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How big a sump and automated water changes.


Not having ever used a sump and being in a similar situation (about to
do a large tank, maybe two), I am curious about your comment regarding
sizing the sump for water changes so that the tank level does not
change.  We are in the planning stage of a new house and I want to have
a couple of tanks, at least one of them pretty large.  I know that it
will take a lot of work to keep these up so I am trying to figure out
ways to automate them as much as possible.  I had already figured I
would use sumps for hiding stuff and to do the water changes in the
sump, and get the plumber to run some water and drains to the tanks to
facilitate water changes.  If I could come up with a pretty fool proof
method, try to automate the water changes too.  The sump being sized to
handle a water change without changing the tank water level sounds like
a good idea.  I would assume that the sump somehow has to have the
capacity for all that water and then some but assumptions have gotten me
in to more trouble than I can remember.  Would you please explain how to
do this or refer me to a good source for info on this?  

Also I would appreciate any suggestions on how to automate this stuff if
anyone has done this successfully.


> Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 15:18:19 -0400
> From: Bill Wichers <billw at waveform_net>
> Subject: Re: Large tank lighting and to sump or not to sump?
> I like sumps since you can hide things in them and they allow the tank
> maintain a constant water level. If you size the sump carefully you
can do
> a complete water change without effecting the water level in your tank
> all, which I think is a big plus. It is possible to use a canister
with a
> sump to gain some mechanical filtration. I am mostly just concerned
> water circulation though and haven't used filters on my planted tanks
> some time.
>          -Bill