Taking a sump. Back in five minutes...

Geoffrey Rea

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Cambridgeshire
So this summer I decided that I no longer needed sleep and started up a side project to do after the kids had gone to bed. Plan was to have a sumped Aquascaper 600 running high light, Co2 and turnover. Firstly, this offered a good opportunity to have a test tank with rapid growth. Second, it gives my eldest son (who’s five) an opportunity to do some pruning without worrying too much - it’ll grow back soon enough.

At the time I was very keen to see how a wet dry filter system would perform. It was Tom Barr’s “Dutch something or the other” journal that got this started, particularly certain claims that his wet dry system in his sump (disclaimer: that I’ve never seen) put 2ppm more saturated o2 into the water than canisters ever could according to his measurements. Quite the gain simply by design as a consistent 2ppm gain is relatively huge with regards to o2.

What I was after isn’t available off the shelf so some cannibalism of some old tanks and a bit of creativity was needed.

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Old Dennerle 55l fits perfect into an Aquascaper 600 cabinet and it comes with a glass lid. The lid was cut up to make the baffles.

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Shout out to @Andrew Butler from whom I bought the AS600 from. His advice on pvc plumbing and willingness to hash out ideas has been a tremendous help, so thank you to you Andrew.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
To drill the tank for plumbing seemed an unreasonable loss of real estate so an over the top overflow was used.

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A wide diameter on the returns also allows for a larger volume of water to be returned with a lowered level of disturbance. At maximum the system can run at twenty times turnover per hour.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
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Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
The aim for the sump was as simple as possible but no simpler.

A two baffle design only allows for a single height of water in the sump. However, three chambers gives good control of flow. The only requirements were:

- Wet dry filter system
- Heater
- Return pump

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The box houses the filter foam. The bottom of the box is drilled to perform as a drip plate. Water rains down over media and through the small section where the heater is housed. Finally the return area holds any extras you want e.g. purigen etc...

A point on this sump design is it contains a low water level when running. It gives a good volume remaining in the sump to contain the back flow when you turn off the return pump and it back siphons.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
PVC plumbing. Now... I can confidently say welding PVC plumbing together in your shed, by torch light, in a respirator mask, at 3am, not only raises a few eyebrows from the neighbours.

But if you do it whilst drinking beer it invariably leads to some mistakes:

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For those in the know you’re already laughing :lol:

For those that don’t, those nut thingy me jiggies are meant to be on the pipe before you weld the ends on.

Always a good idea to buy extra’s with PVC if you’re a plonker:

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Geoffrey Rea

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Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
Pushing on to testing.

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Even with a 3000lph pump with next to no head pressure the drip plate handles the volume. This is important because when you get lazy (and you know you will) things clog and efficiency drops. Never a bad thing to give yourself some wiggle room.

The more astute will notice that a) there’s a hole drilled on the side of the box as an outflow and b) the hole in the standard Dennerle cover glass to act as a finger hole is positioned to allow water through in case of emergency/laziness.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
Plumbing. Originally the plan was to go with two outflows. The thinking at the time was that it would give a more even distribution. Whilst this was true when running it made the display crowded. At no point was twenty times plus turnover ever going to be needed.

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This was stripped down to one outflow. It can be run at well over ten times turnover without causing too much disturbance in the scape. This seemed like the superior option all things considered.

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Geoffrey Rea

Member
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
Equipment in:

upload_2019-11-8_20-10-8.jpeg


As before a low water level is all that is needed.

upload_2019-11-8_20-12-19.jpeg


Due to the (relatively well) sealed compartments in the overflow unit and the sump, Co2 gassing off hasn’t been an issue.
 
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Geoffrey Rea

Member
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
762
Location
Cambridgeshire
The scaping isn’t anything to write home about. Had to keep it simple so my son can have a go at trimming without bashing everything whilst also leaving plenty of planting room to try different species out over time.

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Simple five stone Iwagumi in Millennium Stone.
 
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