What Is The Best Way To Set Up A Sump Filter System?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by lampro, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. lampro

    lamproNew MemberMember

    I’m planning to get up a 90 gallon tank. I’m still deciding whether I should use canister filter or set up a sump system.

    If I get my first sump is it better to buy a complete system rather than DIY? What specific feature should I get for the sump? How many dividers should I have for the sump?

    Do I have a drill a hole on the bottom of my tank? How does your tank filter input and output design look like? Do i have to adjust the tank output flow rate to the sump to the same flow rate as the sump pump?

    I’m using the 4’ JC&P LED light for $47 for my 90 gallon
  2. Heron

    HeronValued MemberMember

    IMG_20190630_214827.jpg This is a picture of a DIY sump I built for an aquarium I made a few months back. It's scratch built from 10mm acrylic sheet. It is easy enough to build you just need a bottle of solvent to weld the sheets together. If you don't have the facilities to cut acrylic you can get the supplier to cut them for you for a small extra cost. Instruction videos on how to weld acrylic can be found on you tube. The design is one I came up with myself and I'm pleased to say it works well. The water falls through a plate with lots of small holes so it rains over bio balls that are just above the water levels. Then it flows over an anairobic chamber filled with fine gravel, this houses nitrate eating bacteria. Then it zig zags through the various media compartments before entering the final chamber containing the heater and the pump to return the water to the tank.
    You either need to install an overflow box with a hole in the bottom or an external overflow at the top water level of the tank.
    If you drilled a hole in the bottom of the main tank all the water would rush to the sump and flood as the sump is open topped. If your tank was not designed for a sump you are best to stick with a canister filter. In my case I built the tank specialty for a sump.
  3. OP

    lamproNew MemberMember

    Nice sump! you have a lot of filtrations! thats exactly what i want in my sump. what is your pump flow rate per hour?
    I am planning to use a hang on back overflow box. but i am worried that if the flow suddenly stopped then i would be a nightmare.

    How do you clean your sump? and how often do you clean it?
  4. Heron

    HeronValued MemberMember

    My pump is rated at 1300 l/h but obviously the actual flow rate is determined by the hight you are lifting the water (head) according to the graph on the box mine should be giving about 750 l/ h. As long as the overflow exits the tank at the top water level and the pump stops the water in the main tank will not drop below the overflow height. The biggest problem would be a blockage in the overflow and the pipe to the filter as the pump would keep pumping the sump dry with no return water to replace it. This could lead to the pump and heater failing and flooding from the main tank. To minimise the risk of this I used big bore pipe (40 mm) for this side to reduce any risk of blocking.
    The pipe from the overflow to the tank sits above a hole in the sump lid and the return pipe is flexible and long enough that the sump can be slid out for cleaning. I designed it so the horizontal parts that hold the media can be lifted out for the purpose of cleaning
  5. Cognac82

    Cognac82Valued MemberMember

    I have a sump on one of my 75s. It's a prefabricated deal with a chamber that holds filter floss that drains over the large chamber that holds bioballs and then drips into the bottom holding chamber that houses a small container of lava rock and the water pump that pumps water back up. This tank houses goldfish but was pre-drilled for being reef ready, I presume. I bought it used with cichlids in it. I must say I'm not totally a fan of the sump and I have been considering switching to a large canister, as my other 75 has that setup and it's much quieter and definitely less evaporation. When the power goes out I have to worry about my balls drying out. I am also not a fan of having to open that top chamber and change or rinse the poop out of the floss with every water change. I have to admit I'm also more than just a little paranoid about the hole in the bottom of the overflow flooding my house. If I knew then what I know now I would just go standard tank with canisters, but such is life. I'm sure you can get all kinds of answers and configurations for sumps that people really enjoy. Just do a lot of research before committing to one. Good luck with whatever you choose
  6. OP

    lamproNew MemberMember

    I guess i will get an adjustable pump so i can make sure the overflow pipe have enough time to drain the water down the sump. But im worried that my hang on back overflow tubing might have air bubbles that can stop the flow then its gonna be a disaster.

    if i have the output of draining tube underwater, i think it would be pretty quiet right?
  7. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

    I don't have a sump but I've spent many hours watching videos and thinking about the design of what I'd want if I ever get the large tank of my dreams.

    I'd suggest watching the Aquarium Co-op videos about sumps. Cory has one that I thought was quite impressive. He has a series of vertical foam pads of increasing density as the first stages. This seems like an excellent design as it should clog from the bottom up, meaning you'll continue to get decent flow through the first foam until it's almost completely clogged. Then you give that first foam a few quick squeezes in a bucket and put it back in place. The remaining foams should stay free flowing for a very long time.

    I forget exactly what he has in subsequent stages. I was planning to use Biohome in mine, should I ever get around to building one. After watching some of the Dr. Novak videos I may give kitty litter and laterite a try.
  8. Onewolf

    OnewolfNew MemberMember

    I am in the beginning stages of theorizing/planning our 'next' aquarium. Our current aquariums are 90 and 40 gallons. The 90 uses two Penn Plax Cascade 1200 canister filters and the 40 uses a single Cascade 1000 canister filter (because I liked how well the 1200s work in the 90 gal tank).

    The new aquarium (also freshwater) will be much larger in the 150-265 gallon range. I have been weighing the pros/cons of wet/dry sump vs canister and I have to say that dual canister filters is winning. Some of the pros/cons can be seen here (Search for “Why You Shouldn’t Use a Sump on Freshwater Tanks”):http://advancedaquariumconcepts.com/build-your-own-custom-aquarium-filter-sump/

    The canister filters are totally silent (unlike sump systems I've used in the past) and they are very easy to maintain.
  9. OP

    lamproNew MemberMember

    I watched this guy on youtube for hang on back overflow sump system. It is the simplest tutorial i seen so far. If you have know any simple installation one for beginner let me know please. And plus the guy was pretty unbiased about the product so I trust it. :)
  10. OP

    lamproNew MemberMember

    I do like canister filter but cleaning and removing the tube is pretty time consuming sometimes and I suck at running the canister back on again after i empty it. Maybe i was using a less convenient canister filter before. idk lol
    Thanks for the advice tho! I appreciate it!