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  1. #1
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    Please help umuddle my brain about sump

    Sometimes I think Iím born to do everything backwards first. I did do a lot of reading before I started but at that time didnít really understand the importance of a sump, thought it was something that would be nice to have but not totally necessary. The thing is I would eventually like to have some coral and so now think a sump/refugiam is a must but I have the tank started. The overhang plumbing seems a little too risky considering I have 2 cats and a dog who might somehow move the tubing.

    Now I think what I must do is get 2 more tanks and have them drilled and then transfer my substrate, rock etc to the top tank. Does that sound like the way to do it?

    The stand I have is capable of holding an upper and lower tank, it has done so before.

    Iím not a DIY person, I often try but itís really best that I donítÖÖÖ.neither is my husband heís actually worse than me. So I would go to a store to have the drilling done but would kind of like to know in advance what else I would need. 2 tanks is obvious but then what. I already have, pump/filter combo that came with aquarium. Heater, skimmer, one power head. So probably at least one more pump and what about the refugiam area would that need another pump too and I guess that needs to be blocked off somehow? Or not?

    Iím slowly understanding more but also becoming more confused as I read from different sites. My head is just a jumble of info right now it feels like my brain is a computer doing a defrag or something,.

  2. #2
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    were do you live? you can check out my system to get an idea.
    drilling is good. another thing to consider is how quiet you want your overflows. theres many easy designs.

  3. #3
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    Hi Chunky, I live in Rockland. It doesn't have to be super quiet I don't mind the noise of water flowing and become somehwhat oblivious to it after time. I have a large waterfall run all summer outside so it's just like a part of life around here.

    I actually have a 90 gallon cattle trough in the basement and have seen some systems do that but I image that is definitely more complicated than doing a directly under tank.

  4. #4
    liv
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    sumps are great, offloads the systems of wires, and unsightly powerheads, heaters etc. you already have a nice sump ( 90g cattle through ) and i'd use this as your sump. you could simply sit your skimmer and heaters in there and just about all other equipment needed and pump it back up to the main tank.

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

  5. #5
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    Look at different diagrams of a sump/refugium to better understand how they work. The most basic/common ones have some baffles to trap air bubbles, skimmer at the return end from the display tank, main pump in the middle, with a T running water to the refugium at the other end, so there is no extra pumps needed for a refugium. Find pictures and you'll have an easier time understanding them. There's several different ways to go about them. You want to get the plumbing too and from the tank understood properly; Along with how you'll have a siphon break. There isn't many books out there that go in to great detail about sumps, but there's lots of information on the internet, and here.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  6. #6
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    First of all thanks for all your replys and messages. I had been looking at many diagrams and photo’s and it helped me understand the basic principle but with so many different ways I was still confused.


    So what I did was go to my fish store (ha ha I call it MY fish store now) and they very kindly took a LOT of time and showed me their different sump set ups and explained what everything was and did.

    So I’ve scrapped the plan of getting 2 new aquariums and am getting one that is reef ready (will be able to get it at the end of this week) then will transfer my sand and rock and some of the water to that and take the empty one in to the shop to have partitions added. The new one is 40 gals and the one I have is 30 so that will be the sump. While it’s at the shop it will have 4 partitions installed in it. One for the skimmer to trap bubbles, one for the refugium and I don’t know what the middle one is (???) and a panel on the bottom for the water to go under.

    I know I probably don’t need it now but as I said we are SO not handy and I’d rather have it taken care of now otherwise I’d constantly be fretting about how to get it done.

    Oh Liv the cattle trough would be good for a sump except I know my husband would not be at all agreeable to having holes drilled in the floor so it could be plumbed down to the basement and I don’t really want a cattle trough in the family room. I used to keep my Koi in it for the winter when I had them in the pond, they were too big for my aquarium but by running the pond filter on the trough they did make it through several winters this way. I never was successful at keeping the pond with fish all winter, if I managed to keep a hole in the ice the fish would hang around it and then freeze when the temp did one of those sudden drops.

  7. #7
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    In my experience, the solution to keeping fish alive in a pond over the winter is to keep the water moving so that it doesn't freeze solid and to keep a hole in the ice for gas exchange. The easiest way to accomplish this is by keeping a pump running and pointing the outlet at the surface. Every once in a while, the spray may create an ice dome over the opening. A bit of hot water will open things up again.

    I ran my 30" deep pond in Cornwall like this and never lost a single koi or goldfish - it's also mush cheaper to operate than a heater.

    As for the sump, there are many successful reef tanks operating without one, but the vast majority (myself included) would not do so. There are so many benefits and no downsides. You will be thankful that you decided to go with one. I started out sumpless and within 6 months I had added a sump. It would have been so much easier to start off with one right off the bat.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Rybren I've never tried a pump in the pond over winter because all my pumps say do not run in freezing weather. I did buy an air pump that was rated for freezing but by the time I received the pump I noticed that they had changed it and it was no longer rated for freezing so I didn't use it, but that is what I am planning on using this year.

    I have used those floating heaters to no avail, most of the time they would keep a hole but still I would need to go down and pour kettles of boiling water on top to re-open and that was not such a big deal but the fish tended to hover around the hole and then would freeze when the temp took a sharp dip of 20 or so degrees which happens quite often here in Jan or Feb when it goes quite mild for a day and then suddenly drop down again. Its so frustrating to watch the fish there and know they should be at the bottom of the pond and not the top.

    I should be able to pick up my drilled tank tomorrow and then will transfer everything to it and then take the present tank in to have the partitions installed. Everything is fine in the tank right now, one crab died but I think he was in a fight because he was out of his shell and I found the shell and netted the crab and put him in little bowl with shell but then I realized he was dead. I think maybe he had been dead already and just the current made it look like he was running around. Anyway there was another crab without shell so I drop the extra shell next to him and he went in right away and since then all crabs have been behaving themself.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    It might have been a crab that molted. But yea, keep plenty of shells in there, and they'll have a blast swapping to different ones.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  10. #10
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    +1 on the molt.

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