Tank Journal Archive

Nov 15, 2012
441
107
The skimmer is fully surrounded by water. so I will check on the inside.

I know it takes a while to bed in but I was emptying the RSM stock skimmer weekly and it was disgusting with good quality skim mate and a near full cup of a thick green soup like skim.

The only thing I have had from this skimmer is a handful of full cups of water continually adjusting the little blue valve. the only time it seemed to semi behave was last night when there was lots of protein in the water after my urchin :cumeverywhere. About an hour later was back to no good.

The skimmer is about 15-20mm out of the water right where the water line mark is on the side of it.
 
Nov 15, 2012
441
107
KH 8.7
Ca 380
Mg 1400
SG 1.026
Temp 25.5*c

Still fighting with the TUNZE Nano Doc skimmer... Seems to be a little quieter now or i am getting more used to it...
 
Nov 15, 2012
441
107
Thinking of modding my RSM130D to go a sump... What are peoples thoughts on this???

Reason 1 better skimmer in sump
Reason 2 more LR in sump and a place for other media
Reason 3 increased water volume...

Does anyone have or know of anywhere good to start looking into this?

What are the pros cons for doing this...
 

ViralEntity

Member
Feb 13, 2013
148
81
Warragul
Finally something I have a bit of experience with!

Pro's are pretty much as you listed - more space, easier maintenance access (at least compared to the RSM130 with no fold up lid...) and the option of a refugium and much simpler power cable management. Not to mention more pods etc and a much better option for nutrient export.

The Con's aren't so nice, but take them with a grain of salt as they are based on my mods and you may learn from them.

- Increased evaporation due to increased surface area, not a huge issue if you put a lid on the sump.
- The cabinet is not designed for a sump so will rust out the hinges and screws fast (might not be as bad on the 130D)
- Custom overflows are a pain to setup due to the '2' sumps, one in the back and one in the cabinet. I find that as the water level balances out in the main tank and rear compartment this leads to a lot of water that needs to be held in the sump - something I didn't plan for so I have to run the tank levels really high.
- All the neat plastic part of the lid becomes a funnel if you outpace the overflow and the first place it leaks out is the power centre.
- You will need to cut the back plastic to fit an overflow
- Most skimmers you would fit in a small sump are only as good as the tunze 9002 at that volume unless you over skim (mileage may vary on this one).
- Media rack becomes useless as it if blocks it will starve the overflow (learnt that the hard way...)
- No filter between tank and back chambers means a lot of debris settles in COD (Chamber of Death - under pumps)
- Most power leads won't reach the power centre any more.
- No room in cabinet for chemicals, food, chilling, ATO etc.

Don't let this list stop you - I did it completely DIY with no skills at all, and if you learn from any of my mistakes it should be a painless exercise. However, if I had my time again I would purchase directly from LifeReef. That guy is in the US and has been making sumps and overflows for the RSM line since day one and I have never read a bad comment on either his tanks or his over flows. In fact, I have been waiting to get back from holidays to see how you got with your upgrades before I take the plunge in the next set of upgrades I have planned.

I am looking to buy a new sump and overflow from LifeReef (note: 6 month wait on the sumps atm) so if you are still keen we can maybe organise something to save on shipping. Any questions shot me an pm.

Cheers Colin
 

Sam Parker

Moderator
May 6, 2013
4,802
2,397
Geelong
Thanks for your story so far, I will keep reading with interest! I am following in very similar foot steps (particularly with the micro bubbles) and are wondering if it was just the change to aftermarket circulation pumps that did the trick for you? I've got two Eheim compact 600's in there and are still getting the bubbles :( It has only been a week withthose pumps though?

Sam
 

RNGracias

Member
Apr 6, 2013
71
36
Thinking of modding my RSM130D to go a sump... What are peoples thoughts on this???

Reason 1 better skimmer in sump
Reason 2 more LR in sump and a place for other media
Reason 3 increased water volume...

Does anyone have or know of anywhere good to start looking into this?

What are the pros cons for doing this...
I have been trying stuff, since my RSM was first setup in March 2013

RSM With No sump just the COD
  • Limited option of skimmers, the ones I tried, (Tunze 9002 and the Euro Reef nano simmer for RSM 130), the tunze 9002 is practically useless in my humble opinion, no matter what I tried it was just over flowing, the euro reef started off badly with lots of micro bubbles, but was great after 10 days of break in, and pulled out gunk like crazy, dark brown, it would occasionally push micro bubbles but performance was great (cost $251 with shipping to AUS). There was space for the Steve-T media rack with both skimmers and also space for a powerhead for the chiller.
  • The Steve-T media rack was good option to run if no external sump was being used, however the 3-4 times I pulled it out to change media, it damaged the silicon seal of the tank as the edges of the media rack were a bit sharp at the ends I had to file it to make a bit rounded. The media racks also spills water as you remove it from the COD, and since I have carpet in the living room ,that was bit of a bother to maintain.
  • Water level had to be kept constant with a Tunze ATO nano top-off for the euro reef skimmer to operate properly and for the stock return pumps not to suck bubbles, resulting from low water levels in the COD.I ended up replacing the two stock pumps with a Maxi-Jet 1200 pump fitted with tube and the pump lowered way down in the COD, this worked fine.
  • Chemical filtration used was Chemipure and Rowaphos in the media Rack.
Pros of using built in Sump:
  • Simple, cost effective setup, the best one I had on the RSM. Euro-reef Skimmer, Steve-T media rack, Chemipure, Modified Return Pumps, keeping water level to the level of the first baffle in the COD, water changes 18% once in two weeks.
  • I could keep my hands off the main tanks most of the times:banghead.
Cons:
  • It was too simple for me:rage and too good to just sit and watch in peace :D.
  • Water splashed when removing the media rack, but not too bad, I guess it was more of an excuse to get a sump.
RSM With a custom three section Sump
  • Plenty of options with the sump
  • Skimmer: I tried all my skimmers in the sump, The tunze had no change, still useless just pulling water and overflowing, The Euro reef nano performed equally well in the sump, and had to be kept at a minimum height of 10" in the sump to perform, the Red devil RDC250, was a champ, pulled out some really good gunk from the water, and was equally good compared to the euro reef and only costs $86 from guppies, The Life Reef skimmer VS3-24 with the MAG9 Pump performed average and was not as consistent as the euro reef or the RDC 250 skimmer, I guess the technology is just outdated,:( sad as I have used these skimmers for over 8 years, the latest addition running now for 4 weeks is the Reef Octopus X1000SSS, and this skimmer is just awesome, pure awesome, love it, the skimmate from it is dark slimy and smelly, and so I am sticking with it.
  • I have Life Reef Overflows from my other tanks, and they have never failed, however the wait was too long to get one from Jeff for the RSM, so I got the Eshopps version which is a copy of the Life reef overflow, It is working fine, I fixed it with home made stockman silencer and it as good as the Life reef now, good flow and fits well in the RSM COD. costs ($39 + $39 shipping).
  • Macro algae: Tried Caulerpa with the NAQUA fuge glare light in the sump but it just died in 2 weeks time ( macro algae dying, surprising this has never happened before with my setups), just got some Chaeto from IANG with try once more.
  • Got a Innovative Marine Reactor to try out bio-pellets (vertex) and lets see how that goes.
  • Running Chemipure in a Phosban reactor and connected to the TC5 Chiller and purigen (from Naqua)
  • Replaced the stock light withe the RADION XR30W Gen2 Led lights system and added a second MP10WES, still getting it right, hope to finalise settings soon.
Pros:
  • Plenty of space to work around, no limitation to try out stuff as lots of room in sump.
  • No messy hands in the tank or the COD.
  • Choice of skimmers, reactors media and even a refugium to go with ones personal choice.
  • Increased water volume and easy maintenance.
  • Reduced live rock in display as some of it can be moved to the sump:). which means reduced debris trapped in rock structure in display tank.
Cons:
  • Excuse to try something new all the time, just because you now can..:rage:cum:reading.
  • RSM cabinet not designed for sump and hence sump design needs to be good to avoid splashing in the cabinet ( I used silicon to seal of all the edges), the metal hinges have rusted.
  • Evaporation is very high, I empty a whole 20L can of water every 7 days and its winter in Perth now, need to get a cover for the sump soon, at this rate in Perth summer and this will be a lot higher.
  • I leave the cabinet cover open at night otherwise there is the typical evaporation and condensation effect in the cabinet and hence some salt creep, needs wiping if cabinet door closed.
  • The chiller and the ATO water can are now outside the cabinet as there is no space with the sump inside.
  • Gunk collects in the COD first chamber, had to add a powerhead to keep it clean.
  • Due to the two sumps (COD and the external sump), Water flow has to be maintained and balanced, also the return pipe has to have a hole drilled just above the water line, to avoid back flow of water in the sump, or else the sump will overflow.
  • Safety test as usual (normally large reef tanks withs sumps) have to be done, otherwise water will be all over the living room.
Hope that helps.
Ron
 
Last edited:

chimaera

enjoy the little things
May 13, 2012
5,473
2,295
Sandringham
I have been trying stuff, since my RSM was first setup in March 2013

RSM With No sump just the COD
  • Limited option of skimmers, the ones I tried, (Tunze 9002 and the Euro Reef nano simmer for RSM 130), the tunze 9002 is practically useless in my humble opinion, no matter what I tried it was just over flowing, the euro reef started off badly with lots of micro bubbles, but was great after 10 days of break in, and pulled out gunk like crazy, dark brown, it would occasionally push micro bubbles but performance was great (cost $251 with shipping to AUS). There was space for the Steve-T media rack with both skimmers and also space for a powerhead for the chiller.
  • The Steve-T media rack was good option to run if no external sump was being used, however the 3-4 times I pulled it out to change media, it damaged the silicon seal of the tank as the edges of the media rack were a bit sharp at the ends I had to file it to make a bit rounded. The media racks also spills water as you remove it from the COD, and since I have carpet in the living room ,that was bit of a bother to maintain.
  • Water level had to be kept constant with a Tunze ATO nano top-off for the euro reef skimmer to operate properly and for the stock return pumps not to suck bubbles, resulting from low water levels in the COD.I ended up replacing the two stock pumps with a Maxi-Jet 1200 pump fitted with tube and the pump lowered way down in the COD, this worked fine.
  • Chemical filtration used was Chemipure and Rowaphos in the media Rack.
Pros of using built in Sump:
  • Simple, cost effective setup, the best one I had on the RSM. Euro-reef Skimmer, Steve-T media rack, Chemipure, Modified Return Pumps, keeping water level to the level of the first baffle in the COD, water changes 18% once in two weeks.
  • I could keep my hands off the main tanks most of the times:banghead.
Cons:
  • It was too simple for me:rage and too good to just sit and watch in peace :D.
  • Water splashed when removing the media rack, but not too bad, I guess it was more of an excuse to get a sump.
RSM With a custom three section Sump
  • Plenty of options with the sump
  • Skimmer: I tried all my skimmers in the sump, The tunze had no change, still useless just pulling water and overflowing, The Euro reef nano performed equally well in the sump, and had to be kept at a minimum height of 10" in the sump to perform, the Red devil RDC250, was a champ, pulled out some really good gunk from the water, and was equally good compared to the euro reef and only costs $86 from guppies, The Life Reef skimmer VS3-24 with the MAG9 Pump performed average and was not as consistent as the euro reef or the RDC 250 skimmer, I guess the technology is just outdated,:( sad as I have used these skimmers for over 8 years, the latest addition running now for 4 weeks is the Reef Octopus X1000SSS, and this skimmer is just awesome, pure awesome, love it, the skimmate from it is dark slimy and smelly, and so I am sticking with it.
  • I have Life Reef Overflows from my other tanks, and they have never failed, however the wait was too long to get one from Jeff for the RSM, so I got the Eshopps version which is a copy of the Life reef overflow, It is working fine, I fixed it with home made stockman silencer and it as good as the Life reef now, good flow and fits well in the RSM COD. costs ($39 + $39 shipping).
  • Macro algae: Tried Caulerpa with the NAQUA fuge glare light in the sump but it just died in 2 weeks time ( macro algae dying, surprising this has never happened before with my setups), just got some Chaeto from IANG with try once more.
  • Got a Innovative Marine Reactor to try out bio-pellets (vertex) and lets see how that goes.
  • Running Chemipure in a Phosban reactor and connected to the TC5 Chiller and purigen (from Naqua)
  • Replaced the stock light withe the RADION XR30W Gen2 Led lights system and added a second MP10WES, still getting it right, hope to finalise settings soon.
Pros:
  • Plenty of space to work around, no limitation to try out stuff as lots of room in sump.
  • No messy hands in the tank or the COD.
  • Choice of skimmers, reactors media and even a refugium to go with ones personal choice.
  • Increased water volume and easy maintenance.
  • Reduced live rock in display as some of it can be moved to the sump:). which means reduced debris trapped in rock structure in display tank.
Cons:
  • Excuse to try something new all the time, just because you now can..:rage:cum:reading.
  • RSM cabinet not designed for sump and hence sump design needs to be good to avoid splashing in the cabinet ( I used silicon to seal of all the edges), the metal hinges have rusted.
  • Evaporation is very high, I empty a whole 20L can of water every 7 days and its winter in Perth now, need to get a cover for the sump soon, at this rate in Perth summer and this will be a lot higher.
  • I leave the cabinet cover open at night otherwise there is the typical evaporation and condensation effect in the cabinet and hence some salt creep, needs wiping if cabinet door closed.
  • The chiller and the ATO water can are now outside the cabinet as there is no space with the sump inside.
  • Gunk collects in the COD first chamber, had to add a powerhead to keep it clean.
  • Due to the two sumps (COD and the external sump), Water flow has to be maintained and balanced, also the return pipe has to have a hole drilled just above the water line, to avoid back flow of water in the sump, or else the sump will overflow.
  • Safety test as usual (normally large reef tanks withs sumps) have to be done, otherwise water will be all over the living room.
Hope that helps.
Ron
Great write up, Ron!
 

Sam Parker

Moderator
May 6, 2013
4,802
2,397
Geelong
indeed! Thanks for the info. I'm pretty keen to go to a larger custom setup down the track, so I best try and hold off on any further large modifications to the future QT/Frag tank :)
Any updated pics of your setup though?
Sam
 

Members online

No members online now.