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Old 02-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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DIY OverFlow and Sump Filter

I'm going to take on building a DIY overflow and sump filter (thanks for the tip, JRMedic25). Is standard PVC cement safe to use?
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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Yes. Just make sure it is cured all the way (i would say just wait at least 12 hours.)
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Lab...Take a few shots during the construction...Im pumped for you....Im going to do this if I upgrade to a 125. Also if you are going to use the plastic pot scrubbers as biomedia...Get them from the dollar store. Double check them that they have nothing added to them. The ones I got were made in china and work perfectly. You get 1 pack of 9 for a buck. They work better then bio balls.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmedic25
Lab...Take a few shots during the construction...Im pumped for you....Im going to do this if I upgrade to a 125. Also if you are going to use the plastic pot scrubbers as biomedia...Get them from the dollar store. Double check them that they have nothing added to them. The ones I got were made in china and work perfectly. You get 1 pack of 9 for a buck. They work better then bio balls.
Thanks. Yeah I had that in mind. I'm planning to do a wet/dry filter pretty much like the one in the first link you posted. My "challenge" is to do it and hide it all so it doesn't look junky and is as silent as possible. Oh, and to do it as inexpensively as possible. Tentatively, I'm planning on having a 5-10 gallon capacity. I need to find a narrow rectangular container that I can hide under the the aquarium stand.

I need figure out how to have safety measures put in place so that, say, if the overflow skimmer becomes obstructed that the tank will not overflow and burn out the dry-running pump at the same time. I'm sure there is a float-based switch (similar to what a basement sump pump has) that I could utilize.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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Target has a ton of containers that will work. Or walmart... It will be really quiet if you cut a hole in the lid and run it with the lid on. You dont have to worry about the tank overflowing as long as you dont set your pvc pipe that is in your tank to low. I think it sits about 2 inches below the glass. If you have a power failure it just drains down to the level of the pipe. The sump will be more than capable of storing that much water (if you use a large enough bin). Its only 4-5 gallons. You will understand the balance better when you start assembling it. If you skimmer gets plugged it will only pump until the sump is uncovered. Thats only a few gallons in my tank. I set mine so if that happens the tank can still hold all the water. Its easy to figure out. I fill my tank up until the water just covers the bottom of the strip on top. The strip is about an inch so in my 75 gallon thats 48 inches long X 18 wide. Then you can account for the inch of remaining space. 48x18x1= 864 cubic inches.
One cubic inch is equal to 0.004329004 gallons
864x.004329004= 3.74...Almost 4 gallons...So if you have a 10 gallon sump your very well covered....Make sense?
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Obviously I got carried away lol....Im bored here at work...As for the float cut off switch....I never thought of that...I figure if the pump burns out it will be surrounded by water so not a fire hazard. If you forget to add water it could run dry though...I like the plastic bins and plastic bucket better than the glass tanks...You dont have to build dividers and such...Seems like it would save time and money...I think is super cool your trying this. I cant wait to see it
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmedic25
I think the containers from target are perfect. It will be really quiet if you cut a hole in the lid and run it with the lid on. You dont have to worry about the tank overflowing as long as you dont set your pvc pipe that is in your tank to low. I think it sits about 2 inches below the glass. If you have a power failure it just drains down to the level of the pipe. The sump will be more than capable of storing that much water (if you use a large enough bin). Its only 4-5 gallons. You will understand the balance better when you start assembling it. If you skimmer gets plugged it will only pump until the sump is uncovered. Thats only a few gallons in my tank. I set mine so if that happens the tank can still hold all the water. Its easy to figure out. I fill my tank up until the water just covers the bottom of the strip on top. The strip is about an inch so in my 75 gallon thats 48 inches long X 18 wide. Then you can account for the inch of remaining space. 48x18x1= 864 cubic inches.
One cubic inch is equal to 0.004329004 gallons
864x.004329004= 3.74...Almost 4 gallons...So if you have a 10 gallon sump your very well covered....Make sense?
It does make sense. Keeping the tank water level low enough so that it could hold the complete capacity of the tank + the sump water would resolve the overflow concern. That's an easy solution (thanks). However, if the skimmer gets plugged won't the pump burn out if it runs dry (say, overnight)? Do pumps have auto shut-off valves?

Say, to you keep your heater(s) in the sump? I see where folks are doing that. I would love to remove clutter from the tank.

EDIT: We crossed replies. Thanks for all of the info.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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I think putting the heater in the sump is a good idea. My thoughts are that I wouldnt stick it to the side or bottom of the softer plastic that the bins are made out of..They get pretty hot and might melt the plastic if you ran dry. Maybe put a peice of acrylic down and stick the heater to it. As for the pump running dry like overnight...Its possible for sure if you got a clog in the manifold. It seems unlikely since you are using like 2 inch pvc. A whole plant or fish would have to get wedged in there. I think you should cover the intake with some of that black plastic screen (like for windows) you can get it at the hardware store. They gave it to me for nothing since I only needed a small amount. You can fold it over the intake pvc and zip tie it inplace. I had to do that because I kept finding fry in my skimmer box. My pump dosent have a cut off in it runs dry. A float switch would work well though. I never thought about it. I worry more about the pump crappin out then running dry.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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I wanted to mention that the intake of the pvc manifold is what sets your water level...So thats the critical step. Dont worry about the water level in your sump as much. As long as your scrubbers arent totally submerged your good. Thats why on the video the bucket is on stilts. The scrubbers get trickeled over not submerged...The good bacteria needs the air to grow. I actually keep an airstone in my sump.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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I can take some pics of my sump setup if you would like, its built in overflow and then a sump in the bottom, I really dont have any filtering use for my sump, I should prob use it for something. I keep some babies down there, also its my doctor tank if someone get beat up, I keep the heater down there also, Tank about 125 gallons sump about 40 gallons, I never have over flow problems just keep the water level at a certain amount so if the pump shuts off the extra in top just fills up the sump
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