Sump separation to allow varying flow rates

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by coralline, 10 Feb 2011.

  1. coralline

    coralline

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    Hi y'all,

    After doing a fair amount of reading on MASA, SARK and other online sources, I decided a DSB was the way to go and wondered why I never used it on my previous reef tank.

    I'm nearly finished my 6 foot tank build with a sump for skimmer, refugium and DSB. The sump specs:
    110x50x32cm
    Section 1 - inlet from overflow and houses skimmer (TS3 or large Deltec, yet to be acquired); 30x50cm
    Section 2 - return pump (5000 lts p/h, yet to be acquired!); 25x50cm
    Section 3 - refugium; 15x50cm
    Section 4 - DSB; 15cm deep; 40x50cm

    No, I'm not crazy! The order is correct... read on.

    I read an interesting artice on reef-eden (DIY 4, I think) about separating the flow in the sump to accommodate that required for the DSB. The skimmer obviously needs a high rate of flow, but the DSB may require a lesser flow rate (depending on the length and breadth of the DSB, of course). I also saw on YouTube where an American guy (not that it matters!) built a sump with the return pump in the middle of the sump so that the water flowed from either side to the middle, at varying flow rates. Below is a diagram, roughly to scale, to the sump design (bear in mind I am not a graphic designer:tt2:):
    [​IMG]
    The triple lines are the baffles, with a single piece of glass separating the DSB and refugium. Water depth over the DSB will be about 10cm. Attached is another picture (not to scale) of the sump, again, please don't laugh.

    So, my questions are:
    1) is it really worth going this route for the sake of varying flow rates?
    2) I have, over the last couple of days, come to realise for the size of my tank and with 15-20 fish and a mix of SPS and LPS, my DSB should be at least 50% larger - am I correct in thinking this? I don't mind building a new sump if need be (fun with silicone...Hmmm), but I am limited to the size of the cabinet, so I can't go that much bigger, perhaps 70 or 80x50cm max).
    3) I read on one of the threads that one should have a fllow of around 10 times your total water volume p/h over the DSB - Eish! that is more than my return pump will be pushing, and surely will result in sand storms! Any new ideas on this? I read RiaanP's great advice on this topic.
    4) If the feed to the DSB is pre-filtered by the filter sock and partially by the skimmer (this won't get all of the water passing through), will there be enough food for worms etc on the DSB? Should I feed this manually to keep them thriving, or leave the DSB as a Nitrate removal stage, and leave the dritters to grow in the refugium. If I leave the DSB for Nitrate reoval only, then I may choose to keep it dark, with the refugium lit for the macro algae (chaeto).

    I am planning on using play sand (well rinsed) with some Aragonite mixed in for the DSB.

    Guys, any advice and feedback is most welcome and will be constructive (and apologies for the long-winded post!).
    Many thanks in advance:thumbup:
     

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  3. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Hmmm thats a very novel idea you have there...I like it....gonna tag and see what evryone else thinks...
     
  4. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Just to make sure im understanding your diagram

    Water enters the sump in the lower left by the filter sock.

    how will water get to your dsb? is your return pump have a t-piece and your pumping it over the dsb and well as back to the Display tank?
     
  5. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    @butcherman: correct, water enters into the filtersock. The return line in the middle section is T'd off (also with a ball valve) to feed the DSB, but mainly to return to the DT...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ok so how much flow would you like to run over your dsb?

    how deep is the sump?

    2 what water level are you running the sump at?

    got a side view plan?
     
  7. Nsteyn

    Nsteyn

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    Why arag with the playsand?
    Any reason or just the size of the grains? and do you think thats really worth the prise ?

    I like the design, ofc you will have to balance the flows etc, otherwise a waisted exersize, but should not be too difficult to get right.

    Nice :thumbup:

    Niel
     
  8. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    I'm sure I emtioned this in the thread, but:
    1) not too sure on flow rate - the beauty with this design is that I can play with the flow until I'm happy...
    2) sump is 32cm deep;
    3) the DSB will running with 10cm of water depth above it;
    4) I attached a document showing the side view... I'll have to see if/why it isn't displaying properly...
     
  9. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    Nah, just the size of the grains, but you're right - probably an unnecessary cost!

    Yeah, balancing the flows will be part of the pfun, but my final designs had this in mind.

    Thanks!;)
     
  10. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    So, I decided to run an adjacent DSB in another tank/sump, situated next to and above the other sump, feeding the main sump (as pictured in my first post) by gravity. This will increase the size of my DSB...
    So the 2 sumps will be linked by 2 x 50mm pipes.
    Diagrams and pictures to follow shortly;)
     
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