Help with first sump - pump/overflow questions

Mr. Wiggles

New member
Hi all,

I've had my reef tank set up for about 5 years in it's current location, but I've been keeping reefs for about 10 years total. In all this time I've always had HOB equipment, but now I'm considering adding a sump to my existing system. Being a relative noob with sumps I have some questions for you about how to do this, and whether the equipment I already own could work.

First, the existing tank is a 40B with a HOB skimmer which I will continue to use after installing a sump. An upgrade of the skimmer may happen at a later date TBD. My hope is to have a place to hide some of the other equipment and expand my refugium space by adding the sump.

I assume that because this system is already running I'm committed to using a HOB overflow box. I've seen some from Eshopps and Marine depot brand that look similar. The nano is sized for up to 200GPH (up to 30gal) and the next size up is up to 300GPH (up to 60gal).

I have a QuietOne 1200 pump that I'd like to use as the return pump, if possible. Now, I could have the sump directly below the tank and the head height would be about 3.5', or I could build a little stand off to the side and the head height would be closer to 1.5'

For the return I was considering adding a jet like this:
But my understanding is that each 90 adds 1' of head height making my total between 6.5' or 4.5' due to the three 90 bends in the return.

With this head height the QuietOne is expected to be either nearly no flow at 6.5' or about 150GPH at the 4.5'.

The question I have is should I:
Go with the Nano overflow, and the QuietOne 1200 pump and build a stand to limit the head to the ~4' range?

Should I get the bigger overflow and buy a bigger (unknown) pump?

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
If the room is there off to the side easier. You can also use the supplied tubing on the return for the return eliminating all the elbows. You would need another clamp for the pump end assuming it's a 3/4 connection. The sump will not run more than 3/4 full, perhaps less depending on how much water drains back on shut down. Depending on pump specs ,flow, you may be better off with a bigger overflow box. ONE THING TO REMEMBER, the flow out of the tank MUST pull any air in the tubing COMPLETELY out of the tube or you will eventually loose siphon. Only a trial will reveal that answer.


Active member
Next time you do a water change... use the QuiteOne you have to transfer water from a container on the floor up to the tank. If you know how much water you have to refill the tank, you can use a stopwatch to time how long it takes to move the water. Use this info to find out how much flow the QuiteOne is providing. If you really want to get the numbers right, hook up the QuiteOne with the hose, connectors, and return nozzle you plan to use. GPHour = GPSecond x 3600

In general, because you're looking at a smaller HOB overflow, you'll want to be at the lower end of the recommended 3-5x turnover per hour in your sump so that you don't have issues with the drain trying to keep up with the pump. Or, just go with the bigger overflow to start with. I say put it together and try it out. Worst case scenario you end up buying a different return pump. Don't over think it ;)