DIY sump

  1. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    Hey users of fishlore!, I'm going to be doing my own sump.
    I haven't done much research on DIY sumps..BUT! Here's one question on thickness of glass baffles...
    How thick should the baffles be??

    That's all! (For now..) lol

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  2. Claire Bear Well Known Member Member

  3. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    I really like the second link, it helps a bunch.
    And it talks about how much water you should have in your fuge section on the sump if you're running a 55g tank...ironically, that's the size tank I'm currently running!

    But I'm trying to figure out, like, what should be in "MY" sump design.

    I'm stuck on the baffle wall placements, I know the 1" rule for bubble traps. Does the thickness of the walls matter, though?

    Maybe I should let you all know, I'm going for a 20L sump design.

    In this design I hope to have...

    Chamber 1: inlet/beginning with mechanical filtration, with enough room to place a skimmer pump.

    Chamber 2: refuge

    Chamber 3: ATO float switch, the actual skimmer (skimmer pump will be located in chamber 1. If that'll fine.) and my return pump to the main tank.

    And I'm still thinking of other things that could be of great use in this set up.
    I currently am keeping it a FOWLR until I get a good sump design and a better light to accommodate any coral/reef life.

    I thank you all so much for all the help! Stay happy. :)

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  4. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    The need for filter socks in chamber 1 depends on the individual and the way the system works but I definitely prefer them in my system vrs not using them - I've tried it with and without. If using chamber 2 as a refuge be sure to diffuse the water evenly so not to get too much turbulence in one area of it. The only thing to keep in mind when having the skimmer in chamber 3 is having micro bubbles getting sucked up by the return pump and thus into the DT. The ATO needs to be in chamber 3 as you stated 'cause if the sump is set up correctly that is where the evaporation will be so that's correct.

  5. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

  6. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    I've changed up my mind a bit...

    Instead of having the fuge in the middle, I have been on google searching 20G long DIY sump plans...and I really like the idea of putting the fuge at the far right.

    Chamber 1:
    Inlet/other sponge type filter pads/skimmer.

    Chamber 2:
    The return section,
    Plumbed with a "T" connector..With a flow control (ball valve) that will lead into chamber 3, the fuge.

    Chamber 3:
    The refugium.

    I'm almost 100% sure on doing a 20L sump...using glass baffles of 1/4" thick. Placing the bubble traps in between chamber #1 and #2, baffle 2 will sit 1" above the sump tank floor, whilst each baffle sit 1-1.5" apart.
    Between chamber #3 and #2 will consist of one baffle wall slightly higher than the baffles between chamber #1 and #2. (About an 1-1.5" higher.) note me if that would be a mistake!!

    I'm now on to plumbing/return pump ???gph.

    I plan on hard plumbing this 20L sump.
    And head heigh from the base of the sump to top of the DT is about 3'9" (roughly) I just did a quick measurement.

    I'm learning... :)

    Thanks a lot for the help you all!! :)

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  7. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I'll say right off the bat I've never built a DIY sump system but have a DIY refugium plumbed into my sump system. I have read and watched the building of ones similar to what your doing and think your on the right track. To play it safe I suggest doing exactly what someone else has done to a tee or you will probably have to make a lot of time consuming changes to it along the way. I regards to the return pump as you may know it depends on the pump to keep up with the intake rate or BETTER (the overflow rate). I don't know what kind of GPH you looking for but a return pump with adjustable flow rate would be invaluable. Maybe one with a max of 700gph?

  8. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    I plan on plumbing my return with a T just like others have. It's nothing new, I just wanted to really know if I am staying on the right track with my first DIY project for my tank. Thanks!!

    As for the drain, my eshopps 300gph has a 1" drain tube (after I build my DIY sump I plan to hard PVC everything. A smooth look.)
    And my return will be going to the DT as it always should on any set up, but the different thing is I'm just isolating the fuge as noted above in other replies, and using a T. One direction to DT and one to the fuge (ball valve will be installed on the fuge line.)
    Also, the exit flow into the fuge will have another T to diffuse the flow so none hits and disturbs the rocks/macro/sand. We don't want that!

    Thanks for following me along my planning!! Means a lot, I'm also using reef central for a reference.

    (A bit off topic, I know!)

    I work almost 7 days a week, with 12 hour shifts mixed you can imagine how much time I have to do research on my own...i do try to get as much in on my own, just not as much. But, think god I retain information pretty well! Or i'd be screwed out of a fun filled hobby...LOL. (Not really.)

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  9. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    The flow going to the fuge sounds fine but how is the flow from the fuge going back in the system? What kind of head room are you dealing with in regards to the return pump? I'm assuming you know about the need for a check valves on the return? I would like to see a pic or something to better understand, I got a Ruby 36 Elite slightly used for $200 a few days ago (that I wasn't going to mention yet) that I'm just starting to plan out so were in the same place.


    *i'll show you mine if you show me yours.
  10. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    Right now, I do not have anything to start the construction of my sump.
    So I can't do much to show you...I'm sorry for that..:/

    But about the check valves, I've read and heard a few things such as, making it much safer if the pump were to fail or a power failure..
    My opinion on that is...make sure you don't over do it with water :p and you'll be fine!! No flooding of the sump! Haha.
    But that's my philosophy on check valves.

    As for head loss, I'm going to need a pump that can handle filling the DT, as well as supplying water to my fuge.
    On to my head loss, 3ft 9in *roughly.

    So, I'm assuming with hard plumbing on the drain/return...a pump that is a bit over kill will not be a problem?
    Any pumps in mind? If you can help! Thanks!!

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  11. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    Also!, a 20L is 12" in height...
    I was thinking, the baffle that separates my fuge and return could be maybe...8"? That's how water will leave the fuge is by flowing over that baffles back into the return. So, a constant cycle is all using the same pump for the return to my DT. :)

    Hopefully this helps, I might draw a diagram for you just so you'd get a better understanding of my idea of my sump.

    I'll go do that :)

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  12. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    Like/said, I never did a DIY sump but I'll put in a search for them (sure many pics will pop up). I'm wondering with the space available will much of a fuge be available? I'm assuming the skimmer will be an in-sump and if so you need to account for the proper height of water in there for it to run. Do you know what skimmer you want and taken into account how much room it will require? I was thinking a Danner Mag-Drive Supreme 7 (or 5) with a max of 700gph (gotta love the names of some of this stuff-sounds like a gun) ???

    This is a typical 20g long sump
  13. thatreefguy22 Member Member

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  14. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    Here is a simple diagram for you, 1971roadrunner!
    The measurements for the baffles are not official...but I hope this helps!! :D

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1405822679.837189.jpg

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  15. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    It does indeed sound like a gun...haha
    I have a lot of room under my stand!!
    That's why a 20L will work best for me, leaving ton of room to work while having room for a good skimmer.

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  16. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I edited in a pic above of a 20L. sump. I'll think on this for a while (while pretending to listen to the g-friend-joke :() then get back later. In the mean time get the exact foot print measurements for the skimmer and the return pump and take that into account.
  17. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    I know how that is with the gf. Haha.
    And I will, first I have to select a pump and a skimmer :x

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  18. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I'm now replacing my sump and return pump after too many years of service and other reasons as well. In researching possible other return pumps for myself saw some reviews of return pumps for your needs. Most seem to prefer the Eheim's (#1260-640gph) over the Mag 5/7. The Eheim's gph sits right in the middle of those two and are considered better for a variety of reasons such as less power required, less heat, just as reliable, a little quieter etc..but more $. There are plenty of other manufacturers but these two seem to be the most common according to what I've read. Maybe some one else on FL could chime in on this etc...? ttyl
  19. thatreefguy22 Member Member

    It's been crazy for me this weekend, I was busy moving into a new apartment. So that said, I had to tear down my 55g, just for now.

    My trigger is in the 10 gallon I was using as the sump for holding until I can get settled in and set the 55g back up...for now I'm using a 10g tub for my sump and all live rock is in it for the time being!

    While the 55g is down,
    I'll be working on this 20L sump we've been talking about :)
    I'm just curious to how long and how much it'll all be.

    Thanks a lot 1971roadrunner for all the help!

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  20. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I just want to stress again that knowing the footprint of the skimmer (return pump too) in advance to building this will make/break what you're trying to accomplish. I viewed your diagram and compared it to other 20g longs people have done while researching my own new system. I'm concerned that you may not be allowing enough space in the first compartment for a skimmer unless you want to hang one over the side which is quite possible. One reason I'm going with a new sump is to increase the size of my skimmer - IMO it's the heart of the system. With the return pump you will need to account for "head room loss etc..." and have a good dwell time in there. If the GPH through the sump is too fast it could cause problems with micro bubbles, noise, flooding etc...this is not as hard as it sounds - just takes some research and patience :).