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Old 12-02-2004, 11:27 PM   #1
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Yet another Sump building question

Seems to be a hot topic this week, so I'll bite and join in.

I've been reading everything I can find about building your own sump, reading others advice yet I still find myself asking the same few questions.

I plan to build a 15 (or so) gallon sump. What I can't figure out is how many "compartments" I need and how to setup each one up. Or if I should use a rubbermaid container or a glass tank?

I know I want the tank drain to flow into a compartment that will hold small peices of live rock which will be suspended just above the bottom of the sump on a plastic (or some variant) grate.

Then I need to have the water pass though my Skimmer. After this I have no idea what to do.

I read about a "fuge" and how I could grow some macro or pods, plants, ect. But I really have no idea what this is or how it works.

Then the pump... a Mag 5 or Mag 7 (submerged) to return the water to the tank, which is a reef ready Oceanic 58 gallon with a 1" drain and 3/4" return.

Can someone give me there "parts list" of what I need to purchase to build this sump? I assume I can obtain most of the parts necessary at a hardware store/home depot?

I'd like to get this project started this weekend as my tank arrives next week. So any advice, from what you recommend to here is what you should buy would be very much appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
I plan to build a 15 (or so) gallon sump. What I can't figure out is how many "compartments" I need and how to setup each one up. Or if I should use a rubbermaid container or a glass tank?
Thats cause there is no hard fast rule. You can have 1 compartment or 5. The number will depend on what you want your sump to do. If you want it to simply hold water and your heaters, etc then a single compartment or maybe a big water compartment and a bubble trap compartment. If you want the sump to have a small refuge area then you need another compartment for this. If you want an area you can place activated carbon then you need a compartment for this. If your going to make compartments I would use something more rigid than a rubbermaid tub. Either a glass tank or building the sump with acrylic.

I would avocate using a 20Gal Long if you can fit it under your tank. This would allow you to have compartments that have some resonable size. A 2 gal refuge isnt nearly as benifital as a 10gal refuge. A book I have recommends the refuge size be at lease 20% the size of the main tank. When sizing the pump compartment dont make it to small as normal evaporation could wind up causing your pump to run out of water. Ideally I would say have a return pump compartment with 3-5 gal of water storage so as to permit a few days of operation before the pump would 'run dry' due to evaporation.
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:08 PM   #3
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What do you think about this idea. Using a 20 gallon glass tank and plex-glass as the dividers.

Where the breaks show in the plex-glass dividers in this drawing I will drill holes to allow water passage.

Thoughts? Am I way off, or on the right track? Thanks

EDIT: Can't get my pic to post for some reason... See it here: http://www.pathpoint.net/sump-idea.bmp
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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bitmaps arent permitted because their file size is usually unproportonaly large as compared to their image size. Your photo as an example is 900KB+ in size and just over 64480 in size. The same image in gif or jpeg format would probably be less than 13KB in size.

I would drill large holes as to keep them from getting cloged with detrius or something like that. Expecialy on the divider between the refuge and left chamber. Measure your heater as I dont think you could position it like you have with the space permitted. Do you plan on having a 150W heater?

I think your on the right track. It might requre some tweaking once its built and running depending on how th ewater flows working out.
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information.

Is is hard to cut plexi-glass? What should I use to cut it with?
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:04 AM   #6
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I have never cut it myself but I belive you can do it with a circular saw as long as it does not get to hot and the blade is nice and sharp with small teeth. Your local lowes or home depot should be able to give you better advice on cutting it and they may even be able to cut it for you if you have the cut dimentions.
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Old 12-04-2004, 01:50 PM   #7
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You can cut it with a good 80+ tooth carbide blade on a table saw. Set the cutting depth so that the blade barely breaks the surface of the acrylic. This will reduce chipping. I noticed one thing you mentioned that I would change. I'd have the water hit the skimmer first and then go through the fuge area. Have you done a Google search on sumps? Also check on about.com.
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the information.

I built the Sump Saturday morning, silicone is drying right now. I purchased a 15 gallon AGA tank for $25 from a LFS, some AGA clear silicone for $5 and off to Home Depot I went. Total project cost was about $60.

Home Depot cut the plexi-glass to my measurements (free of charge) and everything went together perfectly. This is my first attempt at a DIY project for my aquarium and it went very well. I know now that I could build another sump should my need/wants change in the future.

I would post a actual picture, but I left my parents take my digital camera on vacation with them. She here is the final draft it's based on.
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