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I have a Deep Blue wet/dry sump (very similar to the Eshopps wd-300) on my 90 gallon African Cichlid tank. The drip tray it comes with has 3/8" holes which I cover with a piece of filter floss, and underneath it I have some Poret foam, then bio balls, and then submerged some bio home media. I find that the water trickling down over the bio balls is just concentrated in a few streams and there seems to be lots of dry spots on the balls. Does anyone have tips on how to better diffuse the water evenly over all the bio balls? Maybe a different type of drip tray, or more smaller holes?
 

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How is the water coming into the drip tray from the aquarium, is it centered over the drip tray, off to the side and what size pipe?
 

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Just winging it here but you could use some plastic peg board (more expensive) or plastic canvas (cheap) made for crafts and use that on the bottom of the drip tray as the holes are smaller.

Try using Polyfil traditional batting instead of filter floss as it may help the water spread better as it clogs up.

Hopefully someone with experience comments with suggestions for you.
 

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Hello,
I have always made my own sump out of old, scratched up aquariums (former reptile enclosures were the usual source...). If you can adapt the hose coming down from the tank to the drip tray, I would recommend fitting a PVC spray bar kind of thing on the end of the hose. My own spray bars looked like an upside down 'T', and the PVC pipe had holes drilled on both sides of it. The spray bar/PVC pipe was measured and fitted to go from one corner of the drip tray to the other, in a kind of diagonal arrangement. Sited on top of the pre-filter foam, those improvised spray bars worked great to spread the water better across that foam layer, and to put more even water flow over the wet dry filter media sited underneath.
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Problems:
- How crafty are you? Figuring out how to adapt the flex hose thing you have now to a PVC fitting could be a little challenging, (my homemade sumps were easier, as I used vinyl tubing to connect the aquarium to the sump).
- Noise! Sumps just aren't very quiet anyway. And unfortunately, the PVC spray bar seemed to make more of the gurgling/splashing water noises commonly associated with sumps well, worse. I resorted to putting sheets of blue-white pond filtration foam on top of the PVC spray bar to cover the holes a bit. That helped, but it was still a little noisy.
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Hope this helps! Sumps are a great way to go in ensuring enough filtration is available to support heavily stocked (over-stocked?) African Mbuna aquariums. From saturating the water with oxygen, to proving unmatched efficiencies in Biological filtration and providing hidden heat and other things for the aquarium, those noisy old bubbling, gurgling sumps definitely have their place. :)
 
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