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View Full Version : New to Reefing, New to sumps, Help.


Joseph_Piquette
08/07/2017, 09:13 PM
Hey reef central, I need some advice on what to do for my first Sump. As said in the title, I am totally new to reefing and I thought the sump was a great place to start. I am a moderate to advanced tropical and Malawi Fishkeeper, but i thought id step it up on the money spending.

Heres the deal. I just bought an API 75 gallon aquarium from Petsmart, which is over twice the size of any tank ive ever had. And now I am faced with the problem of filtering it.

The tank I was thinking of using to make my sump was a 29 gallon Aqueon that i previously used for malawi fish.

Is that about right on the size of the sump, and what layout should i use?

I am planning on staying on a fish only with live rock tank for at least a year and then slowly moving on to a reef

mcgyvr
08/08/2017, 11:20 AM
So many choices/potential answers...
The reason you haven't gotten any responses yet is (I assume) that you have just asked a very big open question and there are a thousand possible answers and all have been covered to death here over and over again.. (but thats what forums are)

You might want to spend some more time learning and narrowing down your choices/options/equipment selection,etc.. then restating your question (or the answer will just come to you because of that..
Do you want a skimmer section, fuge section,etc...? All these questions and more you will want to answer before you start..

IMO a 40b makes an excellent sump..

der_wille_zur_macht
08/08/2017, 08:52 PM
The 29 will be fine as a sump.

If I had to choose a default setup, I'd do a two hole overflow (Herbie style). Set the sump up as a three compartment deal. First compartment is where the drains dump, and houses the skimmer and heater. Make it as small as possible while still big enough to fit the skimmer you choose. Use a single baffle to set the water height near the range required for your skimmer (say, 8").

Second chamber is for a refugium. Put a ball of chaeto in it and use a clip-on LED plant grow light from Amazon.

Third chamber is the return pump. Make it a few inches bigger than the return pump you want to use. This way, the refugium takes up the remainder of the space and is as large as possible. Use a double baffle between the refugium and the return section, under-over.

Use an ATO, float sensor goes in the return section.

Plumb the return up over the back wall to the display and you're done.

Like mcgyvr indicated, there are a billion ways to do a sump. It's hard to give advice because it's mostly personal preference. At the same time, for you, as a newbie, it's hard to know what your preferences are, since you haven't done this before. The three-chamber sump I'm describing here probably hits 80% of what people want in a sump, and it's flexible enough that you can probably add in the other 20% over time. Decide you want a reactor? You can drop a powerhead in any of the chambers to run it from, or tee off the return line. Decide you want a filter sock? Use a clip-on sock holder. Decide you want a deep sand bed? Put a tall tupperware full of sand in the 'fuge section. And so on.

ssky
08/09/2017, 03:57 PM
I too have a 75 gallon tank with eshopps overflow drilled on the back. Using a 20 long as sump with 3 sections. first skimmer, second fuge or what ever, third return. Keep it simple, keep it easy and enjoy the hobby.

frankv702
08/09/2017, 08:55 PM
29g tank is tough because the tank is tall. I built one for my old 90g tank and hated it because of how tall it was. I'd go with a 20 long as a sump if you're set on using a tank to build a sump.

Joseph_Piquette
08/09/2017, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone,
I also have a 3 20 talls but i feel from the response that tall isnt as good as long.
I still have a long time to think about it as i still have to figure out where i am going to source all of my live rock.
I will probably go with that three chamber design because it is something to start on.
I have just recieved the two 900gph return pumps i had ordered and i realize that my 2 inch pvc diy overflow might not be enough.

der_wille_zur_macht
08/10/2017, 07:35 PM
Tall is a tradeoff. It makes it a little more awkward to reach inside for maintenance, but it means you have a lot more headroom and thus more drain down capacity when the return pump shuts off.

Horace
08/11/2017, 07:56 AM
Hey reef central, I need some advice on what to do for my first Sump. As said in the title, I am totally new to reefing and I thought the sump was a great place to start. I am a moderate to advanced tropical and Malawi Fishkeeper, but i thought id step it up on the money spending.

Heres the deal. I just bought an API 75 gallon aquarium from Petsmart, which is over twice the size of any tank ive ever had. And now I am faced with the problem of filtering it.

The tank I was thinking of using to make my sump was a 29 gallon Aqueon that i previously used for malawi fish.

Is that about right on the size of the sump, and what layout should i use?

I am planning on staying on a fish only with live rock tank for at least a year and then slowly moving on to a reef


So IMO the simple answer is you should get the largest sump you can fit in the space you have available. No matter how large, trust me you can always use the extra space. I personally used a 30g long tank under my old 75g. it was the largest that would fit in there (and I had to remove a brace temporarily to fit it, then put it back in). BTW, a 30g long makes a far better sump than a 29. Those are too tall and narrow. Shallow long/wide sumps are far better. A tank like a 40 breeder is a much better size if you can go larger than 30g.

If you have a fish room, i would go much larger....

Ron Reefman
08/12/2017, 07:22 AM
I'm with Kurt on this one. Go as big as you can manage.

I got a Cadlight system 125g tank that came with a 40g custom sump that is very well made, but for my desires, very poorly designed. They made a center section for filter floss or sponge and I wouldn't use that for anything.

So now I'm building a bigger sump/refugium for myself. It's about a 65g and will fit my needs much better. A bigger space for a better skimmer than the one that came with the tank. And a 24g refugium for Chaeto (macro algae). That way I can convert my 'display refugium' which I've been unhappy with; into an anemone tank.

You can follow the sump build in my build thread here at RC. This is the link to it.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2593017