Freshwater Sump?

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etkelly22

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Hey guys, getting my 180 gallon dual overflow set up and have no idea how to plan out this sump. It was previously a saltwater tank, so I’m not sure how to set it up as fresh. Brand new to running sumps so if you could give me an idea on how to setup and where to put media and everything. Also what would be a good return pump to use? I’m keeping bichirs so they will be a bit messy. I’ll attach pictures below. Thanks!
 

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Authmal

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There are definitely going to be some videos on the web. I would use a filter sock on the return to as primary mechanical, and back it up with some fine filter floss. I'd put some kind of biological filtration after that, ceramic media, bio balls, BBQ grill lava rock (unused, of course) in bags so you can pull them easily if you need. In the large chamber, since I believe I've heard bichirs are hard on plants, I'd plant it with fast growing plants like moneywort or peacock moss (and of course light it) to help export nitrates, and heat it. Return pumps, I can't help with. I've been thinking about the freshwater sump process myself, and have the theory in my head, but not a parts list. And the sump being all clear like that makes it hard for my old eyes to see what the layout is.
 

coralbandit

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Interesting sump .
Water comes in through two socks that go in the circles .They will be a pain to clean so get extras .
I bleach mine in washing machine...
Where does the water that has to overflow on the right [ I guess a refugium] come out ?Might add sponges there if possible at the baffle .
Look for a sponge to fit across the first baffle where water goes under after the socks. Swiss tropicals has all sizes and density or you could probably get by with 2 aquaclear 110 sponges.
My sump uses drawers with 'cut to fit' mechanical pads and then I have sponges that water is forced through.
You want to have as much water available as possible in the reservoir area so you don't have to top off daily or use an Automatic Top Off device .[ATO]
 

etkelly22

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Interesting sump .
Water comes in through two socks that go in the circles .They will be a pain to clean so get extras .
I bleach mine in washing machine...
Where does the water that has to overflow on the right [ I guess a refugium] come out ?Might add sponges there if possible at the baffle .
Look for a sponge to fit across the first baffle where water goes under after the socks. Swiss tropicals has all sizes and density or you could probably get by with 2 aquaclear 110 sponges.
My sump uses drawers with 'cut to fit' mechanical pads and then I have sponges that water is forced through.
You want to have as much water available as possible in the reservoir area so you don't have to top off daily or use an Automatic Top Off device .[ATO]
Yeah the layout is odd to be as well. So I should just do all mechanical in the first chamber? and do biological in the open area? Is there a certain way I need to have to bio media or can I just have it laying in there in mesh bags? The refugium has me really confused lol the only part for water to enter or exit is the small overflow slots at the top, so does this mean I should have the sump filled all the way to the refugium overflows? Thanks for all the input, is there anything else I should know when setting this up?
 

etkelly22

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Interesting sump .
Water comes in through two socks that go in the circles .They will be a pain to clean so get extras .
I bleach mine in washing machine...
Where does the water that has to overflow on the right [ I guess a refugium] come out ?Might add sponges there if possible at the baffle .
Look for a sponge to fit across the first baffle where water goes under after the socks. Swiss tropicals has all sizes and density or you could probably get by with 2 aquaclear 110 sponges.
My sump uses drawers with 'cut to fit' mechanical pads and then I have sponges that water is forced through.
You want to have as much water available as possible in the reservoir area so you don't have to top off daily or use an Automatic Top Off device .[ATO]
Do you have any recommendations for return pumps or how much water turnover I should aim for? I’m trying to keep it as cheap as possible.
 

coralbandit

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I just ordered another Jeboa 12,000 DC pump.
About $107. 12,000 LPH which is about 2600GPH max .
It is digitally controlled so you can turn it down and save electricity .
Basically silent and transfers little to no heat .
Might not last for 4-5 years but cheap enough I still don't complain much about them .
I am running 3 sumps with them now .
 

Fishgirl71

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Thanks for posting this! I have a 90 gallon tank I bought off craigslist that has a sump that I need to set up. I have never had a sump before. i have watched several videos, but I am still unsure of how to go about getting all the pieces together correctly. I'll be watching this thread to see how it goes.
Thanks!
 

etkelly22

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I just ordered another Jeboa 12,000 DC pump.
About $107. 12,000 LPH which is about 2600GPH max .
It is digitally controlled so you can turn it down and save electricity .
Basically silent and transfers little to no heat .
Might not last for 4-5 years but cheap enough I still don't complain much about them .
I am running 3 sumps with them now .
Sweet, thank you! I have a 300 watt heater now but at thinking about picking up a 150 watt as well, do you think this should be enough or should I go with another 300? As far as plumbing goes, does it matter what size pvc I use? The current pre drilled overflow holes are 1.5” and 1.75”.
 

coralbandit

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Yeah the layout is odd to be as well. So I should just do all mechanical in the first chamber? and do biological in the open area? Is there a certain way I need to have to bio media or can I just have it laying in there in mesh bags? The refugium has me really confused lol the only part for water to enter or exit is the small overflow slots at the top, so does this mean I should have the sump filled all the way to the refugium overflows? Thanks for all the input, is there anything else I should know when setting this up?
I honestly use my sponges as bio media .I clean like bio in tank water and keep them submerged .I have started a thread years ago in wondering who thought what was best bio media and why they thought they needed it .Diana Walstad chimed in and I have never looked back ! This is whatI got from her !
All the rings /bio balls and the like are hype for those who have such tiny filters they can not function properly without ...Usually overstocked and under filtered.Beneificail will and does live in any surface area possible .
All bio media needs to rinsed periodically so that it does not become a nitrate factory and I have found sponges are easiest to clean ..

As for the fuge I notice a hole in the 'Euro brace' in the corner of the fuge above ...I suspect a pump was used in the section before fuge to pump water in that had to flow out through the overflow. so pump #2 or make a manifold and run both return and fuge from the jeboa !

Your holes are fine .
Most returns are 3/4 inches and flow 750GPH.
Most overflows are 1 11/4 and flow the same 750GPH
I would have 2 of the same heaters so they work in tandem and evenly instead of one working harder then other ?
I swear by Aqueon Pros ….another rant is possible !
You never know when you will want more flow ..I ALWAYS oversize my return pump and turn it down if needed even before the DC pumps .Throttling regular pumps increases the heat transfer . The average Mag drive pump will raise tank temp 4 degrees above room temp ! Ask me how I know ?
I run the 12,000 on my 180 in the living room above the filter [in fish room in basement ] at full speed through a rigid 1 1/2 " PVC line that "T's" in the stand under tank to each return.
I run the 12,000 on my 120 reef and another 12,000 on my protein skimmer in sump [60 g deep blue 4feet by 2 feet ]. The return runs less then 1/2 speed as
there is little head pressure. The skimmer runs on full power !
My last sump is a 20g on a 75g tank only filled 12". I run the 12,000 on a single return at about 1/3 speed.
I figure having all the same pumps makes replacement or getting an extra [as I just did ] covers all my bases . And when one fails it is only the power switcher /controller /or pump .Not all 3 will fail so you get usable parts from older pumps.. Just me ??
 
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Klink

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Second on the Jebao pumps. My 120g freshwater tank with a 30g sump is going to be running a DCP-5000 at half power and it's worked well thus far for testing. Very cost effective as well.
 

etkelly22

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I honestly use my sponges as bio media .I clean like bio in tank water and keep them submerged .I have started a thread years ago in wondering who thought what was best bio media and why they thought they needed it .Diana Walstad chimed in and I have never looked back ! This is whatI got from her !
All the rings /bio balls and the like are hype for those who have such tiny filters they can not function properly without ...Usually overstocked and under filtered.Beneificail will and does live in any surface area possible .
All bio media needs to rinsed periodically so that it does not become a nitrate factory and I have found sponges are easiest to clean ..

As for the fuge I notice a hole in the 'Euro brace' in the corner of the fuge above ...I suspect a pump was used in the section before fuge to pump water in that had to flow out through the overflow. so pump #2 or make a manifold and run both return and fuge from the jeboa !

Your holes are fine .
Most returns are 3/4 inches and flow 750GPH.
Most overflows are 1 11/4 and flow the same 750GPH
I would have 2 of the same heaters so they work in tandem and evenly instead of one working harder then other ?
I swear by Aqueon Pros ….another rant is possible !
You never know when you will want more flow ..I ALWAYS oversize my return pump and turn it down if needed even before the DC pumps .Throttling regular pumps increases the heat transfer . The average Mag drive pump will raise tank temp 4 degrees above room temp ! Ask me how I know ?
I run the 12,000 on my 180 in the living room above the filter [in fish room in basement ] at full speed through a rigid 1 1/2 " PVC line that "T's" in the stand under tank to each return.
I run the 12,000 on my 120 reef and another 12,000 on my protein skimmer in sump [60 g deep blue 4feet by 2 feet ]. The return runs less then 1/2 speed as tthere is little head pressure.
My last sump is a 20g on a 75g tank only filled 12". I run the 12,000 on a single return at about 1/3 speed.
I figure having all the same pumps makes replacement or getting an extra [as I just did ] covers all my bases . And when one fails it is only the power switcher /controller /or pump .Not all 3 will fail so you get usable parts from older pumps.. Just me ??
Wow, thank you for all that information! What kind of sponges are you referring to? Just basic pot scrubbies or what? So you think 1.5” pvc will work all the way around? I noticed my sump has a bulkhead or something sticking out the side so does that mean I have my return pump outside the sump? How does that work?
 

coralbandit

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I would cap the bulkhead with PVC glued on and go with a submersible pump .
I use aquaclear 110 or 'sump sponges that can be 13 inches long.
Swiss Tropicals offers the best sponges in the world but they are not cheap.
I use large poret sponges in several of my breeding tanks ; Mattenfilter Shop - SWISSTROPICALS
But these may be more inline with your needs ; Tower Block Filter Shop - SWISSTROPICALS
The ones without the lift tubes .
The facts are that sponges are great mechanical and biological filters .I and many other breeders run complete fish rooms on air driven sponge filters with massive stocking and regular water changes ..
I am if you have not noticed the 'sponge guy ' !
Everyone can spend their money how they want on bio media but if you have nitrates you have a cycled tank. I always wondered if people thought more media would lower nitrates .
I believe my suspicion was confirmed that more media could only yield more nitrates if what you have wasn't keeping up . Other then that tanks only grow the bacteria they need and never more ...beneficial bacteria will grow on every and any surface it can or has too.
The size 1 1/4 is probably the bulk head size[you need to match the bulk head coming from tank]. Same for return lines .
I either hard plumb water in or use bilge pump hose. No dips in water to sump line or that tank will be noisy from having to build up enough pressure to push water through. Nice ,short as possible evenly pitched line to sump is what you want .Make a disconnect in the line[union or fernco rubber boot].
Returns can be flexible hose . I like braided so it doesn't kink so easily.They can be disconnected at the pump for service .
 

etkelly22

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I would cap the bulkhead with PVC glued on and go with a submersible pump .
I use aquaclear 110 or 'sump sponges that can be 13 inches long.
Swiss Tropicals offers the best sponges in the world but they are not cheap.
I use large poret sponges in several of my breeding tanks ; Mattenfilter Shop - SWISSTROPICALS
But these may be more inline with your needs ; Tower Block Filter Shop - SWISSTROPICALS
The ones without the lift tubes .
The facts are that sponges are great mechanical and biological filters .I and many other breeders run complete fish rooms on air driven sponge filters with massive stocking and regular water changes ..
I am if you have not noticed the 'sponge guy ' !
Everyone can spend their money how they want on bio media but if you have nitrates you have a cycled tank. I always wondered if people thought more media would lower nitrates .
I believe my suspicion was confirmed that more media could only yield more nitrates if what you have wasn't keeping up . Other then that tanks only grow the bacteria they need and never more ...beneficial bacteria will grow on every and any surface it can or has too.
The size 1 1/4 is probably the bulk head size[you need to match the bulk head coming from tank]. Same for return lines .
I either hard plumb water in or use bilge pump hose. No dips in water to sump line or that tank will be noisy from having to build up enough pressure to push water through. Nice ,short as possible evenly pitched line to sump is what you want .Make a disconnect in the line[union or fernco rubber boot].
Returns can be flexible hose . I like braided so it doesn't kink so easily.They can be disconnected at the pump for service .
Alright so I’m ordering everything now. I’m seeing 2 different options for the Jebao 12000 pump on amazon. One is the DCS 12000 () and the other just says DC 12000 () this one is blue and black and the other is all black. There is about a $20 difference in the two so i’m wondering what the difference is??
 

etkelly22

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Alright so I’m ordering everything now. I’m seeing 2 different options for the Jebao 12000 pump on amazon. One is the DCS 12000 () and the other just says DC 12000 () this one is blue and black and the other is all black. There is about a $20 difference in the two so i’m wondering what the difference is??
There is also a DCT 12000 for $115
 

coralbandit

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DCS/DCT look to be the same . Newer versions using 80 watts not 100. They sent me DCT ?
I also found a replacement transformer that works all the 12,000 for about $16 !
The current looks interesting but I will not give current any of my money again .
Long story short all the tranformers for their True Lumen Pro LED lights fail pretty quick and they want $50 for replacement ?? Found them for $15 and swore off current after failed attempts to communicate with customer service to help me out with $1500 worth of lights that all had ballast/transformers failing in 2 years [8 hours a day says 50k is over 10 years ?
The jeboas are cheap so I don't mind picking up some of the slack ..More for a current ???? NEVER ! Not even the same as a deal for me ...
 

etkelly22

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DCS/DCT look to be the same . Newer versions using 80 watts not 100. They sent me DCT ?
I also found a replacement transformer that works all the 12,000 for about $16 !
The current looks interesting but I will not give current any of my money again .
Long story short all the tranformers for their True Lumen Pro LED lights fail pretty quick and they want $50 for replacement ?? Found them for $15 and swore off current after failed attempts to communicate with customer service to help me out with $1500 worth of lights that all had ballast/transformers failing in 2 years [8 hours a day says 50k is over 10 years ?
The jeboas are cheap so I don't mind picking up some of the slack ..More for a current ???? NEVER ! Not even the same as a deal for me ...
okay thanks for the input, I think i’m going to get the DCP-15000. It is the newer version for basically the same price. Do you connect pvc straight to yours or do you use something like a braided tubing? Not sure which I should do.
 

etkelly22

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okay thanks for the input, I think i’m going to get the DCP-15000. It is the newer version for basically the same price. Do you connect pvc straight to yours or do you use something like a braided tubing? Not sure which I should do.
Also how is the noise on yours? Do you think the 12000 will be big enough for my tank?
 

coralbandit

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I think the 15000 runs my 180 from the basement !It is hooked up to 1 1/2 inch pvc.
I use flexible tubing on my other sumps that run jeboas.
I like the re enforced tubing as it kinks less.
As for noise I know of no quieter pump ..
You will not hear it at all over the moving water .
 

etkelly22

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I think the 15000 runs my 180 from the basement !It is hooked up to 1 1/2 inch pvc.
I use flexible tubing on my other sumps that run jeboas.
I like the re enforced tubing as it kinks less.
As for noise I know of no quieter pump ..
You will not hear it at all over the moving water .
Okay sweet. I still don't know what to do with this refugium. Could I run one of the overflows to drain into it or would that not be a good idea since there isn't any filter socks or mechanical filtration? Could I just leave it empty or would I need water in there? I didn't know if the pressure on the acrylic when empty would be too much.
 
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