This was a sump I built for a LFS near me. The challenge was making a sump big enough to hold water from about 20 tanks draining into it, and be able to handle a new shipment of livestock that arrives. All those bagged items quickly increase the total system volume. And then throughout the day, water is taken as each piece of livestock is sold, dropping the total system volume.
A local vendor contacted me about building a new system to hold livestock as it arrived. They drew up the plans, purchased the materials and started cutting up the pieces. When I arrived, my job was to show them how to assemble the parts successfully. The project came out great in the end, but a lot of things were learned along the way. The top two sections hold 200 gallons each, the bottom on holds 250 gallons.
People ask if I'll build and ship a sump to their location, and I always forewarn them that is is very expensive. Here's why.
You've got this large acrylic vessel that has to get from Point A (Ft. Worth, Texas) to Point B (somewhere else in the U.S.)...
A sump gives you greater control over your reef or fish-only display tank. The benefits far exceed the risks, and thus most successful aquariums you'll see utilize a sump. Some even incorporate a refugium as well. Here are the numerous benefits derived from incorporating a sump into your current setup:
After several years of building sumps, a potential customer asked me to build him a custom tank. My concern is always about the livestock and until then I'd never considered building a display system. He urged me to do it, not taking no for an answer. This was my first attempt.
He wanted the tank to have a black panel the full width of the tank to hide the plumbing leading to the sump and I wanted it to have an overall clean look.
The Model "G" External (formerly the Model G-modified) is a sump that allows for an external pump. If the sump isn't drilled, an internal pump can be used of course. The skimmer section houses the protien skimmer and bubble tower, and the large refugium allows the hobbyist to see inside easily. Water from both zones pours into the center area, and then flows behind the refugium zone to the external pump.
The benefit of this design is the increased linear travel time that avoids issues with microbubbles.
Sump that has to be shipped:
All sumps are shipped with insurance to protect both you and me. They are carefully packed with 4" of padding on all six sides, including beams to keep it centered at all times.