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Drilling glass center brace (of a sump)       8/15/19
Good evening Crew!
<Hey Charles>
I'm in the planning stages for my dream aquarium (250-350 gallon display), and I would very much appreciate some advice on my sump plans.
The sump will be located in a fish room in my basement (unfortunately at the other end of the house, but it can't all be easy). I'll be using an old Oceanic 150 gallon aquarium as my sump. This has a hefty glass center brace. Would it be ok for me to drill this center brace and have my overflow lines from the display run into this? 150 gallon tank (sump) details: ~72" L x 18" W x 28" H Center brace - 17 7/8" long. Didn't measure the glass thickness (3/8-1/2"?) Seems quite solid I'm planning to have a total of 3 lines from the display (Bean Animal style overflow), each being 2-inch flexible PVC. So I'd be looking to drill 3 x 3" holes in the center glass brace for the lines, likely all in a row from front to back. Will this compromise the structure of this tank???? If so, could I just put 1 or two of these lines through the brace?
Since the 3rd is strictly an emergency overflow line, it could be placed in a different location. Based on my initial calculations for water in the lines and drain-down from the display, the sump would normally operate about 3/4 full (waterline ~6" from the top of the tank, with a little safety margin).
<Unless you silicon baffles near the center, which would add additional strength, do not drill the center brace, you could compromise the safety of the tank. Even though you intend to fill it only to 3/4, it may not be safe enough, you also have to think that in an eventual blackout, the level would rise and add more pressure, why don't you put the drains on one of the sides?>
Many thanks for your advice on this and throughout your website! -Charles
<You’re Welcome, Charles. Wil.>

DSB Transition      12/5/16
Aloha Bob, I followed your tip and remove all the black cinders from the first stage of my sump.
Together with installing a GFO reactor I have gotten the phosphates down from 5 to <.25. Here's a pic of my DT, which I may keep shallow and vacuumed then install a DSB remotely.
<Very good>
Do you like the idea of a giant Rubbermaid tub DSB\Refugium as part of this system.
<Yes I do. These are MIGHTY fine products... sturdy, easy to modify, chemically inert... and cheap per volume>
Looks like Cyano keeps creeping in .
<Time going by here... Patience!>
Still no coralline with 12KDH. Using RI water now with lots of water changes. Only has come down from 14- high KDH is still a mystery.
<Time here as well>
I plan to add a few inches to my sump, regardless. In the next image you can see my current second chamber of my outdoor sump. There are some layers of cinders in there and lots of life.
<I see>
My main question is do I remove all that sand pictures in my sump, since it may have trapped phosphates- then leave a little bit to re-seed the coral sand? Or do you feel it's safe to just place new sand atop this and not stir things up too much?
<The latter is the route I'd go>
Keep in mind I have plenty of room outside to plumb in a new sump or remote DSB. Would you replace the 20gal sump with a 36-90 since I have the room?
My DT is 100g. Mahaloz!
<I would ALWAYS make sumps, refugiums, DSBs... As LARGE as possible>
Sky Kubby
<Bob Kubby>

Too view of sump.      12/5/16
This goes with my last two emails for perspective....
Sky Kubby

DSB replacement cont...      12/5/16
Here's a couple more follow up pics show the close up of the layer of black cinders in the sand bed. Remove or safe to cover with more sand?
<Safe to cover>
Also note the precarious positioning of my sump on the ledge. This is why I'm thinking of replacing it with a long larger sup against the back with a proper base. Do you agree or think this will suffice? Thanks!
<I'd replace w/ larger w/ proper base for sure. BK>
Sky Kubby

Re: DSB Transition      12/5/16
Perfect, thanks! Since I’m solar powered I’m going to gravity drain from this sump into the RubberMaid via a 2” pipe, or something, so as not to add an extra pump and possible failing system.
<You are wise here>
Or better yet, use this sump inside the (250g?) RubberMaid, as a pump return chamber! ;-)
By the way I see you replied Bob Kubby. Is this a typo, or a long-lost relative!? LOL!
<Just pulling your fins, BobF>
In Radiant Health,
Sky Kubby

HI Solar Powered Aquarium: RDSB      12/7/16
Bob, here's a pic of the washed crushed coral sand. Are you sure you'd still recommend this stuff after see the grain size? I bought a bunch of bags of this stuff.
<Yes I would; and good pix>
After reading so much more I am surprised how many people say Crushed coral sand will be a detritus trap and how many people have taken their systems down after installing such a bed.
<Mmm; yeah; well... all systems require "some" maintenance; and such beds REALLY s/b periodically (partially; like half each interval) "stirred" (shades of James Bond!), and/or vacuumed>
I could see however that the superfine particles in this cc sand would be perfect and probably settle to the bottom. Then the life in the sand would eat up the detritus, right?
<Yes; most all... depending on... foods used and amounts, circulation, relative amount of bed, biomass... You and I could formulate a model describing eh?>
I plan to have the DT drain directly into the far end of the Rubbermaid tub. Then gravity drain into my sump via a 1 1/2" pipe for a clean return.
<I'd use a 2" ID, likely two such pipes...>
My total system now is about 150 watts. So it will be slow flow in the DSB.
Here's almost what it will look:
Except the sump will be turned facing the wall. Am I on the right track here?
<Appears so>
I'm going to get bulkheads and other fittings to connect the sump and Rubbermaid now.
<Schedule 40 will be fine. No need for the extra expense of 80>
Have it drain over or drill both containers?
<Either... if there's gravity, drop distance the former>
I've read a lot and this is the best I could come up with. Any ideas on how to make no bettah?
<Not so far... just waking here though!>
<Por nada amigo. BobF>
Sky Kubby

Re: HI Solar Powered Aquarium: RDSB. Sump des; substrate/DSBs f's   12/9/16
Bob, in reference to my Rubbermaid RDSB and 20g. sump, you said:
<Either... if there's gravity, drop distance the former>
Jut to be clear- that would mean the Rubbermaid! I was planning the water entering the DSB then gravity feeding into the sump, this dropping the sump level, not the RubberMaid.
<Okay... >
Are you suggesting I plumb it the other way around? I didn’t want to suck sand into my DT.
<No; what you have in mind is fine>
Also, the test washing of the sand seems futile- it’s like 20-30 washes in a 5 gal bucket (1 bag of sand) seems to still be producing a never-ending supply of murky tan sediment.
<Likely dissolving as you go. What you've sent as a photo is fine. I'd rinse, swirl 5-10 lb.s at a time... rinse maybe a dozen times per batch... This too will clear>
Even settling overnight, it’s still cloudy. Do I want to keep some of these fines and let it settle on the bed- almost like mud?
It will be low flow in there so I could see that possibly working.
I read where you said to wash another substrate in 5# increments, I think. Is it better to wash this stuff like that, or all at once in the RubberMaid tub?
<The first here>
For the latter, give as good of rinse as possible in the RubberMaid all-at-once, then let it sit?
What about using some of those packets for clarifying the water that came in a couple bags of CaribSea sand I got?
<Mmm; you could>
The CaribSea I got for my DT was “Supernatural”, was really fine (maybe .25-.50mm). It doesn’t say on the bag or on the site whether it is silica-based or not. But it “ seems” like tiny white crystals. So did I blow it if it is silica based?
<Not necessarily... at least if "some" of the material you're using is carbonaceous... the "cinders" are practically all silicate>
Here’s the link at Petco: http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/caribsea-super-naturals-aquarium-sand <http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/caribsea-super-naturals-aquarium-sand> It stays on the bottom of my DT but the powerhead, if misdirected blows it everywhere. It does make a good mat and all detritus stays on top.
<No worries, redirect powerhead/s, pumps, discharges to blow horizontally along the surface; just below water level>
All good to put some of this crushed coral sand atop that to bring my DT sand bed up to “Deep” levels and keep it from stirring up too much?
<Sure; though it will be mixed in a few days, weeks... w/ coating by biofilm/s et al., most all will settle down. You'll see>
Or would that just be a detritus trap like everyone says? I know we’ve been over this before and as you say it will probably all mix together anyway but just want to make sure in this unique situation.
<You're obsessing....>
Here’s a pic of the CaribSea sand in action, and, at the end, the coral sand after about an hour of washing LOL!:
Some friends gave me some frags finally- yay!
You can see a pile of sand excavated by a common local crab. I need to get him out if I want to have a DSB in here, right!? Mahaloz!
<The crab will be fine... good to have some digging, tunneling here>
In Radiant Health,
Sky Kubby
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: HI Solar Powered Aquarium: RDSB      12/11/16
I'll hunt Pimpled Basked Snails in sandy tide pool areas with some meat. In "Hawaii Sea Creatures" (Hoover) it says they can kill small crabs and shrimp. But my coral banded shrimp should be good, right?
Drupes seem too predatory. If I can't find snails for my DSB am I doomed?
<Not doomed... worms, small crustaceans and much more can/will come to "do the job">
I'll keep the sea stars to the sump for detritus and remove the DSB in the sump to inoculate the Rubbermaid DSB.
I just added more crushed coral sand to my DT. Yes it's clearing up nice and fast with the bio-magnet clarifier but I have to say some of the sand chunks do seem rather large, like 1/4".
An old aquarium friend told me different sized substrate is good for growing different types of life.
<This is so>
I'm confuse why so much info in the DSB FAQs say only to use fine sand.
<Non-divers, non-studiers of bio.... perhaps sellers or stock holders of fine sand companies!>
I just stirred the front of my glass to make it look nicer i.e., different levels of sand and colors of algae. See pic.
Is this good practice, say quarterly?
I'll substitute the basaltic non-porous rocks for my calcium-based rocks when they're done curing. But are they worth keeping in my RDSB?
<Worth keeping>
Or just get rid of them? The do make good platforms to build aquascaping upon....
Lastly, about that crab... He's a common rock crab with black pincher tips. I'm finding pieces of bristle worms everywhere and think he's pinching them in half. Would this be grounds for expulsion?
<Close to it>
It seemed to coincide with when I added sand. I kept finding dead worms. Maybe the layer of sand just killed them?
<Likely a contributing factor... the crab will not be able to find, consume all>
<A hu'i hou! BobF>

Re: HI Solar Powered Aquarium: RDSB      12/11/16
I may not have mentioned that the drain line to the Rubbermaid from my DT is only 1”.
<Mmm; I don't think so; or at least very much hope I didn't miss this. "It" won't work... >
Do you still recommend that the overflow from the Rubbermaid to the sump be dual 2” bulkhead to bulkhead? Or will dual 1” suffice?
<It will not. PLEASE READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/PlumbingPix/Oneinchart.htm
and the linked files above... incl. the FAQs files, detailing the trials, travails of folks who've had too few, too small drain lines. I'd have two-two inch at a minimum>
Also, there’s a layer of sediment on everything in the DT now that the sand settled that won’t blow away swishing my hand over it. I brushed lightly- hopefully goes away over time. It’s really clinging to the hair algae making it more pronounced, though. Do you want to shy away from completely scrubbing live rock? Of is this a case that may call for it?
In Gratitude,
<I'd lightly vacuum it away; a bit every week. B>
Sky Kubby

Re: HI Solar Powered Aquarium: RDSB     12/12/16
Sure enough, as the article stated, I just calculated my flow through my 1” pipe to be 300gph. I did this by the container filling method. However I’m not experiencing the issues outlined in the link you gave me. Yes, I have a lot of noise coming from my overflow box but it’s not because the water line is rising above the box, or creating siphoning issues. The noise is because the water falls so far. It flows in flex tubing out that wall and into the sump. So it seems I don’t have an issue with restricted flow out. Perhaps that will change when I run the outflow the length of the RubberMaid to dump in at the far left side.
<Sky; mate... When, not IF this one inch line become occluded... a snail, some gravel... Do NOT trust this line>
I’m not sure what you meant by:
"<"It" won't work... > "
The RubberMaid RDSB addition or my whole system?
<The plumbing here. PLEASE send along a diagram of your whole system. The going back and forth with bits/pieces is very easy for me to make mistakes here>
If I’m just having softies and want minimum wattage from a return pump so as to not tax my solar system, will the 300gph flow suffice?
<For how large a system? I'd have several volumes changed/recirculated per hour>
Or do you just mean that to you mean to have 2” overflows from the Rubbermaid to the sump won’t work.
>.... ALL through-puts should be over-sized and redundant<
Is the idea to keep it uniform diameter throughout? Since I have 1” pipe, I thought I’d be able to proceed with two 1” bulkheads from the RubberMaid to the sump. Or do I really need to I re-plumb the stock fitting that came with my 100g tank to 2” for my RDSB to “work”.
<ALL TWO INCH is the route I'd go>
The other issue is that I probably cannot fit two 2” bulkheads on the far side of my sump which is the curved part.
<Use the flush area of the Rubbermaid>
Maybe one with silicone. I understand the need for redundancy with the second bulkhead. The RubberMaid tub needs to be pushed up flush with the house to provide room to walk on the sidewalk around it. This kind of eliminates the bulkheads to go where they are supposed to (on the flat front and back sides).
<I'd sacrifice the sidewalk space>
I was hoping to plumb from the far R side, opposite to where the inflow would be on the L, to create a flow of current accrues the DSB.
<..... this makes no sense. Id est, I have no idea what you're referring to>B
Maybe I shouldn’t be hung up on this though the concept makes sense. I can re-plumb with 2” for better flow, but I wanted to make sure we were on the same page as I’m not shooting for growing SPS in high flow system. Of course, that would be cool if you think I could still manage with my little LEDs and supplemental natural sunlight.
Of course in the Rubbermaid is a different story. It get Full sunlight so I could probably grow some SPS there. But we already talked about this and you said it would be good as low flow. Tanks.
In Radiant Health,
Sky Kubby

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