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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In really need help. I wish someone familiar with Sump design lived next to me! BUT NOoooo so I humbly request your help!
I have my 125g stand complete but I need to setup the sump system before I button up and put the top on as it will be a lot easier to get at things now. My problem is that I don’t know what I’m doing! Are my drawers too big or too small? Are the drawers too deep or not deep enough? How will I maintain the system? How much room do I need? How many drawers do I need? What about room for a bubble trap? Is that necessary?
Basically, I have a 40gal breeder tank 36â€Â
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Maybe I should have included a couple over-all pictures so you know the size.


Front View with the top lid off.

A corner view with the Top on. - Love the crown molding!

A top view with lid off where the sump tank will go.

Inside looking toward the sump area.
 

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Venting the wet/dry isn't really needed, the air will find its way in and do its thing as the water drips down the drawers.

Drawer size is fine, you have a bunch of them so that's gives you a lot of different options for filtration such as bio balls, scrubby pads (search the forums for pictures of thse and are generally bought at 99cent stores), bags of carbon that clarify the water, bags or a drawer full of Fluval bioMax ceramic rings or any ceramic rings that you can find at you LFS.

The drawers look fine as far as depth, you really have 3 big drawers to stuff full of your pick of the available media options.

If you can, you should try to make a drip bar for you water to enter your wet/dry as you only have 3 drawers and couldn't use your drawers to their full potential if you used the top drawer as a drip tray.

Or what you could do is drill a bunch of small holes in the top tray and put a bunch of lava rock in there and have that as your drip tray and a real basic form, I mean real basic, form of mechanical filtration. That would fill up, water would get pushed around the lava rock and drip down to the second and third drawers filled with other media.

I guess what you could do as far as bubble removal is wrap your pump inlet with some foam or filter pads to get ride of the potential bubbles, but who knows, you might not get any. Here is some pretty good and widely used filter foam called Poret Foam, here's the link for the foam: http://www.swisstropicals.com/Poret%20F ... 0Foam.html. There are 3 different PPI (The definition escapes me at the moment) 10ppi, 20ppi, and 30ppi which starting from the 10ppi gets progressively more fine letting less particles get through the foam. I'm sure if you cut/wrapped your pump inlet with 30ppi you'd never see a bubble.

With the issue with the pump, if you don't have it hard piped and connected to the return to the tank with flexable tubing you can just turn the pump off and lift the pump up out the way.

Hope this helps!
 

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I have given up on wet/ dries. Basically just nitrAte factories. Went back to socks. Gonna fool with poret in the spring on another sumped tank in progress.

Baffle for mechanical and depending on drain volume allow for one or more socks. 2000 gph on a decently stocked and well fed tank will require one 7"Ø x 16-1/2" sock to be cleaned every 3 days or so, use two socks and that should be a week. 50, 100 or 200 micron all will do a good job with water clarity and will foul up within a day or so of each other with 50 micron needing more tending after. Some people get weeks 'tween sock maintenance, the more yopu clean 'em the better control you will have on the trAtes.

Then bafle for bio, there are a ton of choices out there, about one gallon of bioballs per 30 gallon of display tank. You can get by on a lot less than you think you need ... I removed mine after the tank aged :roll:

If you have ideas for refugium or special equiptment such as heaters or whatever they go next in line and then the pump well, volume sized accordingly to your specific tank and pump.

This is just one opinion and the web thingie has a whole lot of hours reading time, google DIY sumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure I understand your comment: "Basically just nitrAte factories." The bacteria converts Ammonia to Nitrates no matter where the bacteria is stored... Correct? If I had a bunch of Bio-Wheels is that not the same as a Wet/Dry Sump? If the bacteria is in the gravel, it is still doing the same thing, making nitrates? Right? Am I missing something?

Anyway, I've been keeping fish for years now but I am VERY much a novice. I think I'm going to change my drawers. They are too big. If I can’t lay two drawers end to end then I can’t get them in and out very easily and that is the point of my system; Cheap, and easy to maintain.



Take a look and let me know if I’m good. Thanks
 

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Yep you have that correctly. You need to get rid of the trAtes though and a wet/ dry is not the answer for that. Wet/dry does nothing towards that consideration. They do remove ammonia very efficiently though :thumb: , but then so does an aged tank with adequate scaping :popcorn: . I have a 210 with no bio media at all, removed it after 5 months and use a 20 gallon fuge that works as the bio filter. The last time I tore it down it was on a W/D.

There are DIY algae scrapers that have been shown to reduce nitrAtes ... refugiums will put a little dent in them ... removing organics before they break down will go a long way to controling nitrAtes.

All I said was I have grown tired with the shortcomings and returned to sumps. Will never use a W/D again, but then I am silly that way.

Good luck with your design :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fox,

Okay, I'm intrested. This Algae Scrubber looks very interesting. Do you have only one pump or two? It looks like the pump is much smaller. You only use a filter sock for mechanical filtration and go right to the Algae Scrubber? Do you have photos of your system?
 

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Once you start down the DIY path there is no going back.

What I was trying to do was not critique your proposal but rather get you to consider taking it up one level.

W/D's are very good at removing ammonia and creating nitrAtes. Extremely good at that ... and takin up space.

I recently converted a 40G breeder from a W/D to a sump. What I did was use pond media mesh completely submerged in the mech chamber under the socks. This really simplified the bio area requirements.

I baffled off about 20G to use as a refugium and stuffed it with whatever will grow, Vals, Swords, wysteria, ***** tail ... and the fuge overflows thru a sponge filter into the mech chamber.

I feed the fuge with an old green eheim spray bar that is teed off the "raw" water going to one of the socks and hangs horizontily about 6" above the water level. No pumps needed and a ball valve is used here to adjust flow.To this spraybar I zip tied a piece of plastic carpet mesh my wife had lying around from Michaels Crafts supply. The light in the fuge is strong enough to get a decent growth on this mesh as the water drips down it. I do get detritus and fry in the fuge, believe it or not they fit through the holes in the spray bar, but the plants absorb the poo and the 100 or so cherry shrimp act as a clean up crew helping me with maintenance. I just did clean up in the fuge last weekend and removed about a half gallon of algae and runaway growth.

There are things I want to improve on and am planning my next design for this spring to use poret instead of the media mesh and socks on a 125. I need to fill it soon or according to the wife sell.

Good luck with your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fox,
I know you were not critiquing my setup, although that is why I posted it hoping someone would give me pointers if I'm doing things correct or not. I also know that we have gone off topic but no one else seems to want to critique so.....
I spent the whole night researching this Algae Scrubber. Yes, it looks good. Do you know why filling the sump with plants would not accomplish the same thing without all the weekly screen cleanings? I was looking for cheap and it is that, but also low maintenance, not sure it is that.
What do you think?
Thanks for your help, really appreciate it.
 

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No getting aroud it ... Maintenance is required. You cannot get around WC's but you can improve on the quality of your water collumn.

The size of refugium necessary to really put a dent in the trAtes would prolly equal the size of the DT. I have gone thru I guess 4 different approaches with refugiums and have settled on low maintenance low light plants. I clipped on this scrubber afterwards to see what would grow, and was surprised at the results.

Before using a fuge I was doing biweekly WC's and getting 40 ppm nitrAtes :eek: I added the fuge and do weekly WC's with trAtes @ 20 ppm. After two weeks it would hit 40 ppl. :x Added the plastic mesh and it still hits 20 ppm but does not go above that in two weeks.

The messier the plant the better it is at removing nitrAtes ... and fouling the pump. Though I have no scientific background I believe plants remove more than what we measure for and put oxygen back in return. I swear our tanks with refugiums have healthier fish. Plus it gives us a place to grow dwarf shrimp which the fish love as treats.

My advice would be KISS and remove as much organics as you can right from the start. If you like to tinker and do not mind the added expense of more lighting mebbe add a refugium at minimum 10% the size of the DT and stick some cherry shrimp or similar in there. If tinkering is in your blood and you have another 5 minutes to spare during WC's put a scrubber in there.

:roll: Look at Automatic Top Off set ups. Something like a constant drip. If we were not on a slab and had a basement , crawl space or drain nearby our tanks this is what I would do and save an hour or so every Saturday morning. :roll:
 
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