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Help with DIY W/D sump -- pump size?
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Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Location: Deep inside my own mind

PostPosted: 2003.06.22(Sun)10:56    Post subject: Help with DIY W/D sump -- pump size? Reply with quote

Hey everybody,

I'm looking into building a Wet/Dry sump for my 125 gallon oscar tank to replace my existing twin magnum 350's (I'm sick of cleaning them out every week and it'll free them up for other tanks Smile ). I've been reading up on things ( is an excellent resource BTW) and I'm figuring on about 6 gallons of bio-media being enough with some room for growth. I'm thinking about buying and converting a 20 long for use as the sump so I can stick my heaters it and have some room left over for future expansion. I was thinking of using the basic design here:

The part I'm having trouble with is figuring out what size pump I need to return the water to the main tank. Is there a rule of thumb for figuring out the waterflow based on the size of the hoses used, or is it more like build it, buy the biggest pump you can, and then adjust the flow using ball valves?

Also, I keep reading about how some saltwater setups grow macroalgae in the sump to help remove nitrate from the system. Could something like that (a planted sump) work for a f/w setup? How would one go about building something like that?
269 gallons and counting...
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Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Location: Panama City Florida

PostPosted: 2005.03.06(Sun)17:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

it doesn't especially matter what size pump you use. But what would happen it when the water in the tank can't reach the overflow box it stops dead, so you should plan to about 2 times the pump for the size of you tank... ie... 55 gallon tank 110 gph pump. this is at the very least.
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Joined: 26 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.04.09(Sat)6:23    Post subject: Pump Size Reply with quote

Hey Badfrog.
I have a 125g as well.
I built my sump from an old 29g.
Kind of a hybrid design with a drip tray, ugf, material compartments like a canister, etc.
I use 2 600gph overflow boxes, and a Little Giant 1000gph at 0 head pond pump.
As the pump is 2 feet lower than the tank rim I'm guessing about 900 gph of turn over, and it works great.
My only suggestion would be to make sure your drains, either internal or external, can flow the same or more than the pump you decide on.
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