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  • Sump+canister?

    I have a 50 gallon that I need to figure something out for. I was originally going to do a DIY 20 long sump, but there isn't room in the stand to do so. Sooooooo, I think I'll do a 10 gallon sump, AND run my Magnum 350 canister.

    1) would that be ok? I know nothing about either types of filters, but i don't see where that would be a problem.

    2) I asked on FL about the dynamics of a sump and how to build one, and no body gave me answers that really helped. I have purchased a 265 gph pond pump, with a 1/2 inch fixture today for use in the sump. What I'm nervous about is over flowing the sump and flooding my carpet. I know preventing this has to do with tubing size, and a few safeties. Pretending I know absolutely nothing about anything (which I basically don't), just start from the top for me

    3) where should I place both the in-takes and out-puts for both filters?

    4) could/should I run a HOB filter on the tank or sump? There's limited width in the space the tank is going, but I think I could manage a few more inches. The tank will be heavily stocked, but also heavily planted. And as of right now, all the fish are young and small. Perhaps this is something that can be added on in the future.

    5) because of my fish choices, I need as much biological filtration as I can get. I was thinking, in the sump, a place similar to a DSB, only with gravel, in the refugium-type middle area. Water can flow down through the media, then up from under the gravel, and then down into the area holding the pump and back up into the tank. Does that make sence?

    That's all I got for now. As stuff starts getting answered, I'm sure I'll come up with more

  • #2
    here is a great vid to help you out, I would also HIGHLY recomend his other stuff as well. really explains what is going on and how and why it works.

    Originally posted by Albert Einstein
    If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
    Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.


    • #3
      This sounds bad, but I can't stand this guy LOL He's too monotone, I just can't take it! He's got good stuff, but he's boring... <.< That video didn't do much for me. I need to see everything built for start to finish and see it in action. I can't picture it, so I can't figure it out. Curse my visual brain!


      • #4
        1) Running both the canister (on the display tank) and a sump is fine. Just situate the inlets and outlets apart from each other to be more efficient at filtering the water.

        2) From start to finish here. You need an overflow box or a drilled tank to get the water the the sump inlet. The overflow box has a surface skimmer in the tank with a u-tube that has a constant siphon. I think 3/4" PVC would be plenty to run from an overflow box to the sump. My pump is ~300 GPH at 5' of head pressure and the overflow box and tubing doesn't have a problem with moving it at all. Some pumps have the info for flow rate to push the water up a certain distance, but for the ones that don't I am unsure of what to do.

        In order to prevent overflowing you set the water levels in the display and sump a little lower than normal and purposely induce the worst case scenarios (pump failure, siphon break, clog). It is hard for me to explain this all since it really didn't click till I was actually setting everything.

        3) Adding to #1, the canister intake would probably be best down low in the display tank since the overflow for the sump is taking water from the surface more.

        4) An HOB filter probably wouldn't be able to work on the sump since the water level is low in case of a pump failure to take up the extra water siphoned from the display. The canister and sump would probably provide adequate filtration, but I guess the HOB wouldn't hurt anything.

        5) Gravel may not work as well as a DSB since the gaps are larger possibly allowing for water flow defeating the purpose of the DSB. Same goes for having the water flow coming up through the gravel.

        Other notes: If the inlet from the sump outlet pump is submerged in the display tank you will need to drill a few holes below the water's surface for a siphon break. If the power goes out the pump will create a siphon an quickly pull water from the display. Having more than one hole is just for a possible clog.

        Here's some pictures of mine in different parts that may help. Everything is a mess since I have to tear down the display this weekend.
        1) Overflow box surface skimmer. The box can be moved higher or lower in the water to control the flow rate and work with the pump. Also, it works with setting the water level.

        2) Backside of the overflow using a hofer gurgle buster because the overflow is noisy without it. Theere is a divider in the back of the overflow that maintains the water level where the u-tube goes in. That way it doesn't lose a siphon if the flow stops.

        3) CPVC tubing with minimal amounts of turns to get to the sump inlet. Helps out with flow, and more bends causes more air bubbles to build up in the line and "burp" out the end splashing water everywhere.

        4) Inlet side (the additional tubing is me experiment with minimizing surface disturbance and CO2 gassing, don't worry about that part) Look up a "reverse durso standpipe" for the inlet. I have not tried it, but it will supposedly quiet the water crashing into the inlet. For me, just submerging the line did not work well.

        5) Media is aquaclear 110 sponges cut to fit tight with no bypass, followed by 4 blue bonded filter pads, then rises up through a lot of bio-balls, and drops into the refugium. A wet/dry filter is more effective at this part, but I don't know anything about them. Each glass pane at the inlet is spaced 4" with a 1" gap at the base of the middle. Those two panes are 9" tall.

        6) Outlet side, once you have the water levels set marks can be made here for topping off the whole system. The glass pane here is 8" tall.

        7) Back to the display (3/4" acrylic tubing) to a flexible outlet tube

        Hopefully that makes more sense than when I replied on FL. I have pictures of the whole build, but it really wouldn't add much to this.


        • #5
          Heres my pump. It'll just barely do it as far as head lift goes, but the next size up wasn't much larger and double the price! This is what I've got on my pond and I like it.

          How would i go about simulating a pump failure/whatever? Just unplug it? And how does this help me figure out how to not over flow the thing all over my carpet in the end?

          My thoughts for the gravel was for it to be like a biomedia. It's cheaper than actual biomedia lol another option would those dollar bags of scrubbies from the dollar store lol I'm working with limited money (Christmas money) and then the rest I'll have to pay for myself, so want to do it as efficiently and cost effective as possible. Obviously there are some places you can't skimp

          Do you have any links for know-how for a DIY overflow set up? I Have my 1/2 gallon jug to start it and how do you minimize the noise from the water slashing down into the sump? Could I just submerge the line like you tried, since I will likely not have refugium to worry about co2 and such?

          I looked over your thread on FL and it did help some even with out your explaining lol this is great though. It's a nice push for me


          • #6
            The pump failure can be simulated just by unplugging it. Once it is unplugged it will siphon the water from the display. So, it the water in the sump is not up to the rim, it will be able to displace the water without overflowing. Same goes for a break in the siphon and having the display tank be able to displace the water the pump will continue to move up to the display. When initially balancing the two just have something available to remove water quickly to a bucket if the water level goes too high. If you want, I can record what happens with a siphon break and pump failure, but that is up to you.

            Ah, that makes more sense now. Some use lava rocks for this purpose since they are very poreus, but I don't know if they effect the general or carbonate hardness in any way. The untreated pot scrubbies would work just as well for surface area. Sufficient filter media before the bio media should keep any build up to a minimum.

            I don't have any links for a DIY overflow. The basic needs for it to be built are a moveable skimmer box, the U-tube (eshopps u-tube can be bought separately), some sort of divider in the box on the back of the tank to keep the u-tube submerged all the time, and then the hole drilled for the bulkhead fitting. As for the water splashing, the reverse durso is the only way I know of to quiet things down. It allows for the pipe to be submerged and let air escape to the surface. I can't seem to find any DIY links that talk about building it. The submerged line works, but if any air builds up and escapes it sprays water all over the place. Some people don't have that issue, but I haven't figured out how quite yet.


            • #7
              Got it If you want to do that, that'd be awesome!

              I may just do the scrubbies.I think that would be the best for my price. And then quilt batting maybe? And AC sponges.

              I've seen DIY over flows with no back part, just the piece in the tank. Thoughts on that? Seems like its not a good idea to skim on the over flow! I like my carpet LOL I'll be making mine with PVC and possibly flexible tubing. Which ever is cheapest. The over flow it better off all PVC, though, right? A reverse durso is where the overflow has that extra piece of open pipe sticking up above the water line behind the overflow, right?


              • #8
                I would say that solid pvc would be best for the overflow and then go flex after you get below tank level.

                As for overflow concerns, just do the test as suggested, if your using an overflow and as long as it doesnt siphon you will only get the amount of water that is above the over flow pipe to come back into the sump system.

                I have seen (and im thinking of this myself as a backup plan) an overflow pipe on a sump that drains to a bucket or barrel with a small float controlled pump that will both act as storage in the event of an overflow and also give you a place to just dump water changes to when needed.

                Originally posted by Albert Einstein
                If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
                Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
                Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.


                • #9
                  Non-treated quilt batting is a good alternative to the blue bonded pads since they seem to be pretty much the same thing.

                  There is all types of overflows that people have come up with lol. I don't know anyone that has had experience with the other types, just the box type. The one made completely of PVC pipe seems like it would work just fine. Something like the one in this picture.
                  If I had to I would not have a problem with building an overflow, but I picked up the one I have for free so that is the only reason why I didn't make one. DIY or manufactured, there is always a risk of problems with it, which is why most end up drilling the tank. The piece in the overflow box on mine is a hofer gurgle buster, the reverse durso standpipe goes in the sump. Here's an example picture of one version.

                  Also, here is the two videos I made, sorry for the poor quality of my recording skills .

                  1) Pump unplugged and siphoning water from the main tank.

                  2) Siphon break, the water level was low, but I will run it only slightly higher. With it at the normal level it will rise to just under, or at, the black trim piece.


                  • #10
                    That's scary watching the water level go down! Even though I know nothing's going to happen, it's still like "omg!" XD

                    Here's what I've got saved for myself so far. Just links that I liked. So far, I have no real plan of action.



                    I had one more link, but the site isn't working...


                    • #11
                      Haha, yeah it is really nerve racking in person making sure it isn't going to overflow. The video you linked is a good one, it helped me out a good amount when I was planning. The forum thread is good too, but I wouldn't put bio media in the inlet since it will pick up a lot of junk and turn into a nitrate factory that isn't easy to clean. They may have covered that somewhere in the post, but I didn't catch it. Whatever design you come up with it will allow for a lot of media to keep your tank clean.


                      • #12
                        Common sence woe tell you that biomedia goes after the mechanical filtration LOL Why they did that I'm not sure... So far, that video has the only main set up that I like. There are a few other videos that have minor details, like a 1/2 of a 1/2 gallon milk jug for the basket of the overflow, but nothing really worth noting. I wish my third link worked... I really like it. It was a run down of how sumps worked, and what not. I only got to read a small part of it :/


                        • #13
                          That is true, I am actually not sure why I mentioned that since I know you have plenty of experience with fish keeping, so ignore that part lol. I've seen some people use the clear boxes for 3 1/2" floppy disks and just cut slots in them for the surface skimmer, so maybe you can find something like that lying around. I had a nice website bookmarked that went into tons of details and different designs, but I think I accidentally deleted it. If I find it, I will link it here since it was really well written.


                          • #14
                            Oh that would be awesome!

                            Hopefully this weekend I can buy the tank and get what I can of the PVC and tubing. I think we have some glass or acrylic laying around that can use for the baffles, too, and I have silicon (hopefully enough lol).


                            • #15
                              If you use acrylic make the silicone seams wider than normal since it doesn't bond well to acrylic, and if it is thin enough it can flex with the moving water. With 1/4" of silicone on each side of the glass panes I went through, roughly, a third of my 3 oz. tube of silicone, and that was with one error of putting a pane in the wrong spot lol.

                              I found a few links, sorry if this is a double post of some links from the FL thread. Maybe one of them will help you out some.