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View Full Version : bought a 365 acrylic sump, opinions on how to use it?


atraperegrinus
08/12/2016, 10:20 PM
i just put a deposit down on a 365g 8'x24"x30" acrylic tank a guy was using as a sump. He was just using it as one big tank with no baffles, filled with live rock, and used downdraft skimmers from the drain.

I am considering adding baffles, or possibly even cutting it down to a shorter height and adding baffles rather than using it as just a huge stock tank like he was.

if you had access to this tank and a dedicated fish room, what would you guys do? I'd love to hear some ideas and opinions.

I even considered cutting the tank in half horizontally, flipping the top, adding a new bottom sheet, and having 2 15" by 8' length sumps.

or even a 20" x 8' sump and a 10" x 8' frag tank. lol

or would you just leave it as a giant stock tank like how he had it?

anyway! brainstorm with me here guys. thanks for your time!

henelay
08/14/2016, 04:37 AM
I would either cut it down and make smaller sump, refugium, or tanks out of them. Or what about a giant refugium with tons of different macro algae. Like a macro algae tank

henelay
08/14/2016, 04:38 AM
Or a kelp forest 😂

Rakie
08/14/2016, 05:29 AM
Seriously -- Add baffles but don't bother cutting it apart.

Make at least a 4' Macro tank out of it. Fill it with Macro algae and harty NPS that will soak up any nutrients that come their way (You might be able to skip a filter sock doing this). After that make sure there's room for a 2x2 frag section, then the standard stuff in the last 2' of tank.

I think it's a really cool way to make a display refugium, you can completely stock it not only with Macro and potentially NPS corals, but those interesting fish you couldn't keep -- Dwarf Lions, Anglers, Batfish, Sculpin, so many uncommon options.

OR... Get it polished so there's no scratches and make that your new DT and make your current DT a sump :D

Ron Reefman
08/14/2016, 05:55 AM
I had a 180g (8'x2'x18") acrylic tank that was a frag tank in an LFS many years ago. I divided it into 4 45g sections. Left to right I had a refugium, a DSB with 8" to 10" of sand, evap/pump section and a skimmer section. I feed water into it from both ends.

I never had issues with nitrates or phosphates and due to a leak in the 180g DT, I just tore the system down. The sand in the DSB had very little smell and was actually cleaner than the sand from the DT's.

atraperegrinus
08/15/2016, 05:43 PM
If i was going to do a DSB, i'd do the remote kind, in a 20g brute can.

NPS idea is out because I don't want to be a total slave to my corals, i do have 1 sun coral but that's about as far as i want to take it personally.

I'm between leaving it full and adding baffles, or cutting it into two more shallow tanks. I'd prefer not to make it into smaller tanks, i really love the 8 foot footprint.

Ideally i'd cut it in half, at 30" that gives me 2 15" 8 foot sumps i could work with, i could do alot with that. Only pitfall there is my 7" filter socks are 16" length and they would hang onto the bottom of the tank, so im kinda stuck at a 18" sump and a 12". or full size. if that makes any sense.

I really liked the idea of having 2 8 foot long 15" tanks under the DT, i just think that'd be neat lol. would give me tons of room for the drain section to do a good settling area before it flowed into the filter socks, and a very nice large section for skimmer, and reactors and whatnot, then have that gravity drain down to the second tank which would house mediapure blocks, extra liverock, fuge, and return section.

anywhere in there i could easily add in sections to house extra fish, or macro or what have you. I already have a separate 6 foot x 24" x 8" raceway frag tank, so I don't need to worry about that at all.

i have a taller 125g sump now, and as it sits because of the difficulty with getting to all the nooks and crannies i skimp on cleaning now and then, i'd like to avoid that in my next build to make life easier. im sure some of you can understand that.

keep the ideas rolling guys!

I also dont mind leaving it as a 30" tank, i just think it would be very difficult to work in because i'd only have about 12-14" of room under the stand at 30" height. plus making it so that my skimmer only sat in 7-8" of water would be very difficult with that height.

I currently have an algae turf scrubber growing well, so i don't know how well macro would grow in addition to that, my current macro has slowed down considerably since starting up the ATS.

Rakie
08/15/2016, 06:44 PM
I was saying replace the filter sock with an NPS area so they'd absorb all the goodies, but it would still probably need more feeding unless you're super heavy handed.

atraperegrinus
08/15/2016, 07:59 PM
I was saying replace the filter sock with an NPS area so they'd absorb all the goodies, but it would still probably need more feeding unless you're super heavy handed.

ah, understood, yeah no bueno there.

Sadly after doing the 3d model, 2 15" tanks wouldn't work properly under a stand. the thing would have to be like 50" tall to make it all fit. was a good idea in my head though.

if i had a first floor tank with basement sumps it'd work but thats not possible in my current house.

Rakie
08/15/2016, 09:13 PM
"My fish tank is too big for my house"
- The American Dream

That's a shame tho! There's very good odds you can cut it up more and shorten it to suit your needs. If the price is low enough, you could buy it as scrap and completely assemble your own sump with it to the exact dimensions you want.

atraperegrinus
08/16/2016, 12:54 AM
I think the plan will end up being to cut it to 20", just sucks to waste the acrylic I'd be cutting off basically so I was trying to get 2 tanks out of it.

I was going to just load a whole section with 8x8x4 media pure anyway so I won't need a space for liverock.

The footprint itself is exactly what I want, so worst case I'll just cut and scrap the left overs, and/or sell someone a 8 foot frag tank. Seems like the best idea at this point, I'd rather have alot of room to spare than have to squeeze stuff in. That should still give me 150 to 180 or so gallons of water on top of the display.

sfsuphysics
08/16/2016, 05:16 PM
Well if you have the fish room area... a 20" sump and a 10" frag tank would be pretty sweet :D Or 2 15" tanks..

My advice, draw it out on paper before doing anything, just to make sure you can visualize what's going to happen. I did something similar with a 6' x 18" x 20" tank, I chopped about 4-5 inches off the top (it has a coast2coast overflow so the holes were problematic). Decided on a filter sock area with removable holders in case I change my mind, then a good sized skimmer compartment (never make a compartment just enough to fit what you have, otherwise you're bound to find a slightly bigger skimmer that you MUST have), then a return pump area, and then probably 1/3 of the tank a refugium that has a higher baffle and is fed by a tee from the return pump so I can keep the flow as low as I need.

Now let me tell you about the 8' x 3' x 20" tank I turned into a sump, I made 3 compartments, 2 of them that are 2' x 1.5' next to each other, and one big 6 x 3' area, that didn't work out terribly well. It was too much like having to keep a fish tank that was a pain in the butt to access. So that eventually ended.

And this is a mistake I always seem to do (except the latest), I make the compartments too tall, so I end up needing to make really tall skimmer stands, and then it turns out I don't have the vertical space in the tank to handle a power outage back siphon.

atraperegrinus
08/16/2016, 05:33 PM
Well if you have the fish room area... a 20" sump and a 10" frag tank would be pretty sweet :D Or 2 15" tanks..

My advice, draw it out on paper before doing anything, just to make sure you can visualize what's going to happen. I did something similar with a 6' x 18" x 20" tank, I chopped about 4-5 inches off the top (it has a coast2coast overflow so the holes were problematic). Decided on a filter sock area with removable holders in case I change my mind, then a good sized skimmer compartment (never make a compartment just enough to fit what you have, otherwise you're bound to find a slightly bigger skimmer that you MUST have), then a return pump area, and then probably 1/3 of the tank a refugium that has a higher baffle and is fed by a tee from the return pump so I can keep the flow as low as I need.

Now let me tell you about the 8' x 3' x 20" tank I turned into a sump, I made 3 compartments, 2 of them that are 2' x 1.5' next to each other, and one big 6 x 3' area, that didn't work out terribly well. It was too much like having to keep a fish tank that was a pain in the butt to access. So that eventually ended.

And this is a mistake I always seem to do (except the latest), I make the compartments too tall, so I end up needing to make really tall skimmer stands, and then it turns out I don't have the vertical space in the tank to handle a power outage back siphon.

yeah i do everything in sketchup, love that program. that's how i realized that 2 15 stacked tanks wouldnt work lol

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/Screenshot%202016-08-15%2017.54.03.png

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/Screenshot%202016-08-15%2017.59.24.png

here's what i got so far for the 8 foot 20" tall sump.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/Screenshot%202016-08-16%2017.24.21.png


I do indeed have an entire room for this, so i will be using the 6' frag tank i'm getting from the same guy i got the sump from already. I'm sure ill end up using whatever i cut off for something i just don't know yet.

I know from my current 125g sump how much water will siphon back into the sump with power out, so i should have plenty of room.

but I feel your pain on the needing tall skimmer stands part, it sucks because i want the extra water volume, but at the same time, i want it easier to work in. I think this time, since its acrylic, I'm going to actually build a shelf into my equipment section to solve that issue, then there is no stand to have to work with. its not in the 3d design yet because im still not sure im happy with my baffle layout.

18" settling chamber, into the filter sock section
30" skimmer/equipment section
19" section for media pure blocks
finally into the bubble trap then into
14" return section which is still 20 gallons, so plenty of room for evap.

i'm thinking 20" tall for added room for water from DT when power out, and also gives me the space needed to keep running my 7x16 filter socks.

atraperegrinus
08/16/2016, 06:34 PM
Updated my 3d design.

same dimensions as listed above for each section, i just added the shelf and filter sock pieces.

the whole sump as a whole should be able to hold 160-180 gallons i think, 210g overall capacity if filled to the top.

Here's where I am at now. i added a movable shelf to the equipment section, which i will size to my skimmer obviously, its just roughed in for now.
I also added a cover over the filter socks, with tapered intakes to reduce waterfall sound from the 1+" drop into the filter socks, I noticed my current sump has this issue. the quieter the better!
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/Screenshot%202016-08-16%2018.31.37.png

sfsuphysics
08/17/2016, 11:41 AM
IMO, the "extra volume" mantra tends to have diminishing returns as the tank volume gets larger. i.e. if you have 1000 gallons, and have 1000g of extra volume, anything that's going to drastically affect 1000 gallons (heat, waste, etc) will more likely than not affect 2000g almost as easily. The downside is you need to change out that much more water to try and correct/balance things though, larger skimmer, larger water changes, more 2 part/Calc Rx/etc.

Now I realize you don't have a 1000g tank, but a few more inches in the skimmer compartment isn't going to add a significant amount of water volume (looking at the sketches you did, maybe 1/3 of it will be skimmer compartment, so 3 extra inches will only add about 10g of water)

Of course if you're handy with acrylic you can build an adjustable gate for the baffle leading into the skimmer compartment (saw some nifty sumps that do this) and you can adjust the water height as you feel like you need without being forced into a fixed volume by a fixed height baffle.