First Sump - Question about Baffle Height and size of return pipe?

daboom319

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I am setting up a sump for a 40 Gallon Breeder. The Sump will be on the other side of the wall. I am using an EShopps PF-300. running 1 inch PVC into both sides of the sump (one side Skimmer, other side Refugium), the return pump in the middle.

Question 1. The Baffle on the Skimmer side is 3 inches lower than the top of the tank. Is that too high? And the refugium side is 4.5 inches lower than top of tank.

Question 2. If I am running 1 inch PVC into the tank, how big should my return be? I will be using the Current USA eFlux Loop DC 1050 GPH.

And yes, I know, I have a Yellow Tang in a 40 Gallon. It is small and I plan on upgrading to a much larger tank next years. (I got the idea from watching BRS TV where Ryan suggests putting a small Yellow Tang and then upgrading or removing when its time. :)

 
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P-Dub

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The proper way to set up the baffle heights in a sump, in my opinion, is to set it all up and running without the baffles initially. When it is all plumbed, and all pumps are off, the height of the sump water level should be an inch or two below the top of the sump. Then, turn on the return pump, skimmer, and any additional pumps that might change the water level in the sump. This is your running water level. The upper baffles should be no higher than half an inch or so above this level. This leaves you with a water level in the sump that will not overflow if the power goes out or you need to shut down the return pump for maintenance.

Baffle configuration is always a factor to consider as well. I set mine up for under-over-under flow through the baffles for easier cleaning of the sump. A refugium baffle is usually over-under to keep substrate within this section if you have or are considering having any otherwise, I'd always go under-over or under-over-under.

Another thing to consider is refugium and skimmer placement in the flow order. Generally, to get the most efficient skimming and nutrient export, you might consider flow into sump>refugium or skimmer>return. My preference is in sump>skimmer>refugium>return. Skimmer being first after the initial inflow to the sump to mitigate bubbles making it all the way to the return section of your sump. As well an under-over-under baffle bubble trap is a good idea. Lots of ways to skin this cat and I like what you have so far.

The bottom line is, you have this set up already and the only real test is to get it running and see how it works out. I can't see an issue with it as it's currently configured at first blush. I kind of actually like it. You kind of panned through the setup and it's difficult to see the details of the sump. A photo or two, at eye level, would help.
 
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daboom319

daboom319

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The proper way to set up the baffle heights in a sump, in my opinion, is to set it all up and running without the baffles initially. When it is all plumbed, and all pumps are off, the height of the sump water level should be an inch or two below the top of the sump. Then, turn on the return pump, skimmer, and any additional pumps that might change the water level in the sump. This is your running water level. The upper baffles should be no higher than half an inch or so above this level. This leaves you with a water level in the sump that will not overflow if the power goes out or you need to shut down the return pump for maintenance.

Baffle configuration is always a factor to consider as well. I set mine up for under-over-under flow through the baffles for easier cleaning of the sump. A refugium baffle is usually over-under to keep substrate within this section if you have or are considering having any otherwise, I'd always go under-over or under-over-under.

Another thing to consider is refugium and skimmer placement in the flow order. Generally, to get the most efficient skimming and nutrient export, you might consider flow into sump>refugium or skimmer>return. My preference is in sump>skimmer>refugium>return. Skimmer being first after the initial inflow to the sump to mitigate bubbles making it all the way to the return section of your sump. As well an under-over-under baffle bubble trap is a good idea. Lots of ways to skin this cat and I like what you have so far.

The bottom line is, you have this set up already and the only real test is to get it running and see how it works out. I can't see an issue with it as it's currently configured at first blush. I kind of actually like it. You kind of panned through the setup and it's difficult to see the details of the sump. A photo or two, at eye level, would help.

So basically this is what the sump looks like. This was before I added the new baffles and painted one side. The dark blue are the baffles that are now installed. So the return will be in the 7.5 compartment
sump.001.jpeg
 

P-Dub

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Well, if that's the case I think you might be running into some issues tuning your skimmer as I think that is for sure too high but, you can always place it on a skimmer stand. Also, I prefer under-over-under baffles after the skimmer to battle bubbles and for easier cleaning. The over section you have will just create more bubbles immediately after the skimmer.
Until you get it running and know the running height it's all mute anyway.
 

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