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should i have a sump ?

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mountian72

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Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
14
Location
ar.
ive been hearing about sumps should i have built one for my 30 long( L36"xW12"xH17") i cant find much detailed info on how they totaly work so if you think i need one tell me how you would do it
 

Bruddah_Chrispy

Zen Aquarist
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Sammamish, Wa
Aloha e Mountain,

A sump is an additional reservoir of water, usually located beneath your display tank. It increases your tank's overall water volume as well as giving you an out-of-sight location for equipment such as protein skimmers, heaters, et al.

A sump can be as simple as a tupperware container or as elaborate as some Rube Goldberg device.

The biggest challenge initially is moving water between your display tank and the sump. If your tank is drilled ('reef ready') then that's one less thing to worry about. If not, then you will need an overflow box which maintains a siphon to move water over the side of your display tank into a container. The container is drilled to allow water to drain to the sump.

The second half of the equation, assuming you don't want a wet living room, is to return the water from the sump to the display tank. This can be accomplished with an internal or external pump.

Hope this answers some of the inital questions.
 

NeilsReef

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Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
182
Location
Troutdale, Oregon
Mountain72, I prefer to have a sump for all of my tanks odds and ends, the protein skimmer, heater and etc. I also like it because by getting things like the heater out of the tank itself, the sump frees up room in my tank. Items in the sump are easy to clean and access when needed. Any chemicals, additives and etc are added directly to the sump, with out little inquisitive fish coming to check them out.

Since Bruddah_Chrispy & NaH20 did such a great job there really isn't much for me to say.

The sump is normally hidden underneath and out of the way (often only seen by you), I would reccomend starting out inexpensively by using what you already have available. Sometimes one will have an extra tank lying around the house or garage, if so that can become a great sump. If not you can always go to your local store and pick up a Rubbermaid container, and turn it into your sump. Or you can look for a used sump in your area, or buy new at your LFS.

There are so many ways to accomplish the same thing in this hobby; ie an old tank, rubbermaid container, used sump, new sump will all work for your purpose if you choose to have a sump.
Some may require more work than others, but it can become a fun do it yourself (DIY) project. If you have any questions please feel free to PM with them, and I will be glad to assist you if needed.
 

Ray Pollett

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Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
Just so you have another point of view. And as most know I march to a different drummer.

I no longer set up tanks with sumps. I find it an unnessary expense and trouble waiting to happen.

Ray
 

NeilsReef

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Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
182
Location
Troutdale, Oregon
Ray, please explain? "trouble waiting to happen. "

I have an acrylic tank with bulkheads, what ever water goes up will gravity feed back down. When I set up a sump I make sure that if the power goes off (which it will in the northwest) the sump has ample room to house the water that flow back into it. Thanks

As per my previous post: "There are so many ways to accomplish the same thing in this hobby" Ultimately we all want to keep some sort of aquarium life; reef, fish only (FO), fish only with live rock (FOWLR) and other types of critters & corals. We all have different ways to create a healthy aquarium and the life there in. Nikki is the new unofficial queen of the closed loop system (CL). Here is a link to her CL:
http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2062
Ultimeately each way to do things in the aquarium hobby has its pros and cons. We just have to weigh them out to see what works best for us.
I never thought I would ever have a closed loop system, but after much research on the corals I want to keep (SPS), I am thinking this is the route I want to go. Does this mean that CL is the only way to keep SPS corals. Far from it, there are a ton of ways to keep SPS's. In my opinion critical thinking plays a viable role in this hobby.

Sorry for getting slightly off track, I just wanted to explain. Thanks a lot
 

reedman

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
When properly setup, I don't think that sumps are trouble waiting to happen. That said, I have seen and heard of far more that are setup incorrectly that correctly. The key is to have enough volume available to accomadate all of the water that will drain from the display when the power fails. Also, ensuring that when power comes back on that the water will flow back up to the display.

I personally don't have a sump right now, but I think on the next setup I will. I like the idea of having a place to put all of the unsightly equipment and having a larger selection of skimmers to choose from. I also think that water changes are easier from the sump than they are from the main tank. And finally, when you have a sump you typically have better surface skimming, which leads to better gas exchange, better light penetration, and better water quality (IMO).
 

Bruddah_Chrispy

Zen Aquarist
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Sammamish, Wa
Aloha kakou,

Water changes are definetly easier with a sump. My FW tank (no sump) has to endure water being pumped out and then fresh water being dumped back in. Not to mention the hassle factor of hoisting buckets.

By contrast, the reef tank (with sump) has a hose adaptor plumbed into the return line. I attach a hose, run it to the kitchen drain, and turn on the ball valve. Then just replace the water in the sump. Since changes to the water level only occur in the sump the reef denizens are less disturbed by the operation.
 

Ray Pollett

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Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
NaH2O said:
Ray,

How are they "trouble waiting to happen"? I'm curious....
I've had calls from people for help for Flooded floors, burned up water pumps( sump ran low) and one for flames coming out of the stand (They let the sump run low, the water pump over heated and literally caught the wood stand on fire - luckerly some one was in the office). Now I understand they can be set up correctly. I have three still that I set up. They have never flooded th floor, but I see enough post about flooded floors and the problems with the overflows and calls from none customers; That IMO they are for most a problem waiting to happen.

Ray
 

Ray Pollett

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Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
Neil,

I like close loops and use them often.

I like keeping things simple. The less equipment that can be used, the lower the cost and less things that can go wrong. Just my opinion.


Ray
 

NeilsReef

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Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
182
Location
Troutdale, Oregon
In a commercial setting I can kind of see where you are coming from Ray.

I would imagine there are lots of reasons people hire a service. Some of these individuals may lack the time and or knowledge of the hobby itself (not all by any means). There are probably numerous other reasons people hire a tank cleaning service, so I will not try to cover them all, nor do I claim to know them all. In essence a tank maintenance service provide a needed and valuable profession, they provide piece of mind. The tank will always get cleaned and the problems there in will get taken care of, when one has a service.

I am sure some of your customers don't top of their tanks when the water evaporates. So in that respect, sumps that run dry can have pumps burn up, sounds only logical

I guess since I enjoy working on my hobby myself, I like to set up top off systems that work even when I am not home. So my water level is almost always right where I want it. If I wasn't limited by funds I would purchase a pump shut off device, in case a fluke accident ever happens, maybe my sump breaks (probably not very likely, it is acrylic).

If a sump is the correct size for the tank, and the sump isn't over filled I really can't see a reason it would over flow when the power goes off? Unless someone has a pipe (like a spray bar) or something similar that jets down into their tank, with out any sort of siphon breaks and or anti siphoning methods in place.

It seems to me there are many preventative measures that one can take to insure that major catastrophes don’t happen. Oftentimes they can be simplistic and low cost solutions that give piece of mind.

Thanks
 

NeilsReef

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Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
182
Location
Troutdale, Oregon
Quote from Ray "I like keeping things simple. The less equipment that can be used, the lower the cost and less things that can go wrong. Just my opinion"
_________________________________________________________
Ray that sounds good, I have used that approach for years in the Army. It worked well, thanks Ray
 

Ray Pollett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
NeilsReef said:
In a commercial setting I can kind of see where you are coming from Ray.

I would imagine there are lots of reasons people hire a service. Some of these individuals may lack the time and or knowledge of the hobby itself (not all by any means). There are probably numerous other reasons people hire a tank cleaning service, so I will not try to cover them all, nor do I claim to know them all. In essence a tank maintenance service provide a needed and valuable profession, they provide piece of mind. The tank will always get cleaned and the problems there in will get taken care of, when one has a service. -

I am sure some of your customers don't top of their tanks when the water evaporates. So in that respect, sumps that run dry can have pumps burn up, sounds only logical - These people were not my customers, they are hobbyist who call for help after the problem helps. Or were some one elses customer. A lot of times it is people who come home from vacation to find the problem. Sometimes it is they just got too busy and did not check it regularly. Or they had a service but the system was not set up correctly by that service. As a maintenance company it is easier to set them up and cheaper ( for the customer I no long lease tanks) without a sump. I also do not have to worry as much. I also have not seen any real difference in the tanks I set up now adays without them and the tanks I still have with them. No more algae and no larger water changes.

I guess since I enjoy working on my hobby myself, I like to set up top off systems that work even when I am not home. So my water level is almost always right where I want it. If I wasn't limited by funds I would purchase a pump shut off device, in case a fluke accident ever happens, maybe my sump breaks (probably not very likely, it is acrylic).

If a sump is the correct size for the tank, and the sump isn't over filled I really can't see a reason it would over flow when the power goes off? Unless someone has a pipe (like a spray bar) or something similar that jets down into their tank, with out any sort of siphon breaks and or anti siphoning methods in place. - ]You are correct. Set up correctly they should not overflow.

It seems to me there are many preventative measures that one can take to insure that major catastrophes don’t happen. Oftentimes they can be simplistic and low cost solutions that give piece of mind. - ]You are correct - No sump is cheaped than a sump (Lower cost) and very simple.

Thanks
[/QUOTE
 

Ray Pollett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
196
Location
Blaine, WA
NeilsReef said:
Quote from Ray "I like keeping things simple. The less equipment that can be used, the lower the cost and less things that can go wrong. Just my opinion"
_________________________________________________________
Ray that sounds good, I have used that approach for years in the Army. It worked well, thanks Ray
I agree, I used it in the Air Force for years and continue today.

Ray
 
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