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Old 02-09-2005, 05:05 PM   #1
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diy wet dry filter

anybody have any plans for a wet dry filter i thinking of making one for my planted tank
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Old 02-10-2005, 01:17 PM   #2
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What kind are you looking for? Fancy acrylic with many compartments .... simple ugly rubbermaid type?

For the latter, you can look at the sticky at the top of this forum.

I modified that idea & use:
Sump - 30 gal heavyduty tool chest
Media basket - 4-5 gal rubber maid basket that fits inside the sump
Distribution pipe - 1" PVC

The PVC pipe has holes drilled to distribute the water. I also use that to hang the media basket near the top of the sump. <Drill holes near top of sump so the pipe can stick through & act as hangers>

Pic of what I mean:
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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i was just thinking of using a rubbermaid tub a big one
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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I have a pair of Tidepool, with bio-wheel, linked together with a 2" pipe. Skimmer will go in one and the return pump will be sitting in the other. Tank is on stand-by for now tho. When the tank is started and stabilized, I will post a review about this setup.

8)
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:19 PM   #5
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Jsoong:
Quote:
The PVC pipe has holes drilled to distribute the water. I also use that to hang the media basket near the top of the sump. <Drill holes near top of sump so the pipe can stick through & act as hangers>
I like it!

Do you get good water drip on the bioballs that are to the sides of the bin? I had seen some with drip plates to even out the trickle. Also, where is your prefilter? in the overflow box only? And how do you know what size pump to use, are the overflow boxes rated in gph like pumps?
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:32 AM   #6
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I drilled 3 rows of small (1/16") holes in the PVC, one row pointing down, the other rows at approx. 45 degrees off to each side. With the 6 rows of holes, I get pretty good coverage of the entire basket. I have found that the coverage is dependent on pump flow. The water spray out farther with higher flow rate, so I had to experiment with the angle of the "side" holes & the hole sizes to get the coverage I like. <Had a bunch of left-over PVC, so costs nothing to tinker!> To get more even coverage, I suppose you can also put in more pipes.

gph for wet/dry is supposed to be 3-5x tank volume (in FW), although I've read as high as 7-10x. For SW, the flow rate is much higher ... tho I am not familiar with the ins & outs of a SW tank. If you buy an overflow, it will have a gph rated ... just make sure it is higher than the pump you want to use. I made my overflow so I simply experimented in the bathtub to find out what the actual gph was.

I don't have a prefilter in the overflow box. I have a screen to trap bigger stuff so it won't clog the holes in the distribution pipes. I use a filter sponge to trap the fine stuff in the sump so it is not pumped back into the tank.

I am not 100% happy with my overflow design, however, so I'll be making another one soon .... I am thinking of a siphonless external overflow box ... still in the calculating phase.
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:24 AM   #7
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Don't you get a lot of junk in your sump without lots of pre-filter?

I am glad that the overflows are rated in GPH, so that you can match them up with pumps. Does the rubbermaid lid fit over your sump while it is running to keep debris out? Oh, and do you think I could have one overflow, with two pumps returning water to the tank, so that I could have two nozzles to direct water flow?

And do you know of some sites that have plans, perhaps I would borow ideas from several designs to make one. I like sumps, and it would make certain aspects of my tank maintenance easier, so I am considering switching to one.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:55 PM   #8
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I don't see why you can't have one overflow for several return pumps, as long as it can handle the total flow. <Personally, I'd go double the flow rate, just in case of blockages.>

I get stuff collecting in the sump, but that is trapped by my sponge pre-filter in the return pump. Personally, I'd rather have the crud collect in the sump - much easier to clean out than in the tank ... plus it is out of sight.

A good page for sumps: http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html

At the bottom of that page are links to 3 articles on sumps

He also has plan for a continuous overflow box here:
http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/overflow.html

This is a pretty good plan although I would use a Durso standpipe to connect that to the sump - much less noise. So your might need a bigger outter box to accomodate that.

PS - my tool storage box comes with a lid & I keep that on to decrease evaporation. I drill holes at the side to pass in hoses, wires, etc.
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9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 03-05-2005, 02:38 PM   #9
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Cool! Your sump has inspired me. It is simpler and uses more readily available parts than I had dreamed up myself. My maintenance would be easier if I had a sump, and I could still use one of my Fluvals for mechanical and backup biofiltration. Guess I would just have to get another tank for the other, orphaned fluval.

Now that you mention in, I suppose you could just aggitate the bioballs to shake loose any debris that collects on them while they are being sprayed, and deal with the sump gunk just before the return pump. Do you need any baffles between the bioballs and the pump, or just a sponge over the pump intake?

I don't know if I am up to a DIY overflow. Know of any reasonably priced commercial ones?
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:01 PM   #10
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I don't bother cleaning the bioballs. That's the beauty of the wet/dry .... The crud just disintergrates in the filter & becomes plant food. I get some sediment washed down into the sump & remove that every so often, but even that is prob not necessary. I modeled this system on pond wet/dry & it seems in ponds, the people just let things decompose in the filter & don't worry about any gunk unless it is causing a blockage in the plumbling.

I built the whole system so I can disassemble & clean it if needed. So far - 8 months running - there is not enough gunk collected for me to bother.

I did not use a baffle in the sump. My sponge over the pump intake seems to be adaquate in keeping out the stuff. Also, the intake is quite high up in the sump, so not much of the sediment is picked up. I do have a bit of problem with air bubbles, however. A baffle will act as bubble trap so you don't get bubbles in your tank, but I don't really mind the occassional bubbles.

Regarding a cheap commercial overflow ... I haven't found any. Small one at BigAl's is like $100-200. There was a guy selling home made DIY acrylic overflows on ebay for maybe 1/2 that. I am not sure if he is still there.
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