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Calling all sump builders

Postby WhitzEnd » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:55 pm

Along with the stand im working on I am planning on building a sump system for it. I really want to have the best of all worlds. I've heard arguments for and against wet/dry, refugium, etc. Most of it has been the same ol' Bio-anything is a nitrate factory, and refugiums are overkill for freshwater. I agree with some of it but each have their merits so I thought to myself...

WHY NOT HAVE BOTH?

So here are the rendered fruits of my rambling mind. This is setup in a 29 gallon tank. Inlet goes through two filter socks then to the side over filter floss and through a perforated tray over bio media, out through the bottom and up and over to the refugium then over to the pump housing.

Do you think this would actually be worth doing or am I going too far?

If you have any design ideas or suggestions send them this way.

Here are a couple angles up my sketchup model.

(Disclaimer: My design has a few ideas that I stole from the aqueon proflex sumps. Im not playing brand favorites or anything but i just think the thing looks darn nice!)

Image

Image

On a side note: Is a 29 gallon sump going to be enough for a 90 or 110 gallon tank? Or should i go for a 38 gallon?
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Postby prov356 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:47 am

That size sump is fine, but you'll have to watch evaporation. I'd add an auto topoff to anything that small. Going with a 38 is only going to add a few gallons to the system, and may just make it harder to work in the sump. But, if space allows, it's usually a good idea to go with the bigger sump sizes.

Keep in mnd that filter socks often need frequent cleaning. Have you allowed bypass for if/when they clog and limit flow? In other words, where will the water go when it can't flow fast enough through the filter socks? Just keeping an eye on it is a risky plan. Better that it flow to a different chamber of the sump than your floor.

Otherwise, looks fine to me.
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Postby WhitzEnd » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:39 am

prov356 wrote:That size sump is fine, but you'll have to watch evaporation. I'd add an auto topoff to anything that small. Going with a 38 is only going to add a few gallons to the system, and may just make it harder to work in the sump. But, if space allows, it's usually a good idea to go with the bigger sump sizes.

Keep in mnd that filter socks often need frequent cleaning. Have you allowed bypass for if/when they clog and limit flow? In other words, where will the water go when it can't flow fast enough through the filter socks? Just keeping an eye on it is a risky plan. Better that it flow to a different chamber of the sump than your floor.

Otherwise, looks fine to me.


Im considering going and building my own acrylic sump. Then i can customize the size to fit under my stand. My tank is only 48 wide so with the bracing inside i have limited space. But it is 36 inches tall so ill have plenty of room above it to work. I dont know how I would get an auto top off in such a small space.

This is going in my office and the wife would not take kindly to having anything showing outside the stand.
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Postby prov356 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:46 am

I built my own acrylic sump for same reasons.

You can run a line to a water source for the auto topoff, just be sure to add some type of inline filter that'd deal with chloramine/chlorine removal. If that's more than you want to get into, then just you'll just need to keep an eye on the water level.
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Postby WhitzEnd » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:31 pm

prov356 wrote:I built my own acrylic sump for same reasons.

You can run a line to a water source for the auto topoff, just be sure to add some type of inline filter that'd deal with chloramine/chlorine removal. If that's more than you want to get into, then just you'll just need to keep an eye on the water level.


With this being in my office there is no water line anywhere near. Good thing i work from home and the tank is just to my left. Its a great source of relaxation during those crazy days.
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Postby WhitzEnd » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:38 pm

prov356 wrote:I built my own acrylic sump for same reasons.

You can run a line to a water source for the auto topoff, just be sure to add some type of inline filter that'd deal with chloramine/chlorine removal. If that's more than you want to get into, then just you'll just need to keep an eye on the water level.


Hey Prov356. You couldnt post a pic of your sump could you?
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Postby prov356 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:19 pm

Hey Prov356. You couldnt post a pic of your sump could you?


This was the first one that I built. It's been running almost 5 years now, no problems. I initially
had the removable dividers under the light for plants, but wasn't worth the trouble, so don't use
them any more. I just open the drain on the sump to do water changes.

Image

Image

I built four of these about two years ago for the fish room. Modified the initial design just a bit.
Working out the max size for the space always takes a lot of time. That's why the one pic
shows a mock up. I was seeing how low I could set the first row of tanks. For these, I switch
the two valves to drain the sump.

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Postby inurocker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:20 pm

Prov356 Very nice work. Did you ever plant the refugium on the one in first pic?
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:57 pm

I made a sump out of a 60G acrylic, you can see it in my My Odyssey thread on the first page.

It's very long, so after the bio tower I have about 3 feet of open tank space that I may play with as far as plants, or a time out tank.
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Postby prov356 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:25 pm

inurocker wrote:Prov356 Very nice work. Did you ever plant the refugium on the one in first pic?


I tried some plants that didn't need to be rooted like hornwort and then an 'onion' plant I think it was called. I could never get plants to do well in that system. They don't do well in any of my sump systems, as a matter of fact. They grow like weeds in the tanks with sponge filters.

If the objective is to keep nitrates down, then I found that I can do that just fine by keeping organics low and staying on a regular water change schedule.
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Postby lexi73 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:40 am

Image


Essentially couldn't you use the proflex layout for this already? I mean the chamber where the filter socks are you could use as a refugium right? or does that need to be after the wet/dry portion.

I suppose too that you'd want it open above and lighted... hmmm then in that case you're design makes more sense.

I too have a wet/dry and it's really loud, I've been seriously considering the proflex for it's design..
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Postby Rick_Lindsey » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:28 am

Each of prov's sumps looks to have a feature that imho is one of the most important when building your own sump, yet lacking from both the OP's concept drawings and the photo from lexi :

An easily accessed/maintained/replaced mechanical prefilter pad. That pad can catch most of the incoming debris, keep it out of your bio media, yet be very easy to replace/clean. By removing the debris before it decays, you can reduce the nitrate buildup in your system. I really like what looks like a little access door (drawer?) on prov's assorted sumps where that pad lives.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who's sump setup exists only on paper so far, so keep that grain of salt handy)
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Postby WhitzEnd » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:22 am

Rick_Lindsey wrote:Each of prov's sumps looks to have a feature that imho is one of the most important when building your own sump, yet lacking from both the OP's concept drawings and the photo from lexi :

An easily accessed/maintained/replaced mechanical prefilter pad. That pad can catch most of the incoming debris, keep it out of your bio media, yet be very easy to replace/clean. By removing the debris before it decays, you can reduce the nitrate buildup in your system. I really like what looks like a little access door (drawer?) on prov's assorted sumps where that pad lives.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who's sump setup exists only on paper so far, so keep that grain of salt handy)


Rick. The sump would have a prefilter pad above the bio media in the tray shown. The proflex also has then when set up as a wet/dry. (in fact my wet/dry section is basically the same as theirs turned sideways. The water would first be filtered by the filter socks. Then flow out of that chamber over a pad of filter floss, then down through the bio media. This would get the particulate matter out before it hits the refugium.
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Postby WhitzEnd » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:54 pm

Well i finally got the design done. Ended up picking up a 40 gallon tank instead of the 29. I think its going to turn out nicely.

Image

Im headed to the local plastics shop to order the acrylic today.
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Postby tim_s » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:10 pm

Can I ask the theory between wet / dry, with all conventional filtration systems being HOBs / Canisters the bio-media is always sub-merged.
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