Sump Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by ccwilke, 11 Jun 2012.

  1. ccwilke

    ccwilke Majestic Pets Solutions Sponsor

    Posts: 1,023
    22 May 2012
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    Hi I am busy getting everything ready to install a bigger tank.Its 100L.I need to build a sump the space I have available is 60cm long,32 cm wide and 40 cm high.I need to know:
    1.How many compartments?
    2.What size to make what compartment?
    3.What meduims to add?
    4.DSB or not?
    5.Macro Algea or not?And what light?
    6.What protein skimmer to add?
    7.What size return pump to install?

    I would really apreciate it if someone can assit me.I am too scared too ask someone at a Pet Shop due to some of them misleading you.

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  3. Dot Dash

    Dot Dash

    Posts: 334
    26 Apr 2012
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    Pretoria - Roodeplaat

    I am busy with the same process, would like to heard what other people think.
  4. Wes


    Posts: 1,428
    24 Jan 2012
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    Most important thing to remember is that some things work for some people and other things work for others. The following is just what I have seen that works for a number of people.

    first thing you need to figure out is how much space you've got for what, which sump you want to go with DSB, Reactors etc...Return pump sizes, how much live rock you are planning on putting in your sump, how big of a DSB you want to run, what size skimmer, what flow thru the sump based on if it's going to be a DSB, what size of a display you are planning, how much livestock, coral? no Coral, Type of substrate in display tank, live rock in display? Type of fish, additives you may add.

    I see a couple of questions have been answered, we'd need for you to answer some more for some sort of head-way.

    Basically your plans in terms of livestock, budget prolly most importantly, if your budget is small start off small.

    ie if you have to save for a skimmer rather get something proper, that you can grow into, however whilst you have the tank cycling while you save get the DSB going as to start the process so you're not waiting for the skimmer to arrive before you drop water in the tank. A small return pump can be used at a later stage for a home made reaactor, the ruturn pump could then be replaced by something bigger, budget dependant and tank stocking.

    Most guys have three compartments, some guys have four.
    Compartment that I've seen work explinations to follow:

    1) Down pipe from overflow, and skimmer
    2) Filter Floss, some kind of filter media or a live rock filter line under over compartment
    3) (budget dependant Compartment) Reactors vs DSB
    4) another over under compartment Macro Algae more live rock
    5) Return Pump Chamber, Live rock again

    Chambers explained, please bear in mind that the discussions based on exactly what each chamber may remove and how could take weeks to compile.

    1) Down Pipe from Diplay tanks over flow(Self Explanitory) Skimmer, yes in the same section as the overflow, reason being it could help quickly eliminate excess food and poo from the display tank asap.

    2) Filter Floss, some kind of filter media or a live rock filter line under over compartment, this would simply be like a wall or a seperation between chamber 1 and 3, max i would go on this is 50mm. Filter floss to remove the bigger particles of food that bypass the skimmer. Careful with live rock here as you may find it being a trap for food and poo, if junk is getting trapped here, clean regular or have a real good clean up crew to eat the unwanted "junk" yes the clean up crew will also create junk themselves, but this will generally be a lot more manageable than what comes out of your display tank.

    3) DSB my pesonal preference, many will agree, many will disagree, what do you find at the bottom of the ocean? Yes Sand, If you are looking to maybe overstock your display tank with loads of livestock, look at getting reactors in place, please also bear in mind that if you want a DSB to work, it needs to be seeded, and it truly does take a long time to seed it, seeding a DSB is simple, all you would need is a quality piece of live rock. you do not need sand from a DSB to seed a new DSB, quality live rock does work. Flow of water generally would flow along the length of the DSB, It doesn't and shouldn't need to go completely thru the DSB into a chamber below the sand. All it needs to do is flow. Strangely enough the slower water goes through a filter the better change every bacteria has of removing what needs to be removed. DSB function is to host bacteria anerobic and aerobic forms to change matter into different forms, a cycled tank with the relevant bacteria should take the ammonia, produced by food and fish poo, and change it into Nitrites from nitrites the process needs to produce nitrates, bacteria deep within the sand bed will process the nitrates into nitrogen which should bubble off into the atmosphe. The DSB is where all of the processes can be completed. DSB should be no thinner than 15cm to complete these processes.

    4) Over under seperator once again, just to keep the sand where it should be in the dsb (Another dividing Chamber)

    5) Return pump chamber, take one pump make sure to do a search based on all of the above in terms of what flow you need over the DSB, flow according to the size of your display. When your tankl is cycling have a smaller pump in possibly just to help the bacteria to settle in a little bit quicker than normal.

    Other things to check:
    1) Skimmer rating, save up for somethig that will accomodate a system 2to 4 times bigger than what you have, so if you do go bigger, it won't be an issue. A big skimmer in a small system would not cause much hassle.
    2) Optimal size tank, If you're new to the Hobby, start with a forgiving 1.2m tank by say 450-800, you make a small mistake in a small tank the system will take strain, you make a the same mistake in a bigger tank you lose the risk of it becoming a huge problem for the entire system.
    3) Return Pump sizes, plenty of calculators on the forum to check what size return for what size display.
    4) the optimal system would be to have a bigger sump than a display tank.
    5) Ask for Help, if you got livestock pegging save the poor creatures. Imagine your dog/cat/brother/daughter living in your tank not looking healthy.

    I've got frogspawn and a brain coral, they are my indicators in terms of a test kit, if you see coral or any live stock sulking, do something do a water change, test what may be missing, test what may be exploding. And best of all good luck.

    Appologies for any spelling mistakes, I do have a mild case of dislexia. More importatly, make your systems as simple as possible, just think to yourselves would i be able to do this hwne I'm 60 years old, bend that far around in that corner... If not fix it, it's a hobby not a chore.

    Most importantly DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THIS FORUM, just like the internet not everything is 100% accurate. Stick to what works, if it doesn't work sell it to someone who may think it'll work for them.

    kiss = keep it simple stupid...

    Have fun guys.
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