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Old 04/21/2017, 08:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 14
DIY Sump Idea, please give me your input!!

Hello everyone,

Please see Attachment for my sump design.

Here are the key ideas of my sump:

- No Filter Sock, use Sponge instead. (I find it easier to change sponge in this design)
- But the Sponge filtering happens AFTER protein skimmer for 2 big reasons:
Reason 1. Get must crap out of the system before it builds up in the sponge (less will decompose into the water)
Reason 2. The sponge will catch the micro bubbles, so I save space for not having to add 2 more baffles (4" saved in total) to trap micro bubbles. The Fuge will have macro algea to catch the bigger bubbles, and the final double baffle will help a bit before water returns.

This makes total sense to me, but I've never seen this before which indicates I'm likely missing something.
I'm about to glue!

Please let me know if you see any major issue!!

Thank you so much guys!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sump V2.jpg (52.7 KB, 89 views)
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Old 04/21/2017, 03:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: AWOL
Posts: 12,012
You have a few misconceptions here, fueled by many others sharing the same misconceptions.

First of all, what is of concern in a marine system cannot be removed by mechanical filtration. Although "protein skimming" (a misnomer) is a form of mechanical filtration, it is tasked with removing the real enemy in marine system, and that being the dissolved organics. Foam fractionation removes roughly 30% of the TOC dissolved in the water, leaving the rest to cause problems as the content builds. How well the "skimmer" works is dependent on the relative concentrations of a given constituent, flow rates (higher is better,) main tank surface skimming efficiency, and if the "skimmer" will actually remove that particular constituent or not. Assuming that the "skimmer" is going to remove most of the ****, is not realistic, and the buildup in the sponge or socks will be unaffected. They simply remove very different parts of the whole.

Particulate matter, removed by other forms of mechanical filtration (socks, mits, shoes, sponge, baseballs) are a food source for filter feeders (and other scavenger/opportunistic feeders) and are not the enemy. However, collecting such particulates within the system, contributes to the dissolved organic levels, even if only for a short time.

There are three sources of micro-bubbles in sumps: The drains, an out of proper adjustment (or low quality) skimmer, and waterfalls much over an inch high (depending on flow rates.) All of them are preventable without the need for adjunctive aids, that solve one problem, but create others.

"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." (oft attributed to Einstein; most likely paraphrasing by Roger Sessions; compactly articulates the principle of Occam's Razor)

Current Tank Info: 325 6' wide Reef
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Old 04/21/2017, 04:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Grove City, Ohio
Posts: 9,781
^^^What he said^^^

I don't use any sort of particulate filter (sock/sponge/floss/etc) on any of my tanks. It is just another thing that must be cleaned way too frequently. Ideally daily. Nope. Not gonna do it.

I use a quality skimmer rated for about double the water volume to remove as much of the DO as possible. Water changes helps with the rest.

I'll try to be nice if you try to be smarter!
I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
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Old 04/21/2017, 04:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 1,259
I would skip the space for the sponge & put a bubble trap after the skimmer instead of after the fuge. U can always get a sock holder & just use a sock on the drain for a day or so after u do a cleaning & blow off rocks & such. If u aren't going to run socks all the time then I would do it this way instead of incorporating a space in the sump for a sponge. A lot of the critters in the fuge will probably feed off of what the sponge collects.

Other then that it's hard to see the demintions in the picture but it looks like the skimmer section doesn't have to be that deep. Usually I determine what depth my skimmer recommends & make the skimmer section the max. So if your skimmer recommends 7 to 10", make the skimmer section 10" deep & make the rest of the sump about the same or no less then 9". U will be creating bubbles making a waterfall from the skimmer to the fuge sections. It looks like a kind of small sump & I would be worried about the backflow from the tank when u turn it off with that much water in the sump.

I like to keep my sump close to the same water level where u don't have any waterfalls. Like uncle mentioned, anything more then about 1" it creates bubbles & gets loud. I usually try to keep it within 1/2".

If u calculated the backflow from the dt & overflow when the power is turned off & u have more then enough room in the sump to hold it & u definitely want to use a sponge at all times then it will work how u have it designed. Some of it is personal preference & u are the one that is going to have to deal with it. I just wouldn't want to have to rely on a sponge to keep bubbles out of the system because I made the bubbles by making a waterfall in the sump.

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Old 04/21/2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Georgia
Posts: 19
You are honestly wasting time the egg crate and sponge idea. Just simply use straight glass. If you want, you can cut 4 pieces of pvc to support layers of egg crate (like legs on a chair). Place your sponge on the top layer, media on second and live rock underneath with no sand. You will need to occasionally need to pick up the pvc pieces and wipe the detritus off, but it will be seldom. You can google trickle down sump.

I personally have a T return and have the return in the middle with the diversion trickling down the right. The far right baffle will just be higher up and 1.5" from the bottom. Siliconing egg crate is aggrevating.

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Old 10/25/2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Missouri
Posts: 23
May I ask what program you use to sketch that sump design? I have tried SketchUp but it isnt compatible with my laptop.

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