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Hello gentleman and fellow gods of sumps. I'm in the process of planning a sump for my 550L display to increase flow rate and just give it all round better filtration. I currently have 2 canisters running on it, one of which will be removed (Eheim 2215) and the other (Eheim 2217) will be used, filled with it's current media; some Mechanical, Biological and Chemical Filtration.

As many a heated debate has taken place here regarding pe.. I mean sump size, I present to you my first plan for the sump. Keep in mind the size of my cabinet, particularly my door, is limited.

Largest sump size I can fit through my door practically is 53x37x40cm, which equates to a little under 70L total capacity. Pending what rates I'm getting from a PVC overflow to flexi (canister style piping) I can achieve, I'll be looking to add a 3500lph or so pump and run it at around 2750lph or so.

Limited by size, here's the plan that I've come up with. (Not to scale or anything, measurements will follow if my general 'idea' of how things work is on the right path.

sumpv1.jpg

On reflection, my whole intake and overflow partition is probably unnecessary, as I could just have it coming straight from the intake, onto the mechanical media that I've positioned first for easy cleaning, and then have it drip onto the first section of bioballs/cubes, and then utilize that extra space. Heater (which looks weird in the diagram) can then be moved to the return chamber.

Just a few questions regarding this design.

a) Will it work effectively?

B) Can the water level be effectively raised higher if the middle partition (left wall of the middle chamber) is lengthened?

c) Should I try and utilize the depth (width? breadth?) of the sump more effectively?

d) Any suggestions or improvements? That's the main reason I'm posting this here.

Needless to say, any input is greatly appreciated.

Cheers guys,

Ryan.

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I wouldnt be using Bioballs if your going to run them completely under water

This media works its best when it is wet but not submerged

I also wouldnt worry about the divider between the 2 lots of bioballs

I run my sumps very basically and they work perfectly

Never had any troubles at all

Ill try and get a pic of one running u for ya

Brad

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I wouldnt be using Bioballs if your going to run them completely under water

This media works its best when it is wet but not submerged

I also wouldnt worry about the divider between the 2 lots of bioballs

I run my sumps very basically and they work perfectly

Never had any troubles at all

Ill try and get a pic of one running u for ya

Brad

What media would you suggest for running them fully submerged? My current understanding is that pretty much all bio-media is better when running in a wet/dry system, the first lot would be mostly like this as you can see with the drip tray etc. but the second lot was really just a fill in.

By not worrying about the divider, how do you propose the system to work? Not sure I fully understand but I can think of a number of different ways to alter that chamber.

Photos would be great, cheers for your input.

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U don't have to use bio balls

Those clay beeds you get from nursery for plants there cheep and they work

Or you can use rolls of gutter gurd

The heater can go in with the pump laying on the bottam

And you can run the tank out let right over the beeds or bio ball

all you need is a layer of dackron and a spoung under that

Som times the simple things work best lol

Roo

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U don't have to use bio balls

Those clay beeds you get from nursery for plants there cheep and they work

Or you can use rolls of gutter gurd

The heater can go in with the pump laying on the bottam

And you can run the tank out let right over the beeds or bio ball

all you need is a layer of dackron and a spoung under that

Som times the simple things work best lol

Roo

I've read about those clay balls, might need to look into them. Gutter Guard is much the same as egg-crate, yes? Might be using that as a replacement pending the price of both.

New heater spot will be in the return chamber with the pump, lying flat, and I'll remove the whole intake/overflow chamber and have it coming straight in onto the foam/wool, which I've got straight up as I'd like to easily be able to clean it. This eliminates the need for a drip tray as the varying micron filter wool should spread out the water and drip evenly off the egg crate.

I'll do up a second design when I get Motorman's response regarding the divider between the two main filter chambers :)

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And if you like U can add a spray bar to the end of the out let pipe

To spred the water over the dackron

All U need is a T pice and 2 small picers of pipe with 1 end blocked

And drill 3/8 holes so they don't block easy

Roo

Sounds like a good idea but is it necessary? Maybe I don't have my physics cap on properly but I think if the water is being flowed through a few layers of filter wool, it's going to spread out quite well and drip well over all of the bioballs below, though your idea sounds very cheap and effective so I'll probably go with that anyway.

With the design of my stand and no back and very limited side access, I was actually going to use 1" or so (need to work that out) flexible plastic tubing like you would have with canisters for both the intake and return. My tank isn't drilled so I'll be doing a PVC overflow that adapts to the plastic tubing and having it run around the back and maybe convert back into PVC right before the sump, or use a drilled lid.

My return idea was actually to get a hold of maybe an FX5 spraybar as it would be much more pleasing to look at that even a painted PVC spraybar.

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that looks like a better set up... even lift more of the bio balls out of the water as they seem to work better that way but other than that it should be a good set up...

mine is set up pretty much the same but i have matrix just dumped in the bottom as well.. its good stuff as it has a massive surface area...

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that looks like a better set up... even lift more of the bio balls out of the water as they seem to work better that way but other than that it should be a good set up...

mine is set up pretty much the same but i have matrix just dumped in the bottom as well.. its good stuff as it has a massive surface area...

Yep definitely, this little mockup in photoshop is just a general guide, I'll be setting it up with as many bioballs exposed as possible. Might look into matrix but at this stage the bottom section will be taken up by the heater on an angle (basically putting it wherever it fits) and I'm trying to do this on as tight a budget as possible without cheaping out on the pump.

Cheers for your input guys.

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Personally, if the tank wasnt drilled and I was after high water turnover, I would just use an overhead trickle. This can be disguised to blend in easily - especially if you have lights or a hood.

Cheers for the advice with the bubble trap, will just incorporate that anyway because it's simple.

Regarding tank drilling and the turnover, I'm looking to increase the overall flow inside my tank. It's slightly underfiltered at the moment (1750lph Eheims) but there's just no flow due to the height of the tank (28" high), and particles and feces just floats around and eventually rests. A friend of mine currently has a PVC overflow using 1" piping and hes running a pump at around 3000lph so I'm pretty much being a copycat minus the layout of the sump, and some piping differences.

Trickle filter was a possible option I guess, but due to the tank positioning I have no back and very limited side access as is so the extra bulk on top would make cleaning a huge pain in the bum I imagine.

Cheers once again for your input.

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looks perfect mate

cept for one thing.....

put your ballvalve on the return (the pump end) not the drain (overflow)

if you need to change the flow do it at the pump side not the drain side.

i wouldnt worry about a spray , just run the pipe straight in

other than that, all will be good

keep us posted

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looks perfect mate

cept for one thing.....

put your ballvalve on the return (the pump end) not the drain (overflow)

if you need to change the flow do it at the pump side not the drain side.

i wouldnt worry about a spray , just run the pipe straight in

other than that, all will be good

keep us posted

My overflow is going to be flowing faster than my pump can work so I'll be keeping it on the intake, also helpful as pending which pump I buy it might work better with the flexible tubing (no need for PVC hopefully, though I could implement taps into the flexible tubing too).

Do you mean no spraybar for the tank or the sump? How's a drilled end cap for the PVC instead of the spraybar sound, so it's sort of like a showerhead? I'll be using a spraybar in the tank as I'd like it to be reasonably directional, unless you think it's better off just flowing straight in.

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no spray bar for the tank is needed , a spray bar in the sump is necessary

your overflow will only work as fast as your pump will allow

-if you have a pump smaller than the overflow can take, the overflow will only go that fast as the pump

-if you have a pump bigger than the overflow can take, the main tank will overflow, so you will need to limit the output of the pump (ie, with a ball valve)

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no spray bar for the tank is needed , a spray bar in the sump is necessary

your overflow will only work as fast as your pump will allow

-if you have a pump smaller than the overflow can take, the overflow will only go that fast as the pump

-if you have a pump bigger than the overflow can take, the main tank will overflow, so you will need to limit the output of the pump (ie, with a ball valve)

Yep, well the first scenario is what I'll be going for, but just for safety I'll keep the PVC ball valve where it currently is on the intake, as well as having another one (probably a different design because it will be on flexi tubing but it does the same thing) on the return.

Will be doing the spraybar into the tank, as I'm after directional flow.

Cheers for your input mate,

Ryan.

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Bit of a late reply but I am just getting my sump sorted for my 8' tank. this is my first sump so go easy ;p

initially i had 35mm threaded hard pipes for the overflows but couldnt work out a good way to have a spraybar & still have the filter wool easily accessable for regular replacement. so i changed to polypipes.

a general diagram of how it works...

sump_diagram.jpg

pic of the tank...

8ft_tank.jpg

pic of the sump...

sump1.jpg

i angled the overflows on elbows to get the water level in the tank where i wanted it...

overflow.jpg

some of the fish ...

8ft_fish.jpg

it is all working great now... the pump was really noisy at first but i raised it in the water with some eggcrate pieces (gonna make a proper stand later) & it is much quieter. still... does anyone know if there are truely silent underwater pumps?

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Hi Ryan

Ur missing the point of sump system, that is the sump holds the excess water, hence the name!!!! by puting a valve on the output of the tank u are stopping that and then you will have a very hard act of continually balancing the flows.

As Jimbozed said it is imposible for the overflow to run faster than the return, it is called and overflow because as the return fills the tank it overflows. Yes ur overflow MAY be capable of flowing more than the pump, but the pump is the limiting factor.

If your overflow doesn't flow as much as the pump, you will run a high probablity of either running your pump dry or worst case the tank could overflow (usually on larger systems)

Matt

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Hi Ryan

Ur missing the point of sump system, that is the sump holds the excess water, hence the name!!!! by puting a valve on the output of the tank u are stopping that and then you will have a very hard act of continually balancing the flows.

As Jimbozed said it is imposible for the overflow to run faster than the return, it is called and overflow because as the return fills the tank it overflows. Yes ur overflow MAY be capable of flowing more than the pump, but the pump is the limiting factor.

If your overflow doesn't flow as much as the pump, you will run a high probablity of either running your pump dry or worst case the tank could overflow (usually on larger systems)

Matt

Overflow will outflow the pump, I've got a tap on the sumps intake so I can block off the overflow and fill the tank up through one of the pipes on the overflow, as well as it possibly functioning as a noise reducer. I've done my math and I'll be using a Pentair Quiet One 3000, which at the height of the highest point of plumbing should flow at just over 2000Lph (2100~).

You're right, I don't know a whole lot about this whole juggling act, but it doesn't hurt to have a go. ;) I figure if I can limit the overflow to the same speed that the pump can return, and have the correct amount of water in the system, it shouldn't be too much of a juggling act. Maybe I am missing the point :P

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you don't need to juggle thats the point, the overflow does it for you (if its not restricted). Basically a sumped tank works by the sump holds a reserve of water, the pump "fills" the tank, over the level of the overflow. any water above the overflow feeds via gravity back to the sump. This is the balance. The overflow may be able to flow 10000l/h but as the pump can only pump ~2100l/h there will only be this amount above the level to return. If you restrict the overflow, to say 1500l/h the pump will continue to pump 2100 but there will only be 1500 overflowing to the sump and the sump run out of water very quickly!!!

Usually the overflow will flow less than you think as there is very little pressure (only gravity pushing the water, not the power of electricity.

On my sumped 4x2x2 I have 2 x 25mm overflows, but only 1 x 19mm return.

As Jimbozed stated you do not need to regulate the overflow, as gravity does this by always keeping water level, as soon as the tank overfills it spills out back to the sump. YOU CAN NOT HAVE AN OVERFLOW THAT FLOWS TO FAST. Physics doesn't allow it!!!

Matt

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I'm quite aware of this.

The juggling act comes into play because I want to keep the tank as quiet as possible. A gargling overflow (ie. a constantly stopping and starting one because the it's waiting for the pump to keep up) isn't quiet.

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