Freshwater Sump

minervalong

Member
Hey all,

I have a 30 gallon (36x12x16) freshwater that I am going to aquascape, I have been trying to figure out a way to hide all of the equipment so as not to ruin the effect. It occurred to me that with the $ a gallon sale coming up, I could get a spare tank and link the two so that the small tank becomes a sump with all of the equipment in it. Does this work?

How is the flow rate figured for filtering? By the filter I put in the sump or by how much actually goes through the tank?

Should I go with a 5 or 10 gallon? One of the calculators said I would need 3.7g sump, but I think bigger is better right?

It will have to sit on the bar on the same level as the 30g. I understand that the return and the overflow (hope I am using those terms correctly) should be on opposite ends.

Do I need two pumps or powerheads, one for getting the water to the sump and one for return?

My hubs is superparanoid about floods, so this needs to be simple and with the most failsafes I can get.

Thanks for the help, I've been reading but concrete answers by experienced folks is what I rely on most.
 

tyguy7760

Member
I am no sump expert...so hopefully others will chime in. But typically a sump is underneath the tank and regardless only calls for one pump. The pump will be wherever the water needs to be lifted out which is usually in a sump underneath while the overflow just, for lack of a better term, takes the excess water out of the tank and gravity takes it down to the sump. Some sumps have been constructed for overhead and in that case many times the pump is in the tank itself and gravity allows the water to return to the tank.

As for the size of the sump, it's up to you. But I'd do at least a 10 gallon.
 
  • Thread Starter

minervalong

Member
tyguy7760 said:
I am no sump expert...so hopefully others will chime in. But typically a sump is underneath the tank and regardless only calls for one pump. The pump will be wherever the water needs to be lifted out which is usually in a sump underneath while the overflow just, for lack of a better term, takes the excess water out of the tank and gravity takes it down to the sump. Some sumps have been constructed for overhead and in that case many times the pump is in the tank itself and gravity allows the water to return to the tank.

As for the size of the sump, it's up to you. But I'd do at least a 10 gallon.
Thanks Tyguy,
When starting anything new, I always read as much as I can and for some reason my brain starts churning out ideas lol. I'm not much of an artist so hiding the equipment has been a flit from one idea to another.
While I was reading up on filters, of course a filtering sump came up and woot woot, a way to hide equipment!
Now I just need to design one but you can't do that without knowing the mechanics.
Thanks for the outline!
 

Florian Pellet

Member
If your tank isn't drilled, you will have to add an overflow box, which isn't the prettiest.

Another way to hide all the equipment is to just have everything inline: you can add heater, reactors, pumps, CO2 injection... All of that inline, wherever your filter is. Of course, that means having a canister filter. In this case, the only things in your tank are the inflow and the return pipes. And Lily glass pipes are pretty discrete.

What many aquascapers do is that they put the tubing going to and from the tank on the side so that when you look at your tank from the front, you don't see it. You could also have a colored or frosted background.
 
  • Thread Starter

minervalong

Member
Florian Pellet said:
If your tank isn't drilled, you will have to add an overflow box, which isn't the prettiest.

Another way to hide all the equipment is to just have everything inline: you can add heater, reactors, pumps, CO2 injection... All of that inline, wherever your filter is. Of course, that means having a canister filter. In this case, the only things in your tank are the inflow and the return pipes. And Lily glass pipes are pretty discrete.

What many aquascapers do is that they put the tubing going to and from the tank on the side so that when you look at your tank from the front, you don't see it. You could also have a colored or frosted background.

Oh wow Florian, I see that you are an aquascaper yourself. My goal is to quietly slip into the world I build without having things jar the vision so to speak.

Right now a canister filter is out of the question, money and rowdy four legged beasts and a hubs who is superparanoid about floods are the factors here lol. So that means it all has to link to the main tank.

My daughter is a painter, so she is going to paint my backgrounds for me on canvas to attach to the backs and side so that means at least two pipes will have to go into the tank, an overflow and a return, but I was thinking about using lily pipes or the nearest equivalent for those and I think I can put those either behind a castle turret or a tall plant.

Just getting started on this idea and all input is helpful, great idea to put everything on one end, maybe she could paint me a matching canvas to extend from the front corner and hide everything. See how the mind just flits? lol

Thanks for the help.
 

Florian Pellet

Member
Since there is flood paranoia in the air, I'm assuming drilling your own tank isn't the preferred method. Then for a sump you need an overflow box. It's something that looks like this: link to aliexpress. It's going to cost you about $50 if you're lucky. Plus $30 for a sump tank, and $20 for a pump. And then beyond that, you'll be able to use "cheap" equipment since it doesn't have to specifically fit your canister or be inline (like a basic heater is maybe $20 and an inline heater would most likely be $50).

The problem with overflow boxes is that they rely on the principle of "connected vessels" and if flow is too slow, it's easy for bubbles to get stuck on top and eventually unconnect the two sides of the box. If this happens, you only have very little time before there is a flood. On the other hand, if the flow is too fast, the slightest blockage (snails, dead plant, bubbles) is a flood risk.

However, one of the best canister there is for the size of tank you have is (according to me) the EheI'm 350. It's $130 on amazon. And it's probably the most flood-proof method.
 

tyguy7760

Member
canisters should be less of a flood concern than a sump IMO

Look up king of diy over flows. He has a basic one and a more advanced one. TO me these are better than the commercially made overflows...at least the advanced one is.
 
  • Thread Starter

minervalong

Member
Florian Pellet said:
Since there is flood paranoia in the air, I'm assuming drilling your own tank isn't the preferred method. Then for a sump you need an overflow box. It's something that looks like this: link to aliexpress. It's going to cost you about $50 if you're lucky. Plus $30 for a sump tank, and $20 for a pump. And then beyond that, you'll be able to use "cheap" equipment since it doesn't have to specifically fit your canister or be inline (like a basic heater is maybe $20 and an inline heater would most likely be $50).

The problem with overflow boxes is that they rely on the principle of "connected vessels" and if flow is too slow, it's easy for bubbles to get stuck on top and eventually unconnect the two sides of the box. If this happens, you only have very little time before there is a flood. On the other hand, if the flow is too fast, the slightest blockage (snails, dead plant, bubbles) is a flood risk.

However, one of the best canister there is for the size of tank you have is (according to me) the EheI'm 350. It's $130 on amazon. And it's probably the most flood-proof method.
Well that explains a few things lol. I plan on using a 10 gallon for the sump, will buy it at the $ a g sale next week. When I bought the 30, a lot of stuff came with, a couple of air pumps, a couple of water pumps and a powerhead, and a heater, so got those. When I had a bit of a problem at the LFS, I ended up with an extra heater ( I love bonus things lol) so got that. So basically what I am gonna have to lay out for is the overflow box.

I think I will save up for that canister, after everything is in place a while, hubs won't notice a replacement. He doesn't like anything he doesn't understand and it takes a bit of reading to wrap your head around how these things work. He's not much on water theory lol.

Thanks again, it is nice to be led in the right direction.

tyguy7760 said:
canisters should be less of a flood concern than a sump IMO

Look up king of diy over flows. He has a basic one and a more advanced one. TO me these are better than the commercially made overflows...at least the advanced one is.
I love that guy. Am watching it now. So maybe a weir instead of a box, I can make that look like a castle turret lol.
 

bigdreams

Member
Just saw this thread... Am I to late to the party

I added a sump to my heavily planted 55 gallon Freshwater tank. Been going strong 1.5 yrs now. My signature has links to my tank and sump build out. Happy to help if you still need advice . This thread is pretty old so let me know.
 

Florian Pellet

Member
bigdreams said:
Just saw this thread... Am I to late to the party

I added a sump to my heavily planted 55 gallon Freshwater tank. Been going strong 1.5 yrs now. My signature has links to my tank and sump build out. Happy to help if you still need advice . This thread is pretty old so let me know.
Well, I just set up a new 53G tank (see thread here) and the stand definitely has the space for a sump! What uses do you have for it? Is it mainly about increasing water volume?
 

bigdreams

Member
Increases water volume and provides huge amount of filtration capacity. More economical than canisters for larger tanks. At 55 gallons probably a nice to have rather than a need to have It also provides water surface skimming . Also your water level stays constant in the main tank while sump water level drops due to evaporation.

With your paludarium setup it probably won't make sense to use a sump unless you are comfortable drilling your tank and putting in bulkheads for the overflow.
 

junebug

Member
Haha funny I just saw this. I have a 40 gal with a 20 sump that will be a paludarium when it's done. It's nice because I can keep the flow low (it's for wild bettas) while increasing the water volume, and if I want to, I can add all sorts of media bags to the sump without effecting the look of the tank.

The main thing for the return will be the height rating for whatever pump you get. It needs to push water up, so make sure it's rated for the specific height you need, and then add a few feet just to be sure. I'm pretty sure my pump is rated at about 400gph but the flow is nice and slow in the tank.
 

Florian Pellet

Member
Well drilling the tank definitely isn't a problem. But if there's no major advantage, and since I already have a canister laying around, I don't think I'll do it.
 

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