Sump inside large tank

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ljc

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Hello,

I am now the owner of a 210 gallon tank that is not drilled. I'm thinking of doing an internal sump of about 55 Gallons. I would start at 6" wide section for the internal overflow and live rock/bioballs under that and then expand to 1' to accommodate the skimmer, etc. My concern is if there is going to be enough flow to keep the water moving in this type of a configuration.

I welcome any suggestions and thoughts. Thank you!


Tank Top View.png


Sump Details.png
 

MnFish1

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Hello,

I am now the owner of a 210 gallon tank that is not drilled. I'm thinking of doing an internal sump of about 55 Gallons. I would start at 6" wide section for the internal overflow and live rock/bioballs under that and then expand to 1' to accommodate the skimmer, etc. My concern is if there is going to be enough flow to keep the water moving in this type of a configuration.

I welcome any suggestions and thoughts. Thank you!


Tank Top View.png


Sump Details.png
I assume the top picture shows the whole tank, the middle just the top of the skimmer and the bottom picture is just looking at the whole thing directly from the front of the tank. i.e I'm assuming your tank is 7 x 2 feet?

In any case the flow will relate to the size of the pump you're using - the only potential problem I can see - is that lets say you get a pump that works well when there is no 'clogging' of your mechanical media, I can see a situation where either your pump runs dry - or depending on the volume of the area inside the pump that the tank can overflow - or you'll see bubbles if not enough water is getting into the pump area. My guess is that you'll need more pumps in the tank. I'm assuming you were just questioning whether you can get enough flow through the sump itself rather than the tank and sump. I would not extend the outflow that long along the tank (again, assuming thats what you're planning to do.
 
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ljc

ljc

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I assume the top picture shows the whole tank, the middle just the top of the skimmer and the bottom picture is just looking at the whole thing directly from the front of the tank. i.e I'm assuming your tank is 7 x 2 feet?

In any case the flow will relate to the size of the pump you're using - the only potential problem I can see - is that lets say you get a pump that works well when there is no 'clogging' of your mechanical media, I can see a situation where either your pump runs dry - or depending on the volume of the area inside the pump that the tank can overflow - or you'll see bubbles if not enough water is getting into the pump area. My guess is that you'll need more pumps in the tank. I'm assuming you were just questioning whether you can get enough flow through the sump itself rather than the tank and sump. I would not extend the outflow that long along the tank (again, assuming thats what you're planning to do.
Hi MN,

Thank you. Yes, I plan to have a few vortex pumps in the tank itself for added flow.
I was also concerned about the pump area running dry. One way to mitigate that might be to have a double sump system and with two pumps and fewer compartments in each perhaps? Or maybe a common outflow area so if one slows down the other might pick up the slack?

I've seen outlet valves on PVC running from pumps which I always assume was to prevent backflow for a below the tank setup. Are they also to regulate the outflow of the pump. Would that stress the motor?

Thanks for the feedback on the long outflow. I just got carried away!
 

MnFish1

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Hi MN,

Thank you. Yes, I plan to have a few vortex pumps in the tank itself for added flow.
I was also concerned about the pump area running dry. One way to mitigate that might be to have a double sump system and with two pumps and fewer compartments in each perhaps? Or maybe a common outflow area so if one slows down the other might pick up the slack?

I've seen outlet valves on PVC running from pumps which I always assume was to prevent backflow for a below the tank setup. Are they also to regulate the outflow of the pump. Would that stress the motor?

Thanks for the feedback on the long outflow. I just got carried away!
You will get every opinion on outlet valves. A lot of people have the (I think) - not to manage flow - but to close them off completely. The reason the pump could/would run dry is if your 'mechanical filtration' - gets clogged (or of course if water evaporates). I do not think a second pump would help.

PS - just make sure your mechanical filtration does not get clogged - because - if you just keep adding top off water, the tank will overflow (watch the level of the water in the tank - if it starts to rise you know you have to clean something before the pump.
 

dedragon

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Worried clogging would be a huge issue for this as well.
Unless you have a way to get behind the tank to get better access to the "sump" section, i would probably say its not a great idea for a 200+ gallon tank. The skimmer is also going to need to sit in about 8" of water so diagram would need to change a bit and the skimmer raised so build up in cup will most likely be visible to people looking at the tank.
I guess if this was not a dt maybe i would go aio but curious as to why not just get it drilled and throw everything into a sump under the tank? less complicated, hides wires and skimmer better too
 
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dedragon

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Also scaping might become a PITA when you make the dimensions in the tank smaller, ime as i have an internal overflow for my sump and even scaping around that is a pain
 

MnFish1

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Worried clogging would be a huge issue for this as well.
Unless you have a way to get behind the tank to get better access to the "sump" section, i would probably say its not a great idea for a 200+ gallon tank. The skimmer is also going to need to sit in about 8" of water so diagram would need to change a bit and the skimmer raised so build up in cup will most likely be visible to people looking at the tank.
I guess if this was not a dt maybe i would go aio but curious as to why not just get it drilled and throw everything into a sump under the tank? less complicated, hides wires and skimmer better too
This is a great point - I assumed that the tank was going to be accessible from the back. If not - I might re-think the design.
 

attiland

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Hello,

I am now the owner of a 210 gallon tank that is not drilled. I'm thinking of doing an internal sump of about 55 Gallons. I would start at 6" wide section for the internal overflow and live rock/bioballs under that and then expand to 1' to accommodate the skimmer, etc. My concern is if there is going to be enough flow to keep the water moving in this type of a configuration.

I welcome any suggestions and thoughts. Thank you!


Tank Top View.png


Sump Details.png
I have an all in one tank and here is my experience.
Mechanical filtration should be just sponge. Don’t try to grow algae in the compartments doesn’t work well unless it is an algae scrubber. I have an external algae reactor. That works fine.
Filter media like charcoal/ mud is a good idea and the heater can go there too. I don’t run skimmer but many has it working there well.
I also dose to the last compartment and I run an air stone there too for better mixing.
expect probes like PH sticking out a lot which makes it looks messy.

hope this helps
 
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ljc

ljc

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Worried clogging would be a huge issue for this as well.
Unless you have a way to get behind the tank to get better access to the "sump" section, i would probably say its not a great idea for a 200+ gallon tank. The skimmer is also going to need to sit in about 8" of water so diagram would need to change a bit and the skimmer raised so build up in cup will most likely be visible to people looking at the tank.
I guess if this was not a dt maybe i would go aio but curious as to why not just get it drilled and throw everything into a sump under the tank? less complicated, hides wires and skimmer better too
Thanks. I was not clear in my post but the back will be completely accessible. I'm doing this as a partial peninsula with a 1/2 fish room on the side of the tank where the sump section will be. There will be a partial wall to hide all the fish room stuff. I'll be enclosing the visible side floor to ceiling with some access panels so only the display shows. I'm getting older and climbing under the tank is getting more difficult. All of the sump maintenance will take place from the back. The height is perfect in that I can reach into the bottom of the tank and sump while standing up.

Good call out on the skimmer depth. I am also considering separate tank just for the skimmer. Perhaps in the cabinet above the tank with a passive return??? I need to research that. As for flow, I wonder if adding some bypass route(s) for higher water to go could mitigate a dry pump situation and at least buy me some time to unclog things. It's right about know I could use that engineering degree in flow physics @[email protected] I was also debating making a double sump with two pumps and cutting putting some components in one and some in the other.

Anyway, thanks for your feedback and I'd welcome any additional thoughts.
 
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