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FAQs About Sump/Filters Construction/Repair

Related FAQs: Sumps/Filters 1, Sumps/Filters 2, Sumps 3, Sumps 4, Sumps 5, Sumps 6, Sumps 7, Sumps 8, Sumps 9, Sumps 10, Rationale, Design, Sump Components, Pumps/Circulation, Maintenance, Refugiums, Plenums in Reef Filtration, Marine System Plumbing Holes & Drilling 1, Durso Standpipes, Overflow Boxes, Bubble Trouble, Plumbing NoiseMake Up Water Systems, Marine Aquarium Set-Up, Algal Filtration in General, Mud Filtration 1

Related Articles: Pressure Locking Sump Baffles; Welcome to the World of Versatility! By Joshua McMillen, Refugiums, Marine Filtration, Reef FiltrationMechanical, Physical, Marine System Plumbing Fish-Only Marine Set-up, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large Systems, Refugiums

Is this what you want? Get building! Genus Hydnophora

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.>

Large system sump remodel   1/10/17
Ok, I’m looking for plumbing suggestions on a large system and I’m hoping you can help. I have a 220 gal (72”x 24”x 28”) mixed reef tank in my living room sitting on a stand with 26” interior headroom
<Thank goodness>
and I’m really struggling to work on anything down in the stand.
<Due to space constraint?>
The sump is an Oceanic #3 (50gallon breeder) and the 19.5” sides make access difficult. I’d like to expand the sump, which right now is acting as just a refugium,
<I do want to mention; that looking at your photo, I WOULD raise the refugium walls here; to give more volume, allow deepening of the DSB here, more algal culture space>
and I need to upgrade the protein skimmer. Below are the solutions I’m currently considering:
1) Just seal the inside base of the stand with 3/8” acrylic sheet to make a 12” or 15” tall sump, expanding my surface area and improving access.
<Interesting approach; worth considering. Would you have to take the tank down, insert the new sump from the top of the stand? Seems so>
However, the more I look at upgrading the protein skimmer, the harder it is to find a good one that will fit in the 26” with enough room to maintain it.
<You are wise, maybe just experienced (ha!) to consider this...>
I would also like to add an algae scrubber and a few more tools and I worry I just won’t have enough room.
<I myself would definitely leave a good 10-12 inches open space twixt the top of the sump/refugium and stand to get in/out work on/in it>
2) I have a basement and could place my filtration there.
<Ahh! Perhaps a large... Rubbermaid tote here!>
I am looking at upgrading my return pump anyway (currently a Mag 18 running externally), and I like the idea of being able to stand up while cleaning/maintaining, as well as the room to expand the sump, get whatever size protein skimmer I want, and incorporate an algae scrubber and a bunch of other improvements.
<Me too. Well worth the extra cost in electricity>
This would also give me a place for some of the DIY I’d like to try without bothering the cosmetics. However, directly below the tank is our “cozy room”…a 10’x15’ room built around a wood burning stove and the room routinely gets up to 150° F.
<?! Yikes; really? >
I could build in a small ‘closet’ (“Closet A”: see diagram) and insulate it but I worry I’ll be continuously fighting the temps…
<Mmm, I see the space to the hallway/stairs in your excellent diagram... and would build passive or active (muffin fans) air circulation there through in and out vents>
and I’m not sure my dear wife will go for the idea.
<Well; not able to help much t/here... Perhaps suggesting a trade off... something she'd like in the way of home improvement... Maybe even unrelated; a trip to the Bahamas?>
I have a 7’x17’ work room nearby which is kept at 78° F that houses my reptile collection, and it has an unused closet 'cubby’ beneath the stairs (“Closet B”: see diagram), but that would put the sump 11’ below and 17’ away from the display, which seems like a long run with quite a few 90° elbows required, not to mention the holes in floor and walls. This also seems like the more expensive option and cost is king.
<I'd go with choice A myself; with the walled insulation you mention and the air venting I do. Bob Fenner>

Re: Protein Skimmer advice       11/8/16
Hi Bob,
thanks for your invaluable help. I will buy the bubble Magnus. Looking at its footprint I will likely need to remove a baffle in my sump.
I have a slight concern here. Do the baffles help hold the sump tank together, structurally?
<In all cases I've encountered in commercial and DIY ones, no>
The sump is well made but has no cross braces or frame, just silicon where each glass pane meets. I would like to redesign the use of the sump space which might leave just one baffle. The water level is 10 inches high in normal working but maybe 14 '' if the power is cut. Sump is 29'' long by 19'' wide. Glass is 5mm thick.
My worry is that the tank would 'pop' / break apart due to water pressure on the sides with the baffles removed. Am I underestimating the strength of silicon seals where the glass sides join (siliconed by a professional not me! ) or over estimating the role of the baffles in holding the tank sides together?
<You should be fine here... I would not be concerned given the dimensions and thickness of glass you list>
thanks in advance for your time,
<Welcome. BobF>

Broken baffle in sump     5/15/13
Hiya Crew!
   Hope I find you all well & hearty!    I'll attempt to keep this as brief as possible, but have many questions.
   It's been a long time since I tore down my very last reef system (it's been five years now) with a pledge that I had quit the 'hobby' for good.
After 3 prolapsed vertebrae (due at least in part to humping buckets of water around since my first marine set-up in 1978, I was calling it a day.
I sold everything I had. You guys really helped me in the past and for that I am immensely grateful.....       
<And welcome>
   Fast forward five years and my lovely wife (who is American (not that being American should have anything to do with it of course!)) bought me some pulsing Xenia from eBay! Now, I'm not keen on the stuff knowing the damage it can cause in a system but hey, all I needed was tank no? 
Ahem,...Two or three grand lighter (that's squids to you not dollars) I find myself on the brink of setting up a new reef tank. I should add that I am now mostly wheelchair bound, so my wife has the job (she loves science you see) of water technician.....Heehee! Anything to do with water is down to my wife.  That was eight months ago and already I hear my wife's voice, "you didn't always do all this (amount of work) did you"?
   Strangely I find myself having gone 'full circle' I feel almost like a newbie coming back into a hobby of which I know nothing. Things have changed a great deal in five years.
<Ah yes>
   My plan was to have a 48"x24"x24" with a 42"x18"x15" sump/refugium with 'Miracle Mud', Chaetomorpha & Gracilaria in the sump. Anyway, the choice was kind of taken away from me when my dear old Mom & wife conspired and bought me an off the shelf tank with the same proportions as above. This is where my first problem lay.  I had already purchased the new Tunze 6208 Wavemaker with a view to using a few less powerheads in the tank. The tank though, has just one 2" hole drilled in the base and on the left hand side.
 Knowing how the Tunze works, have you guys got any idea on how I should approach this problem?
<Mmm, I know what I would do, yes>
  I envisage lots of loud sloshing and slurping as the wave motion goes back and forth drawing lots of air and some water down this one weir. I've always hated siphons, but if I have to build one as my only option, then I will. Or I could try & drill another 53mm hole in the opposite corner, so I'll have two weirs with Durso standpipes. Do you guys think this would be enough?...
<Could be made to, but I'd just use the one hole as an overflow, and make the return line just come over the top into the tank>
(update. I have just drilled a 53mm hole on the opposite side in the bottom of tank) Do you think this will work with the Tunze?
<Oh?, the Wavemaker runs/exists in the tank itself... What is this hole for? I might use it (as you've already drilled) for the return from the sump... plumbed up near the top for discounting the transit volume that will flow back should the pump or power go out>
 or do you think I should maybe build a third weir, in the middle?
<I would not...>
I know with the Tunze manual it says to leave 50mm from top of water to top of tank because of the wave action.
   Another method I might like to try is the Balling method of Calcium/Magnesium/alkalinity control.
<Easy to do; w/ careful measures>
 I understand this is very popular in Europe but I value your input more than anyone else. What opinions do you chaps have on this subject.
<Simple to see the combination of bicarbonate and calcium, magnesium salts...>
 To me it sounds a much more elegant solution than calcium reactors etc. Or with Mineral Mud would I be over-doing it?
<Not over-doing. Can be run together>
The sump has been running on it's own for four months now with live rock the two algaes as above and the 1 1/2 inch of mineral mud. (I should have used gold dust it would have been cheaper!).
   I hope you guys can forgive me the long email but I value your opinion more than anyone!
<No worries>
Oh no! A minor catastrophe. I have just managed to break the first baffle in the sump, clean in two right down the middle. I could I suppose lift one end of the cabinet high enough, so the first baffle area is dry and the main RHS with the Miracle Mud just under water. But what would be the best sealant to use? 
<If this is glass, Silastic/Silicone... IF acrylic, Weld-On solvent>
I know silicon is best but it takes so long to dry
<A day>
 & might it harm any of the multitude of life-forms in there?
<Not... most all can be just left in a chemically inert bucket, container during the repair>
 Any other ideas guys?
<The repair>
Cheers for now,
PS. I still owe you guys a pint from years ago!
<Ahh! Perhaps... Bob Fenner>
Re: Broken baffle in sump  5/16/13

Hi Bob, Hi all.
Many thanks for the advice on the tank & sump problems. I have just bought a sheet of Acrylic the same size as my baffle (which is glass). In your opinion would it be ok to silicon this piece to the glass baffle?
<Yes... though not a very strong bond between these dissimilar materials, this should work fine for the amount of force here>
Back to the main tank. I don't know if you're familiar with the Tunze 6208 it does run inside the tank itself.
<Yes... this is what I stated as well. Again... what is the hole you drilled for?>
 If not Bob you may want to look here
http://tunze.com/149.html?&L=1&C=HK&user_tunzeprod_pi1%5Bpredid%5D=-infoxunter060  It looks to be a handy piece of kit. Only time will tell. I drilled the second hole for another weir as I thought that with the back and forth wave motion it could/would be very noisy & this would reduce the noise some.
<Ahh, well; the Wavemaker is virtually silent... again, you can use it for a return if you'd like... or another overflow/drain... but in a volume of this size, shape, you don't really need another>
 Thanks for the very quick reply, please let me know what you think about the above?
<Done. BobF>
Cheers all.

marine/reef tank sump question... Commercial or DIY?  4/21/10
Thank you for all the information posed on the web site. It has been very useful to help me after my impulsive purchase of a marine tank in February. I currently have a 45 gallon tank with 45 lbs of live rock and 2" live sand; fish wise it has a tang, a pair of clowns, 5 green Chromis, and a mix of cleaning crew's. Due to noise and viewing
enjoyment, I want to move away from the current magnum hot filter and a CPR BakPak 2 skimmer to a sump with a skimmer and refugium. I want to spend my time enjoying the tank, not fiddling with a home made set up, and was wondering if you would recommend any existing set ups for this? I can find lots in the FAQ's on this part or that, but was hoping to find an 'easy' solution. Thank you for any comments!
<None out there that I would personally use. There are a few out of the box, ready to go sump setups. But all a sump really constitutes is a vessel that holds water. This is a cheapo Rubbermaid bin for many, expensive custom acrylic tanks for others. By getting something simple to hold water and adding a good skimmer, such as an in sump AquaC, you will get much more bang for your buck here. As for an overflow I strongly urge you to drill the tank rather than go with an over the back type overflow. It is much more reliable. For more info on drilling see my site Glass-Holes.com.>
<Scott V.>

Mirrors and Saltwater -- 01/13/2010
I was wondering if you could use a mirror as a baffle in a sump or refugium? would the mirror react with the salt water?
thanks in advanced
<Hey Dan, I don't think there would be any issues here, assuming that its not a cheaper foil-backed mirrored surface. If its a concern, however, small acrylic sheets can be had for very cheap to achieve the same means.
Good luck! -JustinN>

DIY Sump Question
Cracked Sump  -- 11/1/09

<Josh here today.>
I am in a little bit of a pickle.
<Lets see what we can do about that.>
I bought a 20 gallon long aquarium from the local "box store" and bought some .222 think Acyclic panels and some silicon to make a sump.
I put two panels in the tank, basically one for my return pump area and a air bubble trap for my protein skimmer to reduce micro bubbles.
<Common design.>
Long story short, the panels fit and are water tight perfecto!
I was going to put in a 3rd panel for a refugium but decided against it when a small hairline crack appeared in the side of the tank.
<Hmm, is this a hairline crack caused from forcing too large a piece of acrylic into the glass sump, or could it be a thin strand of silicone that appears to be a crack. Those strings of silicone can make very convincing
cracks, try running a razor blade over the "crack" to see if that is what it is.>
I have filled it up with water (it will hold about 10-15 gallons as a return sump/protein skimming area only) and so far no leaks.
<This may support the silicone string theory.>
I am going to monitor it for a week or so before I put it into action.
If the hairline crack doesn't leak and the tank has a small water volume, is this going to be an issue?
<If it turns out to be a real hairline crack, pick up a small piece of glass from another local store like home depot or Lowe's, and then use a aquarium safe silicone to bond the piece of glass over the crack, that will
add tremendous amounts of support and hopefully will keep the crack from running any further.>
It looks like the tank may even be tempered glass as the crack is on only the inside of the tank.
Please advise and thanks!
<As above. Good luck,
Josh Solomon.>

A Good Laugh 09/20/09
I was looking at my website today and found this thread. One of my sites members Chris, ( a really nice great guy btw ) was DIY ing a sump for his reef tank. After completing the sump (and eating dinner) he realized that the 2 containers he had used to hold the baffle in place where sealed inside. The look on his face is priceless. lol A Jenkins
<Wot a hoot! Am sure SeaChem will be happy to see another ap. for their line... Heeee! BobF>


Sump, const. mat.s  1/2/08 Looking make a sump should I use a glass tank or get one made out of acrylic? Looking for a 3ft 18x18? Used with submersible pump, looking at the Eheim compact 5000. Heard cons of glass is risk of cracking? <Well that depends on what you are personally looking for and your budget. Acrylic is nice, but does scratch easily. While there is always the risk of cracking the glass. This said, glass can scratch and acrylic can crack too! If you are the type to go into your system gung ho doing maintenance an acrylic sump may be the way to go. If you are careful and meticulous about what you do then glass generally cheaper. The Eheim line is a fine choice for pump, but the size will be dependent on whatever overflow setup you have. Scott V.>

New sump, change-out  12/4/08 Hi All, <Jim> Sorry I could not find this answer in the articles and FAQ. I would like to change out my sump. I have a wet dry trickle filter that I have removed the bio balls from and want to switch to a glass aquarium for more capacity. <A fine way to DIY a sump.> What should I be worried about when I switch to a new sump? Do I need to worry about the tank cycling again and causing spikes in ammonia and the like? <No, the live rock will accomplish your biofiltration here.> I have a 55 gal tank with about 75 pounds of live rock and a live sand bed 2 to 3 inched deep. Thank you Jim <Welcome, Scott V.>

DIY Sump Design -- 03/26/08 Hey, <<Hey>> I've made a design for a sump with a small refugium for my 55gal marine tank. <<Cool>> I've based the design off of my existing sump (w/o) refugium, and the 30" x 35" x 1/4" sheets of acrylic that Home Depot sells. <<Okay>> One design fits on 2 sheets and has a slightly larger refugium, but the other adds a bubble trap and hopefully some protection against algae and whatnot getting into my skimmer. I'm concerned that the 2 sheet design will let little organisms into the skimmer. Any thoughts or comments on if this design will work? <<Either design will work fine, but in my experience the extra baffle for the bubble trap is not needed here, so'¦ As for critters getting to the skimmer; the flow of water from the skimmer chamber to the pump chamber will restrict organisms in the refugium from getting back there'¦but'¦there will be critters in the skimmer chamber, eventually. Nothing you can do about it'¦and honestly, mate'¦nothing to be worried about>> Thank you, Chad <<Quite welcome. Eric Russell>> P.S. I tried to post this on one of the forums and it wouldn't let me attach anything. Are attachments not allowed, or are there only certain sizes/types of files that can be loaded? <<You can post images, but there may well be a size limit. The moderators are still making updates/improvements to the site; I suggest you post your question about the attachments there and Lynn or Sabrina will be able to give you a better answer. EricR>>

Sump Setup, Baffles 3/8/08 Good afternoon Crew. <Hello Matt.> I have a quick sump question. I have just purchased a Hurricane Quietflo 600 HOT prefilter overflow box to carry water to my sump. I already have a stocked 55 gal that is not drilled, so I did not want to do so. It says that even in a power outage, the siphon will not break. <It should not break the siphon.> Hopefully this will work out good for me. My question is, I am going to purchase a 20 gal glass tank for under my show tank. I do not want a refugium at this point. All I really want to do now is hide my skimmer and thermometer from view. This way all I will have in my tank is my 4 powerheads. Do I HAVE to partition the 20 gal sump or can I just have the water come in one side and out the other with my thermometer and skimmer in the middle? <This can work just fine. The problem you may have is bubbles from the overflow returning through your pump to your tank if you don't have any baffles. This will depend largely on your planned flow through the sump, keep it at around 300 gph max with this overflow.> I see all of these really complex looking sumps and do not really think I need all of that for what I am trying to accomplish (more water volume and movement). Thanks for any help you can give me. Matt <I am inclined to tell you to try it and see if you have bubble issues. Baffles are easy enough to add later, even with the sump up and running. The link below gives you a very inexpensive, easy way to do this. Welcome, have fun with it, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Baffles/baffles.htm

DIY Sump/Refugium 1/30/08 Hello, <Hi Jess.> I have a 65g glass aquarium and am planning on adding a sump/refugium so I don't have to mount my skimmer on the back of my tank and can grow some food for my corals. <Good move.> I plan on using a 20T tank (24x12x16) as it is the largest tank that will fit in my stand and still allow space for my Eheim 2217 canister filter (do I even need this filter with adequate rock and skimming?). <No, not with sufficient live rock. A good skimmer is much more valuable.> I plan on a Mag 7 return pump in the sump, can you recommend which siphon overflow is better, Lifereef or Tom Aquatics? <I am more partial towards the Lifereef type of siphon boxes. They will have a higher velocity of water through the over the top portion, clearing out air bubbles and obstructions better.> My tank is tempered glass and can't be drilled so I have been told. <Not if it is tempered, do contact the manufacturer to be sure if you are at all interested in drilling it. The likelihood is only the bottom is tempered, you may be able to drill the back for an overflow.> For the refuge, I was planning on two baffles with 1/8" slots cut in them to allow flow from the siphon to the return pump with the space between housing a deep sand bed and perhaps 5lbs live rock. <I would cut ¼' slots in the baffles if you have the tooling, otherwise just run it over the top of the baffle, slots are not mandatory.> (I was told that a refugium this small would have negligible value to my system at my LFS, is this true?) <Larger is better, but anything is better than nothing. If you have enough space to grow some macroalgae, which can be done in fairly small volumes of water, your system will benefit even more.> How high should the baffles be? <Depends on the water height you will run. You will want your lower baffles to be below this level. Baffles spaced off the bottom of the tank can run all the way to the top if you wish.> How much space should I allow for overflow in the sump in case of a power outage? <This depends greatly on how you plumb the return. If you plumb it near the surface of your tank and/or include a siphon break you will need to account for a minimal volume of water here, a few inches in the 20 gal. You just need to leave enough room for the amount of water siphoned back into your sump and what is in the plumbing lines. You will also need to consider recommended water heights for your skimmer model when you go to determine water height. Set up your sump, overflow and return and play with varying water levels before you put any baffles in. You can also make movable baffles, allowing adjustment, see the link below.> Thanks so much for your time in answering my question. <Welcome, a worthwhile project.> P.S. Can you recommend a good site with diagrams of DIY sumps/refugiums Thanks again. Jess <Sure, a few are included below for basic sump configuration ideas, as well as movable baffles. Have fun, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Baffles/baffles.htm http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html http://ozreef.org/diy_plans/tank/

Do I Have The Only Leaky Rubbermaid Tank In The World?  9/1/07 <No, I have the other one.> Best aquatics info. site on the web! <Thank you.> This seems to be one nobody has heard of before: I bought a 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank just over a year ago. It's used to keep fish in and is set up on eight level cinder blocks for support. About a week ago, I was surprised when I found it dripping from two places underneath. The leaks have increased in number everyday and now it's practically sprinkling from eight or nine places underneath. I'm moving the fish before the thing completely disintegrates and was wondering if there is a sealant or epoxy suitable to paint the entire bottom (exterior) with. <Not worth the bother, I'd just replace it. They generally last a long time.><<RMF is very, make that VERY surprised this one is failing... I suspect there is some other area of egress... would test for... with dry newspaper underneath... in a large, clear area... maybe the garage>> Thanks. <You're welcome, James (Salty Dog)> Gary

Hello Crew! DIY sump const.  7/6/07 Hello, <Good Afternoon> I am getting 135 gallon glass tank and I'm going to build my own sump out of a 55 gallon glass tank.. My question is, is it OK to buy plexi-glass from Home Depot and use it to make compartments in the sump? I know it's a form of acrylic but was wondering if it had on it any chemicals or something that would get into the saltwater and not be safe. If I shouldn't use it if there was anything else I could buy instead of paying tons of $$ for something I could build myself. <Being from the UK I'm not familiar with the composition of Plexiglas from Home Depot, however I know lots of tanks/sumps made from Plexiglas and it should be fine. I am assuming that by 'compartments' you mean baffles? Or the whole tank? Check the diameter of the acrylic cause this will greatly affect structural integrity. Also, be sure to source an appropriate adhesive as this will be key> Thank You for your time. <Thanks, Olly>

Acrylic Thickness for Pressure-Lock Baffles - 03/31/07 Hello Crew, <<Jeremy>> I have a question about this article.       http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Baffles/baffles.htm Does the Lucite or acrylic have to be 1/4-inch thick? <<Hmmm...>> Could thinner acrylic work or would the weather stripping not hold? <<I think the bigger issue is whether or not the thinner acrylic will "bow" too much under the pressure of the friction fit involved with this method.  If the acrylic does not prove to be too flimsy, the weather-stripping will probably hold long enough to put the baffles in place.  It is worth trying anyway...in my opinion>> Thanks, Jeremy <<Happy to share.  EricR>>

Leaking Acrylic Sump...Silicone Not the Answer - 12/12/06 Hi and thank you all for your support and knowledge. <<Hello...is our privilege to share>> I have had my reef tank for over a year now with good success.  I am attempting to build a custom-size sump inside the stand of my 125 gallon running reef.  I purchased the 3/8" acrylic and had it cut to size so the fit seems to be good.  I used Weldon-3 in all of the seams.  I then let it dry and used Weldon-16 to form a bead around the seams. <<Hmm, shouldn't be necessary if the pieces are bonded correctly with the Weldon-3, but won't hurt either.  If you really want to "strengthen" the corners/seams, you could cement in triangular shaped corner braces (these are offered/can be found "pre-made" on the Net)>> I filled the sump with ½-inch of water and the water leaks out of the seams. <<Mmm, perhaps the "fit" was not as good as you perceived.  For the Weldon-3 to work properly the joints must fit precisely to allow the cement to be drawn-in by capillary action>> I tried to put another heavy coat of Weld-on-16 and let it dry overnight.  This also leaked. <<Hmm...just spreading it over the surface isn't likely to help as you've discovered, but if you can "force" this thicker bodied cement in to the joints you might be able to fill the gaps/leaks.  If the leaks are many/large you will probably have to either cut the pieces apart and recondition the mating surfaces...or have new acrylic cut/prepped and start over>> The acrylic shop said I should use 100 percent silicone to fix the leaks because it stretches. <<A poor suggestion/option in my opinion...the silicone will not adhere well to the acrylic and though this may seem to work at first the silicon will eventually fail and leak...probably when you happen to be away for an extended period>> I read on your website that silicon is not the best answer. <<Correct>> Do you think this will work only for sealing the water and not for the structure of the sump? <<A poor solution for the former and disastrous for the latter>> I also noticed the Weldon-16 does evaporate so the seal does become much thinner when dry. <<Yes, the cement shrinks as it cures>> Thank you. Darrell <<I would try the thicker cement again, using a finger run along the joint to force it in (do make sure everything is "completely dry").  If you aren't able to seal the gaps this way then your best/safest option in my opinion is to remove this sump and rebuild/start anew.  Regards, EricR>> <If this fails, RMF suggests securing a length of doweling (acrylic) cut to fit in the corners (I'd do all inside seams while you're at it)... With the Weld-On... Make sure and examine the doweling closely... it is often convex on two sides... you want the two flat sides against the current acrylic panels.>

Adhesive On EPDM Foam Rubber - 04/17/2006 Hello Crew! <Hello Andy!> Thanks for such an awesome resource. My question pertains to an article I read on your website regarding DIY sumps, particularly the way the baffles were set in the sump. Here's the link for reference: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Baffles/baffles.htm <Hey, I wrote that!> I just wanted to double check on the EPDM foam rubber weather stripping used in the article. Is the adhesive on the foam safe for all types of marine life such as corals and other inverts? <Yep! The same stuff they put on the foam padding to keep pumps from vibrating against your sump.> If so, I will definitely be using this method, but I was just curious if there had been any discussion on the subject. <Hmm...no discussions I know of...except this one! Thank you for reading my article, hope you found it useful.> Thanks, Andy <Quite welcome. - Josh>

Sump Question Hi! <Howdy!>    I am looking to buy a sump soon.  I have a 75 gallon FOWLR with a hang on protein skimmer and a canister filter, 80 pounds of live rock and about a 6 inch DSB.  I am thinking about using a wet/dry and removing the media.  I am also looking for one with a skimmer built in.  What do you think you be the best brand? <One you make yourself, or have made... to the spec.s... size, baffles... you want to have to fit the gear you intend> I have looked at the ProClear Pro 200 and the CPR Cyclone CY 194.  What are the pros/cons of each of these?  Are there any other brands that you would recommend for around the same price?  Last question  :-)  Is it possible to make either of these into a refugium? Thank you for your time! Dent <Both, either could/can be made into a refugium... If you have space, you could have both... side by side, one above/below. Bob Fenner>

Glue, acrylic, sump design, construction Hope I won't bother you with that question. I'd like to use sheets of acrylic (1/4") to divide a glass aquarium used as a sump. Is it really safe? <Yes> what kind of glue is the right choice? <Best to use 100% Silicone... and even better to make slotted areas by adhering strips or square dowels of acrylic so you can easily remove (lift out) the acrylic panels> Can I design the tank so that I can isolate the return pump out of the water in the glass tank? <Yes... by drilling the tank most likely, and using a through-hull aka bulk-head fitting to join with the threaded pump volute.> Thanks in advance for your kindness Didier Champauzac <Do have someone, perhaps a LFS employee or service company person, or an "advanced" aquarist from a local club help you with the design, execution of this project. Bob Fenner>

Repairing a hole in a sump When I recently tore down my tank I left a heater on in a small amount of water in the sump. It is acrylic, It burned a hole in the bottom and side with some bubbling of the acrylic.  I was wondering if I could cut out the affected area and glue some new plexi over the top of the cut out area.  It is a hidden sump so it doesn't matter what it looks like, just cost a lot so I would like to recover. Thanks, Mike <Actually, if the acrylic isn't too bubbled, you could just cut or have cut some small pieces of sheet (look in an acrylic outlets "bargain" box or ask for scraps, cut-offs...) and simply silicone them in place on the inside, over the holes, damaged area. Bob Fenner>

Sump size 4/13/04 Dear Crew, <cheers> I've built a 525 gallon aquarium which I'm planning to set-up as a reef tank.  My question is, how big should the sump be?   <larger is better. Public aquariums go for a 1:1 ratio of display: sump... for home aquariums, 20-40% will be good enough> In the past, I've always used canister filters so this time I've decided to give a sump a try after researching the topic.   <wise choice> Do you have any advice on what I should or should not do?   <so much to say/learn here... please do take the tie to help/educate yourself in our archives at wetwebmedia.com. Browse the plumbing articles and FAQs for starters> I've looked everywhere on the web but can't seem to find any information on recommended sump sizes. Thanks in advance! <you might be interested in a fine book called "Aquatic Systems Engineering" by Escobar. Anthony>

-Water level control- Hi there crew. <Heyyy, Kevin here> First I would like to thank you for your help in the past. <On behalf of whomever may have answered your questions, you're very welcome!> I have a question and have trawled <I don't know if I've ever trawled the site before, sounds dangerous... ;) > the site but cannot find an answer. I am building a sump and a refugium (separately) and a pod producing tank. My question is this. How do I control the level in each tank using baffles? <Hmmm... You can control various water levels in a single aquarium with baffles, simply make the baffle as high as you want that section of the tank and once the water rises above the baffle, it will spill into the next compartment. On a completely separate tank that is to be tied in to your main, you'll need some sort of an overflow. If the tank is acrylic or you're comfortable drilling non-tempered glass, you can easily install a bulkhead or two with some PVC to make a standpipe for draining. If the tank is large enough, you can buy a hang-on overflow box for it. I hope this is what you mean!> just how does this work? I do not wish to make a complete hash up of this system so any input from you guys would really be very much appreciated. Your advice in the past has bee. second to none and I plan to build a display using the deep sand bed and algal scrubber system plus a sump without any bioballs or canister/power filters at all. I will use carbon and PolyFilters. <Sounds cool! -Kevin> Thank you, Simon. 

What is a sump overflow? Hi, I am currently setting up a 240 gallon fish only with live rock tank. I plan to buy the stand and canopy also. Though, I am confused what a sump is and what goes in the sump and is there protein skimmers and pumps that you can buy that go inside of the stand so they don't hang on the back? << Absolutely.  Many large skimmers (like you will want) sit inside or beside the sump in the stand. >> Also when I see like this black thing in the corner of the aquariums at some pet stores and the guy told me that was for a sump. Is that thing needed to run a sump? << Well it isn't needed, but they sure are nice.  Basically, you need a hole in your tank, so your tank can leak.  I know that sound odd, but you do.  Then your leaky tank drains water down into the sump, and it is pumped back up into the tank.  The black plastic piece you see is a great way to make a filter allowing the surface water to skim over and flow down to the sump.  They are worth the extra money.  I'd buy one. >> Maybe you can direct me to a page that can tell me everything I need to know about a sump. << Just keep reading here, and visit some tanks in your area.  You can learn a lot by seeing a friend's tank. >>Thanks <<  Blundell  >>

- Custom Overflow Question - I have a plumbing question for you. <Ok.> I have a 29 gallon aquarium that was purchased at Wal-Mart for an emergency when my 46 gallon bow-front cracked and leaked (freshwater), which has been replaced.  I now want to turn the 29 into a marine aquarium, I have been reading and reading since the first part of this year, mostly this site and books.  I can usually find answers to 90-95% of my questions, however I would like to ask this one(s). I had originally wanted to use a HOB siphon overflow, CPR to be exact, but my reading shows this not to be best.  So I shall have it drilled.  This tank comes (I think) with the bottom glass tempered, which can't be drilled?  If so, then I will have the back glass drilled to the left lower corner (facing from the front) and silicone a sheet of acrylic to act as the overflow box. Is this design acceptable since it doesn't drain directly from the bottom? <Yes, this would work.> Do the dimensions of the overflow box matter a great deal? <Not too much, but you wouldn't want to make it any smaller than your largest diameter of plumbing.>  Can it be triangle in shape? <It could, yes.> The overflow box will have a 1 inch (inside diameter) return fitting, should it be larger? <For a tank this size, 1" will be more than sufficient.> Will a 90 degree elbow fitting inside of the overflow box with a stand pipe work? <I think so.> Or could this restrict flow? <Again, we're only talking about a 29 gallon tank here.> I plan (famous last words) on a 10 gallon sump below the tank and a Mag Drive 7 pump rated at 700gph max to provide the return. <Probably a bit much for such a small box of water - would consider dropping this to the Mag 5 and then making up for the change with a powerhead or two in the tank.> With my rough calculations,  ~3+ feet of head and all the bends and nozzles, the end out flow will be around 500gph (maybe even less). <Yes... still a lot for a single point source. Consider the Mag 5.> Thank you in advance, Phil. <Cheers, J -- >

- Two Sumps? - Hi :-) <Hi.> I just got a used 75g reef ready Oceanic that I'm trying to plumb up. Unfortunately, the sump/skimmer that came with it is extremely small CPR CY192(14x8x14.5) That's only 4gallons!!  I still want to be able to use this for its built-in skimmer (and easy carbon bag placement) so'¦. Can I add another sump (Rubbermaid) to hold my DSB/ algae? <Sure, why not?> I have  1' and  Â¾' holes in the overflow( I want to use the ¾' hole for a drain too) The return pump is a Little Giant rated at 640 at 3 ft. (1'discharge and return) Option#1 :  use the 1' hole draining to the Rubbermaid which then gravity feeds( through 1' bulkhead) to the CPR sump's final chamber.  The ¾' hole drains directly to the first chamber in the CPR sump (skimmer chamber) All returned by 1' intake little giant.  Another possible problem: the outlet of the CPR sump is 3/4' --Do I have to drill this out and replace with a 1' bulkhead to fit the pump intake? It would seem like everything would bottleneck here at the sump exit. Option #2 : keep each sump separate and use another pump too (I have another Little Giant with ½' discharge/return and 400 at 3ft.) 1'drain to Rubbermaid returned by big Little Giant :-) ((hee hee hee 'BIG' little Giant)) sorry, I'm feeling a bit goofy! ¾' drain to CPR returned by little little Giant Which option would cause less problems? <I'd just run the CPR above the Rubbermaid sump, with it's own pump, and a gravity feed back into the sump where the sump's return pump would return water back to the tank. Simple and trouble free.> Thanks for all your help, Jennifer <Cheers, J -- > - Two Sumps? Follow-up - Hello again :) I still have a problem- my stand is too short!! <Ohh... that does complicate things.> I have room side by side in the stand -but not enough vertical room in the stand to raise the CPR CY192 enough to get a gravity feed to the big sump. The outlet to the CPR is at the bottom (center of hole is 2.25" above CPR base) The most I can raise it is 6" and still have room to remove skimmer collection cup. My (sump is 16" high) and the (CPR is 14.5" high plus another 6" to access cup) The interior height stand dimension is 26" Does this mean I could only fill the big sump at the most 5" ??! That's pretty pointless- there must be a better way. <How about mounting the refugium on the wall above the tank itself?> To rehash everything I have a 75 g drilled tank with overflow box: 1"drain and 3/4" drain( yes I'm using the return hole as a drain also to get more flow) The 1" hole will go to a 29g DSB/algae sump and the 3/4" hole will go to the cy192. My problem is connecting the two sumps to the pump (external little giant rated at 650gph at 3' with 1"intake and return) If the sump outlets are at the same height (sump outlet =1"hole, CPR outlet= 3/4" hole), can I just connect the two outlets at a "T" and run them to the pump?? Will I need ball valves at each outlet before the "T" to regulate sump water levels? <Think this setup will have more problems then it will solve. Would be better for each to have it's own pump.> In your opinion, is this pump going to handle the flow? <Probably too much in one or the other sump.> If the CPR fills too fast, will it help to raise this sump a few inches-gravity help? (can only raise it up to 6"-stand dimensions won't allow for raising the CPR enough for gravity feed to the big sump) <Not enough to make a difference.> Wish I had more room in my stand to gravity feed one sump to the other - that would make things easier!! Oh well it won't be perfect but will it work? <I think it will work poorly.> Is there an easier way I'm just not seeing? <I'd really like to encourage you to use two pumps.> Thanks for your help- I'd really like to use this CY192 if possible. -hope you have better luck brainstorming than I am! Jennifer <Cheers, J -- >

Home Improvements (System Modifications) Hey Scott, Well, I was successful at converting my wet/dry into a sump! <Cool!> I placed live rock from my tank along with a deep sand bed about 4 inches deep with about 96 watts of light above it, also went to local pet store and purchased some micro-algae (various red and green stuff). Does it ever need to be changed? <Well, I would harvest small amounts regularly. By doing that, you're actually permanently exporting nutrients from the system. Besides, you can always give/trade/sell healthy macroalgae to your fellow hobbyists!> And is more the merrier the way to go? <Sure, IMO!> I also bought about 20 more pounds of live rock to replace the rock now in the sump. I also had to place some poly filter as a means of mechanical filtration before the return pump because I was getting a lot of garbage back into the tank.   <Wait a second...You mean as "chemical filtration", right? The brand "Poly Filter" pads are chemical media, which are excellent at absorbing dissolved organics. If you mean a polyester media for mechanical filtration, that's different (and a lot less expensive!).> My levels have all stayed very good and matter of fact the nitrate went down to 50 already from 100 in only two days of operation. <Excellent! Glad to hear that!> Also went out and purchased a RO/DI Kent Marine MAXXIMA 35GPD! <A great unit, IMO! Is use the "High S" version myself with great results> I got tired of lugging distilled water up the stairs! The phosphate from the unit is measuring 0 like I would expect but the silica is measuring about 1ppm. I was thinking it should be zero seeing this is a RO/DI unit. Maybe the cartridge needs to be broken in a bit more or is that level not that bad? <Well, I would have purchased the high silicate removal model for this problem. Do contact the tech department at Ken Marine and see if they can recommend a retrofit...> The tap water was very high in silica, I'd say 5 to 10. Should I worry about 1ppm, because I saw a response to a persons question and he said 1ppm is not bad. <Well, "not bad" is relative. Zero is better! Even fractional percentages can result in diatom blooms, so I'd look to limit silicates as much as possible> Thanks for all you help I am nearly there!!! Jim <Jim- sounds like you're really moving in the right direction! I'm stoked for you! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Marineland Tidepool 2? <Hello! Ryan here with you> I was wondering what you guys think about the Tidepool 2 filters. <Not bad at all- I think Marineland does a good job with nearly all of their products.  Only gripe is that it feels a little flimsy for such a pricey filter.> I like the fact that the water can pass through an abundance of other medias before being passed to the bio wheel. <As do I> I am going to have a FOWLR tank that will house a porky and two triggers, along with a few more fish. <Great> Considering that I use this filter or any other wet dry system I was thinking about eventually adding some macroalgae to my sump to help with nitrate removal. Would this be necessary or will about 60 lbs of live rock in a 90 gallon do this removal for me. <Both will have beneficial effects on your aquarium.  Try posting on WetWebFotos to chat with other owners of the filter- perhaps they can give you a few good recipes for success.  Here are some other tools you may find helpful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrh2oqualfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sumprffiltfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeasfriend.htm Please load me up with ideas. <Consider yourself loaded!  Now you'd better hand over those car keys, buddy! ;)   Best of luck! Ryan>

Sumps for sale? (03/05/03) Hi again everyone! <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I've begun the journey of setting up a FOWLR tank this year. It's a AGA 30L. <I've got a tank that size... a little small for a fish-only with live rock tank, but will do for a start.> I've read CMA, along with a few others, and I've read tons and tons of FAQ's on this wonderful site. Thanks for your dedicated service! <You're welcome!> My questions are these: According to WWM's popular opinion, there is not much need for a wet/dry trickle filter, the best bet would be a sump with LR. <You can always put live rock *in* the tank, too... and use part of the sump as a refugium.> I've looked at OZ's reef site and this is over my head. Does anyone other than Lifereef (very expensive), sell a sump that I can just purchase pre-made? <Hmmm. It's actually not that difficult to build your own -- it doesn't need to be as complicated as some of the ones you've seen. Do check out the WetWebMedia chat forums; we have a do-it-yourself forum, which includes several discussions about building these. All you really need is a tank, a few custom-cut pieces of glass and some aquarium silicone. Some of the forum members even have pictures of sump plans on their web pages.> Question number two - I have a 30L as stated above... I know this is small now, but I didn't learn of this until after acquiring the tank, and hand building a stand and canopy. <You can still make this a nice little tank.> I've e-mailed before, and was told that a yellow tang would be too crunched and that even a flame angel (my original must have fish!) would find it an uncomfortable aqua-closet. <I'd considered turning my 30L tank into a marine tank, but decided not to when I found it would be too small for any of the small angels.> I think a yellow headed Jawfish would fit, but can you list a couple interesting fish that might be comfortable? <The other fish I was considering at the time... One (or a pair) of the smaller clownfish, like ocellaris or a "true" percula, would be fine. And they are very entertaining. A royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) or Brazilian Gramma (Gramma brasiliensis) is another possibility. There are a few other fish that would do okay in this tank, but I would be wary of keeping them with the Jawfish.> I'd like to research these before I buy anything else. <Yay!> I should add that I plan to move up to at least a 75Gal in the next year, but that's a long time to be stuck in a closet! <Yup... though if you want a tang and a flame angel, you might consider an even larger tank.> Thank You in advance...you at the crew are lifesavers! --- Dave Adams <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

- Silicone Help - GREAT SITE!!! <And good day to you! JasonC here...> I was wondering if the is any specific technique to applying silicone to seal pieces together? <Don't skimp on the silicone, and the neatness of the whole thing is up to you.> I'm planning to put in Plexiglas baffles in a 10 gal. all-glass tank (being used as a sump) and also contemplating on building a corner overflow out of Plexiglas (not to mention drilling a hole in the bottom of my 55 gal. all-glass tank). <Well, you might want to investigate overflow designs first, and make sure you have all the tools you need - a router comes to mind. Next, spend some time at this link: http://ozreef.org/diy/#OVERFLOW - this will get you on your way for building an overflow. As for drilling the tank, I'd take that to a glass shop and have it done there.> I don't want to jump in and just do it, without professional advice, and end up having a leaky tank... or worse. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. <As long as you're asking for advice, see if you can cram a larger tank in there - a 10 gallon tank is ok, but likely it will only add about five gallons to your system volume... more water is always better.> Also, any recommendations on better/cheaper/sturdier material or material combinations (other than Plexiglas) would be nice. <Any sturdy acrylic will work - color is probably not important. Consider finding and visiting a large plastics shop where they often have a bin of cut, scrap pieces which can be had for pocket change. Will save you from having to buy a sheet of material.> Thanks a bunch in advance!!! Loyal WetWebMedia surfer Iona <Cheers, J -- >

Old employees just never go away (Sumps, old times) Hi Bob, Ron in Minnesota again. You sure do get a ton of mail every day, I was reading through your refugium e-mails, have some minor questions. Do you still have the Wet Pets stores? <No longer... last one closed in 1991> Do you promote any particular type of Refugium?  <No... am a fan of DIY> Finally what would you say a "good" sump-refugium should retail for?  <Complete with pump... a couple, three hundred dollars or so...> We have started to manufacture them in my shop. If your interested I will ship you one for your seal of approval at no charge. Thanks, Ron <Appreciate the offer, but only have a couple of freshwater systems currently. Bob Fenner>

Silicon and moving 125G tank Hi Gang, I hope you all had a great holiday season and Happy New Year!  If this is Anthony, it's been awhile and my tanks are great no problems!  I will be moving both my 125G and My 90 gallon into the basement with my new home office.  I will have more space, and both tanks in the same area.  Here is the question.  With my 125 move I want to adjust the sump slightly.  This will involve some new partitions that will be siliconed in place.  If I remove the sump first, put in the new partitions, than say 7 hrs later when the move is complete, add back in the livestock, will this be enough time for the silicon to not be an irritant to my corals and fish?  I am not worried about strength, it's the curing time and irritation I am worried about.  Thanks  Larry <I would not submerge the silicon for a good 24 hour period, to allow it to cure completely. Bob Fenner>

Silicon and moving 125G tank Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply, I don't think I can wait the 24 hours before filling and turning my sump back on.  Do you see any problems with using a 5 minute or 30 minute epoxy to secure the new partitions?  Thanks, Larry <Mmm, no. If these junctions don't need to be flexible, this is a better/only route... unless, perhaps securing some "races" (just two strips of material) into the sump walls will allow you to slide the panels in/out at your leisure. Bob Fenner>

Rubbermaid Sump Hi, After a failed attempt to buy a 20 gallon tank (which didn't fit in my stand, so I broke the bottom and side and bought two pieces of glass and resealed it--which didn't work as well as I wanted), I was thinking about some sort of Rubbermaid-type sump?  <Yes. One of our favorite makers, line of products> What can you recommend? And is it possible to divide this type of sump like you would an aquarium with sections of glass?  <Possible, yes... you could build divider-holders, attach with silicone for such a small sump> Would you recommend this type of sump if someone is going to put live rock in? HELP! <Yes... please read through the sump, refugium, marine plumbing sections on our root web: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm there are actually hundreds of FAQs concerning just this sort of arrangement. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Mike

New Sump? Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Well I have a leak in my sump. Maybe time to replace.  <or start your own mangrove swamp!> Currently have a 50 gallon with live rock. The workhorse is a large protein skimmer in my sump. A have a few bio-balls, some carbon, and some of that blue filter media. It works great. Water has been pristine for over 2 years. But, I was thinking of buying a Tidepool 1 and transferring the protein skimmer to it. Do you think this is a good idea? Or would you just go with a new sump?  <may not be necessary depending on the bio-load. If you have small/light fish/feeding and lots of live rock, I'm inclined to just have an open sump> What is your overall opinion of the Tidepool product? <like it reasonably well... can be quite useful in some applications> John <best regards, Anthony>

Polystyrene In Sump? - 08/30/05 Do you folks think that a piece of polystyrene or Styrofoam under a Euro-reef skimmer and its pump sitting in the sump would be ok?  I'm curious if you think this is likely to leach harmful chemicals, etc.? <<I wouldn't expect it to do any harm...might start to "come apart" after awhile though.>> The idea here is to make the skimmer a little quieter by reducing vibration? <<agreed...does work>> Other, better ideas?  Seems like I've read/heard of mouse pads being used for this purpose, or under pumps. <<I use the blue "fan-fold" insulation sold at Lowe's or HD under my ER skimmer/pumps.  It is thin, easily cut to size/shape, and much "sturdier" than ordinary Styrofoam.  EricR>>

Reef Sump Questions Hello Bob: I have a new (3 month old) reef system with a US Aquarium Wet/Dry sump, it has a Venturi style skimmer built in to it, and is pretty small compared to what all the books and your web site suggest (I have a 60 gal tank). I am interested in building my own sump with a 15 or 20 gallon tank. I like your ideas regarding LR and macro-algae in the sump to act as filtration and reduce nitrites/nitrates. What I'm not sure of is how to organize it... I want some mechanical filtration where the water enters the sump and where the skimmer is output (I am going to buy your recommended needle wheel T1000 skimmer) to reduce bubbles getting pumped back into the main tank. Do I need to put in some partitions to separate the mechanical filtration, live rock/substrate, GAC/chemical filtration chamber, and return pump?  <IMO yes... the partitions (partway up on the bottom... the top is not a good place as it hampers cleaning, manipulation) are a good idea.> Should the water flow over the partitions, under it, or through it (drilled holes)?  <Mostly over... better to just avail yourself of periodic siphoning to remove much mulm... if it bothers you...> It seems it would be easier to manage with partitions at least, but making sure the water flows properly is important... and I want to make sure I build it right the first time and don't forget anything. Is there anywhere I can go to get specific detailed instructions/suggestions on constructing a sump?  <Don't know of any... but sure they exist... maybe try this question on reefs.org's listserv, reefkeepers@tropica.com.... and look at the business's listed as making such gear's websites in FAMA (Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine). You'll soon know more (of use) than most anyone on the topic.> Or maybe you could give me some detailed instructions/suggestions? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.. your advise on web site is invaluable. Steve >> <You're certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Rubbermaid Sump Q's Hello again Bob... <Howdy> I really do love the idea of a $12 40G Rubbermaid container as a sump. I'm setting up my 100G tank with this as the sump this weekend. I had a thought today, and would like to run it by you. <Okay... and these are fabulously useful units> I noticed that many sumps (expensive acrylic ones) have many baffles and different chambers that would be useful for setting up a refugium in one and a plenum in the other. I know you advocate the placing of a plenum in the sump for easy maintenance and removal/replacement if needed. This is the one "hard" to do thing with the Rubbermaid... making baffles and compartments. <Not too hard... I've done it many times...> Here's my idea... What if I took a smaller 20G container (Tupperware or Rubbermaid), cut out some holes for water to pass through and placed this in the 40G sump.  <Great idea>  The top of the container would be over the sump waterline, causing all water to have to pass through the container's holes, rather than over it. I could have the one of the two overflows from the aquarium flow into the 20G container that would be filled with LR and Caulerpa over a plenum bed... the other overflow flows into my TF1000 protein skimmer. I think this is a good idea because if needed, I could just "pull" out the plenum bed very easily. <Yes. Excellent> A second smaller 10G container could be used to house the return pump that would minimize small bubbles from returning to the main system. <Yes> So basically, I'd be using partially submerged containers within the larger 40G container as my makeshift baffles/compartments. Your thoughts? <None that would improve on your plan... have siliconed in glass, acrylic, even cut PVC sheet in various ways in sumps before as well as in-placed other chemically inert features as you describe...> PS. The TF1000 requires that the overflow enter directly into the protein skimmer... it doesn't pull water from the sump. I am concerned that only one overflow would push more water than the protein skimmer could handle, or that the main tank won't drain fast enough to keep up with the return flow rate, causing a huge mess. I've seen some people use a tee connector right before the water enters the protein skimmer to allow water that isn't pulled in from the TF1000, to flow out an alternate route into the sump. Rather than use the tee, I was planning on drilling a second overflow on the main aquarium, that would be about 3/4" higher than the overflow to the TF1000, that would flow directly into the plenum/Caulerpa compartment I mentioned earlier. The reason for placing it 3/4" higher is that I was thinking it would force as much water down to the TF1000 as the protein skimmer could possible take FIRST, then secondarily it would flow out the higher overflow to the sump/refugium in the sump. Does this make sense? <Yes... and I would use a separate, dedicated pump for the skimmer. Bob Fenner>

Weld-on... where? Hi Bob, your book is like a bible to me. Thanks. The question I have is this. I am running a 30G reef and going into a 60G reef. <Great, wish my wallet thickness would double like this!> I am going to build my own sump. I went to my local Home Depot and asked them if they have Weld-on-line of solvents and they said no. Could you give me more info on where I could find it.  <A tough question in this age of litigiousness... the stuff is quite flammable, not good to get in/on you... I strongly encourage you to use your "Yellow Pages", go to a local acrylic fabrication or supply place... and buy a small quantity from them> Second, the sump is going to be an algae filter with it own light running 24/7. I figure that should take care of the yellow compound that will leach into the main tank. Do I need a protein skimmer? <Maybe at first...> Does the algae absorb organic matter that is in the water?  <Yes, some... and produces, releases some as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks. Jackie

Sump glue Hi Bob, I need to separate my acrylic 55 ga sump into different compartments for filtering. I have all the acrylic baffles cut to fit, but what type of glue is safe (non-toxic to fish) to use to bond these pieces into the sump?  <Hmm, if the baffles don't/won't be structural, I would use silicone rubber (100%) from the hardware store (avoid the non-100% ones that have additives... like mildewcides for tub, window uses...). For structural/permanent elements I would seek out Weld-on (probably their #40) to solvent the acrylic panels together... The silicone is better/will do as it can be modified some time hence> By the way, someone put up a poll on one of the marine BB's about the best marine book to have, and it looks like yours (CMA) won hands down. I happen to have it, and I'd have to agree with the poll results! Thanks for your help and time. Jason <Thank you for your encouraging news and opinion. Bob Fenner>

Sump Hello Mr. Fenner, I enjoy your website a great deal. It is my homepage and every time I sign on in the morning I look over the daily Q&A. I learn a lot and am very inspired by it. <Ahh...> I have a question that I'm not all that sure you can help me with. I have a 75 gallon glass reef tank. It is on a stand (50X20) that has a divider in the middle of the cabinet. I can't fit my 30 gallon sump underneath the aquarium because of the divider. I've called, e-mailed, and faxed the maker of the stand at least 30 times, NJ. I just want to know if that is (I'm thinking it is) for weight bearing.  <Yes, very, make that VERY likely. However... I bet with a bit of ingenuity, cutting, you might be able to "temporarily (with the upper tank drained, largely drained.) removed this brace place the sump, and replace it with a bracketing, screws... the real strength is compression...> I would like to cut away an insert so that I could fit the sump beneath. Do you think I should leave it be? If so, do you know of anyway to fit a sump (refugium, skimmer) Ummm.. I guess around the divider?  <Best might be to "build one in place" out of glass, acrylic... Maybe a sturdy container out of plastic can/could be found to compress, twist around the center support?> I hope I explained that well enough. It's hard to visualize I think. :) Thank you! Greg <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Water crates Hello my name is Ryan and I was referred to you by Ron from octopus garden. he told me that you might have some water tubs or troughs for sale. I'm not sure what they are called but they look like crates that hold water. anyway I'm going be using them as holding tanks for my goldfish. please let me know if you still have them and the price as I'm very interested. thank you, Ryan <Rats! Thanks for contacting me/us. We did have eight totes (the polyethylene squarish tubs often used as stands, sumps for stores, culture systems, large tanks (about four foot L and W... two feet deep, another six inches under to get a forklift into...) but have sold these. Be chatting, Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>

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