D.I.Y. Sump questions.

Sarrixx

So I'm converting my approx. 57 gallon (custom 4 foot) tank from freshwater to saltwater in the coming months, and probably the hardest thing I am trying to figure out how to do is the sump.
I WAS going to use a 10 gallon and a 15 gallon for a 2 tank sump but I found a freshwater crab at my LFS and bought it and put it in the 10 gallon, so ill probably either go buy another 15 gallon to replace the 10 gallon.
No matter what I do, I'm going to have to figure out a way to set it up. The 15 gallon I currently have is taller than it is long. From the bottom to the top its about 40cm tall, its about 31.5cm long and about 18.5cm deep. It has some useless little light in it but I'll probably replace that with something a little more powerful. I'm planning on using this as the refugium with a deep sandbed, live rock and some form of macro algae (depending on lighting requirements).
Then the tank I go out and buy will hold the return and skimmer/pump and heater.
Drilling the tank is NOT an option (my mum is totally against it) and I was talking to my 'consultant' at my marine lfs about alternatives.
I suggested an overflow box but I'm still a little confused as to if an overflow box still needs a drill hole or not?
Then he suggested a cheap alternative would be a water bridge made from pvc piping (I think he said about 9mm) and that sounded like it could work.
It would come out of the right side of the tank and go into the refugium first (I think =/) then I would build another water bridge connecting the refugium to the actual sump.
The only thing I haven't really had any ideas for is the return. Yet anyway.

I would like as many ideas and improvements on this concept as possible, and a little help with maybe some other alternatives to drilling the tank and also some ideas for how to return the water to the tank?
Also not sure if the refugium and sump have to be in a certain order or what.
Help is very much appreciated!
 

Sarrixx

Also another idea I had for a refugium would be some macro algae in a breeding net. Although I don't really like this concept, its a last resort for me because I would like to fit plenty of live rock and algae and possibly some inverts into the refugium as possible.
 

David C

So your sump and refugium will be adjacent to your DT? not underneath? I'm just trying to clarify. I'm not sure if the water bridges have a limit to how much water they can pass or not. Then would you have the return pump in the final tank?

Dave
 

Sarrixx

DT? And I dunno where the return pump goes, I was under the impression it goes in the sump with the skimmer in order to return the water from the sump to the tank?
 

locoyo386

HI there,
If you are giong to buy a replacement for the other tank, I would recommend to look in Petsmart. I got a 20L for $25, with Petsmart Card (fress to sign for). I also would recomed the 20L if you can fit it in the stand. It will be better for your 57 tank. Than you can set up the thank as a sum/ref unit all in one and also have room to set up the skimmer. Irecently made one for one of my 55's. I am goint to try it, since I never had a sump/ref before. I will not have a skimmer, however. The spaces that you will need in the sump are dependent on the skimmer and the return pump. Also, if you go with overflow box you will not need to drill your tank, but you do have to have a height difference. I am going to go with a DIY everything (sump and overflow box). If you like I can post pictures of the box and sump.

Equipment wise, I would recommend to use a 300 gph hour pump at the height that you will be setting it up for. I have found out that if I go bigger, there is too much flow in the sump and it returns microbubble to the main tank.
 

locoyo386

DT? And I dunno where the return pump goes, I was under the impression it goes in the sump with the skimmer in order to return the water from the sump to the tank?

It depends on how you are ging to set it up. For that size tank I would recommend a 20L tank for your sump/ref if you can fit it. Start there, decide what tank/tanks you are giong to use first them decide on the equipment. If you have the skimmer alreasy, than start there.
 

Sarrixx

thanks locoyo that clears a lot up. if you could post pictures of you doing your sump that would be great
 

Stang Man

Is this a glass tank or Plexi? sump for a 55 gallon needs to be about as big as you can fit under your stand. The over flow needs to be as close to the top of ridge of tank or you may have a over flow in sump ! please give more details on your setup?
 

Sarrixx

yeah its a glass tank, its 109.5 cm long, 42.5 cm deep and 49.5 cm high.
 

David C

DT= Display Tank

I was confused with the water bridges, so the two sumps are going to be in your stand and not adjacent to the tank? I'm having trouble visualizing this one for some reason.

Dave
 

Stang Man

I would suggest over flow drains drilling thru glass is not fun and can break glass if not careful enough!
 

Sarrixx

Yes David the sump and refugium would be underneath the tank sitting on the shelf in the stand and the water bridge would come out of the right side of the tank and go underneath to the refugium, then into the sump, then back into the tank somehow (or so this is my basic plan)

Stang man, drilling the glass is not an option for me anyway, even if it was I think I would still go with an overflow anyway
 

David C

Yes David the sump and refugium would be underneath the tank sitting on the shelf in the stand and the water bridge would come out of the right side of the tank and go underneath to the refugium, then into the sump, then back into the tank somehow (or so this is my basic plan)

ohhhhhhh...... now I get it, lol, guess I was a little slow

Dave
 

locoyo386

thanks locoyo that clears a lot up. if you could post pictures of you doing your sump that would be great

Well it is done now, but I will post a small video of it for you to see. I will post it here on this thread, later today. It is not running yet, because I have not had time to intall it.
 

Sarrixx

Well it is done now, but I will post a small video of it for you to see. I will post it here on this thread, later today. It is not running yet, because I have not had time to intall it.

ok awesome can't wait to see it, I'm still struggling with ideas
 

locoyo386

ok awesome can't wait to see it, I'm still struggling with ideas

HI there, sorry for taking so long


The far right is for the return and the middle is were the refugeum is going to be.
 

Sarrixx

thanks for the vid! nice job youve done. how big was that tank? I found this pic on 3reed.com and its probably what ill be following to build mine. All the plumbing I will be building including a custom overflow built with 1 1/4" pvc piping.
 

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locoyo386

Thankyou, the tank I used was a 20L. That shows a good design. I think it will work. Make sure that if you decide on the tank, for the sump, first that your skimmer will be able to fit in it. If you buy the skimmer first than make sure you have a tank that will accomodate the skimmer.
 

Sarrixx

yeah true, how much of the skimmer has to be sumerged in water?
 

David C

Each skimmer has different specifications. Check out the skimmer you plan to buy, it will have a minimum and maximum water level listed. You can always put it on a small stand to raise it up if needed. Make sure you will also be able to empty the collection cup with it under your stand.

Dave
 

Stang Man

If you can do a venturI driven skimmer rated to 250 gallon and a submersible pump with a head pressure of 700 plus gallon per hour I would go that route! They are the best way to skI'm versus air driven takes a lot of workin for air driven venturI you can just plug it in and go!
 

locoyo386

yeah true, how much of the skimmer has to be sumerged in water?

Yeah, exactly. Like mentioned above the each individual skimmer has different spefications. You should start there and see if you can accomodate the skimmer you want with the tank that you can fit under the tank or that tou would be able to use. Also, if you do decide to go with two tanks, one suggest might be to run them independent from each other. The only issue with that is that you will need two return pumps.
 

Sarrixx

decided I'm going to go with that plan and just have the one tank, I will probably end up buying a 15-20 gallon tank for the sump. I'm still having trouble deciding on a skimmer! ive been told by multiple people in my LFS's that the best route to go when buying equipment is online so its hard to find anything other than ebay that will ship to australia!
but I'm on ebay every day because of that and have purchased a cheap RO unit that I hope will work! and also a wave maker powerhead, will probably end up purchasing another one or 2 of these at some point in the near future! Main thing on my mind right now is finding a skimmer and a return pump! ill keep posted on the progress of my search
 

locoyo386

its hard to find anything other than ebay that will ship to australia!

yeah that can be a problem.

return pump! ill keep posted on the progress of my search

did you decide what gallons per hour are you going to go with on the return pump?
 

locoyo386

How is your sump coming along?
 

Sarrixx

still slowly, I have replanned how I'm going to set it up now. I have a 2 tank which will fit a 15-20 gallon on the top shelf and a 10 gallon on the bottom. I won't decide which tank will be the sump until I get my skimmer and return pump.
Thinking about it now, if I make the 10 gallon a sump it is most likely that I won't be able to fit a refugium of a decent size (or at all) into the layout. So I would probably have to turn the 20 gallon on top into a refugium and find some way of hooking it up to the rest of the system.

The reason I am not so sure about making the 20 gallon the sump is because the top shelf doesn't have a support bar running through the middle, unlike the bottom shelf.

Theres a pic of the stand attached.


Also with the return pump, I am still pretty confused as to the gallons per hour and all that, like what determines that?
I'm guessing its something like, you work out how fast the water is travelling down the overflow (which I will be making myself from PVC pipe) and then you have to match that with the return pump or something?
 

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Sarrixx

Also the skimmer I plan on using is this one here
 

Stang Man

That skimmer looks like the one I built about 12 years ago!!! Wow you will be very happy with it I am currently just finished building a 30 gallon nano tank and sump you can check them out on my pics!!! Made them from acrylic and next is stand and canopy. Then down the road I plan to build a 180 gallon tank with sump stand canopy for that but depends on if wife will let me just got to get rid of a bunch of furniture and pool table!!! Lol
 

Sarrixx

haha I'm sure if your persistant enough she will agree to let you move the stuff for the 180 =D the sump pics look awesome!
 

Stang Man

Thanks!!! If you do plan on 10 gallon for sump or refuge I would use half for refuge and other half for return. I personally would just do a sump I just don't see the benefit of refuge you can have same effect by doing that in your DT sand, marine plant,etc. but would look nice for your two compartment stand! You could have a couple sea horse's that would be cool!!!
 

Sarrixx

I'm not going to have a very deep sandbed, and I don't really want any marine plants in the DT. That's why I am building a fuge to go into or with my sump.
 

Stang Man

Sounds like a plan good luck!
 

Sarrixx

so plans have changed AGAIN. My skimmer still hasnt arrived, have no idea where I can get a return pump around here or what sort of pump I should even use! I'm clueless when it comes to the return pump.
Anyway I went out and bought a 60L tank (15g) which will be placed next to my tank. It's big enough to fit the skimmer in, as well as a small fuge and should be big enough for a return pump. Its 61 cm long, I'm leaving an area about 20cm long for the skimmer, about the same for the return and about 15 cm for the fuge. The other 6cm is for the baffles/bubble trap.
Plumbing is what's stumped me atm, because the tank is next to the tank, I'm not sure how I'm going to arrange the plumbing for it but I'm trying to think of multiple ways I could do it.
Thoughts?

EDIT: for a return pump, would it just be something like this because if it is, I am some what confused as to how that fits into all the plumbing.
 

Stang Man

Not sure what 1000 liters per hour is but all you need to run skimmer is 450 gallons per hour and about 300 gallons for return pump
 

Sarrixx

could you link me an example of a return pump? because its just generally confusing me what exactly it is. I know that it is for sending the water back from your sump to your tank but that's about it hahaha

the skimmer came with its own pump too so I don't need to worry about that right? 1000 litres is 260 US gallons or 220 standard gallons
 

ATP

could you link me an example of a return pump? because its just generally confusing me what exactly it is. I know that it is for sending the water back from your sump to your tank but that's about it hahaha

the skimmer came with its own pump too so I don't need to worry about that right? 1000 litres is 260 US gallons or 220 standard gallons

a return pump is just a pump that pumps water back into the display tank. So it "returns" back. It could be any pump depending on your tank. Could even be a powerhead for nanos that has a built in sump/overflow.

There are two types. One is external and one is submerisble. There's also some which can be setted up as both external and internal (submersible)
 

Sarrixx

ah ok, so would this one here be ok for a return pump for my 55?
How would I connect that pump to the the rest of the system?
I'm building the overflow myself and I have a 15 gallon sump. Overflow is built using 1.5" PVC piping which is probably what I'll be using for the return piping too. I'll take pictures and post them when it's all complete, I'm about a third of the way there so far.
 

ATP

ah ok, so would this one here be ok for a return pump for my 55?
How would I connect that pump to the the rest of the system?
I'm building the overflow myself and I have a 15 gallon sump. Overflow is built using 1.5" PVC piping which is probably what I'll be using for the return piping too. I'll take pictures and post them when it's all complete, I'm about a third of the way there so far.

Stronger IMO. 1000 litres should be around roughly 260 gallons.
My 65 gallon uses a 1000 gallons per hour pump.

It depends on the size of your PVC pipe in your overflow. So after you decide how big is the pipeing going to be and how many, than you can choose a pump.
 

Sarrixx

already got the piping and in the process of sealing the overflow, as well as all the plumbing. its all made from the same diameter PVC which is 1 1/2 inch I'm pretty sure
 

Stang Man

1.5 inch is to big for return use 3/4 inch for return! And for the lights you really do not need any other lights with metal hylides save your money and use MH or if you do decide to do more lights all you need is T5 with actinic bulbs I would save the money and use funds for something else!
 

Gargoyle

Why exactly is 1.5 to big?? I can tell you that 3/4 would be to small for my setup..
 

Stang Man

Are you talking about over flow or return? 1.5 is perfect for overflow and 3/4 will give you a good head pressure. 1.5 is to big for return will cause no head pressure from sump!
 

navyscuba

Here is mine and works awesome. You can see it in action on post #126 of this threat.
 

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Gargoyle

Are you talking about over flow or return? 1.5 is perfect for overflow and 3/4 will give you a good head pressure. 1.5 is to big for return will cause no head pressure from sump!


Sorry I misread.... I thought you were speaking of the overflow portion.. not the return...

I know I oversized my return from 3/4 to 1inch because the flow was to strong.. The upsizing of a 1/4 inch fixed the issue I was having while still maintaining decent flow rates..

So..... Yeah.... Sorry about my misunderstanding of what you wrote there.. ;D My bad...
 

Sarrixx

so 3/4" for the return is what ill try out then! for the lighting I would get MH but our second story is one of those kit room things, so I can't really hang anything overly heavy from the roof which is the reason I'm going with T5 HO. The only SPS I really want to keep are plating corals like chalices and MontI caps.

So the lights I want (I think I posted them before) are 4 daylight 10000k bulbs, and there's also 2 LED moon lights in there. I was thinking of swapping 2 of the daylight bulbs for actinics but then I'm not sure I will have enough light for the MontI caps I want to get. How many actinics would you guys reccomend I have?

Also on a different note, I recently got some Perlite for some hydroponics I do and my mum suggested that it might be an idea to put some in my fuge because it's good filtration and airation. So my question is, what would the effects of this be on my water parameters and could it possibly be toxic to livestock?
 

Sarrixx

bump
 

Stang Man

2 10 k's 2 actinic and 2 moon light led.Not sure about what perlite is just use sand only or you can also use reef mud for refuge I would not chance using perlite what ever that is if it's for gardening then use it just for gardening!
 

Sarrixx

fair call haha, i've nearly got all the plumbing for the overflow done. next just gotta find an appropriate return pump, get some 3/4" pvc piping and build the return line then I'm ready to start cycling.
With cycling, what are the guidelines when it comes to have your lights on? As I probably won't have my lights for 2 or 3 weeks after the cycle has started
 

Stang Man

Depends on what type LR you are looking at. Cured or not cured ?
 

Sarrixx

not to sure yet, I might buy a few kilos of premium LR then the rest of the normal LR (not base)
 

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