Skimmer, Sump, Pump Build

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by ReefSparky, Nov 10, 2009.

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  1. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As promised, I'm submitting for approval to all my 3reef reviewers, the build involved in replacing my skimmer. The skimmer was the only thing to be replaced, really. After some thought, I figured it wise to get rid of the powerhead that's feeding my chiller. Powerheads IMO are best kept for tasks for which there is easy access. For my chiller build, I kinda "winged" it, and used a PH I had laying around.

    So, with the removal of the feed to the chiller came the need for a new return pump, to act as both return, and feed to the chiller--and later it dawned on me that I might as well feed my reactor as well, and keep a port open for future use.

    So here's the progress thus far; now that the sump (a 20 gallon long) has been drilled and most all parts are here.

    First, here is my tricked out filter sock holder. The acrylic is nearly thicker than my 90G DT. It came with 2 socks, so I couldn't pass it up.

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    The pump is an Iwaki MD40RLXT, a 1340 GPH pump that's fairly quiet.

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    Thanks to Otty for the link to these guys who sell PVC manifolds. To me, they're made for us reefers. This is a 1 1/2" in, with 4-1" outs. I'm using it with a reducer to spin onto the pump's 1" male output.

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    Here's a shot of the manifold as it's going to be, with two-1" feeds, one for the tank return, and one for the chiller. The other two are capped off with teflon tape so I can use them in the future.

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    . . and here it sits on the pump.

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    Another shot:

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    Got the sump back from the mirror decor place that does a lot of work with glass, and drills holes and cuts baffles for dirt cheap. Here's the sump with holes for the return pump, the chiller return, and the float valve for the ATO.

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    Some bulkheads in place. ..

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    I attached the pump for measurement purposes.

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    I'm trying something a bit different, I'm going to mount the gate valve for the return pump inside the sump, since I can't afford the length on my stand. It's made entirely of plastic, and the handle clears the aquarium's wall, so I'm not anticipating any problems. I'll snap some pics of that once I get the close nipple to make it happen.

    For now, I'm putting a bubble trap to separate the skimmer portion of the sump from the return portion. The first piece of glass will maintain the level at 8 inches even--although Patrick (tatted4ever) stated that this skimmer likes 6". I'll put the skimmer up on some sort of pedestal if it has to be raised. I'm more comfortable having the water depth and not needing it; than needing it and being, well, up the crik, as it were. :)

    Anyone who saw my "Creation Of The Fuge" thread has seen pics like these before. My parents always told me that books are very useful. They were right! First I get the height right, and mark the outside walls with a sharpie. Then I run a bead on that line, replace the glass, and run another bead above the glass. This method keeps everything level, neat, and rock solid while things dry.

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    OK. This will sit for at least 8 hours while I gather up a few more pieces. Stay tuned! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
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  3. divott

    divott Giant Squid

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    as always sparky , a first class build lesson you are letting us all in for your ride. informative, well documented and in plain english. :) i look forward to the goings along.
     
  4. ermano

    ermano Zoanthid

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    I'm excited to see this come together..looks good so far sparky!!:) I'm thinking about doing something similar with the return pump and the manifold on my future tank (which is currently in the planning stages). Hope everything works out well!! Just one question, what's the 90 degree hose barb for?
     
  5. ZachB

    ZachB Giant Squid

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    Wow, looking good man. Keep us updated. :)
     
  6. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, divott!

    Thanks, ermano. That's the return from the chiller.

    Thanks, Zach! :)
     
  7. yamaharider73

    yamaharider73 Kole Tang

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    Looks like its going to be a great build. I like the nosler reloading book also ;D
    Reefer and shooter;D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2009
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  9. ermano

    ermano Zoanthid

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  10. jmik26

    jmik26 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Looking forward to seeing the progress on this one. Looking to do something similar myself....Jeff
     
  11. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Awesome. Bet you can't wait to get that skimmer fired up!!!
     
  12. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sump is complete. I'm going away for the weekend, so I took some water change water and filled the skimmer compartment of the sump. I fired up the skimmer and I'm pleased. Here are some shots.

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    I tried to catch some pics of the bubble column in the skimmer but the pics really don't do justice. The skimmer produces a thick white, opaque column of bubbles. This is something I've not seen before. My Coralife 220 is OK, but doesn't hold a candle to this thing.

    First an introductory word about my Coralife. In a consistent water level (key to solid skimmer performance for any skimmer), the buble column can be adjusted with a valve on the skimmer's outlet. While adjusting one can observe the column rising and falling in accordance with turning the knob. I got used to this. The adjustment was coarse, and I had to really be careful. When the column rose; I cracked the valve slowly the other way, until it stopped rising. After a minute of watching, I knew if further adjustment was necessary. If the bubble column level fluctuated, it was visible, although slow to rise or fall.

    I have noticed that the fine tuning on the XP 2000 is VERY sensitive. My sump is not connected to my DT yet. I simply filled the skimmer section to the baffle, and let 'er rip. The water level is rock solid as the sump isn't hooked up to the DT. The level is maintained by a baffle, so it will remain as such after it's connected to the system. So I set the dial for the height of bubble column I wanted; and left the house for a few hours. When I came home, the collection cup was overflowed and the column was knocking the lid off.

    Fine. I emptied the cup, dialed it down, and let it go for several more hours. After dinner, it was overflowing again. I then dialed it WAY down, and let it go. After 8 hours or so, the column level kept its level, but it was too low. I'll have to toy with it over time.

    I'm thinking this could be a good thing, actually. With a consistent water level, the bubble column can be adjusted, but the "dialing in" process is so fine, that you can't just set it visually and leave. It must be set, observed, adjusted, observed, etc. To put it differently; the fluctuation is so slow, that it can't be set in one sitting. I have no problem with this. It reminds me of the fine focus on a microscope. You have to turn the dial many revolutions to effect any change in the sharpness of the field of view. Similarly, the knob on this skimmer must be rotated many times for any visible rise or fall in the column to happen. I'm very confident that after I get the dial where it needs to be, there will be zero fluctuation of the bubble column.

    Stay tuned, all.

    Next move will be removing the old sump, skimmer, and return pump--and replacing it with the 20 long.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
    1 person likes this.