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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been trying to come up with idea's for a DIY sump for my up coming 180g tank project. I have read all the posts that my various searches can find, all revolve around a tank or sheet acrylic boxes. I took a look around the garage and found a 122qt / 115ltr Sterilite storage bin with lid and a 5 gallon bucket. What do you think of this?

I would use egg crate to keep the blue backed prefilter off from the Pot scrubbis, drill the bottom of the bucket with drain holes and set it in a tray that has a poly-fill mat for the final filtration that has an eggcrate bottom. The bucket and bin lids would have holes large enough to fit past the pipe union would would allow me to remove the lids to change the prefilter and then lift the bucket to change out the poly-fill final filter without desturbing the bio medial.
I could support the Bin sides from bowing with 2 x4's integrated into the stand for if it fills from a tank drainage in a power outage.
Am I a crack-pot? :lol:
 

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I would say it is identical to mine. I have it set up on my 125g 5 gallon bucket, but I used the scrubbies that people use in the shower for the prefilter. Then a piece of plexiglass with holes drilled in it. Then bio balls, then more holes drilled into the bottom of the bucket.

I did put a grate down on the bottom of the storage bin since I have heard rumors of the heaters in the bins actually melting them. That way the heaters never actually are touching the bin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jwal, I like the framework idea
redstallion02, Good point about the heater
Thanks for the input!
 

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Question, I'm no expert as I've never built one but plan to soon, the question is would you allow the setup to run a good month or so without the prefilter so as not to allow the prefilter to build much in the way of bene bio, so when changing or cleaning it not to disturb the cycle as much. It's my understanding a tank will only produce so much bene bio based on tank size and fish quantity and conditions ,so this would let the bio section collect the bulk of it first. I understand everything will collect it, substrate, rocks, etc.. Whatcha think??
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wait a sec, did you say 122qrt? roughly 30 gal container with a 5 gal bucket? container to big?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Leviathan25 said:
Question, I'm no expert as I've never built one but plan to soon, the question is would you allow the setup to run a good month or so without the prefilter so as not to allow the prefilter to build much in the way of bene bio, so when changing or cleaning it not to disturb the cycle as much. It's my understanding a tank will only produce so much bene bio based on tank size and fish quantity and conditions ,so this would let the bio section collect the bulk of it first. I understand everything will collect it, substrate, rocks, etc.. Whatcha think??
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wait a sec, did you say 122qrt? roughly 30 gal container with a 5 gal bucket? container to big?
Good point about the Prefilter accumulating the Beneficial Bacteria, I am interested in an answer. However, I also don't want my pot-scrubbies to buid-up with waste and need cleaned as soon as things get cycled.

Yes 122qt or 30.5 gallons. I don't think the container is too big, actually on the small size for a 180 tank. Since it is simply a resivour for the filtered water (sump) others have posted 1/4 to 1/2 the tank size... cant imagine buying a 90g for a sump!
I also drew up a similar sketch with a 5g bucket on each side and the pump in the middle. This would give me twice the bio media capacity, I could even add it on later if needed with another HOB overflow and minimal plumbing mods.
 

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Good point about the Prefilter accumulating the Beneficial Bacteria, I am interested in an answer. However, I also don't want my pot-scrubbies to buid-up with waste and need cleaned as soon as things get cycled.
you could have a regular sponge prefilter like the ones on a powerhead on the intake side in the tank, until the bene bact is built up then add the bucket pre filter
 

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Hello Every1,

Should first introduce myself I feel. I have been a long time reader and looker and want to thank all of you for the valuable info during my years of fish keeping.

I made a very similar sump for my 75E tank except I drilled 3/16th holes in the bottom of my 5gal bucket and set it atop of eggcrate. I also used an inverted shower drain for the introduction of the water. My biggest problem was the wasted filter media due to the water mainly concentrated in a six inch diameter at the center. I tried to "wrap" the egg crate dividers I used with vinyl screen to help diffuse the water but did not seem to help much. Non-the-less, it was quite effective, just seemed to be less than cost effective. I have since created a DIY canister filter inside of my sump that has worked better than I imagined. I will try and post some pics soon if any1 is interested along with some photos of my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bigmoo said:
I have since created a DIY canister filter inside of my sump that has worked better than I imagined. I will try and post some pics soon if any1 is interested along with some photos of my tank.
Love to see it, please.
Inside you say... hummm.
 

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hoosier the idea behind a sump 1/4 or 1/2 the size of your tank is to increase water volume. it makes it less likely to have foul ups or problems. also it makes maintenance more spread out.

but your design looks good. i am thinking about making a new sump that is larger than the one i have now. it is acrylic and came with my 75g. but i think i could fit a 30g tub under it and get more filtration into it. i like your design and am going to mull it over. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Found a larger 55g sterilite container and a large square plastic strainer for under the bucket in housewares dept. at Wal-mart tonight :dancing:
 

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just marking the thread so i can follow along and, at some point, give it a shot myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK it's been a while but the whole tank build has taken a while as well.
Here are the pics of what I have so far.
One 5 gallon bucket with 1 1/2" holes drilled in the bottom.


I bought two lids, the first one I made my drip plate out of by drilling 1/4" holes then cut off the outer rim so it would fit insto the mouth of the bucket.



The second lid, I cut a hole in the center for the 1 1/2" PVC Male and Female couplings


Next fill the bucket with the Bio media (pot-scrubbies)


Wrap the drip tray with a 12" x 12" piece of blue backed air filter media and insert it in the bucket


Install PVC fittings into bucket lid and install


Cut a hole in the lid of a Sterilite container that is large enough for the bucket to fit in yet the rim around the top where the handle is doesn't pass through.


Install bucket into the container / sump


I still need to cut an additional hole for the return hose and electrical cord from pump and they will be on the opposite side on top of the Sterilite lid. Mine will be large enough for a 3/4" PVC union to fit though to disconnect hose from piping for easy sump cleaning. but that can be suited for your application.
 

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Thanks for the update. I'm curious how loud (or quiet) these types of DIY sumps are, especially the flow of the water into the bucket.
 

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This is very similar to tannable's design. However, with the way this one was done - doesn't it defeat one of the advantages of a wet/dry? Another way to ask it is how does this differ from a large volume cheap cannister (which, by the way, is not a bad thing)?

My point is that a wet/dry benefits from the exposure of the water to air for oxygenation, both for the fishies and for the bacteria. But if its "sealed off" then you are limiting that oxygenation - so to me it becomes a DIY cannister, not wet/dry. Of course the advantage of closing it up is that its quieter. But I could be missing something.

Again, I am not saying its a bad thing. I think its a great design, and I already plan doing one like this after seeing tannables post. I just think this is more like a cannister than a wet/dry.
 

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Hoosier Tank, what are the dimensions of that blue Sterilite container? Unfortunately the way I made my stand I have a very tight space underneath, so I am having trouble finding one I can use.
 

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I think you're mistaken about how a wet-dry works. Look at all the manufactured ones and you'll see there is no more access to 'outside' air than this design. The theory behind wet-dry is that the bacteria is wet but not fully submersed in water and his set up achieves it. If the sponges are not covered in water then by definition they have air around them. It isn't fully sealed and air can more than easily find its way in.

Looks like a great set up to me, but I am curious if it is noisy at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the intrest all...
The size of the Sterilite container is 32L x 19W x 16H (30g). The center opening in my 6' x 2' stand has a two center uprights at 18" centers from the ends giving it 3 sections 18 - 36 - 18. So with the width of the 2x4 posts it fit in the center just right. I just boxed it in on the sides for support in case of it filling with water.
Yes I found tannables post after my original drawing and tweeked mine a little after seeing it, for example, the bucket was too tall to fit inside the tote and I also omit the bottom filter tray. But I liked how he used the rim of the bucket to support it on the tank he used. The bottom of the bucket is about 2" off the floor of the container so I can add the strainer and filter floss for final filtration if needed later.
And my interpritation (right or wrong) of a wet / dry is that the bio media is not submerged but the water flows through it. For example take a look at the wet /drys sumps like the Megaflows, they are an acrylic box with partitions to divide it into bio / mechanical / sump compartments. Mine will be far from air tight, but hopefully be "contained" :lol:
But hey if we want to clasify it as a canister / sump thats fine with me! :thumb:
 
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