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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first attempt at a sump so I could use all the help I can get. :-? :-? :-?

I have two 75 gallon tanks that I want to run into one 29 gallon sump. I've read ALOT of posts but still have many questions.

What pump would work best for this application? Or should I get two pumps, one for each 75 gallon and put them both in sump?

If I do the pvc overflow do I keep it 3/4" in the tank then bump up to 1 1/2" after the Tee?

I would rather go to big on the return than to small but would really like to see some pics of your guys overflows installed to get a better understanding.

I think if you guys can help me with these small problems I can get the rest. The plumbing of pipe and drains and float switches and ball valves all makes sense to me I just can't get my mind to fully understand the pvc overflow. I like alot of flow in the tank and will be keeping one emperor 400 on each tank to move water and help with some filtering also.
 

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wow, my 75 has a 30g sump my 110 has a 30 g fuge. the overflows are 1.5" on the 110 the 75 has a built in overflow.
are your tanks drilled?

btw my 75 has a 1200 gph pump my 110 has a 1500 gph pump..tho the real value is less and dependant on the plumbing.
 

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A 29 gallon sounds a bit small for 2 75 gallon tanks. It'd need to hold all of the water that would drain down from each in the event of a power outage. Each tank would drain down to the top of it's overflow. It would also have to hold all of the water in the drain pipes. It can add up to quite a bit. To make a 29 work you'd have to run a bare minimum of water in the sump, just enough to cover the pump, and then you'd risk running the pump dry when water evaporated.

Instead, you might want to consider getting another 29 and using one for each. if you really want to go with one sump, I'd go with at least a 40, but a 55 would be better. The more water in the whole system , the better.

From there one pump or two, either will work. Cheaper to go with one, since up sizing one pump is usually cheaper than buying a second pump. You might look at the mag drive pumps here. A mag 18 should do it. You'll want something that'll push about 500-600gph to each, so a 1100-1200 gph at 5-6' head. If you want power to burn, upsize to the mag 24. You can always throttle it back with valves at the return lines.

I too am not certain if you're talking about a built in overflow or a 'hang on'. You might check out durso's web site here and here.

I think you'll find the 2nd filter to not be necessary, but no harm in using it.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ended up ordering the mag drive 18 yesterday and plan on dual 1" pvc overflows from each tank. Now you have me worried on the 29 being to small. The space I have to work with is odd shaped I'm not sure what else I could fit. Anybody have any ideas?

It is:

34" wide
24" deep
30" high total to bottom of stand.

If I can't get anything bigger to fit I can have the sheet metal company we use make me an auxiliary drain pan 24x34x6" to put the 29 inside of encase it overflowed and that would hold an extra 20 gallons minus the space the 29 is taking up.
 

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Steak Taco said:
I ended up ordering the mag drive 18 yesterday and plan on dual 1" pvc overflows from each tank. Now you have me worried on the 29 being to small. The space I have to work with is odd shaped I'm not sure what else I could fit. Anybody have any ideas?

It is:

34" wide
24" deep
30" high total to bottom of stand.

If I can't get anything bigger to fit I can have the sheet metal company we use make me an auxiliary drain pan 24x34x6" to put the 29 inside of encase it overflowed and that would hold an extra 20 gallons minus the space the 29 is taking up.
First off you do not have to store the sump under the stand if space is limited. You can put the sump in an adjacent room or in the room below the tanks. Another thing is you don't have to use a ready-made aquarium. You can use a rubbermaid bin or any other food grade container. If you use a rubbermaid or other plastic food grade container keep the lid on it and cut out the top of the lid. The lid will keep the container from bowing out. You can screw the lid on to the top of the container so it doesn't pop off.

But yes a 29 gallon is small for 150 gallons of water. Ideally you want the sump to hold 15-20% of the tank volume within the sump while it is running. So that would be 22.5-30 gallons of water which leaves you very little space to hold the excess water during a power outage. The problem with having a pan under the 29 to catch water that might overflow is that when the power comes back on the water that spilled out will not be able to get back inside the system and depending on how much water that is could be devastating.

I also do not like the idea of running more than one tank off of a centralized filtration system. If fish from one tank get sick the disease will spread to the fish in the other tanks and you will have to treat the whole water volume with medication and those aren't cheap.

Now on to the PVC overflow. You should be fine with running two 1" PVC overflows on each tank. Just make sure you get all of the air out of it. Keep them 1" all the way to the media tower in the sump. You would then use whichever size pipe of tubing needed to connect to the return on the mag18 and then you would T or Y off after that to have one return go to each tank.

You can check out page 3 of this thread where I further explain how to get around the chance of flooding and the noise that can be caused by wet/dry sumps. Also for a better understanding of how a sump works you can read this website and then this 3 page article.

If you have any questions you can PM me or ask them in here. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for all the info,

I don't have any other place for sump house is on a slab out here in Arizona, if I still lived in Michigan this would have been way easier. I've looked at rubbermaid containers but the biggest I could find that fits is this 37 gallon one:
http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/pr ... Prod260078

I almost bought it but liked idea of being able to see water line easy and setup with aquarium. Plus I don't think it is really 37 gallons because you can't fill all the way up. I was looking at a diy sump earlier that had a 50 gallon clear rubbermaid type container but I can't find one anywhere.

I do like the idea of the check valve on the return as close to the pump as I can. I didn't think of that. I would think that would help me out a lot with water coming back to sump. How much water do you think would flow back to sump through overflows if power goes out? I seen a site yesterday that had a calculation but I can't remember what it was.

What I'm wondering in my head is if I keep 9 gallons in sump with an auto top off hooked up to some kind of float, that would give me 20 gallons of space for water coming back in and the pump would sit in 6" of water. How does this sound? Just an idea that popped in my head if it is crazy please let me know.
 

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Just because you are on a slab doesn't mean you cannot put the sump in a different room. You can route PVC pipe through walls and have it come out into another room. Then you route the returns through the wall also.

Have you thought about making a sump out of cell-cast acrylic? It takes some practice to get the hang out of welding the acrylic together with weld-on 4 but it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure it out. You just have to have smooth surfaces for the bonding to be good.

If you keep it under 16" high you can use 1/4" acrylic as long as you use a full perimeter top with a cross brace. You can go to a plastics shop and buy acrylic out of their scrap bin and you can practice with that and even use it for the sump. It doesn't have to be pretty it just needs to hold water. You can make it to fit the dimensions you need. A 32"x24"x16" sump is 53 gallons and you could easily house 30-35 gallons of water in it at all times.

Also, I didn't recommend check valves and I don't recommend check valves. I avoid them because they can fail. People have came home to flooded rooms from check valves failing to close. Even lines with multiple check valves. Algae and other stuff can get stuck in the hinge and will keep it open when it should close.

9 gallons of water in the sump is not a lot. Especially for 150 gallons of water. I have 15 gallons of water in my sump and that is for a single 75g tank. The point of a sump is to add more water volume to a system and have more area for biological filtration. The water from the overflows and return lines shouldn't be anywhere close to 20 gallons if you set it up correctly.

I do not mess with float switches/solenoids on sumps. Weekly water changes will solve your evaporation needs.

I say you need to find a bigger container to use as your sump. Or have a sump for each tank. But you already went ahead and bought that mag18 after getting one person's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
IrkedCitizen said:
Just because you are on a slab doesn't mean you cannot put the sump in a different room. You can route PVC pipe through walls and have it come out into another room. Then you route the returns through the wall also.

Have you thought about making a sump out of cell-cast acrylic? It takes some practice to get the hang out of welding the acrylic together with weld-on 4 but it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure it out. You just have to have smooth surfaces for the bonding to be good.

If you keep it under 16" high you can use 1/4" acrylic as long as you use a full perimeter top with a cross brace. You can go to a plastics shop and buy acrylic out of their scrap bin and you can practice with that and even use it for the sump. It doesn't have to be pretty it just needs to hold water. You can make it to fit the dimensions you need. A 32"x24"x16" sump is 53 gallons and you could easily house 30-35 gallons of water in it at all times.

I say you need to find a bigger container to use as your sump. Or have a sump for each tank. But you already went ahead and bought that mag18 after getting one person's opinion.
Going in another room won't work I'm out of available space.

I do like the idea of trying to build one out of acrylic, I've done some work with acrylic and lexan in the past. I'll call around tomorrow and see if I can get some for cheap out of scrap.

And I got ordered the pump on Monday afternoon after looking through lots of posts on this and other sites. It wasn't off one person's suggestion a day after I already ordered it. I was glad to see prov356 thinks that I ordered the right pump.
 

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Make sure it is cell-cast acrylic. You will need six pieces front/back/top/bottom/sides. Call and see how much a sheet of 1/4" or 3/8" cell-cast acrylic and how much a quart of weld-on 4 is. I say buy a sheet because whatever you have left over you can try your hand at building HOB overflows.

Building a sump out of acrylic will require that it sits on something flat so the bottom is fully supported like a piece pf plywood. It is also good to have a piece of 1/2-3/4" foam between the acrylic and the plywood.

And that's fine about the pump but there are other good choice than danner mag drives.
 

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Steak Taco,

You're doing great :thumb: . I ended up building my own sump and wet/dry out of acrylic for same reasons. I needed it to fit into a limited space and also hold as much water as possible. Plan it out and make a go of it.

Here's a link to the project. Might be some helpful stuff in there.
 

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i was thinking about this myself. i have 1 75 witha sump and wanted to get another. but i know my sump is to small to go for 2 75g. so i was looking to go with a DIY rubbermaid with a 5g bucket for the media basket. but i was wondering how large to go. i guess i could find a 55g used and try that instead. i too was wondering about 1-2 returns or pumps.

thanks for help in clearing some things up. now my next problem is selling some other tank to make room for new ones..... :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok new question I can fit two 29 gallon tanks side by side which would give me a 58 gallon sump. Question is what size hole to drill for water to pass through between tanks? If I can go with one bigger hole around 2" would that work? I would like to do one hole to cut down on cost and chance of breakage while drilling. I just need to know size and cheap place for bulkheads, I already found a glass guy a couple miles away that will do it for $15 - 20 bucks a hole.
 

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There's a good calculator here. Says a 2" diameter hole or pipe, same thing, can handle 2400 gph. You'd be good. 1.5" would be minimum, so I'd go ahead with the 2", not the minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sweet - thanks prov356!!! I'll go with the 2" just to play it safe.

Anybody know cheap place for good bulkheads?
 

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Well it also depends on what you consider cheap.

But you don't have to drill the 29's you can use a piece of tubing/hoses/u-tubes/water bridge/etc. But if you want to drill then The Filter Guys sell bulkheads but they are currently out of 2". Dolphin also has 2 types of bulkheads but I am not sure of the prices 1 and 2. Another thing you have to calculate is the price of a glass drill bit to make a hole for a 2" bulkhead. The filter guys say their 2" bulkheads require a 3" hole.

The problems with drilling the tanks is that you can potentially break them while drilling and if they begin to leak between the bulkheads while in the stand it'll be a PITA to fix the leak.

Fmueller has two sumps on his 240 gallon tank that he has connected together via a length of like 3' tubing/hose but he has a pump in each sump so the hose is just equalizing the water level between the sumps. If you are worried about not having enough flow through the tubing/hose then you can always add more then one. If you prime them correctly by getting all of the air out you shouldn't have a problem.

That is just another suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
IrkedCitizen: Thanks for the info on the water bridge, I've been testing it all morning with two five gallon buckets, a powerhead with some vinyl tubing, and a 1" pvc water bridge. Works perfect pumping water into one bucket from the other one and the water level stays the same in both buckets. :) :D :)

I think I'm going to make two 2" pvc water bridges to connect the two 29 gallon tanks just to play it safe I would like to get a some sort of a cut-off to shut off pump if the water level ever got to low in sump so that I can't burn up pump by running it dry. Anybody know where I can purchace something like this?
 

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Steak Taco said:
IrkedCitizen: Thanks for the info on the water bridge, I've been testing it all morning with two five gallon buckets, a powerhead with some vinyl tubing, and a 1" pvc water bridge. Works perfect pumping water into one bucket from the other one and the water level stays the same in both buckets. :) :D :)
No problem man.

I think I'm going to make two 2" pvc water bridges to connect the two 29 gallon tanks just to play it safe I would like to get a some sort of a cut-off to shut off pump if the water level ever got to low in sump so that I can't burn up pump by running it dry. Anybody know where I can purchace something like this?
The evaporation won't be that severe that you would have to really worry about the water level dropping low enough for the pump to run dry.

With that being said the only other way for the pump to run dry would be if your overflows lost prime and there was no way to get water back down to the sump while the pump continued to pump the water out of the top of the tanks and onto the floor. So all the water would be pumped out of the sump causing the pump to run dry.

To keep the evaporation to a minimum I would make tight fitting lids to go over the top of the tanks and have a lid on top of your media container. Keep the 29 gallon tanks at least half full each of them. This will allow room for excess to enter the sumps in case of power failure/pump failure.
 

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do weekly or biweekly WC to prevent evaporation. i have glass lids on my tank but my sump is acrylic and does not. i loose a lot to evaporation that way but 2 wc a week takes care of that.
 

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dreday said:
do weekly or biweekly WC to prevent evaporation. i have glass lids on my tank but my sump is acrylic and does not. i loose a lot to evaporation that way but 2 wc a week takes care of that.
Just because your sump is acrylic doesn't mean you can't have a tight fitting lid. You should try and make one for it.

But yes regular water changes helps fight the evaporation problem. But even still you should be able to go on vacation for a week without having to fear your tank is going to mess up due to evaporation.
 
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