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jefferythewind

New Custom Sump Design

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jefferythewind

Hi All,

 

I am designing my first sump and it will be used for my 29 gallon reef tank. Currently the tank has a Seachem 75 Tidal hang-on filter. Which I have to say, for a hand-on, is a pretty nice filter. However it does have a pretty loud hum to it. That is one of the main reasons I want a sump. Another reason that I would like the sump is the added water volume in the tank. Thirdly, In the future I may want to experiment with a protein skimmer, so ideally this new sump would facility that. At the moment I only have a plan to just replicate the filter media that I am currently using in the Seachem, which is just a bag of rocks and the factory sponge. 

 

I have been researching a little, and I think I have the basics down. I have limited space where the most restrictive dimension is the width needs to be 8.5 inches or less so it fits in my cabinet. That's why I choose to do a complete custom design. Theoretically there is a tank size called a 10-tall that is only roughly 8.5 inches wide, but I cannot find those for sale anywhere up here in Montreal where I live. 

 

I made a first sketch of the sump tank with the baffles. Obviously one end is to catch the water and fill up almost to the top. This is to maximize the water volume there. Then it overflows into the middle chamber. This should be where I put my media and the skimmer would go there. This is the chamber I am most unsure about, as right now I have the water height in there at 10 inches. Do you think this is a good height for the middle chamber? Then the water overflows into the last chamber and that is where the ATO will go and the the pump.

 

I have a cool idea for an overflow drain for the tank that will be made of only PVC pipe, which I will sketch up and post later.

 

All these dimensions are still up in-the-air and I was hoping to get some feedback about the basic design before I commit to anything. My plan was to try to fit coarse filter sponge between the baffles at least in the first one, probably second one too. Put the rocks that I have in the middle section, and that would be the initial conversion. Going forward i would probably add more rock to that middle section.

 

Just came across this pump on amazon. Seems to have some cool features like wave action. And the Gallons per hour is way higher than the current 350 on my Tidal 75.

https://www.amazon.ca/aquastation-Controllable-Pump-Marine-Controller-Circulation/dp/B07C52Q4R1

 

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mcarroll

Baffles aren't very useful IMO....they tie up space and lock down a permanent design.  IMO design without baffles.  I think you'll find that an ATO does the one thing that baffles are good at (holding a water level), but without locking you into one level forever as baffles tend to do.  (Just move the ATO sensor if you need levels higher or lower.) I also think you'll find that the rest of the things that baffles are supposed to do aren't really worth doing at all, or can be done better another way.

 

I would also stick with an old-school AC-powered return pump.  Added electronics, as on the model you linked, give very little benefit in this role and decrease reliability.  Reliability is the #1 concern for a return pump.  Quiet One, Eheim, Supreme, Sicce....there are other good ones too, but those are my go-to's.

 

Post up your design for the drain system when you get a draft ready.  In general I would recommend an old-school overflow like the ones still sold by (e.g.) Aqueon and Lifereef.  So-called "U tube" designs.  Installed properly and tested properly afterward, they are as close to foolproof as you can get without a lot LOT more bother and complexity.  (And even with more bother and complexity you don't get much more reliability....like going from 99.9% to 99.999%.)  FWIW, I don't like the flat-acrylic designs such as the eShopps/CPR design.

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jefferythewind

Wow this is great advice. So i started looking into getting someone to fabricate this design and people haven't been too excited about it. If what you're saying is true, that i don't need baffles then here is actually a size called a 5.5 gallon tank that i could probably use. It should fit for me. It was lower volume than i had in mind but with baffles i could probably get at least 4 gallons out of it. It would be way cheaper than creating something custom. I think those tanks only cost like 15 bucks. Great advice about the pump as well.

 

I sketched up the overflow in PvC but i end up needing many pieces, many curved joints, probably would end up costing more than buying one. Especially since i would need to buy tools to cut the pvc as well. I will check out these that you suggested.

 

only thing i am wondering about is now the physical filtration of big particles from the water. This would be what the sponge is currently doing in the hang on filter. How would I accomplish this without baffles? I was planning to stick sponge between the plates on the baffles. 

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mcarroll
On 12/19/2020 at 5:25 PM, jefferythewind said:

here is actually a size called a 5.5 gallon tank that i could probably use. It should fit for me. It was lower volume than i had in mind but with baffles i could probably get at least 4 gallons out of it.

I'd still recommend the largest sump tank that you can fit.

 

Make sure you consider the amount of water that will run back into the sump front he plumbing (both sides) in the volume of the sump.  

 

I also consider the amount of my ATO reservoir just in case there's ever a total dump of the reservoir into the display there will be no floods.  (One disaster at a time, please!)

 

On 12/19/2020 at 5:25 PM, jefferythewind said:

only thing i am wondering about is now the physical filtration of big particles from the water.

Will this be a reef tank with corals, or a fish only tank?  If there are corals, consider them as your mechanical filters.  

 

That way your only design task is to have excellent flow to keep those particles afloat.  

 

In my sump on my former setup (no baffles) I added a single inexpensive circulation pump (Seio 1000) to prevent detritus settling.  I always kept strong flow in my displays too (three Tunze 6045's in a 36" tank was my first base-setup) so it was a good system.  Sand bed after 10 years was absolutely spotless – corals were always happy.  (I kept it a coral-only system for the most part....no fish.  36" is still a very small system.)

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farkwar

Going to disagree with that

 

Having a baffle for the return chamber is a good idea.  For a number of reasons

 

And building the ATO reservoir into the sump itself is a good idea

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jefferythewind

I'm just playing out in my mind any disasters that could happen, and I'm just saying what if the overflow get clogged, then the water wouldn't drain from the display. I would think a single baffle for this return chamber, as @farkwar suggested, would then decrease the total volume of water that could possibly be pumped up into the display. I have a 29 gallon tank, if I get a 5 gallon sump then without a baffle it seems it could potentially cause a flood if the overflow stops working for some reason.  Besides this I don't see an obvious malfunction that could cause a catastrophe. I think What I will end up doing is buying one of these 5.5 gallon tanks and installing 1 baffle for the return pump. It would be nice to have a bigger sump but with my current setup anything bigger would have to be completely custom. Maybe down the road.

 

@mcarroll this sump would be for my current tank which has corals and fish and feather dusters and tons of little animals in there. I understand what you're saying about the filtration. I think my plan at first would just be to add some dry rock to the main chamber. I guess the idea over time that this dry rock will turn into live rock at some point.

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mcarroll
On 12/22/2020 at 10:43 AM, jefferythewind said:

I'm just playing out in my mind any disasters that could happen, and I'm just saying what if the overflow get clogged

Hm. 🤔 I wouldn't have to change my sump design to accommodate that....it's too imaginary for one thing.  You can't design to that.  I think if you go with an AqueonTunze or Lifereef, install it carefully and correctly, adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle, and above all test it six or eight times (or more) to make sure the system doesn't flood out when the power goes out OR when it comes back on, then you'll be fine and not have to worry about clogs.

 

You'll hear stories like this one about drain boxes sometimes, but that's an example of user-error.  Eliminate the source of the bulbles, or increase the flow through the U-tube(s).  Below a certain threshold of GPH there isn't enough force of flow to carry incidental bubbles through as the design intends.  It doesn't take much, but it does need "enough".

 

At most, say the tank were in a place where an overflow cannot be tolerated (museum, apartment building, ?), I think I would apply a high-water-level sensor on the display tank that could trigger a pump shutoff for the ATO and return.  Off the top of my head, the Tunze Water level alarm or the PumpStopper Kit from AquaHub can do this.  I haven't found anything like this to be necessary in general, but could be called for in some circumstances, especially if the caretaker isn't around the tank on a daily basis.  (The caretaker not being around complicates a lot more things besides the pump shutoff though...a whole other topic of conversation.)

 

On 12/22/2020 at 10:43 AM, jefferythewind said:

I guess the idea over time that this dry rock will turn into live rock at some point

If that's a project unto itself then cool. 👍

 

If it's mostly being added "for filtration" then I would skip it.  It will be a bit of a detritus magnet down there PLUS it's redundant to your live rock in the display.

 

IMO, keep it simple (K.I.S.S. principle).  A protein skimmer was the only permanent "filter feature" of my sump, unless you count the Seio 1000 powerhead that lived down there for the purpose of "feeding detritus" to the coral tanks.  This lack of other things maximized flexibility as well as overflow space in the event of an emergency. (<-foreshadowing)  

 

Just An Anecdote

My old sump design originally had 50% of the display's capacity in water, and another 50% in available capacity "just in case".  That amounted to 30 gallons in the display and about 15 gallons in the sump, which could accept about another 15 gallons before overflowing.)

 

After a few years, I added a second display to grow bigger corals.  So the ratio of water capacity and overflow capacity to display capacity were cut by about half.  This proved to still be enough when I had "a situation" that froze all my pumps and blocked the air-gaps on both of my drains. 🤦‍♂️

 

The drains themselves (Hurricane Filters™ overflow boxes) never clogged, so the sump took every drip of excess water from the display once the pumps froze.  And thanks to good planning (room for error), not a drop hit the floor – the sump held it all, even what back-siphoned through the drains (almost half the tank water in each display), which by design was never to happen.  I had never tested against failed air-gaps (WTF, c'mon!), so this failure was the pilot test.  😬  There were eight air-gaps in total across two drains, any of which should have been enough to break the siphon on a drain during a flow stoppage. Seemed like a lot of redundancy.  But in the end both drains back-siphoned about half of the display water.  LOL.  😑  I could see the meniscus of water over the top rim of the sump when I arrived on scene.  Memorable.  😵

 

Anyway, in my experience, drain-boxes are bullet proof if properly set up.  Other components (like pumps and reefkeepers), not so much.  😉

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jefferythewind

The 5.5 gallon tank arrived today that I am going to use for the sump. Very happy that it actually fits perfectly inside my cabinet like the measurements. Now I'm mainly thinking of the return into the tank. Seems there are some cool options with water nozzles that swirl to simulate waves. Besides that I'll just get a stock overflow like recommended by @mcarroll.

 

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jefferythewind

@mcarroll Hi, this is kind of unrelated, but above you wrote that your sand bed was spotless after 10 years! I also know that you like to keep your nutrients fairly high. You had mentioned that you keep Phosphates around 1. I've had a low phosphate problem before and recently I have been making progress by dosing, adding fish and feeding more. Recently my phosphates have been as high as I have ever tested, which looks to me to be about 0.16. At the same I have had considerable algea issues come up where previously I had no algae at all. I can't be positive but it seems the higher phosphate level is helping ht algae growth. Just wondering how you were able to control algae growth in your tank?

 

I have also added a power head to the tank to see if added flow helps. 

 

I've been researching how to go the plumbing for the return pump. I am hoping to increase the gallons per hour and get good flow. I noticed these Spin Stream return tube heads look really cool. I was thinking about trying to hook up two of these, but maybe one is the way to go at first, keep it simple.  https://www.aquariumdepot.ca/innovative-marine-auqa-gadget-spin-stream-nozzle.html

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mcarroll
On 1/9/2021 at 9:41 AM, jefferythewind said:

Hi, this is kind of unrelated, but above you wrote that your sand bed was spotless after 10 years! I also know that you like to keep your nutrients fairly high.

Hey!  😁

 

That was a mostly-fishless system with excellent strong flow.  I honestly never tested nutrient levels back then since there was never an issue that seemed to call for it.

 

Since I moved everything to a single larger tank (125 Gallon; now with a Black Damselfish and a Yellow Tang) I've been feeding a lot more as well as testing a little more regularly.

 

On 1/6/2021 at 10:21 PM, jefferythewind said:

Besides that I'll just get a stock overflow

That sump looks really tiny sitting there.  I wonder how much water it will have to take from the plumbing backflow and the tank during power outage?  And I wonder how much excess capacity it will have.

 

A 29 gallon is 30"x12" in footprint.  If the water level drops 1" when the pumps go off that would be ((30x12x1)÷231)=1.6) about 2 gallons extra in the sump after you add in water from the tubing, et al.  1" is hypothetical though, it could easily be more depending on your actual final setup. 

 

I'd be very, very tempted to build a platform for the bottom area to allow placement of a bigger sump tank.

 

14 hours ago, jefferythewind said:

I can't be positive but it seems the higher phosphate level is helping ht algae growth.

You can be positive!  Everything photosynthetic benefits from dissolved phosphates.

 

Downstream, ecologically speaking, non-photosynthetic things benefit as well.  👍

 

So even the hair algae is a positive presence.  And having so much of it is just a phase...you just have to help that phase along.

 

Remember that hair algae and corals have more or less the same ideal environment.  

 

So a healthy growth of green algae is a sign that your tank should be GREAT for corals too.  Herbivores are the key to preventing algae from dominating.

 

14 hours ago, jefferythewind said:

Just wondering how you were able to control algae growth in your tank?

I had to hand-pull the stuff that was long enough to see.  This can be frustrating, so be patient and persistent. 

 

And I had to increase my herbivore CUC from zero to adequate.  For my situation, I only ended up with around 10 large snails at peak...mostly Turbos, but also some Astrea.  I had 3 Mithrax crabs that have since disappeared (though they did molt noticeably several times).

 

Take your time adding CUC.  Try not to add more than one snail or a small few snails at a time.  And wait at least a few weeks before adding more.

 

In time, coralline algae and other things will take the place of hair algae in "dominating" the tank.  Hair algae, cyano and other algae might come and go a little here and there, but I consider that healthy.

 

On 1/9/2021 at 9:41 AM, jefferythewind said:

I have also added a power head to the tank to see if added flow helps. 

Better flow usually makes everything happier.  But there is such a thing as too much, so monitor closely when you make changes.   

 

On 1/9/2021 at 9:41 AM, jefferythewind said:

I've been researching how to go the plumbing for the return pump. I am hoping to increase the gallons per hour and get good flow.

I wouldn't look for flow out of your return pump if you're using powerheads for flow.  Just get the actual return flow rate up to 2x-4x the display size in GPH so everything in the sump (eg skimmer) functions properly.  More isn't needed, and usually causes problems of various kinds....noise and bubbles being the most common.

 

Nothing wrong with randomizing the 2x-4x coming from the sump:  SCWD's, eductors, Hydor's Flo, spin streams, spray bars, etc.  Tons of options.  None of them require a ton of flow to work tho.

 

 

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jefferythewind

I feel like i have a decent solution to the problem of the water flowing back down into the sump. The pipe coming from the return pump then needs to have the opening on the aquarium side above the water line. This seems like a cool idea. I was reading that having turbulence on the surface is good. Like you mentioned I don't need to have a lot of flow from that return. I think you could even do something like half of the two above the waterline and the other half below that should work as well.

 

At this point it will be tough Finding a replacement for that small tank, when I can just start using this one. It is small but it's better than nothing I think. There is a size called a 10-high that has the same footprint as this but I haven't been able to find one available. 

 

The algae keeps growing but it does seem pretty healthy, I can't stop giving the nutrients because the corals just looks so good I don't want to change anything.

 

 

 

 

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mcarroll
On 1/15/2021 at 2:42 PM, jefferythewind said:

The pipe coming from the return pump then needs to have the opening on the aquarium side above the water line. This seems like a cool idea. I was reading that having turbulence on the surface is good. Like you mentioned I don't need to have a lot of flow from that return. I think you could even do something like half of the two above the waterline and the other half below that should work as well.

I don't recommend having them above the water line....just creates salt creep, which creates more maintenance work and even the potential for leaking water....water can follow salt creep by capillary action.  Mine were above, wish I'd redesigned them.

 

But you do want them as close to the waterline as possible so the siphon breaks as quickly as possible when the return pump shuts off. 👍

 

On 1/15/2021 at 2:42 PM, jefferythewind said:

At this point it will be tough Finding a replacement for that small tank, when I can just start using this one. It is small but it's better than nothing I think. There is a size called a 10-high that has the same footprint as this but I haven't been able to find one available. 

As long as you keep that overflow possibility in mind when testing and you find that it works, then all is well!  👍  Otherwise, you have a backup plan.  

 

On 1/15/2021 at 2:42 PM, jefferythewind said:

The algae keeps growing but it does seem pretty healthy, I can't stop giving the nutrients because the corals just looks so good I don't want to change anything.

Definitely a good thing....everyting in the tank looks pretty healthy in the pics!

 

Keep after the algae though...don't let it go rampant.  Hand-pluck as much as you're able to....and keep SLOWLY adding snails to cleared areas that you see re-growing.  👍

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ajmckay

Nice tank!  I like 29's because that's what I started with.  Your corals look pretty decent considering the algae nearby. I also like the fish selection.  Some of my favs. I'm going to agree with most of the things that have already been brought up, with my spin of course lol...

 

1) Baffles are not essential.  But they can certainly serve a purpose if you're trying to accomplish something.  Most people use them for either:

          a. keeping a higher and more stable water level for a skimmer

          b. As a bubble trap for skimmer micro-bubbles

          c. To keep stuff from your refugium from building up around the return pump 

 

2) Overflows don't fail that often - it seems like the more common issue is sump flooding.  You really need to do the math on this one as it's pretty obvious.  I personally run a "Herbie" style overflow but recognize that there are a lot of pretty great designs out there that work just as well.

 

3) Try to fit in a bigger sump.  As mentioned if you just bridge that gap in the wood with another piece of wood you can have the sump stick out the back a small amount.  At least with a regular 10g tank you'll have some wiggle room.  Make sure that the additional wood is screwed in though so it doesn't slide off one side.  Coat the screw heads in nail polish so they don't rust.

 

4) For the return line if you keep it above the surface as mentioned you'll get a lot of salt creep.  Here's what I have for a return. I drilled the tank a few inches down but you could probably do it HOB style as well.  It's worked great and breaks siphon every time since 2011.  The tube is black to prevent growth.  The tube is zip tied to the rim of the tank so it can't move.  The flow is just more than a trickle, so it doesn't cause much by way of salt creep.  The key is the highest point should be where you want the tank to drain to. In my case it's basically even with the water surface. Looks higher because of the photo angle.  For the return pump I've run a regular AC powered quiet one pump for a long time and a Jebao DC pump also for a long time.  I think both are fine - but the DC is a lot quieter and I really like being able to adjust the flow.  They're pretty big though and have extra electronics so you have to think about plugging it into a protected outlet like a GFCI.  I would definitely use a surge protector though. 

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5) Do you have an ATO?  I feel like ATO's are even more important in a sump.  It seems counter intuitive because of the larger water volume - but if the sump volume drops too much then your pump just sucks air, and that's not going to help anything.  It also gives you the flexibility to actually let it alone for some days. 

 

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jefferythewind

@ajmckay thanks for the great ideas. You got me thinking differently about that syphon issue.

 

I received my overflow box, drain hose, sump pump and return plumbing. The overflow and sump pump look great. What I am not so sure about is the plumbing.

 

Question 1. There is a 1 inch bulkhead coming out of the overflow box and I have a 1 inch PVC pipe at the end of my drain pipe. It slides in nice and snug (see picture). What is the standard procedure for connecting this? Do I just silicone it or do I need some special PVC attachment that screws onto the threads of the bulkhead?

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Question 2: Check out the plumbing for the return pipe. So I am planning just to slide this flexible 3/4 inch hose onto the nice connectors that came with the pump. There are actually two of these connectors. The connector at the other end of the tube will screw into a bulkhead which I will install into a piece of wood right near the top of the tank. I will then connect that flexy water jet thing to the bulkhead which will go into the tank. The pump is a Sicce Silent 2.0. Looks nice. Does this connection scheme look OK or do I need something more secure?

 

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ajmckay
3 hours ago, jefferythewind said:

@ajmckay thanks for the great ideas. You got me thinking differently about that syphon issue.

 

I received my overflow box, drain hose, sump pump and return plumbing. The overflow and sump pump look great. What I am not so sure about is the plumbing.

 

Question 1. There is a 1 inch bulkhead coming out of the overflow box and I have a 1 inch PVC pipe at the end of my drain pipe. It slides in nice and snug (see picture). What is the standard procedure for connecting this? Do I just silicone it or do I need some special PVC attachment that screws onto the threads of the bulkhead?

 

 

 

 

Question 2: Check out the plumbing for the return pipe. So I am planning just to slide this flexible 3/4 inch hose onto the nice connectors that came with the pump. There are actually two of these connectors. The connector at the other end of the tube will screw into a bulkhead which I will install into a piece of wood right near the top of the tank. I will then connect that flexy water jet thing to the bulkhead which will go into the tank. The pump is a Sicce Silent 2.0. Looks nice. Does this connection scheme look OK or do I need something more secure?

 

 

 

The threads on the bulkhead are for the nut.  Normally you would use ABS + PVC compatible solvent and fuse them together.  This would ensure leak-free performance -  But once it's on there it's never coming off without cutting it off.  Now this is for a normal PVC drain install... 

 

Did yours some with instructions?  Always defer to the manufacturers instructions!  I assume that gray piece is some type of flex hose? Normally PVC couplers don't have that little rolled lip on the end.   What's it made of?  Is it a rubber of some kind?  If so then you first solvent weld the white piece of PVC into the bulkhead and then you would slip the gray flex hose onto it, with a hose clamp securing it in place.  I would pick up a stainless steel hose clamp and tighten it on there.  Not super tight mind you - but enough to make sure that connection doesn't come off!  Same thing on the other end. 

 

For the return line - it's fine to use that hose, but be careful not to put much bend in it.  If you have to bend it between 45 and 90 degrees I would consider getting an angled hose adapter - they're in the sprinkler line section at the hardware store.  Same as above I would use hose clamps, not super tight.

 

Softening the ends up in hot water will help them slide over the hose fittings.   You can't use the hose fitting into the back of the bulkhead though.  You'll need to use a PVC adapter.  Is the inside of the bulkhead threaded?   If that's the case then there's a threaded male to hose barb angled fitting you would used. Something like this

 

If the outlet of the bulkhead isn't threaded then you would use a "street 90" PVC fitting with a threaded end coupled with the straight version of the part I linked above.  

 

At least that's my thought on your install - if you're not sure what to do no harm in contacting the manufacturer directly! 

 

 

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jefferythewind

@ajmckay what you're saying sounds right. first for the drain tube, yes that grey part is a long flex drain tube. it came with a white piece of PVC in each end like in the pictures. I was thinking the best thing to do would be to glue it to the bulkhead. I will located some of this solvent glue you are talking about.

 

This drain hose is a just a 4 ft length, probably a bit longer than i need, but my though was that it doesn't need to be exact. I could end building a custom length of hard PVC for the drain.

 

Also you are exactly right for the return line bulkhead as well. This one has threads on the inside. This piece you recommended will be perfect. 

 

 

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mcarroll
On 2/7/2021 at 9:53 PM, jefferythewind said:

Question 1. There is a 1 inch bulkhead coming out of the overflow box and I have a 1 inch PVC pipe at the end of my drain pipe. It slides in nice and snug (see picture). What is the standard procedure for connecting this? Do I just silicone it or do I need some special PVC attachment that screws onto the threads of the bulkhead?

It installs just like you have it in the picture....nothing else needed, no sealants.  (The rubber gasket is actually doing all the work.)

 

On 2/7/2021 at 9:53 PM, jefferythewind said:

Question 2: Check out the plumbing for the return pipe.

What size tubing is that?

 

On 2/7/2021 at 9:53 PM, jefferythewind said:

The connector at the other end of the tube will screw into a bulkhead which I will install into a piece of wood right near the top of the tank.

Uh...pic please.  (It may be fine, but a piece of wood shouldn't be required.)

 

Otherwise the assembly in the pic looks good.  

 

Just be sure the return outlet is at the water level or above it and not below the water level.  That way when the power goes out there is minimal to no backsiphoning.  An air-gap can be drilled into the loc-line if the return outlet has to be submerged for it to work correctly, but this should be done very strategically.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 5:54 AM, jefferythewind said:

This drain hose is a just a 4 ft length, probably a bit longer than i need, but my though was that it doesn't need to be exact. I could end building a custom length of hard PVC for the drain.

For a tank this small, the tubing should be fine.  It's main disadvantage (IMO) is that it has a small internal diameter.  Compared to the usual sizes of hard PVC it will restrict your flow in most larger installations.  But 29 gallons is small...so your target flow rate only needs to be something like (29*4=) 110 GPH.

 

The SILENCE 2.0 is actually overkill if I didn't mention that earlier in the thread.  

 

You can get that 110 GPH with a 1.0 and save up front cost and electricity cost over the whole life of the pump vs the 2.0:image.thumb.png.44fc4d670805029e9a5dc6a39611a203.png

On 2/8/2021 at 5:54 AM, jefferythewind said:

it came with a white piece of PVC in each end like in the pictures. I was thinking the best thing to do would be to glue it to the bulkhead.

Correct

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jefferythewind

@mcarroll all the pieces to the return line are in the image of the pump displayed on the table. The size of the tubing for the return is 3/4 inch while the drain is 1 inch. The loose bulkhead in the image with the return pump i want to install in a wooden panel instead of drilling my tank at the top. I will fasten the panel somehow to the lip of the tank, which has a plastic trim (old fasioned tank). From the bulkhead i will have the flexy part of the hose to point down into the tank, adjustable. Thanks for the help!

 

I understand the pump may be overkill, Im going to try it. it has to at least 4 feet from the bottom of the sump to the top of my tank... hmm that looks about 330 g p h on the chart 😕

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ajmckay

Good point on the energy savings...  With our systems running 24/7 a few watts really saves up over time.  One of the reasons I'm sure why huge return pumps aren't really a thing anymore it seems.  Instead of relying on it for flow we have great powerhead options that use a much smaller amount of energy.

 

So I think I get what you're trying to do with a piece of wood - but do you have access to a 3D printer?    In my head at least this would be a cool use case for designing a bulkhead mount that is small and mountable to the frame of the aquarium. via either some glue or drilling a few holes and securing it with some zip ties. 

 

On the other hand, you know that hang-on returns are available, right? 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reefing/Hang-On-Tank-Return

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mcarroll
On 2/10/2021 at 12:23 PM, jefferythewind said:

The size of the tubing for the return is 3/4 inch while the drain is 1 inch.

A reason you might want to go with hard plumbing instead....that 1" drain is 1" through the whole drain...any pipe fittings adhere on the outside of the pipe.  But the 3/4" tubing has fitting that fit internally, greatly reducing the inside diameter though those fittings compared with the tubing itself.  3/4" fittings might only have a 3/8" hole for flow.  You can use larger tubing to get around this difference if you REALLY want to use tubing, but the tubing and fittings get pretty expensive over 3/4".

 

Using 3/4" (or even 1/2" if it's a lot cheaper) hard PVC might be more economical AND more efficient for flow than soft tubing.

 

On 2/10/2021 at 12:23 PM, jefferythewind said:

The loose bulkhead in the image with the return pump i want to install in a wooden panel instead of drilling my tank at the top. I will fasten the panel somehow to the lip of the tank, which has a plastic trim (old fasioned tank). From the bulkhead i will have the flexy part of the hose to point down into the tank, adjustable.

Sounds like it could be an accident waiting to happen.  

 

Consider just taking the return plumbing over the rim of the tank so the the PVC is built into the shape of a hook.  

 

Like this: image.png.098905e4fc8c4f4b9884065fc9d0b83d.png

You can build whatever you want (spray bar, threaded adapter for loc line, whatever) onto that PVC "return hook".

 

IMO, the only reason to use the bulkhead in your photo is if you have drilled the tank wall for it.  Kludge with it at your own risk.

 

On 2/10/2021 at 12:23 PM, jefferythewind said:

I understand the pump may be overkill, Im going to try it. it has to at least 4 feet from the bottom of the sump to the top of my tank... hmm that looks about 330 g p h on the chart 😕

Having a 330+ GPH pump is not going to hurt anything...it's just going to cost more – today and tomorrow.

 

You might reconsider your return plumbing if you want to make use of the extra power though.

 

Assuming 1/2" internal diameter on your tubing fittings, that could create over two feet of head pressure on top of the actual four feet of gravity pressure the pump is already working against.

 

(4 + 2.50=) 6.5 feet, or basically 2 meters of head pressure on the chart, looks more like the shutoff (0 GPH) height for a Silence 2.0.  

 

I don't think your flow would be THAT low (zero) in practice, but don't be surprised if flow is WAY less than 330 GPH after it's all put together...in spite of the larger pump.  (With a little ingenuity you could probably test this before installing it on the tank.)

 

Upgrade to 1" tubing or to hard PVC (3/4" or 1") to keep friction losses to near-zero....and flow close to what the chart claims.

 

Or be happy with flow closer to 100 GPH, even with the bigger pump...that's about all your tank needs anyway.  👍

 

Just to pile on:

 

The 1.0 is literally almost half the cost of the 2.0.  $95 vs $54

The 1.0 takes just about half the power as well.   16 watts vs 35 watts

 

So you hypothetically get $50 back in the swap from 2.0 to 1.0 AND it'll be about $16 a year in power vs $36 a year in power to keep it running every day.

 

IMO you and your tank would be better served by getting a SILENCE 1.0 for the return.  Keep the 2.0 for water changes or any other application where the higher GPH will really come in handy if you want...or return it or sell it.

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