The Reef Tank banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today was the day to get started on the sump. I've been working toward removing substrate and adding flow in order to keep detritus suspended in the DT. Now it's time to build a place for that detritus to settle.

My inner cabinet dimensions are 47"x16"x24". I bought a used 55 gallon in the hopes that it would fit... That was -before- I measured the cabinet. It ended up being 1" too long, but otherwise perfect.

So I purchased a 29 gallon tank last night for the sump. It gives me almost a foot of storage to one side, a few inches of storage in front, and provides about 8" of clearance at the top in case I move my HOB skimmer to the sump (which I probably will).

I also tried to fit the 29 gallon in the door last night. Once again I was met with disappointment. It could not be inserted into the cabinet via the front door. So I figure I have two options - drain the tank, attempt to rotate the cabinet in order to access the larger openings in back, or cut a hole in the side of the cabinet and slide it right in.

I just did a major WC (along with substrate removal) Monday and didn't feel like getting all the containers out to put rock into (again), so I opted for the path of least resistance - cutting out the side.

This morning, the boy and I went to Home Depot and picked up a 2x4, 1/4" plywood and hinges. I had an associate cut the 2x4's to length and the plywood to size.

The 2x4's are to support the side of the tank where the opening goes, the plywood and hinges are to cover the opening. So my cabinet will have 3 doors.


Here's a shot from inside the cabinet. Notice I'm quite nearly BB. The inside of the cabinet is lit up by the tank lights above.


So I've got my 3rd door cavity dimensions. The corners are set with a paddle bit and a flatblade screwdriver was used to scratch a line into the black finish.


I was able to keep a steady enough hand to use a jigsaw on the top and both sides. A reciprocating saw was necessary for the bottom cut due to the trim on the cabinet. Poor fish having to listen to that. Thin wood, though. It didn't last long.


A quick peek up from my working area let me know at least one clown and one PJ were doing OK with all the noise. (Excuse the back glass, I'm waiting for coraline to spread)


So, voila! Three doors!


One thing I need to do before cramming the sump tank in there... The RO/DI system will be installed in the basement under the tank. Going to need a water line to come up, so here's where it'll be.


Alright. Hole drilled, time to test my math. It fits in there pretty well. The opening has less than 1" clearance on each side and top.


Here is a side shot. I have a few inches of storage in front of the sump for bottle brushes, mag-floats, test kits, etc.


And I've got about 10" of storage on the left for scrapers, nets, jugs, my two SHAMWOWs(!), etc.


Time to take a break. Still need to gather up the baffles, egg crate, and misc parts for those two items. One last look before heading out the door at the anemone.


Ended up getting back a couple hours later with 4 sheets of 1/4" thick acrylic, a router for teething/cutting the baffles, plus some other misc things. No pics, but the baffles are teethed and I'm working on getting the into place now.

More as it happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Wow, 4 sheets of acrylic! How many baffles do you plan to make? I bought only one 30" X 36" sheet to make the baffles that I will put in the 55 gallon tank I am converting to a sump this weekend. I will have enough for 6 baffles which would allow 2 bubble traps if I decide to go that route.

Are you going to use silicone and "dam" the acrylic in place or will you use the moveable baffle technique? Share your sump ideas please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, 4 sheets of acrylic! How many baffles do you plan to make?
I should have been more specific :eek: I had the sheets cut to baffle size at the store, so that's what I'm misleadingly calling "4 sheets". It's actually 4 baffles.

Are you going to use silicone and "dam" the acrylic in place or will you use the moveable baffle technique?
I started on one baffle, sump on side. I'm currently attempting silicone, but it's not working well for me. It's not setting fast enough for my tastes. And it's already fallen over. I'm going to be looking into alternate means before I get too far into it.

Share your sump ideas please.
Back in the Sump Discussion, someone brought up the idea of a benthic duplex sump (here's more information about it, click the thread link in the top right to view the entire topic).

It really wasn't discussed at length, which is probably why I'm contemplating it. It was neither praised nor shot full of holes. From what I've read, it takes about 6 months to start seeing any results - so like the adage goes, nothing good comes fast.

However with the benthic duplex, I can imagine the necessity of a under-over baffle from chamber 1 to chamber 2. There goes my detritus collection. I'm not going to want take apart the benthic area to vacuum - it's full of eggcrate for surface area for the benthic life to cling to, plus LR chunks are on top blocking the light. And the whole point of installing a sump was to get the detritus into a single easy-to-export area, and I don't see the that as the best way to go about my single goal.

So I'll probably just install a single "over" baffle. Enough to put my HOB skimmer over the side of the sump in the first chamber. This will be an area of low flow so that detritus can settle. The return portion (I'm hoping this to be 3/4 the length of the tank) will hopefully give me enough room to house errant water should the electricity go out, and also give me a decent capacity. I don't like the idea of only getting 15 gallons of water out of a 29 gallon tank.

But that's why I got 4 baffles - 1 bubble trap and one baffle for controlling the water level in chamber 2 - IF the benthic idea is used. Still undecided, but I really don't want to chase poop...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
the higher the water level the slower the velocity of the water in the sump and the greater the amount of detritus that will settle out. i would leave the sump as empty as possible except for maybe 3 baffles under, over, under to keep the bubbles from getting to the return pump and setting the water height for the skimmer.

cryptic zones are neat, but not really a help. yet more warm and fuzzy science. they will still need to be removed in order to actually remove the nutrients. leaves less room for actual detrital removal.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
the higher the water level the slower the velocity of the water in the sump and the greater the amount of detritus that will settle out. i would leave the sump as empty as possible except for maybe 3 baffles under, over, under to keep the bubbles from getting to the return pump and setting the water height for the skimmer.

cryptic zones are neat, but not really a help. yet more warm and fuzzy science. they will still need to be removed in order to actually remove the nutrients. leaves less room for actual detrital removal.

G~

I am so glad you posted this Geoff. I was planning under, over, under because I know it will be quieter than over, under, over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the higher the water level the slower the velocity of the water in the sump and the greater the amount of detritus that will settle out. i would leave the sump as empty as possible except for maybe 3 baffles under, over, under to keep the bubbles from getting to the return pump and setting the water height for the skimmer.
I think that's a nice compromise between the two types I'm deciding on. With an empty sump, I figured a single over-baffle would be adequate with the return being as big as possible. I didn't think the bubbles would make their way all the way across and down to the return intake.

I've lived with the HOB skimmer for 6 months now sending bubbles into the tank. It hasn't been an issue until now with those two 750 pointing at each other. The bubbles are no longer staying at the surface.

I also didn't consider what the overfllow would contribute to bubbles. However I don't want detritus to get under that first baffle. Perhaps I'll go over-under-over-under just to keep settled detritus from being pulled under the first under baffle. The first over baffle being just a short half-height baffle to keep settled detritus locked down.

Or is a half-height over baffle overkill?

cryptic zones are neat, but not really a help. yet more warm and fuzzy science. they will still need to be removed in order to actually remove the nutrients. leaves less room for actual detrital removal.
You know, I thought about your single statement on benthic design in the Sump Discussion, something to the effect of "it's a great way to export silicates". But it rang empty for me. I could tell just from that statement there was more that you were leaving out ;) Otherwise I'd be sold on it, hence the conflict.

A duplex benthic doesn't sound like it fits into the "made easy" part of Reefkeeping. Removing the top layer of LR in order to remove the eggcrate and export sounds like more hassle than I'm willing to take on.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
having the first baffle pulling from the bottom of the sump means that any water going through the baffles is as low in bubbles as possible. bubbles go up. ;) then the others just keep the water moving and setting the water height. with the last bottom outlet creating a large speed difference that hopefully causes any bubbles to evacuate.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, so I'll just plan on an under-over-under and leave enough room between baffle 1 and 2 to get a shop-vac hose.

Assuming a full waterline in the skim/settle zone with baffles at the midpoint, turnover on a 29g tank at 500gph would be 36x/hour. At the 1/3rd mark that same zone would turn over 50x/hour a 38% increase.

So is 36x an hour slow enough? Or should I get some eggcrate in there? Or is this something I should toy with once it's up and running? Just from experience of flow in the DT, 27x/hr allows large and medium detritus to settle but smaller stuff stays suspended.

I've purchased plumbing to be able to fork and divert the return. And to keep flow rates slow enough I'd need to divert that straight back into the return zone. Piping it back to the skim/settle zone would cause the flow to act as though the pump was at full throttle.

Man, these are all things that could have gone into the Sump Discussion... ;)

And now I'm doing more typing than building... Maybe I'll try to get one of the under baffles in place... If not, it's going to be a busy Sunday.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
do not worry to much about the detritus that will accumulate in the baffle area. as long as the under height is high enough to get a siphon hose under it or between it. you are fine. i just use a 5/8" vinyl tube for my siphon hose. there is no reason to use a big thick hose for removing detritus. the small ones work just as well if not better because you are removing less water with the detritus.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Just a quick update -

Got the baffles installed using the weatherstrip method. I was only able to add the weatherstrip on one side of the baffle since they are so close to fitting the interior of the sump already. Hopefully they're tight enough to be mostly watertight. I ended up taking the under-over-under recommendation.

Also started plumbing the HOB overflow. Need to trade two 45* pieces for 2 90* pieces. I don't have near as much clearance above the sump as I'd hoped. Went to WalMart since THD was closed. No pipe fittings there at all.

And speaking of sump clearance, it's too tight to get my HOB skimmer into the cabinet. So chamber 1 will be settling only - no skim.

Here's the baffle setup: Flow is from back to front.


Here it is in place.


On a side note, this is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Still need to plumb the return and the RO/DI system after the overflow. Then paint the new door, install the hinges, and install locks on all three doors. I doubt I can get all that done tomorrow. If not, my next day to substantially work on it will be Tuesday, and then Sunday again. I can foresee this "little project" taking a week or two...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
Looks good so far! These projects always take longer than they are supposed to. I planned on running to town for some silicone to redo my sump this afternoon. I got home at 10pm after having visited every LFS in town. Bringing home 2 huge pcs of lace rock for my Cichlid tank and some other fish stuff that I just had to have. After all that, I forgot the silicone......

I have to ask, Did you cut the "teeth" in the acrylic yourself or did you have it done? Also, What is the purpose of the "teeth"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LOL, I know what it's like to go out for one thing and come back with anything BUT what I left for...

I have to ask, Did you cut the "teeth" in the acrylic yourself or did you have it done? Also, What is the purpose of the "teeth"?
I cut the teeth myself. Bought a router and bit especially for it (I hope I use that router again, lol).

I'll be honest, it just seemed like the right thing to do (I of all people should know better than to trust my instincts ;)) I think I've read somewhere that it creates a quieter flow, but I may not be remembering that correctly. It may be the baffle setup itself that makes the flow quieter (under-over-under vs over-under-over)...

But teeth tend to make it harder for items to pass over the baffle. I don't intend on having any critters in the sump, but who knows what the future holds...

This entire thing is going to be an exercise in fluid and solid dynamics. I wanted to make it as flexible as I could because I have NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING and will more than likely need to adjust a lot of things before I am satisfied with the results ;) I've even got a $13 piece of eggcrate in case I need to slow the flow in the settling chamber. Just making sure my bets are hedged.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,852 Posts
im tagging along. im interested in the weather stripping. im about to build a 10gal sump and im trying to find ideas. looks good so far. have you put water in it to test the stripping yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
The silicone is definitely not a one person job. I had the hubby hold the baffles in place while I ran a (THICK) bead of silicone and then came back with caulk tool that I bought and smoothed the line/removed the excess. I was worried that the $10 I spent on the pack of caulk tools was a waste of money. Nothing could be further from the truth. In an hour and a half we cut the raised portion for the under baffles, like the thread for the weather stripping method instructed, smoothed the top edges so they wouldn't scratch me, rounded the corners for the bottom so they wouldn't damage the existing silicone in the tank and installed baffles. One of them is completely finished and the other two are siliconed on one side and I will do the other side this morning. I do have some excess silicone that I will razor off for a cleaner look.

There is absolutely no way that I can imagine being able to hold the baffles and silicone them in place with just one person. I tried for about 30 minutes before the hubby came back out and it was a lost cause. He did get a new jig saw out of the deal, because his old one was crap.

Oh, and we made a trip to Lowes to have them cut the acrylic that I bought at HD, lol. That piece of crap tool they sold me at HD was a waste of cash. It said to score the acrylic 7 to 10 times and then break it. Yeah right, no way that was happening. We scored it about 30 times before giving up and rushing to Lowes before they closed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
have you put water in it to test the stripping yet?
No tests yet. But I'm betting it's going to be just fine.

TrishW said:
There is absolutely no way that I can imagine being able to hold the baffles and silicone them in place with just one person.
I know, right? That's why I ended up going w/ the weatherstripping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Typical.

I initially planned on utilizing 2 45* elbows to get the pipe from the overflow into the tank. But due to a lack of vertical room in the cabinet, I needed to change those 45's out for 90's. I think I've covered this already...

Headed to the Depot after crawling my tuckus out of bed at 12:30pm (woke up sick yesterday). Stopped and jabbered with some co-workers while I was there. Hit the pipe aisle and grabbed 3 (only need 2) 1" 90's.

Got home. Grabbed one of the new 90's and put it to the end of my pipe. Right then a little announcement went off in my head:

DING! We're sorry, but this is not going to work. You need inch and a quarter. Perhaps if you didn't drag this out so long, you would have remembered the size of PVC you were working with. Now grab your bag (don't forget the receipt like you forget everything else!), get back in the Jeep, and make another 30 minute round trip. See you when you get back!

Oh, and try not to screw anything else up!

Fast Forward.

Now I'm home with the right sized 90's. Got everything figured out. I ended up cementing everything but one joint, just in case I need to remove the overflow pipe for some reason (I hope that doesn't come back to bite me).

You know, it's amazing what can be accomplished in a small time-frame when one has everything they need. Overflow plumbing was finished in 10 minutes.

Here it is in pre-cement rough.


The process of cementing - the left piece is the upper portion, right piece is lower portion. You can see where I will leave one joint uncemented. I did position it to where if it did leak or come off, it is at least hanging in the sump.


Here it is in all it's glory.


If it's not already obvious from the prior posts in this thread, I am simply bumbling through this first sump. Once it's up and running, I plan on playing with it (if necessary) to tweak it.

Alright, so now it's time to start on the return! I might almost get this done today!

I decide to start building up from the return pump. So I get it out of it's box and dump out all my 1/2" fittings to start the LEGO process...

Where is that piece that screws on to the pump? Nope, not in this bag... Check those bags! Ugh, not there either. Look around in the couch and cabinet... Nope.

DING! I told you not to screw anything else up. Hang it up kiddo, you're done for the day. That is unless you want to make a third trip to the Depot.

I'm thinking "screw you, inner monologue!", I may just head over to Ace Hardware. It's only three blocks away.

And I just may.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Typical.

I initially planned on utilizing 2 45* elbows to get the pipe from the overflow into the tank. But due to a lack of vertical room in the cabinet, I needed to change those 45's out for 90's. I think I've covered this already...

Headed to the Depot after crawling my tuckus out of bed at 12:30pm (woke up sick yesterday). Stopped and jabbered with some co-workers while I was there. Hit the pipe aisle and grabbed 3 (only need 2) 1" 90's.

Got home. Grabbed one of the new 90's and put it to the end of my pipe. Right then a little announcement went off in my head:
DING! We're sorry, but this is not going to work. You need inch and a quarter. Perhaps if you didn't drag this out so long, you would have remembered the size of PVC you were working with. Now grab your bag (don't forget the receipt like you forget everything else!), get back in the Jeep, and make another 30 minute round trip. See you when you get back!

Oh, and try not to screw anything else up!
Fast Forward.

Now I'm home with the right sized 90's. Got everything figured out. I ended up cementing everything but one joint, just in case I need to remove the overflow pipe for some reason (I hope that doesn't come back to bite me).

You know, it's amazing what can be accomplished in a small time-frame when one has everything they need. Overflow plumbing was finished in 10 minutes.

Here it is in pre-cement rough.


The process of cementing - the left piece is the upper portion, right piece is lower portion. You can see where I will leave one joint uncemented. I did position it to where if it did leak or come off, it is at least hanging in the sump.


Here it is in all it's glory.


If it's not already obvious from the prior posts in this thread, I am simply bumbling through this first sump. Once it's up and running, I plan on playing with it (if necessary) to tweak it.

Alright, so now it's time to start on the return! I might almost get this done today!

I decide to start building up from the return pump. So I get it out of it's box and dump out all my 1/2" fittings to start the LEGO process...

Where is that piece that screws on to the pump? Nope, not in this bag... Check those bags! Ugh, not there either. Look around in the couch and cabinet... Nope.
DING! I told you not to screw anything else up. Hang it up kiddo, you're done for the day. That is unless you want to make a third trip to the Depot.
I'm thinking "screw you, inner monologue!", I may just head over to Ace Hardware. It's only three blocks away.

And I just may.
brenden did i miss something , i'll have to read again it looks like you run your overflow directly into sump and not through bioballs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
brenden did i miss something , i'll have to read again it looks like you run your overflow directly into sump and not through bioballs?
Correct. No bioballs.

I have enough filtering (LR) and dillution (water changes) going on that I am able to keep my nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) under something resembling control ;)

Once a week I siphon the DT due to either levels of phosphates, nitrates, or both. I don't need aerobic bacteria - I have all the nitrates I can already handle ;) By including bioballs in the equation I'd be doing nothing but increasing my capacity for more aerobic bacteria.

What I need is either more anaerobic bacteria or to lighten the load on the aerobic bacteria so that they don't produce more nitrates than the anaerobic bacteria can process. So the main function of the sump is to collect and settle detritus in a single area for convenient export.

By getting a majority of detritus in one easy-to-export area, I can at least reduce decay, which will chain-react on through the nitrogen cycle to give me less nitrates (and phosphates as well). One of my reefing goals is to perform a water change "just because", not "because it needed it" ;)

The plan is for the DT flow to keep detritus suspended long enough to get to the overflow. And once it makes it's way into the primary chamber (on the right), the idea is to have a low enough flow region where that detritus will settle.

There still may be some siphoning needed in the DT, but a majority of detritus should be in the sump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Correct. No bioballs.

I have enough filtering (LR) and dillution (water changes) going on that I am able to keep my nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) under something resembling control ;)

Once a week I siphon the DT due to either levels of phosphates, nitrates, or both. I don't need aerobic bacteria - I have all the nitrates I can already handle ;) By including bioballs in the equation I'd be doing nothing but increasing my capacity for more aerobic bacteria.

What I need is either more anaerobic bacteria or to lighten the load on the aerobic bacteria so that they don't produce more nitrates than the anaerobic bacteria can process. So the main function of the sump is to collect and settle detritus in a single area for convenient export.

By getting a majority of detritus in one easy-to-export area, I can at least reduce decay, which will chain-react on through the nitrogen cycle to give me less nitrates (and phosphates as well). One of my reefing goals is to perform a water change "just because", not "because it needed it" ;)

The plan is for the DT flow to keep detritus suspended long enough to get to the overflow. And once it makes it's way into the primary chamber (on the right), the idea is to have a low enough flow region where that detritus will settle.

There still may be some siphoning needed in the DT, but a majority of detritus should be in the sump.
That is good to know I never realized the balls can produce nitrate and phosphate i thought they were there to reduce them by providing more surface area to grow bacteria to help lower the nitrates and phosphates I thought i needed more balls but in reality i may need less because anything that gets traped in the balls can possibly decay causing the the problem i thought i was solving ? thanx, your thread has been very informative helping me to understand things i thought i understood.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top