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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post on this forum but I'm not completely new to SW. I have had my 29 nano up and running for about 2 years but still consider myself very much so a beginner. i still get pretty confused on alot of the wording used on there forums.
My 29 gal has alot of muchrooms and zoos*H2 as well as a clean up crew but no fish.
I have a few questions I was hoping someone with more experience could help with.
I have a HOB filter and no skimmer but would like to get one. Which would you recommend? I would also like to hid all my heaters and stuff in a sump but don't want to break down my tank and drill? I've heard of the overflow box but have no idea how they work even though I have read answers to this same question(this hobby sometimes makes me feel stupid). Also I would like to get a midas blenny is this tank too small? do I need a lid? any other fish recommendations for the future?(compatible with the midas)
I've been trying to learn this hobby from books but nothing beats someones personal experience any help you could give me would be awesome. Thanks

278 Posts

Glad you have found us and decided to join out little community!

I will see what I can do to answer some of your questions...

I would also like to hid all my heaters and stuff in a sump but don't want to break down my tank and drill? I've heard of the overflow box but have no idea how they work even though I have read answers to this same question
A sump is an awsome form of filtration! It just doesnt get any better than that. It will add some more water capacity to your system and allow you to carry a heavier bio-load in the tank as well. As you mentioned it allows you to move a lot of your hardware down to the sump giving you a much cleaner display tank.

Using an over flow box instead of a Reef Ready tank makes things a little more complicated. The principal behind it is really very simple though. The trick is balancing the flow of water back into the tank without exceeding the amount of water that the over flow box will drain back into the sump.

The first component you will need is an over flow box. For your 29, I would suggest something like a CPR 300.

Aquarium Filters: Continuous Siphon Overflow

This over flow box will allow you to get water from the tank and drain it into the sump. Watch the little video for some more clarification on this. This Overflow box will move about 300 gallons max. So you want to shoot for pumping about 275-299 GPH back into the tank from the sump in order to keep the siphon on the over flow box from breaking. With the CPR overflow box I would recommend the "aqualifter pump". This pump looks like a tyopical aquariou air pump but it actually sucks air instead of pumping air. You will hook this up to the rubber tube that comes off the top of the over flow box. This pump will such any air that builds up in the over flow box so that the siphon doesnt break. In the event of a power outage...this same little pump will restart the siphon so that your sump pump doesnt over flow your display tank.

To plumb the overflow box to your sump you will to need to attach a 3/4 inch hose to it. I would suggest using a clamp to make sure that it doesnt come off. You will attach the other end to your sump where it will drain water into a filter sock or over a filter pad and media. Depending on your sump, this may or may not require some adapter fittings from the local hardware store. If so use PVC fittings only. You may also skip the flexible rubber hose and just plumb it with PVC Pipe. I dont care for this as its kinda permenant and hard to make changes to. Stick with the rubber hose intially when you set it up.

So lets take a little break and recap. You have your over flow box set up and the aqualifter pump installed. You have a rubber hose connecting the over flow box to the sump so that water can flow from the diplay tank to the sump. Hopefully your following me.

Now that you have water flowing to the sump we need to get the water back out and to the display so it doesnt drain it empty. To do this you will need to install a return pump. You will hook a return pump up to another short section of hose and place the other end of the hose into the tank to get the water back to the tank. At this point you will have water flowing in a loop...kinda of a complete circle so to speak. It works much the same way your heart pumps blood through out your body and the blood returns back to the heart via arteries and veins. Its the same principal. Were just talking aquariums instead.

Now there are some things you have to be aware of and calculations that have to be accurately made. The return pump must pump very close to the same amount of water back to the tank as compared to water flowing from the tank.

* Pump more water than the overflow box can move and the display will flood. Dont pump enough to keep the siphon flowing and the overflow box will loose siphon and not work.

To choose the correct size pump you need to know how much water the pump flows. To figure this you have to know how much "head" the pump will have to over come to get water from the sump to the tank. To figure out how much head you are dealing with. Measure from the pump in your sump to the top of your tanks top edge. This figure will tell you how much head you are dealing with. This is important as a pump rated at 500 gph with no head may only pump 300 gallons with 48 inches of head as the pump has to work extra hard to over come gravity and push water 48 inches up higher and into the tank. You can calculate this by looking at a website on pumps as they will usually list a table for each pump and how many GPH it flows with each foot of head.

Using a Danner Mag Drive 3 pump for an example...

Danner Mag-Drive Supreme Water Pump Details

You can see that with 4ft of head this pump will pump 270 GPH. If there is 4ft of head between where the pump will be in the sump and the top edge of your tank then this pump would likely flow plenty of water to work with our CRP-300 that we are using as an example without the installation of a T and a gate valve to bleed off some water in the sump to keep from overflowing your tank. If there is 5 1/2 feet of head then a Mag Drive 5 would likely fill the bill on the size pump you need.

To return the water to the tank you might need to attach a "spray bar" to the hose comming off the pump. The spray bar can be made from PVC pipe and a couple of end caps and a T fitting with a Barb fitting attached to this. You drill a lot of hols in the pvc pipe and this will allow water being pumped into the aqauarium flow back into the tank without creating a solid jest stream of water. It will disperse the return water through out the tank. You want the spray bar below the water surface as you do not really want it to "spray" water all over the place. You just want it to send several small jets of water flow through the tank not the air.

Does this make sense now?

Tell me how much head you have to work with and I will help you pick out a pump that will work if you need that kinda help.

Now to some simpler questions...

Also I would like to get a midas blenny is this tank too small?
A Midas Blenny is plenty small enough for your 29 gallon tank, so no problem there. In fact you could easily have a couple a more small fish as well.

I have a HOB filter and no skimmer but would like to get one. Which would you recommend?
There are a number of good skimmers on the market and there is a lot of junk too. It depends entirely on if you have a sump or need a HOB as to what I would recommend. You have more options using a skimmer designed to set in the sump though. This would be a more optimal arrangement and one I would definitely prefer and recommend. But each persons tank needs will differ.


9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for your reply and the links I'm going to get an over flow next week and try to set it up. Thank you for making it easier to understand
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