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Surface skimming, sumps, floods

Hi All,

I have been redesigning my planted tank for a while now.
I've decided to go with homebuilt surface skimming system
and sump. All my filter media will be in the sump. Does
anyone have any experience with this?

I have found some information on the Krib site. Erik Olson
has an entry in the Krib archives dated Oct 98. Most of
what he says is clear, but he also wrote, 
    To keep the water returns from back-siphoning
    everything out of the tank during a power outage,
    I have small holes drilled near the top that will
    break the siphon.
I know you're out there Erik. How do you prevent water from 
squirting out these holes when the pumps are one? If you are
using a siphon to take water out of the overflow, how do you
get the siphon restarted after the power goes out? I seems that
you would pump the sump dry and ruin your pump.

Thanks for your help.

Joe S.

Joseph R. Sachleben
email: jsachleb at chemistry_ohio-state.edu