10 gallon sump + Algae scrubber dimension questions


Reefing newb

I have started to plan a 10 gallon sump for my 29g aquarium. I will be using a Nano Eshopps Overflow and a Aquatic life 115 protein skimmer with a return pump of roughly 300 GPH. In my design I also included a algae scrubber since it seems to be easy to incorporate in my design and can always be turned off if I don't like it.

My real question however is the dimensions of my sump. Only a 10g will fit under my stand so space is limited. I dont have an ATO and don't plan on getting one any time soon. I am also away from my house 2-3 days at a time. The planned dimensions of the return section is 7'' x 10'' x 9'' which holds roughly 2.7 gallons of water. Would there be a risk of running my pump dry if I didn't top up for a couple of days?

Any other comments on the height of the baffles or sizes of the chambers are welcome. The far left chamber is where the overflow empties and my skimmer will be. The algae scrubber will t-off from the overflow and empty in the fuge and finally the return is on the far right.

Please excuse my sweet paint skills.


I would definitely get an auto top off for the system if you are gone 2-3 days at a time. In that small of a system the evaporation will cause the salinity to rise too much in that amount of time.
Sump looks good. For me, I would rather have a refugium than an algae scrubber, but that comes down to personal preference.
Thanks for the reply, the middle section is going to be a fuge that the the algae scrubber just empties into also, it will still have a deep sand bed and such. I guess I will look into an ATO the system has been running w/o the sump for almost a year and I haven't had too much trouble with salinity.
I wouldn't bother with a deep sand bed, especially in that small of a system. A deep sand bed needs to be at least six inches deep to work properly and can cause more problems than it solves. Save the room for more water volume, IMO. Just live rock and some macro algae will work great.
A deep sand bed in a small sump doesnt make a lot of sense to me. The sand would need to be 6 inches deep minimum. That displaces a lot of water and deep sand beds are to much risk for little reward in my opinion.

Did you see a ninja go by here....
Alright thanks you two! The sand bed is going byebye.

Does any one have experience with algae scrubbers? I saw one design used by someone on this site that was similar to mine but they said if they were to do it again they would put the ball valve below the t for the algae scrubber to direct more flow into the scrubber. Any thoughts on that? I know the rule of thumb is never put a valve on the outflow but since there are two places where the water can flow would this be ok?

Thanks again!
Thanks, after doing some more reading I think I am just going to stick with the skimmer and fuge and scrub the scrubber idea. For now anyways. While I got you here what is the best way to connect my return pump (with a 3/4'' barb) to my pvp return pipe? I asked an employee at a hardware store and they just gave me a piece of vinyl tube and metal clamps. Is there a better way?
I dont use pvc on my return. I used vinyl tubing.


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Thanks again.

Got all my baffles in and going to plumb the return tonight hopefully. Also found an JBJ ATO for $50 which I am picking up tonight also.