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Baffles; Welcome to the World of Versatility! By Joshua
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Reef Filtration, Mechanical, Physical, Plumbing Marine Systems by Bob Fenner,
Myth of the One
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Hawaiian Remote Rubbermaid DSB.... too much dashing about; in a
one horse open sleigh! 12/24/16
Well I shortened the inflow pipe to the DSB from the DT and angled downward.
Voila! Everything is working fine! I did have to decrease my pump output a
few points so I can see how bigger pipes will help later, replacing my stock
The issue I see now with plumbing the 2" bulkhead to bulkhead from
DSB to sump is that if I go any further below the waterline it will result
in my sump massively overflowing.
<.... See WWM w/ the words: "transit volume"... READ. >
Without the power head going in the Rubbermaid you can see the bubbles/ flow
go straight out the overflow. What did you mean about there should be more
flow inside the DT. You mean w powerheads or more turnover? Is 300gph
way too little for this system for mostly softies?
I could see it getting over 80 degrees as it did before, but perhaps the
larger water volume will actually stabilize the temp.
Is it important to plum a split return to the other side of my DT?
What about drilling a new "whisper" overflow on the back of the tank. Two
inches may be difficult where it's at now as you can see with the previous
diagrams and my cabinet.
You mentioned to keep the sand where it is in the first chamber of the sump.
Do I take some of it to seed the New DSB and sprinkle on top? Just the top
layer or a full spectrum sample?
Yes, it's definitely exciting to have all this water now!
First morning light on the DSB!
DSB. Go Deep or go Home?
Mele Kalikimaka Bob and crew. Sending big Aloha to your Christmas Day.
We've got a pig from the land and fish from the ocean to feast. Give thanks!
Since I have this big DSB now, I'm questioning the need for one in my DT as
<Well; the more the merrier, but... the sump is fine alone>
Still working out trying to see how to integrate 2" pipe for the overflow to
the Rubbermaid and sump- or if I can even fit it. it seems really big and a
bit of an overkill for my soft coral setup but I'm still studying about flow
reading that link you sent me in the last email again.
<Believe what you will till experience changes your mind>
It seems to be working the way it is but I will definitely add another 1-2"
pipe from Rubbermaid to the Sump for safety and ease of flow.
My issue now is that I cut these pvc risers at 4" and it's looking pretty
funky. Would you suggest to recut to 3.5" or fill up w even more sand?
<The supports under the rock? I'd cut them shorter>
I'd kind of rather revert the display back to 1-2" at this point with all
that filtration going on at the DSB in the Rubbermaid?
Id really like your guidance on this. Is the key feature of the DSB also in
the display to have the live sand eat up the detritus there?
<Eat up? Aid in anaerobiosis, more like it. Best to have little or a lot of
substrate. Little to aid in cleaning (NOT accumulating detritus), MORE for
all the reasons archived on WWM>
Just want to get ultra clear because I already have all that sand in
Rubbermaid and sump! I'm all about sacrificing some visual aesthetics for
long term stability and ease of maintenance. But do I really need all that
sand in the Display as well?
I'm setting up another 10 gal nano satellite tank for my daughter which will
definitely have only an Inch or two of sand. She's excited to not have to do
much maintenance since the water will be fed off the system and so am I for
her! She wanted a fresh water tank till we came up with this idea. I think
3/4 " pipe should be plenty for her little setup, yes?
<... on the discharge/feeder side, even half inch will do... Can't say how
large the return/drain should be w/o knowing more... like the slope and
length of the return line>
Just skied Mauna Kea yesterday so here's a shot for you and the crew of me
and my Wahine:
After skiing we went to the ocean and I found some giant Sea Hares. They
seems to be feasting on my algae pretty good. I wonder if you could dispel
the myths of these gentle giants poisoning the tank. Are the Hawaiian ones
da kine and reef safe?
<They are not as toxic as some Aplysiids, but ARE trouble; more than their
worth... inking, getting sucked up against pump intakes, overflows...>
Leave in the Rubbermaid, quarantine and sump?
<Return to the sea>
Then take back to the ocean once they've cleaned up the algae or feed Nori?
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Remote DSB 12/29/16
Greetings Bob, did you get a chance to take a look at the diagrams I sent
you? I got an email back but it was blank.
<Yes; strange. The ongoing more-recent accumulation of our corr. is here:
I’m going to follow your advice and make a 2” drain. But can I keep my 1”
return? I’ll try to remove as many right angles as possible.
<I'd have two drains, large... as I've mentioned and referred you to reading
on WWM Re>
After seeing my setup you can see there’s very little room to install a
check valve underneath the drain,
<No need for a check-valve here>
let along unions and valves - as I have to angle and go immediately outside.
Maybe I can fit one and go directly to pool flex line but it will probably
create a bit of an uphill zone.
<Don't do this>
Would you suggest I remove this overflow box, seal the bulkhead, and install
an overflow in the back, like a shadow overflow box? It would make the noise
better and expand my tank areas for sure.
<? See, as in READ on WWM re overflows. Am decidedly NOT a fan of such
devices on large systems>
I think the logo seaweed is growing but it’s clogging my skimmer and
UV/reactor pumps- may need to move it to the second chamber. I still haven’t
“Seeded” the Rubbermaid DSB with the sand in the pump. There’s only about
2.5 inches so I can add to it, but I’m running out of room in the sump-
maybe more flow will raise the water level. I’ll just spread some all over
the DSB, and add to make it 3.5”. I cut my Live rock PVC stands to 3.5” and
it looks better.
You said to keep the powerhead/sponge and that it had it’s uses. Did you
mean in the display if I can hide it, or the Rubbermaid?
Lastly, should I be concerned about this statement I read at the Garf Grunge
site about not using crushed coral?:
A few larger particles in the sediment mix is okay, but larger sediments
should not constitute more than about 15 percent of the total. Under NO
circumstances should you use crushed coral or coral gravel. These substrates
are too coarse and often too abrasive for many of the smaller organisms to
<Better to have finer materials for the purposes of DSBs.... READ here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Remote DSB 12/29/16
Thanks for bearing with me. I think I’m getting it all dialed in.
Just one more trip to the plumbing store LOL!. The double sponge tower
sitting in my Rubbermaid with the powerhead attached to the top (in my pic)
was what I was referring to. Had taken it from my DT to help clear up the
water from the sand addition. I said I don’t see too many Reefers using
these and asked if it was time to let go of it. You said it has it’s uses
and keep it. I meant is it time to remove it from my DT, now that I have
DSBs? Perhaps you meant in a hospital tank or something else and don’t toss
<I'd keep it expressly for helping w/ the idea of quarantine... e.g. if you
had to do the Star Trek "saucer separation" and operate the Rubbermaid by
About the Crushed coral. You said to use the stuff I got here in Hawaii from
Home Depot. Yet the quote I sent you said NEVER use crushed coral.
<The crushed coral (from the HD there) IS fine... i.e. IS okay>
Then you just said larger particle size is not good.
<Yes; finer would be better... I assure you that you DO have enough "fines";
small material... for interstitial benefits>
You can understand my confusion. I have definitely read all about DSB on
WWM. I’m thinking the reason you said to go for the crushed coral was that
although it has some larger particle size, there is a lot of really fine
size as well. Yes?
With the next layer in my DT I’ll be at 3.5. That’s where I cut my PVC
riser/supports for my LR. I saw a video the other day that said absolutely
no way ever go beneath 4”. Would you say I’m okay with 3.5” as long as I
maintain that level.
<Yes; you'll be fine w/ this depth of this material OF this mix of particle
Re: Remote DSB 12/30/16
So I went to the only place I could find larger bulkhead on the Hilo side of the
Big I and 2” bulkheads are $79!
<Yowzah! Must be Schedule 80... grey in color? Rated for 800 psi!!!>
Pricey because they sell to contractors (Central Supply). I’ll order some today
from Marine Depot or something for only $6 for my Rubbermaid to sump!!
<Yes I would... only need Sch 40... whitish ones>
There is still the issue of being able to fit 2” bulkheads in my Weir Overflow
Box. Here you can see I modified my gurgling standpipe with holes in it to Durso
and it’s super quiet now.
<Ah good... and the new connection can be drilled further down w/ a riser, used
as an overflow...>
While there is room for adding a Herbie to the right, you can see I couldn’t
even ad a 1 1/4 Durso pipe and had to keep it 1”. You advised against the shadow
overflow box. How am I going to increase my drain and what configuration do you
<A few possibilities. The line doesn't have to be in the weir overflow box...
it's intended to be redundant really... so it can be drilled, fitted to anywhere
on the tank>
Here’s a different focus so you can see the room I have available at the bottom
of the overflow. As per my diagram that is an inlet and outlet. Perhaps I could
convert to two outlets of say 1 1/2” and drill a hole at the other end of the
tank for an inlet?
And the room I have underneath. The pipes are leaking so I need to replace them
anyway and soon!
Also, I still don’t know what you mean by: <I would have STRONGLY encouraged you
to do most of your circulation INSIDE the main tank itself... Too much risk in
relying on outside gear IME>
Are you saying that I can keep my 300GPH flow outside the tank but up the flow
from powerheads inside?
<Yes; only some portion of the water need flow to and back from the sump. B>
Re: Remote DSB 12/30/16
><Yes; only some portion of the water need flow to and back from the sump. B><
So am I okay with keeping my 1” drain or should I try to fit 1 and 1/4 or 1 and
1/2? It’s tight in there!
<<Sorry; am not obviously being clear with my responses re this same question
again and again: You want MORE than one drain, you want them to be as LARGE as
possible... Rationale: To accommodate whatever flow (either line by itself) for
the eventuality of the other/s being blocked/occluded>>
><A few possibilities. The line doesn't have to be in the weir overflow box...
it's intended to be redundant really... so it can be drilled, fitted to anywhere
on the tank><
Well, then I have to drain my entire tank and remove the sand. Can you give me a
quick solution plumbing idea since the two bulkheads under my DT are leaking?
<Don't think I'm following you here. IF the lines are leaking you need to find
out where... LIKELY drain the system, remove the sand IF the through-puts are
You have all the diagrams now. I want to wrap this up soon!
<?... I don't see the sizes of lines called out, the placement of through hulls
in the tank bottom....>
I could seal te existing bulkhead to the inlet of the overflow weir. And use the
other bulkhead at the bottom for my emergency overflow. Then plumb everything
over to go inside the opposite end for bulkhead and loc-lines. You said <maybe>.
Any other suggestions?
<Sorry; these possibilities are gone over and over on WWM. There IS no way I can
help you educate yourself better than to have you read, re-read there. Bob
Re: Remote DSB
Okay I'll go with your principles of big as drain pipe as possible and emergency
The leaking fittings are perhaps due to using old seals that came with the old
acrylic tank I had shipped out here. Got her for $100 so I could have bought new
bulkheads. Live n learn. Maybe they loosened. Some fine sand was introduced to
the weir. Then when I tightened them down recently sand could have gotten
trapped to make the leak worse.
<Mmm; search WWM re... IF the threads are still move-able, you can/could just
replaced the gaskets (one on either side, w/ a smear of Silicone)>
Then I added a 45 to the drain line and cracked the end of the pool line
<I REALLY don't like/trust these flexible lines; or their joinings>
I just have to redo it all. Plumbers putty helped in the mean time. It will be
an easy fix since they are at the bottom of the overflow weir box so I don't
have to drain the whole tank and remove sand. I have removed the sand from the
overflow and cleaned it well.
I'd take another overflow box
<Oh! You mean/t an INSIDE overflow box, NOT a hang on type. These are easily
built or purchased and fitted into tanks... glass and acrylic>
with three drains over draining the whole tank at this point. I think I've got
it from here and will let you know how it turns out.
The extern 150 gal Rubbermaid is officially Deep in the Sand bed dept. Had a big
diatom outbreak but hopefully it cycles away. I do have a bit of concern that it
will become a giant algae pool, even with
low nutrients. I'll get some tangs in there and we'll see how it goes.
Happy New Year to you and the crew!
<And to you and yours. BobF>