DIY - Projects & Ideas • Cheap wet/dry sump

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Postby Hoosier Tank » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:49 pm

Here is the final poduct. It has been up and running for 3 weeks now. I transfered 4 potscrubbies and some filter floss from my other tanks and mixxed in with the new scrubbies.
Amonia has consistantly been less that .25ppm and the Nitrites are zero with minimal nitrates at less than 20ppm. Of course I have a minimal bioload so far with only 14 young adult Mbuna.
Inside the tote is a CA4000 pump and a 500w titanium heater from Catalina Aquariums mounted with their suction cups onto a piece of scrap plexiglass to keep from coming in contact with the tote itself. very quiet and temps are a solid 80 degrees all through the tank.
Oh and don't let the baseboard heater fool you, it hasn't been on in years and the tank now hides it from view.
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I used Bulldogg7's skimmerless overflow I found in our library.
Here is the Bare bones start with the original u-tubes I soon replaced when 3 fish wound up getting clear down to the sumps drip tray.
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Side view
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Top view showing lid to help keep things quiet.
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Supreme King Siphon tubes I found at the LFS that have strainer slots and caps to prevent fish being getting sucked into overflow and taking a ride down the hose to the filter bucket.
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Here are pics from earlier of the returns via UGJ, on the top right is a nozzel that is half submerged to provide surface aggitation and act as a siphon break. There is another nozzel 1/2 way down the same black pipe feeding the loop.
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All said and done, I am extremely happy with this project and would be glad to answer questions anyone may have or assist in any way I can!

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180g - CA's Jack Dempsey, Firemouth, Salvini, Texas, Severum

40g long- Malawi

29g Tangs-J. marlieri, L. ocellatus (blue), A. calvus (black), N. pulcher (Daffodil)

2x10g Fry
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Postby dreday » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:22 pm

i am about to build the same thing!!!!!

i have a 37g container(same color) and same size. going to use the 5g bucket also.

now does your 5g bucket rest on the lid or does it sit on the bottom or on a stand on the bottom?
i have enough room to sit the bucket on a stand of some sort(probably with eggcrate and pvc or some plastic legs) and do not really trust it hanging on the lid.

and for the overflow, did you build it or buy it and modify it?? it looks nice. i built some pvc overflows and they seem huge. which they are. they are like 14" deep in the tank. it was cheap but i dont think i like them and they are not even in the tank yet.

i think i am going to build an acrylic overflow instead. which is making me wonder where you got the u-tubes.


but your tank looks awesome. really nice job.
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Postby mikmaze » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:53 pm

if you had the time, I would build a second bucket setup exactly as the first and install that in the other half of the styrylite box, put the return pump in between them and have twice the filtration and bio media. good thing is when time to clean, you can do them one at a time and your bio colony will be less effected. Also doubles the size of your blue pad which would help keep it from cloggin for twice as long. my sump has 300 square inches of filter media exposed to the flow and helps keep my maintenance low.
225 gal " Africanized tank" DIY 40 gal wet dry sump w/ mag drive 1200 gph pump, Fluval FX5, 2 Aqua Clear 110's, 36 watt turbo twist UV, 200 LBS rock, gravel, 384 watt 72" power compact lighting........ rated turnover 3,125 gph !

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Postby Natedawg63 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:40 pm

Hoosier...

Did you DIY your 180g tank or buy it ready-made? That's the size I would live to get for a new set-up and was wondering if most of you guys here build your own tanks. I have a buddy that can build me the stand - so that part will be no problem. I have a local glass company... I guess they can order the panels for me - I think 180g should be around 72x24x24. Not sure the thickness I would need... 1/2" or 3/4"?

I am def gonna use your DIY sump... thanks for providing the info.

Nate
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Postby fishwolfe » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:09 am

ok silly question time.
when the power is off,doesn't the tank drain to the first hole in your U tubes?
doesn't that break the siphon?how does it maintain the siphon?
can your sump hold all that water?
is there a siphon break somewhere i cant see?
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Postby Natedawg63 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:25 am

Wolfe...

See pics 6-7 above and on pic 6 caption he says that he has a nozzle on his return line that feeds his UGJs that is barely below surface level. He says that acts as his syphon break in case of power failure.

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Postby fishwolfe » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:16 am

i see that on the ugj.what I'm referring to is the intake side.without an internal box the tank becomes the box, and it will siphon to the first hole.then the siphon will break and when the power comes back on it will flood the tank with all the water in the sump.
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Postby Hoosier Tank » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:44 pm

Wow, what responces :D Lets see if I can answer these in order...
dreday wrote: does your 5g bucket rest on the lid or does it sit on the bottom or on a stand on the bottom?
i have enough room to sit the bucket on a stand of some sort(probably with eggcrate and pvc or some plastic legs) and do not really trust it hanging on the lid.

and for the overflow, did you build it or buy it and modify it??
i think i am going to build an acrylic overflow instead. which is making me wonder where you got the u-tubes.
.


Yes the bucket rests on the lid on the lowest lip of the bucket. There really is no weight supported, neither the bucket nor anything in it weighs much plus it's water level and the level in the sump are equal and cancel out any weight it does have.
I thought of a eggcrate and PVC stand in the first drawing but it's really not needed. Unless you want to put another layer of filter / quilt batting on it for final polishing.
The overflow is a Speciman container I bought for $5 and drilled for the PVC fittings. I used Bulldogg7 DIY in the Library on the "Skimmerless Overflow".

mikmaze wrote: if you had the time, I would build a second bucket setup exactly as the first and install that in the other half of the styrylite box, put the return pump in between them and have twice the filtration and bio media.

True, I can always get another lid to cut two holes to double-up if needed. THANKS

Natedawg63 wrote:Did you DIY your 180g tank or buy it ready-made? That's the size I would live to get for a new set-up and was wondering if most of you guys here build your own tanks.

Worse, I bought a busted acrylic 180 and repaired it the polished the gazillion scratches out, but it only cost $100. SEE THIS POST

fishwolfe wrote: when the power is off,doesn't the tank drain to the first hole in your U tubes?

No, thats the beauty of Bulldogg7's design, the tank level only drops to the TOP of the PVC pipe in the overflow that drains to the sump. It doesn't matter how deep the u-tubes go into the tank, plus, because the U-tubes ar lower in the overflow than the height of the drain, you never loose siphone.
Read the write-up in the library, it explains it well. "Skimmerless Overflow".

Whew, did I miss anything?
180g - CA's Jack Dempsey, Firemouth, Salvini, Texas, Severum

40g long- Malawi

29g Tangs-J. marlieri, L. ocellatus (blue), A. calvus (black), N. pulcher (Daffodil)

2x10g Fry
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Postby fishwolfe » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:52 pm

glad you got your bases covered. :D
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Postby dreday » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:32 pm

i am still not clear on the siphon.

how does the break on the return stop the drain?

i have a sump now with a regular overflow box. so if i took off the inside box and had just the tubes when would the water stop draining???

until the water gets below the tubes, then you loose siphon and it wont restart with out sucking the air out.

not sure how the stand pipe will stop the water.

i guess what the article was saying is that the stand pipe needs to be at the height were you want your tank level to be. so if the tank level drops below the stand pipe that will stop the flow of water out??

just want to make sure i understand. i do need to build some more drains as i stated earlier so i just trying to verify my brain so i dont flood my living room... :fish:
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Postby Hoosier Tank » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:21 am

Yes dreday that is correct. I think where you are getting confused is the holes in my u-tubes are well below the overflow height. so there is no way for air to get in and loose the siphone. About the best example I can give is similar to whats in the article.
Say you have a tank full of water and a long hose and a 5g bucket. Set the bucket on the floor, punch a bunch of holes in the hose close to the ends, but none in the center and put the hose in the tank close to the bottom. Now start siphoning water into the bucket and put the hose into the bucket clear down to the bottom. The bucket will continue to fill, even when both ends of the hose are covered, right?
Now when the bucket is half full so all holes in the hose are covered, lift the bucket to be higher than the tank, water will reverse direction and flow out of the bucket and back into the tank, go it so far? Now slightly lower the bucket until it's water level is the same as the tank water level. All flow stops because the levels are equalized.... but your hose is still full of water because both ends and all the holes are below the water surface, even if there are holes in the hose, if they are below the water level no air can get in...with me so far?
OK, if you drill a hole on the side of the bucket just above the water level, no water will drain out right?
If you lower the bucket 2" and hold it there, water will flow out of the tank into the bucket and out the hole you drilled UNTIL the tank level drops the same 2" you lowered the bucket. Then the tank level AND the bucket level are again equalized but just below the hole and the flow will stop again...got it?
The overflow box is the bucket, the u-tubes are the hose and the standpipe is the hole in the side of the bucket.
Now if you shut off the pump, once water level drops to the height of the standpipe it can not drain any lower, nowhere to go, even though both ends of the u-tubes are below the water line. No air can get into the u-tubes because both ends are still under water so the siphone doesn't break. So when the pump turns back on, it raises the tank level above the standpipe and water again flows.
HTH
180g - CA's Jack Dempsey, Firemouth, Salvini, Texas, Severum

40g long- Malawi

29g Tangs-J. marlieri, L. ocellatus (blue), A. calvus (black), N. pulcher (Daffodil)

2x10g Fry
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Postby dreday » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:50 am

ok i got it.

ty for the info again. :thumb:
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Postby bulldogg7 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:09 pm

It looks great, wish I could've found those materials back then. That cover is sweet does it really reduce the noise a lot? I may get a bigger tank in a few months and go back to the skimmerless.
Those siphon tubes look like they were made for the skimmerless, were the superking's HOB's?

Love the mariner theme on that wall, had an idea for something siilar, but wife didn't let me yet.
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Postby Hoosier Tank » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:52 pm

Thanks, the cover I made out of two pieces of 1/8" sheet cutting one smaller than the opening and one larger then glueing them together does quiet it some but you still water running down the hose.
The tubes are Supreme brand "King Siphon" from E. G. Danner Mfg.. As dusty as the packages were at my LFS, that probably explains why I couldn't find them listed on the websight. And why I got them for $5 :P
The ships wheel and net were there first! The whole Family Room has been Nautical theme since the remodel 9 years ago. Sailing ships, lighthouses, old fishing lures and reels and fish.
180g - CA's Jack Dempsey, Firemouth, Salvini, Texas, Severum

40g long- Malawi

29g Tangs-J. marlieri, L. ocellatus (blue), A. calvus (black), N. pulcher (Daffodil)

2x10g Fry
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Postby dreday » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:24 am

well to reduce the noise of the stand pipe, could you not put it at an angle??

i know it would be tight in the box but if you put in a 45 bend pvc that would slant the pipe it should reduce noise.

i think i might try one like that. maybe with only one U-tube in it. i plan on using 2 overflows per tank.

by the way what is your gph right now?? around 1000?
and the size of the drain is 1.5"?

thanks again

dre
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