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Old 09-17-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Making A Sump Out Of Clay?

Hello! Since I wanted to make a sump for my 32 gallon goldie tank and I am kind of tight on budget, I thought about making them in clay. I joined a local art club that allow me to use their clay unlimitedly. The idea is that the sump will sit in between the aquarium and the wall, and there are only 5 inches so it is kind of tight. The dimension will be 24"x19"x5". I will fill it with gravel and grow lucky bamboo out of it. Will that work? I am kind of concerned about the clay breaking under the pressure since there are no supports on the side. Again, this goes behind the tank so I don't care what it look like. How thick should the clay be? Should I glaze the inside of the sump? How thick should the clay be so it won't break?

Help is appreciated!
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
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Hello? Any replies? I am new to this forum and really need some answers.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:53 AM   #3
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Guessing here... You would have to glaze it, otherwise it won't hold water. Make sure the glaze is lead free. Also keep in mind that clay shrinks when it's fired so it can be tricky to make something to precise measurements

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Old 09-20-2014, 04:55 AM   #4
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Also can be tricky to make something with large, straight sides, the clay collapses easily under its own weight while it's still wet

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Old 09-20-2014, 09:44 AM   #5
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Making A Sump Out Of Clay?

Emailed my brother. Will post if he knows anything. He's been working with clays for years but never tried anything like that.

I think you could experiment but say you did inch thick sides, that's 40% of your space gone...
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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I was planning to have about half an inch thick clay. I am going to fire them and glaze them on the outside, but I dunno if I have to do the inside as well. Clay is porous so it will be good for the beneficial bacteria that will grow on it, but someone told me that water will seep out of the clay. The refugium will be in between the wall and the tank, so it should have some support. Do you think that half an inch is good? I don't want it to be so heavy that I can't lift it on the stand.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:27 AM   #7
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Unfortunately no news here. Well, I mean the clay is free(?) so be interesting to try.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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Well, even though it is free if I mess up I will still be screwed because I will have 32 gallon roof water pumped to my floor and a bunch of fish jerky
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:43 PM   #9
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Can you test outside? Or maybe give it a few days in a sink or something and see if it leaks?
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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The thing is, since I am going to use it for a long time, even if the clay doesn't leak at first it could still eventually break under the pressure. I wanted a sump that is safe for life, since I don't want to replace it every year or something. How about 2/3 of an inch thick?
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