View Full Version : Sump help

11-22-2013, 02:52 AM
I bought a used setup and am looking for help with the sump.

http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/Ag22494SumpMd2_zps0bc69168.jpg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/Ag22494SumpMd2_zps0bc69168.jpg.html)

The sump is an old wet/dry filter. The first chamber is an obvious detritus trap. I was thinking of cutting away most of the first chamber baffle and putting a new baffle around the area of the current wet/dry baffle. I'd like to keep the water a little higher so I can grow cheato in that chamber as well. I would like to add a section for a skimmer if possible. I'm not sure how to make sure I have enough empty space so it doesn't overflow when the pump is off.

Any suggestions.

11-22-2013, 04:05 AM
the best thing to do is to connect the sump to your tank.

once connected, shutdown the pump and monitor the water level.

just make sure you have either a backflow valve or a hole drilled in your return lines to stop the siphoning.

good luck

11-22-2013, 04:17 AM
I have the same sump sitting around somewhere in storage and it's the bigger model and I think that's too small to do that. I don't recommend cutting any baffles out and trying to put more water in there than suggested. The sump will bow out. Skip the chaeto and just worry about a skimmer. Oh in just in case you don't know, don't use the bioballs.

11-22-2013, 04:20 AM
I bought a used setup and am looking for help with the sump
I think I see what you'd like to do, but if you could repost the pic with some lines drawn on it for your proposed baffles, maybe it would help the rest of us help you ...

11-23-2013, 12:39 AM
I will see if I can get a pick done up but before I do, any suggestions on ideal size for a skimmer compartment? the skimmer I have for it is just a coralife HOB so I would rather include a chamber that would support an in sump skimmer. The tank is a 72g so down the road I would be looking at a decent skimmer rated around 100g probably.

Does the skimmer need to be in its own section?

As for the bowing out, I can't see it bowing with baffles holding the sides. Obviously 1/8" acrylic has its limits but I don't really plan on filling it to the top, it needs empty space so as not to overflow when the return pump shutts off.

11-23-2013, 07:32 PM
http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/Sump_zps17c0d29e.jpeg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/Sump_zps17c0d29e.jpeg.html)

okay so here is more or less what I was thinking. The red circle represents removing or cutting out as much as I can safely remove of the first chamber wall so that I can get in there with a siphon to clean it out.

The red line is removing most or all of that baffle. I was thinking of possibly keeping part of it and using the egg crate as a frag rack, but i could put that anywhere.

The blue lines are the new baffles, the one on the left would be sectioning the return area that would also house the cheato. The one closest to the return pump would be to keep a constant water level for a skimmer section.

My questions are what depth and width should a skimmer section be and since I have never designed or built a sump, does anyone have better suggestions for me or things I have overlooked?

11-23-2013, 07:42 PM
To be honest with you man, modding out that sump would be more work then just buying a new/used tank and putting in baffles. I will bet you will switch that sump out in the first 6-12 months of your tank running for a different sump because that will not do anymore.

Skimmer section should be the same as your return for a few reasons. 1. The changing water level with evap unless you plan on using an ato. 2. Micro bubbles that will end up in your display via return pump.

If you're still set on go for it, make your skimmer section as big as the internal skimmer you plan on buying

11-23-2013, 11:48 PM
Okay, I have to ask, what won't it do? Why would I switch it out in 6 months? Is there something I'm not seeing or don't know?

As far as evap from the skimmer section, will the skimmer section not always have the same water level and the water level change from evap be in the final section where the return pump is?

Can I not put in baffles for a buble trap to stop the micro bubles? Why would a different tank reduce micro bubles more than this one?

I don't want to go through the work of changing this one if it won't be any good. But I'm also not going to go buy something different without a valid reason. The only reason I can see would be to go bigger, but I don't know how much bigger I could go and still get it in the stand.

11-24-2013, 12:37 AM
Read through the sump section and you might get some ideas of what you would like to have. Also a lot of good info


11-24-2013, 12:55 AM
The evap is referring to if the return and skimmer are in the same chamber .

The size is the problem when you want to add more stuff sorry I'll reply better tomorrow

11-24-2013, 03:31 AM
If the sump fits your stand, and you generally like it, use it
The only couple things I'd do to mod it are;

1 - I'd make an acrylic filter sock tray (http://i749.photobucket.com/albums/xx136/Gregzz4/75%20Gallon%20Build/DSC00944.jpg) and put it where the black media box would sit. Now you have removable socks
I cut my tray with a jigsaw before removing the plastic film and it stopped the saw from gumming up with hot plastic
All I do is lift the socks out and put clean ones in :smile:

2 - I'd put a tall baffle before the short one (next to the sponge in the pic)
This will act as not only a bubble trap, but will allow for much more water volume. Then all you have to do is play around with your skimmer by adjusting it's height with a stand of sorts until it's happy

The water spilling over the new baffle will carry air with it once it gets a biofilm buildup. This will hit the bottom of the sump and be stopped by the short baffle and shouldn't make it's way to your return pump
It's not an ideal design, but will save you reconfiguring your sump completely
And I'd recommend you test the new baffle with some silicone. This way you can remove it if you need. Once you like it, cut it out and properly glue it with acrylic glue
And if you want an even better bubble trap, but lose another inch or so of skimmer area, a second baffle will work better. The first baffle is off the bottom by an inch, and the second one is on the bottom and is the same size as the first, so it's now an inch shorter top to bottom

Make sense ?

Of course, you want the added baffle to be shorter than the top of the sump by about a quarter inch or so, and you can have your 'power off' level lower than this - based on how much water flows back to your sump when all pumps are off etc

I played with my sump for weeks before I was happy with it
Re-plumbed/baffled/sock trayed it 3 times before I was happy
So you may want to test your's out for days before you decide it's going to work for you

11-24-2013, 06:45 PM
gregzz4, I really like what you did for your sump. I read through a bit of your build and see you are running all those heaters for redundancy. How are you running that many heaters off multiple gfci circuits and still controlling them with your controller?

hillegom, thanks for the link. I already read that though and most others I can find. The problem is they are all very vague. They tell you to make sure of this and that but not how to make sure.

Maybe more pictures will help.

http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/IMG_00000177_zpsf838d375.jpg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/IMG_00000177_zpsf838d375.jpg.html)

This is the build up in the first chamber, which is why I was going to remove it. Now I'm thinking maybe I will leave it and cut in an access from the top so I can suck that out every now and then with a shop vac. Seem like an ok idea?

http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/IMG_00000178_zps79fc9bba.jpg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/IMG_00000178_zps79fc9bba.jpg.html)

Here you can see the previous owner used the old drip tray and placed filter floss in it. You can also see how the first chamber overflows into it. You can see that the top is one piece so hopefully cutting in access to the first chamber wouldn't weaken it.

http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/IMG_00000179_zps46d5a6a5.jpg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/IMG_00000179_zps46d5a6a5.jpg.html)

So I have a few options and what opinions. Do I keep the drip tray and run floss? Do I modify the drip tray by installing a filter sock and plugging the other holes? Do I build a tray for filter socks? If I build a tray do I make it as big or smaller than the drip tray? If I go filter socks does the water in the chamber need to be below the socks?

http://i665.photobucket.com/albums/vv11/makana_llane/IMG_00000180_zps532b7c43.jpg (http://s665.photobucket.com/user/makana_llane/media/IMG_00000180_zps532b7c43.jpg.html)

Now in this one you can see that the top of the baffle is about the same height as the bottom of the drip tray. Would I need to lower that baffle to make this chamber work this way? It would be easy enough to cut a piece that will fit the bottom of this baffle and make this a full chamber. Although if I put cheato under the drip tray I would have to light the chamber from the side.

11-24-2013, 07:09 PM
My filter socks are completely submerged. I think it keeps them quiet
I'd remove the drip tray completely as it's too high to have submerged socks. Doesn't the tray just lift out ?
Put the new baffle in I was talking about and then decide what height you want the sock tray to be at. Use the return pump to circulate the sump alone to see how things are going to work
For your sock tray, I'm thinking you'll want to use verticle legs on the bio-ball shelf support pieces to support the sock tray. You can adjust the legs to get the tray height you want once the new baffle is installed

For the baffle, I suggest you start with a piece of glass for testing. Use silicone to seal it up
Once your happy with how it works, you may want to install a permanent one using acrylic and glue it in. But, keep in mind that once this is done, it will be nearly impossible to remove later
I say this as silicone doesn't hold glass on acrylic very well and could let go at some later time

You won't need or be able to grow chaeto right away, so worry about it later once you're happy with the way the sump is running. And ya, you can light it from the side

11-24-2013, 07:23 PM
I never thought of running the sump without the tank, that is a good idea. I'm re-finishing the stand and was kind of waiting on that before experimenting.

How high would you recommend the filter sock tray? Would you make the tray the full size of the compartment? The sides of the sump are 3" verticle and 2" diaganol from the top of the baffle that the drip tray sits on. Would it be possible to keep the socks that high? Is there a downside to having them that high?

From what I've read bubble trap baffles should be 1" appart. I have 2" between the baffles where the spong sits. If I close in the one baffle to the bottom and cut it out around the same hight as the other one I could drop one from the top in between the two and make an actual bubble trap. Each side would be 1\16" shy of the 1". Will doing that work, or will it restrict flow too much?

11-26-2013, 11:31 PM
If I make acrylic baffles and put them in place temporary with silicone that will later be removed, does it stil need to be aquarium safe silicone? Will it be easy to remove or will I need silicone remover?

11-27-2013, 01:48 AM
You will have to use aquarium safe silicone, after all, your aquarium water will end up going through there.
If you are only trying out the sump without tank water, then IF you remove ALL traces of silicone then it will be ok. But for how much, 2-3 $ it would cost extra for aquarium safe silicone, do you want to chance it?

Its easy to remove silicone from plastic, you do not want to use any remover, might melt the acrylic.