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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Adding Sump to 75 Gallon

    Hi All,

    Looking for some advice for my 75 gallon marine setup. I am relatively new to the saltwater world. Have kept freshwater and planted tanks for years and figured I was ready for a new challenge.

    Long story short, I switched from freshwater to saltwater essentially on the fly and 2 years later I realize that I need a sump. There was never a good time to break my tank down and have it drilled and all I have read on overflow boxes scared me.

    As it the 75 I have around 65 Lbs of live rock and an Aquamedic Turboflotor Multi SL protein skimmer hanging on now, but will end up in my sump. It is mainly fish only right now knowing that my water quality could not support many corals. I know my filtration is a nightmare and need to make a move. I am running an Eheim 2213 and an Eheim 2217. Both canister filters. After some research, it is clear why my nitrates can never get below 25 ppm. Sounds like my canister filters are nitrate farms or traps. I don't have the time to clean the 2 filters weekly. I was thinking I may be better off just replacing the media in the canisters with bio balls or something. Or perhaps taking them right out of the equation. I am using a little aquaclear hang on filter with no media to simply agitate the surface to try to avoid the protein layer.

    So many questions, here are a few for now:

    Am I better off without the canister filters?

    What size hole is standard for drilling?

    How many holes and where should I put them?

    Is drilling something I should attempt myself?

    Is a 29 gallon sump a good choice? I think I am looking at moving about 900 gph when the sump is functioning.

    Sorry this was so long. So many questions. Looking forward to hearing some advice.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Am I better off without the canister filters? YES. They do more bad than good IMO.

    What size hole is standard for drilling? 2.5" hole for a 1.5" bulkhead.

    How many holes and where should I put them? One will work but two is better incase one gets clogged. If you build a coast-to-coast overflow you can put the holes anywhere at the top. Just leave room for a 90 degree elbow pointing downwards.

    Is drilling something I should attempt myself? If you know how its not hard but you can hire Liv (Oliver) to drill them for you if you are not confident.

    Is a 29 gallon sump a good choice? I think I am looking at moving about 900 gph when the sump is functioning. The best choice is always the biggest tank you can fit in the space. You dont need that much flow thru your sump. 3-4X turnover is fine.
    29g Biocube, 2x90w Aqua Illumination LED light modules, Vortech MP20, Sapphire BC29 skimmer, GHL Profilux Plus II with 3pump doser.

  3. #3
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    he he.. thanks deafgoose
    deafgoose pretty much summed it all up ! he he

    Sumps are the way to go for sure.
    you can remove a ton of unsightly wires, put a bigger skimmer, more LR for added filtration, etc.. the possibilities are endless.
    for holes, i recommend 2 holes for sure.. one is just a bad idea unless you got a coast to coast or the like overflow where you know for a fact that it will never get clogged up. 2.5" holes are great, as they allow for more water flow and also can take more water in case one of the 2 holes ever blocks.
    location of holes will depend on the type of overflow you use: external overflow box, internal overflow box, just 90deg pipes inside with strainers ?
    the easiest one to do is the last one: 2 holes close to the top: 5" from the top and 5-6" from the sides, then add bulkheads, then 90deg, then strainer.
    Check the pics on the site of people's tanks to decice the type you want.

    Is drilling something you can attemp yourself, Absolutely, if you are handy with tools, its a breaze.

    Drill horizontally, with the diamond bit submerged in water, take your time, very light pressure on the glass ( 10lbs or less ). On a 75g it usually take between 10min to 30min per holes and also depends on age of glass, older glass cuts easier then new glass.

    as for sump size, the bigger the better, take the biggest one you can find that would fit your space. 900gph turn around is a little too much for a sump / skimmer to do its work( unless its a very large sump ), go for 500-700gph this will optimise your skimmer's effectiveness.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  4. #4
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    to Aquaria Canada

    these guys have already answered your first questions, so i'll just give you a little advice ( while we wait for more :b15: ). keep asking questions ( even if you think they're stupid ) and never rush anything when dealing with SW, only bad things happen fast in this hobby.

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor

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