Sump

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Hello people. Im wanting to setup a sump for my new 250L Reef tank. Ive been using Google and reading here gathering information but i have a few concerns i hope you people could help me with. First let me post some info about my sump.

The sump is a 70L tank and will work on the wet/dry or trickle system. It will have 3 compartments. 1st for the water leading into the sump + Skimmer, 2nd for the DSB (15cm) + some live rock on it (Yes/No?), 3rd for the Heater and return pipe.

My concerns are overflowing, will my current sump (all still on paper) cause a flooding problems, or any other problems at all? or am i on the right track?
 

viper357

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The 3 compartment design is perfect. You will need to try and measure roughly how much water will come from the display tank in a power outage, then allow for that amount of water to be added to the sump. How high is your sump?
 

Ocean

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i would not put heater in 3rd compatment just incase of a proble and the heater is out of water
 
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Its 30cm high, a ruler length. And at Ocean what compartment do you recommend I put it in then? Or are you saying i should put it in my main display?.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Storm - I have found that the amount of water flowing into my tank's sump, depends on how high you have set your overflow in your display tank. If you allow too much water to flow into the overflow, then your sump could quite possibly overflow when the power fails.
BUT - if you amount of water flowing into your overflow is far less (and your main tank's water level is JUST JUST above the overflow outlet), then the amount of water that would flow into your sump should be less too.

This is also true for your stand-pipe down-pipe (outlet) to your tank's sump. The shorter the down-pipe, the more water will flow into your sump, the taller the down-pipe, the less water will flow into your sump, during a power-outage....

All this also depends on whether you have a "siphon" down-pipe or a durso-type down-pipe design....

Post some pics, and we could perhaps assist even better....

Many thanks.
 
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I dont have pictures, nor a overflow chamber in my display, could you elaborate on that a bit? coz my understanding is that i stick a pump at the top off the tank which then pumps water into the sump and then another that pumps back up to the display tank. When the power stops the pump stops pumping water into the sump and from the sump to the tank? or am i confused here?
 

jacquesb

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Hello Storm - somehow I think you got some misguided info, mate ;-)

No - usually the water from the display tank runs down into the sump, by means of natural gravitational force.
There are a few ways of doing this - here are the most common:
- over-flow in the tank, that leads to a pipe, where the pipe goes right through the bottom of the tank (tank is drilled and a "bulk-head" fitted), and this pipe leads to the sump
- another way, if your tank is not drilled, to have a siphon pipe coming directly from your display tank - with a hole drilled into the siphon pipe, to ensure that, during a power-failure, the water does not siphon out - this hole is usually JUST below water level, and as soon as the power fails, the water runs down, BUT just to the point of this hole - when then gets air, and the vacuum causing the siphon is "broken", and as such, the siphon or water is broken - so no more water runs down into the sump
- thirdly, either purchase a manufactured, or hand-built over-flow add-on, which works similar to the previous point, but allows more flexibility w.r.t plumbing
 

viper357

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Yip, Jacques is right, you won't be able to do it with 2 pumps, you have to allow the water to get to the sump via gravity and then fed back to the display tank by a pump.
 

Ocean

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What i mean is just dont put in the last chamber put it anywhere else but not in the main tank
 
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Hi all i have almost the same problem can you guys please post a pic af a siphon setup is i tend to understan that a bit more
 
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mmm jacquesb im a bit confused with the siphon pipe method you mentioned where the pipe feeds water to the sump. What pulls the water through that pipe? a pump? coz in the next post viper357 says it needs to go through the pipe via gravity forces "which im not getting" as how will gravity pull water through a pipe "upwards and over" without a pump? maby you 2 can shed some light on that?
 

viper357

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Storm, some commercially available overflow boxes use a syphon system that you have to manually start yourself, such as the Reef Octopus overflow box which can handle a flow of 3000 litres per hour. They are quite expensive though. Tunze also do an overflow box.

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There is also a very crude syphon overflow that you can build yourself. I am still busy looking for the pics of this.

In my opinion it is best to get the tank drilled, or have one of your side panes cut in order to have an external overflow box. Is your tank up and running yet? If not then I will go into these systems in a lot more detail for you so you can choose one that you like.
 
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Nope tank is not setup yet, and im scared off drilling a tank for fear off cracking the glass... (R1150 tank) so best for me is the Wet/Dry system.
 
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LFS drilled my tank for me and three holes in my glass lid, one very close to the edge and no cracks, I'm not saying that it wont crack, but if done carefully (cooled with water) the chances are it will not.
 
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Ok so it seems im going to need a overflow box. Does anybody have any DIY links or maby a price estimate i would be looking at in the shop? Also, i keep getting confused with the pumps, do they push or pull water? thanks in advance.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Storm -

A siphon method works EXACTLY the same way you would decanter petrol from a car's petrol tank. Basically a pipe is stuck in the liquid (the one side of the pipe should be "under the surface of the liquid at all times"), and this requires the other side of the pipe to be much lower than the end which you have fixed to be under the surface of the liquid (in this case, your tank's water). You then have to "suck" on the end that's NOT in the water, until water starts to move upwards and then downwards in the pipe. Once this water movement starts, it does not stop, until air enters the pipe somehow. This air will then break the vacuum created by you sucking on the end hanging "loose".....

BE sure to point the end hanging loose INTO the sump or another container, otherwise you WILL get water all over yourself, and the floor ;-)

Also - be noteful of the possibility of getting a mouthful of water as well....

A pre-manufactured over-flow that Viper has posted, will most likely cost around R800-R1000 at the LFS shops....

I will have to look for DIY over-flow plans for you....

Hope you understand the concept now?

BTW - I have found that it is MUCH better having your tank drilled. I also started off with the siphon method. I then upgraded to a 2 metre tank, from my 1.2 metre tank (the 2 metre tank was also drilled by the LFS, while my 1.2 metre tank still is not drilled - I have a skimmer INSIDE my 1.2 metre tank LOL! ;-)
 

viper357

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Storm, if you are in Durban I know Northlands Pets builds overflow boxes for about R200-R300.

What area are you in? Perhaps we could direct you to a reputable LFS that can drill your tank for you. If not then we will work on getting those DIY syphon plans for you.
 

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