Jestersix

Custom sump feedback

kinetic

Supporting Member
I posted this in my tank build, but wanted to get some feedback generally.

I'm considering just getting a custom sump to size it exactly the equipment I want. I decided to do more of a squarish layout where the water flows in a circle. The nice thing is the drain and return will be closer together so there's less plumbing needed down there, instead of drain and return being on opposite sides of the sump.

I decided that I could totally fit my chiller in the stand too. I'll have the "back" totally open (the left side in the images below) so there should be plenty of circulation.

The accessory pump will have a manifold to the chiller and UV sterilizer (which I still have to figure out where to mount it since it's so long). I got the largest skimmate locker (7"x7" footprint) which will sit right next to the Ultra Reef skimmer, and the DOS (x2) and reservoir will sit next to the return chamber. I figure putting things as close as possible will reduce all the plumbing running everywhere.

The one thing that's weird is the ATO reservoir. I'm not sure if I want it part of the sump or not. It doesn't have to be there, nor does it have to be part of the sump, but there's a little space I could squeeze it in. My ATO will be fed directly by the RODI via an Apex controlled solenoid + 2x optical sensors, which will basically keep the reservoir filled. I'll probably also have a manual float valve in the reservoir for additional safety.

The flow is circular, from the reefmat to the algae scrubber to the skimmer chamber and then through bubble trap baffles. The Ultra Reef almost produces no bubbles, so it should be overkill.

Anyway, I'd love to get your thoughts, ideas, suggestions!

Custom Sump in Stand.jpg


Custom Option 1 with annotations.jpg
 

archibaldsharper

Supporting Member
Looks cool, always fun to build new fish stuff. Where are the heaters and chemical filtration? Assuming the layout is relative to access, I would move the reefmate to the front and red dragon to the back. Thinking the reefmate will have more hands on in the sump (fixing jams, changing roller media, carbon tray maintenance) and the return pump would only occasionally need to be removed for cleaning but no in sump maintanance. I would leave off the ATO if you can put it elsewhere, and use the space for more sump. When the reef-awesomeness 2k23 comes out you will be ready with space. Or depending on size it can be a holding space for me frags or fish. I love building sumps with different compartments, but after a year or so I find I want it changed in some way. Buildup of living critters makes it necessary for a deep clean of all the compartments which is a pain especially back compartments. So I have moved to just using open tanks like 40 breeders and separating compartments with removal egg crate. But definitely removable baffles so you can clean everything out more easily, and reorganize one new equipment/new reefing method excites you.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Looks cool, always fun to build new fish stuff. Where are the heaters and chemical filtration? Assuming the layout is relative to access, I would move the reefmate to the front and red dragon to the back. Thinking the reefmate will have more hands on in the sump (fixing jams, changing roller media, carbon tray maintenance) and the return pump would only occasionally need to be removed for cleaning but no in sump maintanance. I would leave off the ATO if you can put it elsewhere, and use the space for more sump. When the reef-awesomeness 2k23 comes out you will be ready with space. Or depending on size it can be a holding space for me frags or fish. I love building sumps with different compartments, but after a year or so I find I want it changed in some way. Buildup of living critters makes it necessary for a deep clean of all the compartments which is a pain especially back compartments. So I have moved to just using open tanks like 40 breeders and separating compartments with removal egg crate. But definitely removable baffles so you can clean everything out more easily, and reorganize one new equipment/new reefing method excites you.

Thanks for the feedback!

Heaters: I forgot about them. I think I'll stick them next to the algae scrubber or maybe in the skimmer chamber. I'm going to use two 150watt Eheim Jager heaters. I think I could squeeze them in there. I'll make sure though with an updated drawing.

Chemical filtration: I won't have any. I might put carbon in the reefmat's media basket. But with the fleece roller, skimmer, uv, and algae scrubber, I really don't think I'll need anything more than that.

I forgot to mention, the entire stand comes apart (magnets hold the cabinetry together in this ELOS absolute stand), and there's doors on both sides (peninsula tank). So I'll have access to the skimmate collector on one side easily, and the other side I can easily get to the reefmat and algae scrubber. The skimmer will have an avast swabbie, so it'll probably only need cleaning every couple of months and it's easy enough to scoot the skimmate collector over. Anyway, peninsula style really has it's perks.

I could leave the ATO out and put it somewhere else. Not sure what other items would go into the return area. I could run dual returns or for safety, but not sure how that would work (check valves in case one fails?).

One question is, can I just remove that middle wall that divides the algae scrubber and skimmer chamber? I added it there to avoid some more stagnant water to the right. But do you think that's not needed? If it's not, then I could just have a big 'ol compartment.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
I have my scrubber and skimmer in the same section. No problem.
You might want the accessory pump and return pump in the same section. It allows that section to be larger.

External ATO reservoir allows more future flexibility. Like an external temporary vacation replacement tank.

Not really a fan of permanent skim-mate lockers myself. Prefer those to be temporary when on vacation.

The funny thing is, I think everyone gets the order wrong.
It should be : Scrubber => Skimmer => Rollermat.
But I am not sure how the pluming on that would possibly work.

You might want a piece of plastic/plywood between sump and (chiller, trident, and other electronics) to protect from salt spray.

Perhaps UV can go under skimmate locker/DOS/trident. Make a removable shelf above it. You only need to change bulb yearly or so.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
I have my scrubber and skimmer in the same section. No problem.
You might want the accessory pump and return pump in the same section. It allows that section to be larger.

External ATO reservoir allows more future flexibility. Like an external temporary vacation replacement tank.

Not really a fan of permanent skim-mate lockers myself. Prefer those to be temporary when on vacation.

The funny thing is, I think everyone gets the order wrong.
It should be : Scrubber => Skimmer => Rollermat.
But I am not sure how the pluming on that would possibly work.

You might want a piece of plastic/plywood between sump and (chiller, trident, and other electronics) to protect from salt spray.

Perhaps UV can go under skimmate locker/DOS/trident. Make a removable shelf above it. You only need to change bulb yearly or so.

I think my question about the compartments is less about the scrubber and skimmer being in the same compartment, but more whether I need that divider to move water flow from one to another. In theory it probably doesn't matter, but adding the divider forces the flow to go past each "thing," whereas one big box seems like there may be a more stagnant area. If you can tell, the flow could just skip everything and go right into the return from the reefmat. I don't know how true that is though.

Why don't you like permanent skimmate containers? Vacations I agree is a no brainer, but why not just let the skimmate go into a gigantic reservoir? I'll also have a neck cleaner, so things should run well without much maintenance (in theory, hence the question to someone who has more experience). I usually just turn my skimmer off for vacations longer than a few days because it would just overflow anyway.

Why would you have the fleece at the end of the order? having the fleece roller first to keep junk from building up in the sump is my main thing. I know algae might "fall out" of the scrubber and maybe some chunks could come out of a skimmer that's built up, but otherwise I'm curious to know why most have it differently?
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Added probe holder, dosing line holder, ATO reservoir float valve + bulkhead (to keep things clean, though not sure how that'll work with the Neptune ATK), and 2x heater holders. Any more thoughts?

Custom Option 1.jpg


Custom Option 1 - Labels.jpg
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Here are the other options:

Remove baffle and make one big area

Custom Option 2.jpg



Remove baffle and get rid of the ATO reservoir (put it elsewhere) and put the accessory pump in the return chamber.

Custom Option 3.jpg
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
I think my question about the compartments is less about the scrubber and skimmer being in the same compartment, but more whether I need that divider to move water flow from one to another. In theory it probably doesn't matter, but adding the divider forces the flow to go past each "thing," whereas one big box seems like there may be a more stagnant area. If you can tell, the flow could just skip everything and go right into the return from the reefmat. I don't know how true that is though.

Why don't you like permanent skimmate containers? Vacations I agree is a no brainer, but why not just let the skimmate go into a gigantic reservoir? I'll also have a neck cleaner, so things should run well without much maintenance (in theory, hence the question to someone who has more experience). I usually just turn my skimmer off for vacations longer than a few days because it would just overflow anyway.

Why would you have the fleece at the end of the order? having the fleece roller first to keep junk from building up in the sump is my main thing. I know algae might "fall out" of the scrubber and maybe some chunks could come out of a skimmer that's built up, but otherwise I'm curious to know why most have it differently?

Skimmate containers mean you won't clean your skimmer. But yes, neck cleaners are probably a good solution to that.

The algae scrubber detritus was the main reason for the order. Especially after you scrape it.

Do you want to save space for a small GFO reactor? Algae scrubbers are amazing for Nitrates, but not stellar with Phosphates, at least for me.
 

H2OPlayar

Member at large
BOD
Skimmate containers mean you won't clean your skimmer. But yes, neck cleaners are probably a good solution to that.

The algae scrubber detritus was the main reason for the order. Especially after you scrape it.

Do you want to save space for a small GFO reactor? Algae scrubbers are amazing for Nitrates, but not stellar with Phosphates, at least for me.
Or a sweet way to dose lanthinum chloride into the skimmer? I went with the reactor fwiw.

Where are your dosing containers, or calcium reactor?
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Skimmate containers mean you won't clean your skimmer. But yes, neck cleaners are probably a good solution to that.

The algae scrubber detritus was the main reason for the order. Especially after you scrape it.

Do you want to save space for a small GFO reactor? Algae scrubbers are amazing for Nitrates, but not stellar with Phosphates, at least for me.

Thanks for the ideas. I've never had an algae scrubber, but I assumed it would basically consume everything algae in the display would... including phosphates. I've actually had good experience going with NoPox dosing in the past, and I will have one extra DOS head available, so I might go that route if I need to reduce the nitrates/phosphates more than the algae scrubber could. But I guess if it's *just* phosphates, then GFO will be needed. I do have a couple of nice basic BRS reactors that I can add. Maybe I'll plumb a third manifold off of my accessory pump just in case. I may need a bigger pump than the varios-4 (maybe a 6 or just get another RD3 with a good amount of head pressure).
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Or a sweet way to dose lanthinum chloride into the skimmer? I went with the reactor fwiw.

Where are your dosing containers, or calcium reactor?

The dosing containers are right under the DOS. I'm probably going to build a "shelf" of some sort to mount the DOS, stacked, above the containers. The containers should still be visible and easy to access. I'm getting the Simplicity dosing reservoirs (3x 2L) and will be adding the float switches into them and attaching them to a Neptune Breakout box I have to monitor levels. I've never needed to dose Mg before (water changes took care of that), but I'll have it just in case. Oh, and I'll just be using Bionic Ca/Alk 2-part mix. I've gotten super fancy in the past, but came back to this simple 2-part after all that. It was the easiest for me to maintain in the long run. But of course, always learning and trying new things.

I might have a NoPox bottle or aminos if I need them later. I think my stand will have plenty of space to stick them somewhere neatly.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
Thanks for the ideas. I've never had an algae scrubber, but I assumed it would basically consume everything algae in the display would... including phosphates. I've actually had good experience going with NoPox dosing in the past, and I will have one extra DOS head available, so I might go that route if I need to reduce the nitrates/phosphates more than the algae scrubber could. But I guess if it's *just* phosphates, then GFO will be needed. I do have a couple of nice basic BRS reactors that I can add. Maybe I'll plumb a third manifold off of my accessory pump just in case. I may need a bigger pump than the varios-4 (maybe a 6 or just get another RD3 with a good amount of head pressure).
Algae scrubbers remove Nitrates and Phosphates by whatever ratio is eaten/Uptaked by the algae.
Search "redfield ratio" for more details.
If that exactly matches what is put in with food, minus what is uptaken by Corals, you are all set.
For me though, it is not quite a match, so I have needed minor GFO to compensate.
Others dose Nitrates. By adding pure nitrate, then removing nitrate+phoshpate, you end up with phosphate removal.
Some simply don't have a problem. Maybe the right coral + food.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
As a side note, I had a recent tank crash. Still fixing it.
As everything died, it was interesting to watch the water parameters. Nitrates were fine, likely do to scrubber, but phosphates went way up.
So I had a bit of a different type of crash. I ended up with a giant cyano bloom, not a giant algae mess.
Arguably worse, since Cyano kills things. But easier to clean.
 
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