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kgoldy's completely custom display sump


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I'm trying to figure out baffle size and placement in my sump... I'm guessing I need to prepare to lose 2 inches out of my display tank when the pumps shut off, plus water that's in the pipes.



40Breeder sump's interior measurements are 35"L x 17.5"W x 15.5"D. = 9493.75 cubic inches available in sump


75 RR Display dimensions are 48"L x 18" x (2" of loss) = 1728 cubic inches of potential flood water


Chamber on the left is for filter sock and skimmer.


Between chamber 1 and 2 is bubble trap. (three baffles)


Middle is return, with two separate pumps. One large for return to display, one small pump to bring water into the fuge at a slow rate.


Between chamber 2 and 3 is a single pane of glass, which will be higher than those on the left to allow fuge to have deeper water than the rest of the sump.


Right chamber is fuge.



I'm thinking the bubble trap glass should be about 10 inches tall by 17 7/16" wide.


Fuge wall on the right will be 17 7/16" wide and 14 1/2" tall.


So, water level should be 10 inches max in chambers one and two... and 14 1/2 inches in chamber three.


Chambers 1 and 2 will be about 9 inches wide, each. Chamber 3 would be about 18 inches wide.


Think I've got enough room for when the pumps shut off? It's getting late and I can't think... :P





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for the skimmer compartment, i wouldnt make the baffle for the water level more than 12 inches....this will make placing the skimmer at its correct water level much easier. for the fuge i would make the baffle about 14" tall....the two pumps i see are pretty overkill, just take your main return pump and install a tee with a gate valve over to the fuge. you can then gate the flow down for the fuge section. having two pumps is kinda useless and will only create more heat and evaporation rate would be much faster...

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Why do you think you will lose 2" in the display in a power outage situation?

My 100G drops 3/4" when power is lost, thats the height of the internal overflow teeth that is submerged in normal operation and also where the ends of my Loc Line returns are submerged so they are exposed to atmosphere at about the same time as the overflow box quits siphoning. In my case thats 4.6 gallons which goes into my 30G long sump. I keep 8 gallons of freeboard in the sump for that reason plus as jerzsky already mentioned its where my skimmer works best as far as submergence.


I split my overflow from the display back to the sump so some flow goes to the refugium and the rest to the center or skimmer section so I don't need an additional pump. I put a 1/2" valve on the refugium flow and the main flow is unrestricted so no chance of an overflow or backup.

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It's a crappy pic, I know (I'm at work, shh)...


I heard on another forum I'd lose two inches from this big guy in case of power outage...




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Scrapping the last, tried and true, simple design... Going to make it a prettier display fuge up front. (check 75RR thread in my signature for cabinet)


Color coded things for reference-

Yellow - Phosban reactor

White - Filter sock

Red - Skimmer

Green - Return pump

Gray - maxijet 1200 (feeding phosban reactor)


I haven't figured out how to draw plumbing in google sketchup, so please use your imagination a bit. :P


Flow goes into filter sock (obviously), and into skimmer chamber. Maxijet pumps some of the water up through a flexi-tube into the phosban reactor. From the phosban reactor, it goes into the front, long, fuge chamber. So at the moment, it looks like I'll have about 20 gph running through the fuge, where I'll have a macro algae pack from reefcleaners.


Water from the fuge drops into the return chamber. Everything that doesn't get sucked up by the little maxijet in the skimmer chamber, goes through the bubble trap and then into the return.


I'll have an ATO set up with 20 gallons of fresh water.

















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Hey KG, not bad. IMO the display "fuge" looks way better and makes good use of the 40b's wide dimensions.


I'm thinking that you may need to consider more water volume passing through the fuge though... To get better nutrient export (assuming that's one of your goals), you want lots of nutrients passing through and good lighting. On that same topic you may not want the chemically filtered water coming off your reactor to be the only thing feeding your fuge. And 2 pumps would probably be annoying as well.


What made you change from your original plans from last year with having the skimmer chamber flow into the fuge and then into the return chamber?

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I figured with a 900+ gallon per hour return pump, that design you and bitts worked on would have the water rushing through the fuge area too fast.


And instead of feeding the fuge with the cleaned water, I'm just going to split the drain pipe.

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Can't quite figure out the best method of bringing water from the fuge chamber into the return without ending up with a ton of bubbles...

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Okay, I think I've got this design figured out. It's going to be a lot of glass cutting and siliconing, but it should be pretty neat looking. Think that new bubble trap will prevent bubbles from the freefall out of the fuge?






















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Looks good man... Your sketch-up skills are nice! Interesting idea with the drain pipe... are you still planning a herbie? I'm wondering if that might make it more difficult to "tune in". My herbie is pretty hard as it is! But once it's tuned, it's dead silent. I'm probably going to be swapping my ball valve for a gate valve here pretty quick as well because it's much easier to tune the drain with.


As for the assembly, it will be a lot of work, but it's not that bad. I've never built a sump before and I was able to do it. IME the key is the order in which you build everything. That and get a semi-thick silicone that will hold your work together!


Another thought... Is there a specific reason you need a 900gph return? If you use a 900gph return (thus roughly a 900gph minus head loss drain as well, right?), that makes ~400gph through the skimmer and 400gph through the 'fuge. It may be easier to just go with the "standard" setup drain into the skimmer chamber -> fuge -> return with a lower gph pump.


You see what I'm getting at? By splitting the drain you're roughly halving the flow through each chamber the drain is connected to, but at the same time possibly reducing the efficiency of your skimmer, and maybe the refugium as well. I think there's also something to be said about the order of filtration too... The skimmer could help keep your refugium cleaner, especially if you don't want to include ugly mechanical filtration in it (an ugly filter sock in the display fuge?). I'm just thinking that using a less powerful return pump and flowing the water through the skimmer, then fuge, then return might give you the same results but with a simpler setup and a smaller pump (less heat and less wattage used).

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@aj- Overflow on the display is a standard Deep Blue Professional reef ready, pictured in post #5.


Sketchup is getting a lot easier to use after designing, scrapping, and redesigning so many projects. Hahah. I only first heard of it when you and bitts were messing around with that first display sump back in August. Now I've figured out how to get everything to scale and accurately sized- a big step up from just "oh this looks kinda right" like my first few designs. Haha.


I get to work on my sump designs at work because it's "practice" for using sketchup to get patents on our new products. Here's my baby - Presto! Photobooth


As for the return pump- I'm pretty sure need about that much flow to maintain a 75 gallon display that's heavy with SPS. I'm taking advice on multiple forums, and not every "expert" agrees, haha. As a person who's been in the hobby for less than a year, I'm still up for influence from the more experienced guys.


My thoughts on the reduced flow (~400 gph) through the skimmer and fuge is that both filtration methods will have more time to clean the water that's passing through them, in their own way. I was actually planning on dialing the flow into the fuge back to like 150-200 gph... (which puts skimmer chamber at ~600gph) to get the most out of mechanical filtration, and allow macros the most time to absorb nutrients in a natural way... And create a calm, low flow, high nutrient environment for the pods to thrive in. So really, I'll only be reducing the skimmer efficiency by 25-30%.


So mechanical filtration cleans the hell out of more than half of the water that goes into the sump- (GFO and Carbon feed from skimmer chamber), and the other gets dumped, raw, into the fuge for max pod/macro production. In the return chamber, the water is mixed back up with nothing to filter out pods and stuff, and it's sent into the display.

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Glass getting cut tomorrow. Decided I'm going to make the first overflow baffles 8" wide, and second overflow will be 7" wide. I -should- have enough room left for when the pumps get shut off.

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Photobucket is a pain to use to write text on images, but hopefully this is pretty clear as to which pieces are which.


Piece 1 = 35 3/8" (scant) x 15 1/2". [Notch is 7" long ways, by 3/4")

Piece 2, 3, 4 = 8" x 10"

Piece 5 = 7" x 13"

Piece 6 = 7" x 10"

Piece 7 = 2" x 15 1/2"


I used Krylon Fusion Black Gloss spray paint on the front of piece 1, and the two small sides of the 40B. This should prevent most light spill into the rear chambers and skimmer, where I don't want algae growing.


Piece 1

The notch sets the water level in this chamber, which will be right at the bottom of the plastic rim. I made it 7 inches wide hoping to keep the flow through the bubble trap somewhat slow... I hope. If this doesn't work out, I just wasted a buttload of money.





2, 3



4, 5



6, 7




I haven't figured out exactly how high the middle baffles need to be off the floor of the tank... (anyone got advice?)


I'm going to use cardboard cut-outs like this to set the first pieces. Actually, instead of two separate pieces, I'll use one U-shaped piece, because it should be self supporting that way. This, however, is more photo friendly. :P



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Hey AJ, how long did you let your krylon cure before siliconing? Or do I remember you taping off the edges...


So, questions to anyone who's following along... How high should pieces 3 and 5 (the middle baffles) be off the floor of the tank? And what about baffle spacing? An inch?

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I let the paint cure for about a day. I sprayed on 3 or 4 light coats.


As for the edges, I did not paint the actual edges, but with the exception of the bottom I painted right up to the edge. I think that for a sump application it works.


Finally, for the baffles, I think I just used an inch... Honestly I don't think it matters much as long as it's at least as high as the baffle spacing.

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Yeah... I got impatient and scratched a little bit of the paint on piece #1 doing a(n almost) dry fit. :slap:


I didn't paint the edges, but did right up to them. I guess with only one piece being painted, and that being supported by two bubble traps- even if I don't get a perfect seal because of the paint, I'll be alright.


Guess I'll get to siliconing tomorrow. What type/brand did you end up using? I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with GE-1 clear.

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I used RTV108. You can buy it at grainger. I liked it because it was quite tacky and held pieces in place really well allowing me to work faster.


GE-1 will probably be just fine.

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Ah crap. I've come across the term "low iron glass" twice today... Am I in trouble for not making sure what I used is "low iron glass"? And how do I tell if it is?



...Edit: Okay, as far as I can tell it's not low iron glass... But that doesn't matter, because it's only a matter of clarity- not of chemical leaching like my first instinct had me worrying about. Phew.

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Ah crap. I've come across the term "low iron glass" twice today... Am I in trouble for not making sure what I used is "low iron glass"? And how do I tell if it is?



...Edit: Okay, as far as I can tell it's not low iron glass... But that doesn't matter, because it's only a matter of clarity- not of chemical leaching like my first instinct had me worrying about. Phew.



exactly.... Low iron glass (starphire) is nice, but at 3x the cost I'm happy w/ regular glass.

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Dear Silicone,


You have defeated me. I clearly have not mastered your use, by any stretch of the imagination. Thanks for at least being clear, so it's hard to notice how sloppy I am. I appreciate the lesson in how to maintain DIY humility.



















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All done. Piece #3 gave me trouble, as it's the first thing I tried to silicone in, and putting in pieces 2 and 4 around it caused the edges to gap and get air in... It's not a wall that will have any pressure on it, so this shouldn't be a real problem. If worse comes to worse, and it someday falls out, I can just take a spare piece of acrylic and make a brace to keep it in position.


I'm going to keep it dry for the next week to let the paint really cure all the way, then do a little wet test. Let's hope the bubble traps work and everything... fingerscrossed






















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