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29 Gallon Sump Build

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Mikeskillz
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I have finally started to construct my sump for my 75 gallon tank. I am using a used 29 gallon tank for this. After cleaning the tank out with a razor and sponge thouroughly, I brought it inside and began making measurements. After measuring, I found that my skimmer had a 9" footprint(space it takes in the tank), and my return pump had a 4 1/2 " footprint. I used these dimension to determine where I would put my glass panels inside of the tank. I decided to make the height of the panel separating the Skimmer section from the Return section 12" by measuring the height of the output hose of my skimmer. I also decided to make the height of the panel separating the Refugium section from the Return section 16" to maximize the water volume of my Refugium. I then went to the Hardware store(Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) and had (2) 16 x 11 3/4" panels and (2) 12 x 11 3/4" panels cut. I measured the tank and marked where I would be putting each panel with 1" masking tape. I was able to mark where 2 panels would go by using one piece of tape due to the need for a 1" gap between each 12" panel and between each 16" panel. I then placed a combonation of cds and dvds inside the tank to hold my panels in place while I "glued" them with some Aquarium safe 100% silicone. One panel of each length would be placed on the bottom of the aquarium and one of each would be 1" off of the bottom. I accomplished this by placing cds under the dvds holding the glass panels that needed to be raised so that these two panels would rest on top of the cds instead of the bottom. Make sure that your return section is big enough to slide the cds out as I ended up having to break through my cd cases to get them out. I then removed the two raised panels and glued the two panels that would touch the bottom of the tank first so that they could be sealed on both sides as they would be holding the majority of the water weight during sump operation. I then added the two raised panels and glued them thoroughly on the one side that could still be reached without affecting the other panels. I let the silicone dry for 24 hours and then carefully removed the dvds and cds. I then glued the section of the two bottom panels where they touched the bottom of the tank that I couldn't get to when the dvds were in the tank. I used the last bit of silicone I had left to fill any holes or potential weak spots in the seal. After that dried for 24 hours, I tested each chamber for leaks individually by filling checking, draining, and drying each chamber before testing the next. After finding no leaks, I placed the new sump under my 75 gallon tank and filled each chamber with saltwater until it overflowed into the next chamber. That was pretty much it. I will discuss how I plumbed the sump to my display tank after I finish doing so. Here are some pictures of the process so far:





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klieb70
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return section

Hey Mike, it looks good, just think there may be some problems with the design. Is your return pump going in the middle section? If so, you may end up topping your water off 2x a day. at 12"X 4.5" you are looking at 2.9 gallons of water, and about 2.4 gallons +/- until you start sucking air into the return pump. How much water evaps from you tank daily?
You will also need to have minimum syphon if you lose power, as you do not have much overflow room in the sump.
Do you know what depth your skimmer is supposed to work best at? You may have to raise your skimmer up (could interfere with the bottom your fish tank. Have you considered running the skimmer outside of the sump?


Does anyone else use krylon to keep their corals looking good?

Reef Chief
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glass

Is that 1/8 inch glass???

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Mikeskillz
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My tank evaporates less than

My tank evaporates less than 2 gallons a week, and that with no glass lids on top. I do water changes weekly so i can top it off then. As far as water syphoning into the tank during a power outage, my overflow only holds about a quart of water when its full so it won't flood out anything. Also, the highest panel in the sump is still one inch from the top so it will allow the water to overflow into the return section. I don't know exactly what the best height of the skimmer will be only because I am still waiting on the Collector cup but the output tube is adjustable on it so I can figure that part out when it get it running. I talked to the skimmer guy finally and he is supposed to leave it in his backyard for me tonight. The seals have now dried for 48 hours so I am going to check for leaks today. If all goes well, I will be plumbing it to my display tank later today. Thanks for the advice. This is my first sump build so i can use any I can get. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

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klieb70
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overflow

it is not the overflow you need to be concerned with, you will have to make sure your return lines are not too deep beneath the surface, and or have a siphon break. When you lose power, the return lines act like a siphon hose, and will drain the main tank until the siphon is broke via a siphon break hole, or runs out of water at the hose. you can also use a marine grade check valve, but a lot of people say these will eventually fail due to algae growth inside, or a wandering snail.
as far as evaporation goes, you will now have more surface area. With the return lines, you will have more agitation in the tank (at the surface) because the return line need to be near the top. Your evap will more than likely increase.
With the fuge baffles being so tall, if the return section goes low, you will have a lot of pressure on the 1/8" glas as well. I don't know if it will be too much or not. When we talked about the glass panes, I thought you were going with shorter baffles.


Does anyone else use krylon to keep their corals looking good?

klieb70
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my sump

This is the normal level of my sump(20 long). When I lose power, the tank fill completely to the middle of the top plastic trim ring. I have all the room in the return section, as well as the extra in the skimmer section. (wow the sump was clean back then....lol)

you can see in this pic, my return lines are not submerged very far. I found if I put them closer to the surface (to siphon less water) a lot of bubbles were created by the surface turbulence.

Just something to consider.


Does anyone else use krylon to keep their corals looking good?

Brian
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before you get it all plumbed

before you get it all plumbed out i would suggest thicker glass, larger return area and maybe a more shallow area for refugium or at least thicker glass to hold back that water. and the bubble trap wall for refugium i would move over a few inches to the right to make for a larger return area.

Why yes I am a Reefer! Are you? Check Out my tank here: http://reefchief.us/forum/2009/05/06/brian-and-jaimes-120-reef

Mikeskillz
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When I checked out the sump

When I checked out the sump under Chris and Stacy's 75, he only had a 4" return section. Also, I thought the more water volume in the fuge, the better. I have everything cut and fitted for the plumbing. I just need to glue it. As far as the return lines, I will put them so that the top of them are right at the edge of the water level of the overflow box holes. I was wondering about the 1/8" glass holding the water but it is in there now so i guess I will give it a try and see what happens.

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Brian
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if you are going to do a auto

if you are going to do a auto top off it will be ok to have a small return section, chris said when were were there he has to add water twice a day.

Why yes I am a Reefer! Are you? Check Out my tank here: http://reefchief.us/forum/2009/05/06/brian-and-jaimes-120-reef

Mikeskillz
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I will have to check on the

I will have to check on the auto top off thing. I haven't had any problem with evaporation so I guess I will have to see how much I have with the sump running. I filled all of the sections of the sump with water and the glass seems to be holding the fuge water. I still have a couple parts to pick up for the sump tomorrow so I am going to see if there is any change with the glass in the morning.

A hobby is something you do in your spare time, but your passion is doing something you love.

c.talecki
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small pump section -

Yea - I told Brian to go large with his return section after I finished my sump - I need to add water in the morning and at night - It's not that bad given that I have a RC 2000 - but if you'll lugging water jugs to and from the store I would definitely learn from my mistakes. BTW - Home depot sells sheet acrylic - may be an easier option for the diy'er - you can just cut it by hand or on a table saw with a fine tooth blade.

Fill your tank with $5 bills, pour some gas in, light it on fire.......then you'll know the real cost of reefing.