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Help with sump


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See image for my sump, Try not to laugh, im not very good with MS Paint(scratch)

 

The tank is a standard 38 gal. which is 36 1/4 x12 5/8 x19 3/4. More like 19" high and knock of 1/2" for glass thickness on length and width... My question is, how big to make my return section. I am not going to run a auto-top off for now, but i want to leave it big enough that i will only have to top it off say, once a day and have no fear of running dry. The drain/skimmer section is set by my skimmer and will probably end up being 11-12" long plus 2&3/4" for bubble trap baffles. So that leaves me 21" of length for return and refug. I would like to make refug as big as possible and if you notice, im going to run a pipe off of return to feed refug.

 

Oh and how high should i run the Refug baffle, the bubble trap baffles will be cut to 10". But i thought of running the Refug baffle at least 15" high, than running a pipe with a bulkhead back down to return to limit waterfall noise.

 

thanks

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Make the refugium 1/3 of the tank. Then dry fit the skimmer and other filtration equipment and leave a bit of room for service and removal. The rest of the space can be used for the return, there are a lot of factors that can determine evaporation, a top off is going to be a good idea down the road. As far as height of the baffles you just want the most water volume in the tank without overflowing when the return is shut off.

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Thanks Toby,

 

That's another concern is overflow, i cant have that happen (hardwood floors). The tank is a aqueon reef ready with a center internal over flow. I can't believe more than a inch or two will drain out, i will leave my loc-line return pipes pretty close to the surface. So i need about 10 gallons of space in my sump, probably less to be safe...

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Ok, got my Skimmer:) maybe should of went with a smaller one its big... going to need at least 12" on the drain area with hopefully a spot for my filter sock holder "might not place it".... Still leaves me with 21 inches for return/refug area and really want to get the return area right, any help would be awesome:)

 

Thanks again Toby, if i made my refug 1/3 of tank size, that would leave me a return area of about 8 1/2" for return (just looking at length). Course my Refug will be about 3-4" taller than my return or skimmer/drain water lvl area. So im looking at around 1.5 more gallons in Refug anyways. Now to find a place for my Heater? going to have to put it in Refug or DT, not happy but what can i do..

 

Thanks

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Don't forget to add in the water in the pipes both return and drain and also the lowest part of the return that is where it'll drain down to. The return will be the shortest of all the compartments. With a 19" tall sump, i would go with around 11" - 13" highest baffle and work down from there

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So, ive been reading a lot of DIY sump builds, but not to many of them with the "return" in the center chamber. One question i have is how high should the last bubble trap baffle be before the return? The first baffle by drain/skimmer will be 11" (which will require me to raise my skimmer an inch), then middle baffle will be raised 1" off the bottom of tank to a total height 12", but what of the last bubble trap baffle? Should i make it the same height as my first baffle 11" or shorter like 9"?

 

My single baffle that will separate my refug from center "return" chamber is going all the way up to 17" which will allow me to have a shorter length but deeper refug.

 

Thanks

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