Sump How To

JLeeM

Member
Hello.

Okay, I'm just going to be blunt. I feel really stupid trying to figure this out. Out of curiosity, I've spent a good amount of time tonight reading about how to set up a saltwater tank. I've learned some. Mainly the differences in FO, FOWLR, and Reef tanks. Past that I am starting to grasp some other stuff. I still don't fully understand RODI water or where to get it. More to the point though, how does a sump work, and how do you set it up? It sounds like they're the way to go with SW, but how? Like I said, my ignorance is making me feel very unintelligent, which really bugs me.
 

bigdreams

Member
Start here: Herbie Overflow Plumbing Guide for Quiet Reef Aquariums - gmacreef

I can help w/ questions after you've read that intro, which I think is one of the best I've seen myself.
 
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JLeeM

Member
bigdreams said:
Start here: Herbie Overflow Plumbing Guide for Quiet Reef Aquariums - gmacreef

I can help w/ questions after you've read that intro, which I think is one of the best I've seen myself.
I guess I'm just an idiot. I don't understand any of that. Can a Saltwater tank just be ran with live rock and a filter to move the water?
 

bigdreams

Member
You asked about sumps, so gave you a resource for sumps.

Yes, a salt water tank can be run with just live rock and circulation pumps/powerhead. I don't think saltwater tanks use canisters or HOB filters as they accumulate debris and start increasing levels of nitrate in the system. In freshwater tanks, nitrates are OK in low to moderate quantities, but in saltwater nitrates are best avoided.

Sounds like you are at beginning of your saltwater journey. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? Fishlore has lots of articles that can be helpful.
 
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JLeeM

Member
bigdreams said:
You asked about sumps, so gave you a resource for sumps.

Yes, a salt water tank can be run with just live rock and circulation pumps/powerhead. I don't think saltwater tanks use canisters or HOB filters as they accumulate debris and start increasing levels of nitrate in the system. In freshwater tanks, nitrates are OK in low to moderate quantities, but in saltwater nitrates are best avoided.

Sounds like you are at beginning of your saltwater journey. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? Fishlore has lots of articles that can be helpful.
Yeah, I understand the nitrogen cycle. Also read that nitrates can't be at the 10-20 ppm like in FW. Have to be more like 0-1 ppm.
 
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JLeeM

Member
grantm91 I was just looking at your thread showing how you set up your 32 gallon. So instead of a sump, you use a wavemaker I think you called it and a HOB?
 

bigdreams

Member
wavemaker = circulation pump, or powerhead.

HOB - is an hang on back filter, like an Aquaclear 30, Penguin BioWheel etc. HOBs are usually NOT recommended in salt water tanks.

Live rock, strong water flow is all you need in a saltwater tank... stocked lightly. (salt water has a lot less dissolved oxygen than freshwater fish... so you can't stock as much fish as you would in a similar Freshwater tank size).
 

grantm91

Member
JLeeM the basic principle of your run of the mill closed system saltwater tank is to have a power head, aka wave maker for good water movement, then lots of nice porous rock scape for the nitrifying bacteria to live on, biological filtration done.

The hob is for my water polishing, colecting and catching the debris and chemical filtration, IE carbo to absorb corals toxins after ive been hacing in the tank. Also you could put phos ban in there, nitrazorb and so on. You could run bio media in there if you wanted.

Also a lot of people run the hob as a minI refugium, growing macro algae such as cheato in there with a grow light.

All in all, ive decided I want a sump soon, as it adds water volume, hides equipment and gives you some real extra space for any form of nutrient export or dosing methods you want to use. Sumps are the best, but a little closed system with a HOB can be great provided your regimental with keeping it clean and you use it to full potenial, no filth, it’s designed to be kept clean, unlike in a fw where you leave it for weeks.

Just do some research.
 
  • Thread Starter

JLeeM

Member
grantm91 said:
JLeeM the basic principle of your run of the mill closed system saltwater tank is to have a power head, aka wave maker for good water movement, then lots of nice porous rock scape for the nitrifying bacteria to live on, biological filtration done.

The hob is for my water polishing, colecting and catching the debris and chemical filtration, IE carbo to absorb corals toxins after ive been hacing in the tank. Also you could put phos ban in there, nitrazorb and so on. You could run bio media in there if you wanted.

Also a lot of people run the hob as a minI refugium, growing macro algae such as cheato in there with a grow light.

All in all, ive decided I want a sump soon, as it adds water volume, hides equipment and gives you some real extra space for any form of nutrient export or dosing methods you want to use. Sumps are the best, but a little closed system with a HOB can be great provided your regimental with keeping it clean and you use it to full potenial, no filth, it’s designed to be kept clean, unlike in a fw where you leave it for weeks.

Just do some research.
That's just it, I don't know what to research or how. I really don't understand how a sump works.
 

grantm91

Member
I just told you basically what a sump is for, imagine a canister filter sitting under the fw tank, well a sump is another tank under your tank, housing equipment, heater, skimmer, reactors. You can have a refugium in the sump. I don't know what you don’t get, the water drains from the tank to tbe sump, goes through all the equipment and refugium and is pumped back to the tank via a return pump. Type it on youtube to see some examples.
 

grantm91

Member
Also research the advice people give you, don’t take anything as gospel.
 
  • Thread Starter

JLeeM

Member
grantm91 said:
I just told you basically what a sump is for, imagine a canister filter sitting under the fw tank, well a sump is another tank under your tank, housing equipment, heater, skimmer, reactors. You can have a refugium in the sump. I don't know what you don’t get, the water drains from the tank to tbe sump, goes through all the equipment and refugium and is pumped back to the tank via a return pump. Type it on youtube to see some examples.
I think I understand what a sump does, and that it houses lots of equipment. What I don't get is HOW it works. Like how it attaches to the tank. How the water is moved from one place to another. All the plumbing. Basically how to build it. I read an earlier shared article, but it was written more from like step 10 instead of 1. Am I making sense?
 

grantm91

Member
Yeah I get you, you can buy kits on ebay, which include an overflow weir, bulkhead and a drill bit, or you can buy over an over flow box that hangs on, or a diy pvc overflow which works on a syphon principle.

Drilling is the best. Also you can buy tanks that are already drilled sumped and even have a return pump.

Best off you-tubing it to physically see some examples.
 
  • Thread Starter

JLeeM

Member
grantm91 said:
Yeah I get you, you can buy kits on ebay, which include an overflow weir, bulkhead and a drill bit, or you can buy over an over flow box that hangs on, or a diy pvc overflow which works on a syphon principle.

Drilling is the best. Also you can buy tanks that are already drilled sumped and even have a return pump.

Best off you-tubing it to physically see some examples.
So the main display tank actually gets a hole drilled in it? I don't think I like the sound of that. I may research more another time. I'm starting to go back to my original thinking of there's no way I'll ever do SW.
 

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