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115g Monster sump

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Peter, a member of DFWMAS wanted a large sump to consolidate all the smaller units he's been using under his 3' x 5' open top display tank. This tank was used last year at MACNA XIV, for Clam and SPS sales. Peter brought it home, and made an amazing SPS reef. Check out some of the pictures I took.

With a large EuroReef skimmer, a Kalk reactor, a Calcium Reactor, Refugium, Top-off reservoir, return pumps and more, he needed a better set up, so I got busy and built him a Monster Sump.

The refugium is in the front of the sump, so he can view it at any time. Teeth in the rear wall pour water into the coral propagation zone from the refugium. He plans to use a single 175w MH to light the refugium and coral zone, on a reverse-lighting schedule.

This sump is made of 3/8" Acrylite GP, for strength. I used Weld-On #4 for this project.


Ready for pick up. This unit was pretty heavy, even while empty. It is sitting on 1" thick rigid foam.


Top view: Refugium is the large section (right rear) which pours into the propagation section (left rear), skimmer section (front right), return section (front left).


Outside dimensions
Inside dimensions
Return zone
Propagation zone

52" x 32" x 16" 
51.25" x 31.25" x 15.5"
20.75" x 15.5" x 9"
30" x 15.5" x 14"
21.75" x 12.25" x 8"
30" x 15" x 12"
21" x 3.25" x 9"

115.3 gal
107.5 gal
12.5 gal
28.2 gal
9.2 gal
23.4 gal
2.7 gal

Additional space holds up to 31.5 gallons


During the water test phase, you can see the water pouring into the propagation section from the refugium. Because the water level in the Refugium is 14" deep and the propagation is 12" deep, no splashing occurs.


You can view the water levels of the two large sections in this shot. If the refugium overflows, it will overflow into the rest of the sump because the inner wall is 1" shorter than the outer walls of the sump.


This is the normal water levels in the various compartments when it is up and running.


I added an Auto Top-off switch bracket, but Peter has a better one from Tunze that he'll implement.


The propagation section is eggcrate supported by a series of acrylic supports. The PVC pieces are just handy frag holders. The extra acrylic pieces with large holes are for the display tank's drain lines to be secured in place.


For a point of reference, this sump is almost the entire size of my kitchen table. 32" x 52" x 16"

Here are a few images of the sump installed under Peter's 150g reef tank.


The refugium section, with a few corals and a pair of Seahorses!


The skimmer section on the left holds a EuroReef protein skimmer.


The end view shows the refugium on the left and the propagation section on the right. Lighting is a single MH light.


Propagation section on the left; section on the right side contains two Mag 12 return pumps and a Calcium reactor.

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