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DIY sump for 55 gallon with snowflake eel
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eazy
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Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Location: Gainesville, Florida

PostPosted: 2007.05.20(Sun)19:24    Post subject: DIY sump for 55 gallon with snowflake eel Reply with quote

Well I've decided that I should build a sump for my 55 gallon, which houses a snowflake eel almost a foot and a half long. I have a whisper 60 power filter, 65 gallon coralife needle wheel protein skimmer, and a seio 1500 powerhead.

What size tank should I use for the sump?
What size pump should I use? (link would be great)
Where can I get a cheap overflow box? (link again)
What should go in the sump besides the protein skimmer?
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2007.05.20(Sun)23:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Easy,
I'll offer some thoughts to stimulate discussion for you, and anyone else who is considering installing a sump.

What size of sump should I use?
You can use any size sump you want, there is no set limit. I have installed sumps from 5G.'s to 75G.'s. however there are some considerations that will determine the right size for you.
Make it large enough to house the equipment you want. This could include filter socks or pads, baffles, heaters, carbon, skimmers, more baffles and a return pump. What you put in the sump depends on the livestock you keep. For a carnivorous eel I would suggest strong mechanical filtration and skimming. At operating level make sure there is enough room left in the sump to absorb the water that will drain into it from the display in case of a pump or power failure. One other thought is to make sure you can easily service your skimmer. I care for several tanks that have sumps so tall that I cannot properly remove a full skimmer cup from under the stand without spilling some skimmate back into the sump.

What size pump should I use?
That's not so simple. To determine the right size pump you must first determine the amount of head you need to overcome. Head is the distance that the water must rise from the pump position in the sump to the height it is returned to the display. Once armed with the head distance you can research different pump models till you find one that gives you the flow you want. Some common pumps to research are Rio's, Quiet Ones, Mag Drives and Sedras.


Where can I get a cheap overflow box?
You shouldn't use cheap and overflow box in the same sentence! Buy a proven failsafe model or risk flooding your floor. With cheap models there is the possibility that the overflow will break siphon, particularly if the power goes off for a while. If this happens the return pump will continue to fill the display and flood it till the sump is drained to the pump intake level. You can buy a sensor that turns the return pump off if the sump gets to low but by the time you invest in that and a quality overflow box you will be much better off having your tank drilled. Phone your LFS or some glass shops and get a quote for drilling one 1 1/2" hole and compare this to the cost of an overflow box.

What should go in the sump besides the protein skimmer?
I pretty well already commented on that one in the first answer. One thing I didn't mention was a macro algae refugium, sometimes Incorporated into a sump to help with nitrate control. While this may help in some applications I think it would be of limited value in a system designed to house an eel as suggested.
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SharkyX
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2007.05.24(Thu)8:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I'd highly recomend, from experiencing this first hand, is putting a check valve in the return pipes if you're pump doesn't come equipped with one.
I watched my quietone 1200 drain water back into the sump when I shut it off for some maintenance... leaving me with two lines now draining into the sump (5.5g sump for a 20g tank).

If the power had gone out there would have been a lot of salt water staining my carpet.

As for drilling your tank, well I suppose it depends how much of a DIY/handy person you are, but you can purchase diamond drill saw bits for drilling the hole. Just depends how comfortable you are drilling through your tank. I was very comfortable doing so, but I know some people who wouldn't be and would rather have it done at a glass shop or LFS.

I sized my sump basically by putting the largest sized tank that would fit inside my tank stand on one of the shelves. The 10 gallon was slightly to large, so I used a 5.5 gallon which fits perfectly.
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eazy
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Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Location: Gainesville, Florida

PostPosted: 2007.05.27(Sun)21:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where would I have the holes drilled? And how many? By the way, my LFS said an overflow box would be $50... but after thinking about it, I don't think it would be very practical to drain my whole tank, put my eel in my 29 gallon with clownfish lol, and take the tank somewhere to have it drilled. Maybe an overflow box is the best option.
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SharkyX
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2007.05.28(Mon)8:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drilled one hole for the water to drain from the tank to the sump.

Only $50? wow.
I looked at those before I decided to drill and I couldn't find them for less then about $80.

Since your tank is already established it would definately be easier and less stressful for your eel to just put in an overflow box.
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eazy
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Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Location: Gainesville, Florida

PostPosted: 2007.06.01(Fri)15:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

What size pump should I get? How many gph?

Also, how many gallons do you think the sump should be? I can get a new 10 gallon tank for $8.99 and a used 20 gallon for $20.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2007.06.01(Fri)18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get at least a 20 gallon and do not buy any overflow that doesn't have a u-tube design. no CPR overflows...they tend to overflow water onto your carpet. U-Tube is the only style you want.
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eazy
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Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Location: Gainesville, Florida

PostPosted: 2007.06.01(Fri)22:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha. What about the pump?
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2007.06.01(Fri)22:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Eheims but try and shoot for 600 to 700 gph. I avoid Mag pumps and Rio pumps. Via Aqua, GenX, OceanRunner, Sedra, Sen. You will lose some of that gph due to head loss and elbows and that is OK, the target it about 400 to 500 gph. There is no reason to push more than that through a sump.

As far as overflows go...I have one of these and it has performed flawlessly and is dead silent.
http://store.hurricanefilters.com/quprov.html The price is right too.
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