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Old 07-22-2003, 07:03 PM   #1
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Fuge/sump/water change container

I have this burning desire for a sump/refugium and an easier way to change water. I've been playing around with some ideas and thought I would post my latest "brainstorm" to see if anybody thinks its do-able and or insane.

Space is an issue in my place. I'm using the stand that came with my tank and there isn't much room in there on a 46 bowfront, it's narrow and only 11" wide at the ends....kinda cramped. I've got "permission" from my girlfriend/roomate to take over some more space in the living room for this contraption as long as I put it in some sort of "attractive" enclosure. It'll be lower than the main tank and sit to the side. I've got about 4 feet to play with.

My idea (most likely done before, I just haven't seen anything.) is to have 3 seperate containers of maybe 10-15 gallons each. The left would be the intake from the overflow off the main tank with some baffles to stop the bubbles as well as a skimmer (HOT Aqua C Remora). From there it would go through a "T" with twin ball valves to the second tank. This same arrangement would be between the second and third tank (the refugium). The third tank would house the return pump to the main tank. This would allow me to shut off the flow to the middle tank and bypass it for quick and easy water changes. I thought about putting a hose bib on the front of it so I can run a short length of hose to a couple of buckets.

Does that make any sense at all? I'll work on a drawing of it when I get a moment. I'm actually in a class right now and must appear to my fellow students, and professor, to be feverishly typing on an assignment.

I've never worked with standard acrylic before. But I was a Corian fabricator for about 5 years and, while I don't want to sound like a bragger, I WAS very good at it. I'm assuming that some of the methods for fabrication are similar for both acrylic and "solid surface". I thought that if I didn't find some containers that are suitable I could make something, but I'm not postive I can pull off the fabrication without a learning curve of some type.

My other option would be a 30 gallon tank used as a sump/refugium and my water changes would still be easier, it just won't have the "maximum gizmosity" factor that I enjoy.

If anyone has seen a similar arrangement online, please, link me up!

Thanks!

Eric
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:25 PM   #2
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sounds like a good idea! I'd like to see drawings.. I've been toying with ideas of how to get much increased sump capacity.. I'd like to be able to change 30G of water (at least!) within the sump itself, while still having a wet/dry setup that doesn't have to sit several feet off the floor..

"or something"
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:31 PM   #3
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I too am going to "build " my own. Plan to get a 10 gal tank and partition it up as you mentioned with plexi-glass . I have a 55 g corner tank so my under space is also limited. Have a you done a search on the web for DIY sumps?

Let us know how you are progressing
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Old 07-26-2003, 03:15 PM   #4
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The idea hasn't really progressed too far yet. I've been looking closer at acrylic fabrication more than anything else. I can't find anything sturdy enough in the sizes I want anywhere around here. I found some links for acrylic DIY and it looks pretty straightforward to me. When I actually get to that point I'll find out just how full of myself I really am.

I've been trying to get a jointer here tuned up. At one time it was a great piece of equipment but 20 years of university use has left it less than accurate and DULL. After I finish getting the ways shimmed properly and the blades sharpened it should work good enough. But I also installed a router to the left of the blade on the tablesaw and that may be a better solution of finishing the edges.

When I get some acrylic to play with I want to put it on a milling machine and see if I can create a "comb" with it. The CNC stuff I can use doesn't have enough travel but it's a possibility.

You can't buy acrylic here. I have to order and have it shipped. There may be a supplier in Spokane, I'm looking into that.

I'm making a HOT overflow first and want to get the kinks worked out on that before I make anything. My first try will be with misc. food containers I found at the grocery store for a dollar and pvc pipe and fittings. I'd like to buy one pre-made but the pocketbook says "DIY".

Drawings? I haven't got around to that. I've always been more of a "seat of your pants" fabricator. I usually do "as built" plans. But when I figure out how to post a CAD drawing I'll post a quick sketch.
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:17 PM   #5
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I have worked with plexigalss and other simillar acryilics. I only use two basic tools : a router and a utility knife. The router works great beause of the high rpm and there is never any burning issues. I use a 1/8 inch bit and have a backing bard on the opposite side.

The other option is a utility knife. Only for straight cuts but the principle is like working with glass. Scribe one nice deep cut with the utility knife. Then place the piece in a vice or clamping arrangement such that the plexiglass is sandwiched betwee two straight boards witht he scribed line visible. Then just carefullly bend the plexiglass in a direction away from the scribed line. The sheet will crack on the line. THis only works well when the material is not too thick and the cut is not too long. Just my two cents.
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