Anyway, that is basically how the Sump filtration works. Inside the cabinet is a sump (an overpriced plastic box) and a pump (another overpriced piece of equipment). Water flows down the drainage pipe, into the sump where it is filtered and heated, and then pumped back into the tank.
I really like this system for a number of reasons:
1) All the equipment, pump, hose, heater, thermometer are hidden away.
2) It uses bio-filtration. For my EShopps brand sump, water flows into a micron mesh bag where accumulated beneficial bacteria turn toxic ammonia into nitrites, then nitrates, and finally nitrogen and oxygen gas. This bacteria is introduced when Live Rock and Live Sand are added to the tank. I will have a posting on this subject at a later date.
3) There is room to add some additional items such as small pieces of Live Rock, or a Protein Skimmer. Protein Skimmers remove waste from the water using air bubbles. The proteins attach to air bubbles which are carried into a collection cup for removal. The benefit is that wastes are removed before they even have a chance to break down into ammonia.
4) Some people add other items such as sand, mini Mangrove trees (I'm not kidding), etc. to enhance filtration. These are called Refugiums, but my sump model isn't big enough to house a refugium.
This is is the sump when I removed it from the box.
|Notice extra white PVC piece inside the gray hose|
I was dismayed to find that the 1 1/4" gray hose did not fit over the bulkhead for my drainage pipe. It turns out that Eshopps inserted an extra white PVC piece inside the hose rendering the inside diameter too small! The PVC piece is not removable. I visited my local fish store (Dolphin Pet Village), where the nice people there showed me a replacement hose. The new hose fit over the bulkhead.
Then to my dismay, I found that the other end of the hose did not fit properly into the sump end without the PVC piece. That required the purchase of a 3/4" PVC coupling at the local Home Depot. EShopps really should include the loose PVC pieces, which gives the customer the option to use them or not. To top it all off, there were no instructions! I needed to look at the picture on the box to figure out how to connect everything.
Here is the final setup (with a a 9.5 GPH Mag drive pump). I placed the sump in a plastic bin in case of leaks.
I added a shutoff valve and a quick release joint to the pump. That sprinkler plumbing experience came in handy after all :)
I mounted a power bar inside the cabinet. It is placed high enough so that the cords loop down and then back up to the sockets. This allows any water to drip down. I also replaced the wall socket with a GFI outlet.