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  1. #1
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Question Opinion on my new SUMP design?

    Hey everyone,

    I need your opinion on my new sump design that I'm planning on incorporating into my tank...

    It's a big sump at 48" x 16" x 16", and has an incorporated refugium area.

    My skimmer tends to put out a few bubbles, so I have subsequently put a large bubble trap area using 4 baffles.

    What am I forgetting?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    Very nice ...

    THe only thing I have found over the years is that if you have the heater in an area where you have maximum water flow you can accomplish a few things.

    1. You can use a lower watt heater
    2. You have more consistent and uniform water temp throughout the system
    3. The heater comes on much less.

    Just from my experience. THe sump looks great though.

    Oh yeah...add a valve on the line going back to the tank. This is a good safety feature in case your system does a reverse safety...It also allows you to control the flow of water to the whole system. Just my 2 cents worth....
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  3. #3
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    We put the skimmer intake after the filter media because our skimmer will clog/slow down if small particles become trapped in it. By the same token, our skimmer return is after the media as we didn't want the oxygen in the water being used up by the bacteria growing on the media.

    We found only one baffle gets rid of our bubbles from the skimmer. In fact our skimmer returns to a 3 inch PVC pipe with holes in it to allow the water out. We found out that the Aqua-C works best without any restriction (pipes) on the return.

    I agree with Mouse - put your heater in a high flow area (ours is in the same section as the return pump). I would recommend using 2 low wattage heaters. Heaters do fail and usually in the on position. This way if one fails on, the other won't come on and your tank temperature won't get too high. If one fails off, then the tank temperature doesn't drop as far or as fast as the other one tries to maintain temperature for you. We also will have a computer controlled override (PLC) that will kill the power to both heaters should the temperature ever get too high.

    I would ensure that the water entering the refuge area, enters as close to the sump wall as possible. Behind your pipe (as shown in the picture) will be an area with no water movement which is not recommeneded.

    I would make sure the water drop from the refuge area into your return pump area is not very much as you don't want splashing or more importantly bubbles being pumped into the display tank.

    Vickie

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments Mouse...

    I had to place the heater there. The size of the heater in comparison to the sump is to scale. So I have no room for it anywhere else. Besides, I also have a heater in the overflow chamber of my tank.

    Valve on the way back... you mean from the overflow? I've read that it's not generally a good idea to constrict the return form the overflow in any way as it's a potential for disaster.
    I'll look into that more though...

    Thanks!
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    Never restrict the lines from the overflow...that will be a disaster waiting to happen. I mean on the ,ines returning water to the tank. If you restrict this line, then it slows the whole system. Also, at times your return lines will do a backwards syphon when the pump is turned off...

    I placed a big circle n your pic to show you where I mean. Sorry for messin up your pic....hahaha

    Hope this helps. A valve here is also good when you need to do pump maintenance. You can have it anywhere on that return line...even after the refugium T

    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Ooops, I missed Vickie's response...

    Heaters do fail and usually in the on position. This way if one fails on, the other won't come on and your tank temperature won't get too high. If one fails off, then the tank temperature doesn't drop as far or as fast as the other one tries to maintain temperature for you. We also will have a computer controlled override (PLC) that will kill the power to both heaters should the temperature ever get too high.
    My heaters will be controlled by the AquaController. If it gets too hot they will be shut off, and I will receive an alarm via email (text msg to my phone). If they stick OFF, and the water gets too cold, the Aquacontroller will go in an alarm state, and alert me as well.

    I would ensure that the water entering the refuge area, enters as close to the sump wall as possible. Behind your pipe (as shown in the picture) will be an area with no water movement which is not recommeneded.
    It's actually only represented that way because of a lack of a 3D drawing. The water pipe entering the fuge area will actually be as you describe.

    I would make sure the water drop from the refuge area into your return pump area is not very much as you don't want splashing or more importantly bubbles being pumped into the display tank.
    The drop is less than 2", and as there is not much flow coming from the 'fuge, the drop won't be that drastic.

    Here's the latest design of the sump...

    The area between baffles has been increased to approximately 1 3/4", and 'fuge area was reduced appropriately.

    Additionally, I have included a "Run-Dry floatswitch" which will be plugged to the aquacontroller. This will shut off the return pump if the water gets that low, and allow me to be alerted (via email) that the return pump is shut off.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Tang Man... instead of all those baffles could you not just put a foam block on the egg crate above the "media area" to stop bubbles from entering that area? The refugium area could be larger that way. Air bubbles wouldn't make it past a course foam block would they?
    Rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    I'm already fighting Nitrates, so the last thing I want to add is a foamblock which are known nitrate factories...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    OH come on now ... foam blocks are not nitrate factories ... aquariums are ... Maybe 1 layer of window screen would do the job. Just seems like a lot of space to lose to baffles when space under the tank is so valuable.
    Rob

  10. #10
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    This sump won't be under the tank... it will be in the next room behind the tank. I have all the space anyone could want.

    Foam blocks do indeed harbour nitrates however. Hence the reason people remove the foam from Fluval's and use them for carbon only...

    There is a Media area in the sump that will have an eggcrate shelf for holding media located right before the baffles. I am a firm believer in baffles though. And with my constant Nitrate levels no matter what I do (10 gallon waterchanges weekly), I have to minimize any risk of harboring nitrates...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

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