20 Gallon Sump

Discussion in 'Sump' started by mountaindew, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. mountaindew New Member Member

    ever since Ive got my tank it doesnt seem like the sump is set up correctly.I have a 20gal high tank for the sump.My take has the overflow and diffusers already built in.My question is how do I measure where the dividers should be in the tank and how high should they be.I am using a protein skimmer .As of now the skimmer is on the one side and no dividers.Ive added some pics to try to explain my situation.How many pumps do I need in the sump

    Attached Files:

  2. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi mountaindew, welcome to Fishlore :;hi1

    Not entirely sure what you're asking, but the following site is a great reference for building sumps, and their design:  

  3. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello MountainDew and SantaWelcome.gif to Fish Lore!

    I hope you enjoy the site.

    Ken candycane2.gif

  4. mountaindew New Member Member

    what I am trying to figure out is how far apart are the 3 chambers supposed to be in the sump and how far from the bottom and the top

  5. JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    I have 4 chambers in my sump and how I did was following the link Ryan posted in his post it was very helpful.

  6. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    I have 3 chambers in mine. Designed using the same link at melevsreef :D

    Be sure your skimmer section is big enough to fit the skimmer you choose - that's tip 1.

    My baffles are 1" apart, with the middle baffle 1" above the base of the sump. I've attached my system design. Note, I didn't go with a DSB refugium in the end, just extra live rock rubble, and my plumbing feeds to both the right and left sections now.

  7. mountaindew New Member Member

    now my built in overflow has 2 hoses coming down to the sump.If I use your design how would I use those 2 hoses.Would I need to use a uv light with this set up
  8. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    The two hoses going to your sump, one will be a backup/fail safe in the event that one get's blocked the pump doesn't overflow the tank. Both would drain to the same section.
    Looking at your sump, it looks like it has been designed for an external skimmer and return pump?

    UV - IMO are not required. Some run them, others don't.
  9. mountaindew New Member Member

    Thank you very much for your advice.I will try something

    I got my 20gal long tank and my baffles.I have the skimmer in the one side live rock in the other.On the tank can the plastic strip that is around the top of the tank be removed or is that to help strengthen the tank
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2018
  10. JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    That is your top brace so no you can not remove it sry.
  11. mountaindew New Member Member

    I saw a thing on you tube on how to make sock filter holder and he used a plastic y pvc and he cut it so it would fit on that lip.His tank didnt have the plastic rim going around it.Thats what made me think that would come off.Thanks
  12. JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    Acrylic you can not glass unless you put a brace around the tank but that can be more of a hassle than it is worth.
  13. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Jessi is on the right track. If your tank has bracing, don't remove it, it is there to stop the tank 'exploding' under the pressure.

    If the tank was designed to be rimless, it won't have bracing, but these types of tanks are a compromise, and generally they're not made very tall.

    The concept Jessi is talking about, bracing around the edges, is commonly referred to as Euro Bracing, and can be more of a pain than leaving the original bracing in place ;) My tank has Euro Bracing, but it was custom built that way.
  14. mountaindew New Member Member

    Thanks for the info

    I am about ready to install the sump.My inflow and skimmer are on the right side,my return pumps are on the left side.Now which section should I put the bio balls.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2018
  15. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    I would put the bio balls in the inflow section, before the skimmer.

    Though with adequate amounts of live rock, you shouldn't really need bio-balls. Live Rock and the skimmer is all you need IMO.
  16. mountaindew New Member Member

    I have the sump just like the one you have.I went off of your diagram
  17. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Like mine? Where's my royalty cheque? :;laughing :;laughing

    I don't have bio-balls in mine. If you've run it with two inputs to the sump, you could run the bio-balls where I originally planned my DSB. For some reason though, I think bio-balls aren't meant to be used fully submerged..... something I read a long time ago, I could be wrong though.
  18. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    I have been looking at your diagram as well... since I am not machanically inclinded it hurts my head trying to figure things out that should seem obvious... lol
  19. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Arrows indicate the flow of water. The water comes down the white piping, into the sump. The design has changed and the plumbing now 'T's into two pipes just under the tank.
    It flows into the left section, where my now LR rubble gets another go at filtering NH3/NO2, and flows over the wall to the middle section.
    It also flows into the right section, the little 'box' the pipe feeds into forces the water to the bottom of the sump, giving the skimmer the greatest chance of getting the water. The water is processed by the skimmer, and the water flows through the bubble-trap and into the middle section.
    The return pump then pumps the water back up to the display tank (green tubes, green for Eheim ;)) and the two outlets disperse the water to the left and right sides of the display tank.

    Check out   for some cool animations, and design concepts.
  20. mountaindew New Member Member

    The sump is finally up and running.My question is the filter sock,should it be all the way under water exept for the top.Also,where is the best place to put a siphon incase the electric goes out so the sump doesnt overflow