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RE: How big a sump and automated water changes.

I had a friend who had a great setup on several tanks.  

He had RO water in a 55 gallon drum, premixed w/ all ferts located in
the basement (directly under his tanks on the floor above).  On specific
intervals, using sprinkler system timers, pumps and valves, a little bit
of water would squirt into his tanks.  

He also plumbed overflows into non-sump tanks so that when his automated
water fill system kicked into gear, the extra water would flow out the
overflow, down into his basement and into his drain/garden/etc.

I can't recall the intervals, but it was several times a day but only a
little bit of water each time.  It ended up being %10-20 a week, but
with the constant addition of water, the levels of nutrients stayed very
constant.  With such a low fill rate, differing water temperatures
wouldn't be an issue.

Plumbing a sump would be just as easy.  A single overflow in the sump
would empty the extra water.  It would also act as a back-up safeguard
against a power outage and too much water flowing into the sump from the
main tank.  The sump overflow would prevent a wet floor.

His system was pretty darn automated - and slick.