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  1. #1
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Sump Design Question


    Okay it's out of my system.

    How do you figure out where & how tall to make your baffles?
    I'm basically using the drawing OSD provided as a guide, I'm just having problems scaling it.

    I've read Melv's web pages. He suggests an "average" height of 10", a 1" space between each baffle, and a 1" space at the bottom for the water to go through.


    I only have space for a 20 long under my 90G. If I section off 1/3rd for a refugium, that leaves me with ~ 15g using a 10" wall with 1" grates cut into it.

    This seems to be okay space remaining. Using reefcentral's sump size calc & being overly generous with the flow the mag 12 is going to get it produces this:

    sing the following input parameters
    Tank Length = 48 inches
    Tank Width = 18 inches
    Height of Water above Overflow = 2 inches
    Flow through sump = 900 gph

    Sump volume is calculated as
    Sump Volume need to handle tank overflow = 7.5 Gallons
    Recommended Minimum Volume for sump = 16.5 Gallons

    Realistically I think I'll be lucky to have 700gph getting back into the tank after the elbows, an OM squirt, some more elbows, and 4' of head.

    Where I'm starting to pull my hair out is if I have 10" baffles I'm going to be hard pressed to take another 7.5G into the sump if the power goes out. The math isn't working for me.

    If I use 2 6" baffles and 1 10" for the over - under (10") over then I've got the space for a power failure but the mag12 would be sitting in a 6 x 6.25" return section. That's not a lot of water to keep it from slurping.

    So am I thinking too hard?

    Any ideas?


  2. #2
    Moderator cres's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Nope, not thinking too hard (my opinion).

    You can only fit a 20 Long in there, but, can you fit a second tank (of any description) as the refuge ?

    Is there a skimmer in this picture? External, HOB, in sump ? I think you will need the bulk of a 20 long to disipate bubbles. Especially with that much flow.

    Also, don't forget, when you stop the pump, you can fill the tank up past the baffles. You aren't limited to the 10" heght.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  3. #3
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Originally posted by cres
    Nope, not thinking too hard (my opinion).
    Cool I'm not loosing my mind then... or maybe we both are?

    My wife got me a wonderful pine stand kit a couple years ago and spent more on it than most people do on a complete reef set up. My hands are tied, I'm using this stand.

    Here's what I'm working with:

    Left side: 16 x 24 x 16
    Right side: 16 X 17 X 16

    I've removed the divider between the sections & taken out the shelf giving me a space of roughly

    16 x 42 x 16.

    I need to get the drain & return piping as well as the electrical into that space as well as the sump.

    I can take out the drawers for more space, but at 24" there's a thick center strut that transfers it's load to some cross bracing.

    So sections could be as high as 18", but those sections have to be less than 24" long.

    In addition to the sump I need to crap an RO reservoir / auto top off and an as yet to determined protien skimmer.

    I was initially working with a 20 long, because that leaves some space and would appear at first glance to be big enough according to reefcentral.

    Alas, if I've given the impression I know what I'm doing on this one it's only 'cuz I read a lot.



  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Don't forget to make your pump return section as large as possible. Someone told me that a couple of months ago. I did not not listen and took most of my sumps area for a fuge (a bit more than 1/3 of a 3 foot 40g). It left little room for the rest and now it is all packed and I can't keep up with evaporation. Don't forget it all takes place in the return section.

  5. #5
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Okay I think I've got it.

    A 20" long still fits the best. That leaves space for the reservoir and a skimmer, external to the sump.

    My drawing tools are at the office, so I'm going to have to describe this..

    3" of entry on the far left, then 7" high baffles to filter out most of the bubles (o-u-o). a 1" space between baffles & a 1" gap at the bottom.

    Using 1/8" acrylic that uses 5 3/8" so far.

    Next is the refugium. If I make that 15" with a 7" baffle (8" notched down to 7") at the end I'm upto 20 1/2 inches. This gives me about a 5.5 gallon refuge. Not a big 'fuge, but it'll grow algea & bugs.

    That leaves about 9.5" for a mag 12 return pump.

    If the power fails, there's 5" left in the tank. 30 x 12 x 5 = 7.8 gallons. The top 2" of the 90 is 18 x 48 x 2 = 7.5 G. So i've got a 0.3G to spare lol.

    I think though when it comes down to it, wet floor wise I don't have to worry if I have at least 5" of air in the top of my sump.

    Does that sound right? Am I getting it?


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