam. Thoughts on that? Should you run carbon all the time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll get my sump finished and everything going for a while to make sure I'm in the clear.

I do like the idea of a 2 chamber with a bubble trap.

I've seen some set up with a chamber that has carbon, bio media/balls, and foam. Thoughts on that? Should you run carbon all the time?

most folks prefer having reactors as standalone, not really integrated in the sump.. if you have room. easier to maintain. bare min, you want your general sump area, then 2 baffles (with foam in between if you want) then a pump area. the baffles/foam is to reduce the air in the water when it hits the pump area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a spot for the tank yet, or still on the table? I ask because how you connect to the sump is just as important as/part of the sump design. HOB overflow or drilled?

If you have the room, I'd go w/ another 20g for the sump, just to make it easy on you. Increased volume = increased stability. Some diligence on craigslist or here or Petco's $1/g sale will get you a tank cheap, then some silicone and cut glass from Binswanger and viola - sump!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd definitely recommend going as large as you can on the sump. A 10G aquarium w/ baffling in it will not hold 10G of water due to the water level within the sump. You'll probably be closer to 5-7G of added water capacity and, in my mind, the more capacity you can add with your sump the better. It's just a thought but think of it as having a larger aquarium's worth of water total and the benefit, as Bobcat mentioned, of having the stability of a larger water system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

make sure you pick a high that is comfortable for you to be able to maintain the tank, as well as fit a skimmer under it properly. I run my sump at 1/3 full when operating, so when things are off it goes to 2/3. you have to factor in the minimal backflow when the pumps are off... or you will have overflows.

window shot at some local fish stores consignment and/or new setups, visit peoples tanks to see their setups. no reason to reinvent the wheel, just pick a wheel you like and go with it :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll get my sump finished and everything going for a while to make sure I'm in the clear.

I do like the idea of a 2 chamber with a bubble trap.

I've seen some set up with a chamber that has carbon, bio media/balls, and foam. Thoughts on that? Should you run carbon all the time?

most folks prefer having reactors as standalone, not really integrated in the sump.. if you have room. easier to maintain. bare min, you want your general sump area, then 2 baffles (with foam in between if you want) then a pump area. the baffles/foam is to reduce the air in the water when it hits the pump area.

Most of this is going to be personal preference. It depends how married you want to be. Each piece of equipment and every level of mechanical filtration requires attention. Adding foam between the baffles is the least effective mechanical filtration method. It will slow down the water passage through the sump, collects less debris than a filter sock, and it's harder to clean. I prefer the benefits of a higher flow sump and I don't want to clean the foam twice a week. If you really like the idea of running foam, floss or a filter sponge, then you should make a small intake chamber and place the media between the intake chamber and the second chamber. Bio balls and other types of porous media are just live rock substitutes. When they originally came out hobbyists didn't really understand biological filtration and a lot of people weren't using live rock at all. Later, people were filling their tanks to the top with live rock and it was expensive. Honestly, live rock costs about the same as it did 15 years ago, but people have higher salaries today than they did back then. I remember making $3.25 per hour in 1995! Balls were a cheaper alternative at the time. If you use them, then put the balls in some sort of basket. It doesn't have to be expensive, just a plastic or poly material with lots of holes for water flow. I used plastic garden fence from HD. You'll want to rinse them every couple of months as detritus starts to build on the media and this will make them easier to pull out. There are two ways to run carbon: active and passively. You can run carbon passively by placing some in a media bag and putting the bag in between your baffles. Everyone ran carbon is this way before reactors were used. The downside to using it this way is that the carbon doesn't get used equally because the media in the center of the bag gets less water contact than the perimeter. Reactor are fuidized-bed filters. Water is actively force through the media and increases the impact the media has on the system. Reactors are not necessary and not everyone has the space for one, but they are more efficient. If you decide to use one, then you'll need a pump to push water through the chamber. Some people connect the reactor to their return lines and others use dedicated pumps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like super simple and accessbility is top priority. I do not use dividers on any of my systems. As corals are competing with algae for nutrients I prefer to add easy corals/polyps as soon as possible to stay ahead of the algae.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one thing about the baffles (i think we missed)... you can control the level of the water, if you have an in-sump skimmer. re: foam clogging things up- once your system is stable, not that often, before then, you can use a large weave koi filter...only catches the big stiff you dont want the pumps eating anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks good if you can use it. It will save you time instead of doing it yourself, but I don't know the price either. That's always the deciding factor for me.

The small baffles attached to the bottom of the sump decide the water depth. The middle chamber has very short baffles compared to the height of the sump. If you decided to run a refugium, then you would want to choose algae that roots in the sand like Prolifera. That chamber could be used for a reactor, protein skimmer, or cryptic zone. Ideally, you would set the baffle height equal to or greater than the skimmer requirement. If the baffle height is below the recommended skimmer operating level, then you won't get good performance. If the height is taller than the operating level, then you can make a small stand for the skimmer. If you already have a skimmer, then ask what size baffles are in there and see if it will work. If you are planning to add a skimmer later or you're undecided, then look at a skimmer sized for your tank and see what the operating level is. At least you'll be prepared for future upgrades or changes, even if you never decided to use one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks good if you can use it. It will save you time instead of doing it yourself, but I don't know the price either. That's always the deciding factor for me.

The small baffles attached to the bottom of the sump decide the water depth. The middle chamber has very short baffles compared to the height of the sump. If you decided to run a refugium, then you would want to choose algae that roots in the sand like Prolifera. That chamber could be used for a reactor, protein skimmer, or cryptic zone. Ideally, you would set the baffle height equal to or greater than the skimmer requirement. If the baffle height is below the recommended skimmer operating level, then you won't get good performance. If the height is taller than the operating level, then you can make a small stand for the skimmer. If you already have a skimmer, then ask what size baffles are in there and see if it will work. If you are planning to add a skimmer later or you're undecided, then look at a skimmer sized for your tank and see what the operating level is. At least you'll be prepared for future upgrades or changes, even if you never decided to use one.

So the water level in the whole tank will only be the hight of the 2 shortest baffles? Is there a way to make it taller?

It's $75

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a rough drawing using my current sump. As water enters the right chamber, the middle baffles connected to the bottom of the sump controls the height of each chamber. The pink line shows the constant height as the water flows through the sump. The yellow line will decrease as the water from the tank evaporates. When you add water, the yellow line will increase until it gets to the pink line. After that both lines will increase at the same time.

post-2552-0-94470100-1473436548_thumb.jp

You could run it at a higher depth than the lowest baffles, but it defeats the purpose. That sump design only has a pink line and no yellow line. The lowest baffles are the same height so all chambers will increase as you add water or decrease as water evaporates. When the water is above the low baffle, the water doesn't flow across the surface and you lose the benefit of agitation. There would be an oil slick across the surface of the sump. You could reduce this by using a filter sock, but it would still look like dead water. However, I do not believe the water depth won't affect a hang-on skimmer as long as the intake is always submerged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...