90 Gallon Tank How to make a sump?? Need advice

Mike1995

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Hello! :)
I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on a sump on a freshwater tank? I have a 90g heavily planted tank. I do not want to drill the tank or anything like that. Is there a way to hook a tank up to a sump otherwise?? I'd like to put plants in it.
 

TheMysticWizard

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Look up DIY PVC Overflow, there are a lot of sites/videos detailing how to. Only thing that scares me is if they lose siphon, plus they tend to make a bit of noise. Sounds kind of like the bath tub draining, not as loud but yah.

It's completely possible to have a sump setup without drilling the tank. Ultimately, drilling the tank may be the best option and it's not all that hard to do.

They also make Overflow Boxes, some of which are really nice, same deal, makes it easy to set up a sump on a standard tank.

I drilled my 120 about a year and a half ago, just go easy, minimal pressure and keep the bit wet.

My sump is 2 x 20 Gallon Tanks connected with 1 1/4" PVC in the rear, I run, from beginning to end, Top to bottom:

First Chamber: Pot Scrubbers, Foam Block (front left)
Second Chamber: Lava Rock, Foam Block (middle left)
Third and Fourth Chamber: Refugium, Approx 15 Gallons Total, My heater and an Air Stone are in here. (rear left and right)
Fifth Chamber: Foam Block, Ceramic Noodles, Activated Charcoal (middle right)
Final Chamber: Foam Block, 2 x Bonded Filter Pads (front right)

I have a Jebao DCP-3500 return pump and a 600-Watt Finnex "Titanium" heater on a Inkbird ITC-1000 Controller as part of my sump.

IMG_20200705_140149.jpg
IMG_20200705_140058.jpg

IMG_20200705_140118.jpg

(System was a little low on water in the pictures, needed to top it off)
 
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Mike1995

Mike1995

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TheMysticWizard said:
Look up DIY PVC Overflow, there are a lot of sites/videos detailing how to. Only thing that scares me is if they lose siphon, plus they tend to make a bit of noise. Sounds kind of like the bath tub draining, not as loud but yah.

It's completely possible to have a sump setup without drilling the tank. Ultimately, drilling the tank may be the best option and it's not all that hard to do.

They also make Overflow Boxes, some of which are really nice, same deal, makes it easy to set up a sump on a standard tank.

I drilled my 120 about a year and a half ago, just go easy, minimal pressure and keep the bit wet.

My sump is 2 x 20 Gallon Tanks connected with 1 1/4" PVC in the rear, I run, from beginning to end, Top to bottom:

First Chamber: Pot Scrubbers, Foam Block (front left)
Second Chamber: Lava Rock, Foam Block (middle left)
Third and Fourth Chamber: Refugium, Approx 15 Gallons Total, My heater and an Air Stone are in here. (rear left and right)
Fifth Chamber: Foam Block, Ceramic Noodles, Activated Charcoal (middle right)
Final Chamber: Foam Block, 2 x Bonded Filter Pads (front right)

I have a Jebao DCP-3500 return pump and a 600-Watt Finnex "Titanium" heater on a Inkbird ITC-1000 Controller as part of my sump.

IMG_20200705_140149.jpg
IMG_20200705_140058.jpg

IMG_20200705_140118.jpg

(System was a little low on water in the pictures, needed to top it off)
Wow thank you!
I might try an overflow box. Are they something that hangs on the tank? Do you know how they work?
The tank is fully operational and has fish in it so I'd rather not drill it. I had a bashsea sump on a reef tank I had last year. would something like that be usable with an overflow box?
 

TheMysticWizard

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Never used an overflow box myself, heard they work great tho. I tend to cheap out on stuff, rather than spending $125+ on an overflow.



They make bigger ones, depending on what flow rate you want.

That sump would probably work out, just gotta figure out what kind of media you'd want to run.
 
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Mike1995

Mike1995

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TheMysticWizard said:
Never used an overflow box myself, heard they work great tho. I tend to cheap out on stuff, rather than spending $125+ on an overflow.



They make bigger ones, depending on what flow rate you want.

That sump would probably work out, just gotta figure out what kind of media you'd want to run.
Okay thank you!
I know I want plants in it. maybe pothos as well. Have the lava rock and ceramic rings worked well in terms of biological filtration?
 

TheMysticWizard

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Lava rock and Ceramic rings are both very porous, great breeding ground for beneficial bacteria.

In my opinion, its very beneficial to get any large particle matter out before you send the water through the lava rock/ceramic media to not clog it up. Thus the pot scrubbers and foam blocks, they too provide space for bacteria to grow, just not as densely.

My tank is overstocked, I have 4 good size (4-5") Severums, 5 Urau (3-4"), 5 Geo's (3-4"), several Synodontis and a 4" Parrot Fish. Tank stays pretty clean, water is clear (other than tannins) and water parameters are in order.

One of the huge benefits of having a sump is adding more volume to your system. More water makes it easier to keep things stable, parameters don't swing as quickly if something goes wrong. My 120 is about a 150 gallon system, I have a pair of small Rams in a 5.5 gallon, running on a 45 gallon sump; 2 fish on a 50 Gallon system. I'd be afraid to have them in just a 5.5 gallon system.
 
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Mike1995

Mike1995

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TheMysticWizard said:
Lava rock and Ceramic rings are both very porous, great breeding ground for beneficial bacteria.

In my opinion, its very beneficial to get any large particle matter out before you send the water through the lava rock/ceramic media to not clog it up. Thus the pot scrubbers and foam blocks, they too provide space for bacteria to grow, just not as densely.

My tank is overstocked, I have 4 good size (4-5") Severums, 5 Urau (3-4"), 5 Geo's (3-4"), several Synodontis and a 4" Parrot Fish. Tank stays pretty clean, water is clear (other than tannins) and water parameters are in order.

One of the huge benefits of having a sump is adding more volume to your system. More water makes it easier to keep things stable, parameters don't swing as quickly if something goes wrong. My 120 is about a 150 gallon system, I have a pair of small Rams in a 5.5 gallon, running on a 45 gallon sump; 2 fish on a 50 Gallon system. I'd be afraid to have them in just a 5.5 gallon system.
I love severums and geos. I had a 112g with several of each. along with a green terror. Coolest tank I've ever had.
For my 90g, would something like 40g work for a sump?
The 5g you have with a sump in pretty cool. I thought about doing something like that for my 25g cube. It was marketed to be sold as a reef tank, and it came with a stand that was intended for a sump. But I used it for a planted tank instead.
The one problem I might have is, when I made my stand for my 90g I made it a little too tall. The tank is 25" high. The stand is 40" Idk what I was thinking but the tank is actually better to view standing up unfortunately. but anyway because of the height, is there return pumps that can move water that far?
 

TheMysticWizard

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Mike1995 said:
I love severums and geos. I had a 112g with several of each. along with a green terror. Coolest tank I've ever had.
For my 90g, would something like 40g work for a sump?
The 5g you have with a sump in pretty cool. I thought about doing something like that for my 25g cube. It was marketed to be sold as a reef tank, and it came with a stand that was intended for a sump. But I used it for a planted tank instead.
The one problem I might have is, when I made my stand for my 90g I made it a little too tall. The tank is 25" high. The stand is 40" Idk what I was thinking but the tank is actually better to view standing up unfortunately. but anyway because of the height, is there return pumps that can move water that far?
Yeah, the Severum were something I never had, got them small and watched them grow. They are Red Sided Severum, never had seen them before. Nice black and white stripes. I like how calm they usually are too.

Geo's I'd had a few through the years, always loved them, got some nicer ones this time around.

Same with Urau, never had them, got them small and they've been fun to watch grow. Also very calm fish.

I had set the 5 gallon up because I hastily bought 2 pair of rams, didn't want to put them all together in the 20 gallon obviously, so quick thinking and designing, I ended up using my "remineralized RO storage" as a sump until I come up with another plan. Didn't think my purchase through when I found a good deal on some beautiful fish.

You can find pumps of all sizes, many show the flow based on "head height"; meaning how far you have to pump the water uphill. I recently bought a Jebao DCP-3500 (3500 liters/hour at 0 head) about 925 gallons/hour I believe. I think it flows about 450 gallons/hour pumping up into my tank. My stand is 29" and the tank measures about 26" tall. I too built too tall, hard to work the tank without a step stool.
 

Islandvic

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Options for HOB style overflow boxes

CPR
Marine Depot
Eshopps
DIY (Joey style from King of DIY)

You can use a Tom's Aqualift Pump plumbed into the overflow tubing to help keep it primed.

For a return pump, check out the Jebao pumps on Amazon. They are DC and have wired controllers to vary the speed.
 

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