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Sump Setup

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Hamsnacks, May 7, 2019.

  1. Hamsnacks

    Hamsnacks Fish Fanatic

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    Been asking a thousand questions lately regarding this tank, thank you for everyone assisting. Finally setting up the sump and just had some questions regarding plumbing and all.

    I've attached pictures of the plumbing that came with the tank and the sump, I've labeled the sump into sections. He used it for Saltwater so his method of filtration may have been different, but I have some questions on what to do.

    1) On the back of the tank, the overflow, 1 of them has a Valve, while the other is completely open, should I use both pipes or should I keep one closed? What is the reason for only 1 having a valve?

    2) I was planning to use the sump as follows, Water flows into section 1 into a sock, the water goes underneath the glass into section 2 that will have a bunch of sponges, flow through the 3 pieces of glass in section 3, which will be filled with bio balls and such. Section 4 will have the return pump.
    Or should I let the water enter section 5 first and overflow into section 1? Also, Section 6 is sealed off from the rest of the sections except for section 2, a little opening on top. I would have preferred to use section 6 for more media and filtration, but does it seem to you guys that maybe it was used in case of a power outage and there was overflow? Was thinking of either cutting it underneath and opening it up, putting the pump in 6, or leaving it in case of an overflow.

    3) Lastly, is there a reason for the white PVC pipe to have a second attachment pointing down towards the sump?

    I plan on replacing all the plumbing in case they're filling with salt, so I was wondering if I should replicate the setup or adjust? Also putting foam under the tank this week as well.

    Thank you!

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    1) tap on drain pipe.
    I have no idea why that is there unless it was the pipe that fed the protein skimmer or a calcium reactor. In which case it was used to provide a slow flow of water to the skimmer. Protein skimmers don't work in freshwater so leave the tap open all the way and let water flow down both pipes.

    You could even remove the tap section completely and just have it the same as the other drain pipe.

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    2) sump sections.
    No idea where section 6 is.

    I would remove the black bit with the hole in and put a plastic frame (cut up an egg crate or milk crate) in section 1. Then put a couple of sponges on top of the frame so they aren't sitting on the bottom of the glass or blocking the gap under the glass. Then put some white filter matting on top. Most of the gunk will sit on the top layer of matting an you take it out every week and hose it off.

    The sponges underneath the matting will trap the remaining gunk and the water can then flow under the glass into the next section.

    Get sponges that are 2 inches thick and fit snuggly into the first section. Have a course sponge on top and a finer sponge underneath.

    You don't need to add Bioballs or anything else if you have a couple of sponges.

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    3) white pvc piping.

    I have no idea why there are 2 white pvc pipes to the tank. There might have been 2 pumps pushing water back up to the tank.


    It's not necessary to change the pipes. Contrary to popular belief, salt isn't that dangerous and the small amount that might be left in the pipes (assuming it hasn't been rinsed out yet) is going to be so small due to being diluted by the water in that tank. The amount of salt that might be in the pipes is negligible and if you take the pipework off and rinse it under the tap, you will get rid of any salt in it. Then put it back on.

    If you want to remove/ replace any of the fittings, the only ones I would bother removing are the taps, they aren't normally necessary. However, if the pump is strong, you might want a T-piece and tap on the return pipe that goes from the pump to the tank. You can use that to bleed off some of the water back into the sump so there is less water flowing into the tank. You might not need to do this but if it was a marine tank, it might have a powerful water pump.

    You could fit a solenoid and timer into the return pipe and have the water flowing out on one side for a few hours before swapping outlets and sides, and flowing out the opposite end. Alternatively, have 2 pumps on timers and let one run for a few hours before it goes off and the other one comes on. Each pump will be attached to its own return pipe. You will have water pumping into the tank on one side for a bit before that pumps goes off and the other pump starts, then the water will flow into the tank from the other end.
     
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  3. Hamsnacks

    Hamsnacks Fish Fanatic

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    @Colin_T Thanks again Colin for everything, Going to keep the 2 drain pipes then, I will remove the black piece today and doing as you stated with the egg crate.
    Hopefully, be able to find some large rolls of sponge filters from the local hardware store.

    Sorry a few more questions:

    1) Do you think I should just keep section 5 unused then, as its a small section and not open to the rest of the sump? Also sorry #6 is actually the Higher #4. Do you think for extra media I should open it up from underneath, put the pump in there and use #4 for even more filtration? If you noticed they have an opening to #6 on the top, little curved opening, I'm assuming in case of an overflow, used as extra safety?

    2) Where do you recommend putting the heater?

    Last thing I just wanted confirmation on, the way you determine your water level in the sump:
    1) Fill the tank all the way up until it's going through the overflow
    2) Fill most of the sump up.
    3) Turn on the pump, that should drop the water level in the sump, mark that as your ON level, the water should never go above that level. So in case of a power outage or when doing a water change, if the pump stops working the sump level will go up but should not overflow correct?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I would be careful about removing panels in the sump because there are no support strips or cross members on the top of the sump. The baffles/ panels will help stop the sides of the sump bulging out when it fills with water.

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    Section 5 might be where the water originally drained into or where the protein skimmer outlet went to remove fine air bubbles before going back to the tank, but it's a weird set up.

    If you have 3 or 4 sponges and a piece of white filter matting on top of the sponges, that should be heaps of filter media.

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    I would drain the water into section 1 where it gets filtered by white filter matting and sponges.
    It then flows under the baffle into section 2 where I would put the heater.
    I assume the water then flows into section 3, where it goes under and over the panel and into section 4.
    The pump would sit in section 4 and pumps water back up to the tank.

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    If you want to rip all the panels out and redesign it, you could make section 1 & 5 a single section full of sponges and white matting on top.
    Then remove the other baffles and put some support strips and cross members on the top.
    The water would drain into section 1 where it gets filtered and flows into the remaining section that houses the heater and return pump.

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    Yes, setting the sump up is as you wrote it.
    Fill tank until it starts to overflow, then stop filling the tank.
    Let tank water drain into sump until tank stops draining.
    Fill sump until it's reasonable full, then stop filling.
    Turn pump on and let it run for a bit.
    Make a mark where the sump's water level is after the pump has been running for a bit. Keep sump topped up to that mark but not above it.
    Have a coverglass or Perspex on top of the sump to reduce evaporation and mould growth under the tank.
     

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