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Old 02-18-2003, 07:05 PM   #1
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DIY Wet/Dry advice

I've got a 10 gal tank that I'd like to convert to a wet/dry filter to put under my 40 gal reef. Any hits or advice? Things to watch out for or avoid? I will also need to build an overflow.

Any hints/help/suggestions are welcome.
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Old 02-18-2003, 07:23 PM   #2
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A glass aquarium used for a sump or wet/dry poses some difficulties. You can't drill for a bulkhead to connect your pump so you will have to use a submersible. You will need baffles to prevent micro bubbles from rentering the main tank. A 10 is on the small side but it is do-able. Baffles will be difficult because silicon soesn;t like to stick to acrylic. I guess you could use glass sheets for the baffles. What I would do is use a plastic tub instead. You can put your 10 gal inside the tub, that'll act as sort of a baffle depending on how deep the tub is. Then you can put a bulkhead fitting in the tub for a pump. Or you can use the to as a refugium and only divert a small amount of water to it and the rest to the wet/dry part of your tub. Or (better yet) skip the wet/dry media and just use LR in your reef tank for your biofilter. Use the tub for the refugium/sump to put your skimmer and a heater.
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:30 PM   #3
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Mark,

I have to ask why cant you drill for a bulkhead? Do you feel the 10 gal glass thickness is to thin to be able to support the pressures of the water after its been drilled? Or are you saying that freshmaker himself cant drill the tank?

I have had no problems from my 30 gal tank that I got drilled.


I do like the idea of a larger tub for the sump if the only option is a 10 gal tank.

The effective amount of water you are going to be able to run in your sump and keep from having the risk of a flood is going to only be 5 gal or so.

I would buy an overflow unless you where really adept at working with acrylic.

I prefer U tube overflows. They can be found for less than $30 from www.thatpetplace.com or www.petwarehouse.com
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
I have to ask why cant you drill for a bulkhead?
Most tanks are made of tempered glass. Most glass suppliers and aquarium suppliers do not recommend drilling tempered glass but I think you already knew that. It's not impossible to drill but is more prone to crack or break during the process and is not usually guaranteed against breakage when being drilled. It doesn't matter how good the hole is, if it's tempered glass it will have micro cracks in it. I don't think I would chance it especially with the paper thin glass of a ten gallon tank.
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:21 PM   #5
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Right. I know you really cant drill tempered glass. Just had not thought that the 10 gal would be tempered.

Of course its important to know if its tempered or not before you try to have it drilled.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:13 AM   #6
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As far as I know, most (not all, I'm sure) tanks under 55 gal do not use tempered glass. The ones that do typically only have it on the bottom. What I'm basing this on is the new tanks that come into the store. If they have tempered glass, they are marked. I'm assuming that the ones that are not marked are not tempered. Nejsux submitted an excellent post on tempered glass and why you can't drill it. I'm using a 10g as a sump under a 20g and it seems adequate. I agree with Mark that a 10 is on the small side for a 40. Mine is very crowded with 2 heaters, a small skimmer, and a submersible return pump. I doubly agree with losing the wet/dry media and using the LR for bio filtration (wet/dry=nitrate). I also had trouble with micro bubbles coming from the skimmer return. I solved it by sitting a plastic water glass under the skimmer return. By the time the water flows out of the glass, the bubbles have dissipated...crazy I know, but it worked. IMO, a Rubbermaid tub would work well. If you want to use a glass tank, probably a 20 long would be better. Maybe that 10 could become a quarantine tank?
If you decide to use the 10, I can post some pics of mine if you wish...might be good for an idea or two. Unless you have access to a good (well adjusted that will make perfectly square cuts) table saw, I'd buy an overflow. Also, don't silicone acrylic together...it tends, as Mark said, not to stick well.
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Old 02-19-2003, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
most (not all, I'm sure) tanks under 55 gal do not use tempered glass
You're never to old to learn something. Thanks. That's what I get for speaking out my backside.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great thoughts. As for the Overflow. I've seen them but the price I found was about double the $30 you stated. I was going to build one from two Lee's Seciment boxes. I wasn't going to build my own box just put a couple of them together. As for the Wet/Dry...I'll keep the things you guys have said in mind. Loganj, I would like to see some pictures to get an idea of what others have done.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:44 PM   #9
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I have to admit I was a little off on the price of $30. I did find one for $50

http://www.premiumaquatics.com/thest...ds/UL-SS1.html

and also I think i found the directions for the lee specimin box's that you descibe

http://www.reefs.org/library/diy/diy_winner1.html
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Old 02-19-2003, 04:08 PM   #10
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Check you LFS for over flows. The ones around here are anywhere from $35 to $45 for standard single 4-600 GPH overflows. this mind you is only the overflow and the prefilter sponge. No hose or u-tube. Just a thought...
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