Input on DIY sump plans - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 04-23-2010, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
Input on DIY sump plans

So, I've gotten my 55 gallon aquarium, and I want to do things right, and also do things in a cost-providing manner, I have some various things, and i think I've got a pretty good premise for what is involved, but I figured I would ask for some input before doing all of this stuff to just have it fail.

List of parts
Most of what appears to be a HOB 55 gallon + filter
Maxi-jet 1200 powerhead
What appears to be most of a protein skimmer used in the 55
Spare tank(still not sure if I want to use 10, 20, or something different)
Tubing and such
Filter media for sump(rocks, pebbles, etc, that part I'm not worried about, plenty of guides advise as much)

My plans for the most part are just starting, but before I think too much farther into it, I figured I would ask if what I'm currently thinking would even be possible.

I plan to use the HOB filter, but instead of having it waterfall back into the tank, I figured this might be the best thing to use to siphon the water from the tank to the sump, so basically my overflow box, but without being powered by overflow. The filter is missing its bio-wheels, and media and such, but as long as it has a working intake, that seems to be all I think I would need for this part of the project.

I then plan on having the water go over to a(most likely) ten gallon tank, fitted with multiple sections to carry out the multiple filtration stages, and I would like to have this also be where the water is heated if possible, but that's only a luxury so not terrible important.

Heres a picture of my thoughts for the ten gallon, since most DIY sumps I've seen are long narrow tanks specifically for the purpose.

I plan on having it basically cut in half twice, i will have varying heights of dividers(Considering having acrylic cut to size, but not sure about regular acrylic near a heater, don't know if that would melt it, or not, but I might go to glass if I could use a heater for the sump instead of the tank)

It would basically be the same as the long DIY sumps I've seen, just flowing in a different order, I figure in the top left, over the divider to the bottom left, under the divider to the bottom right, and over the divider again to the top right, with a higher divider in the middle on the top, so the flow is forced to only go in the planned direction, and then from the top right returned to the tank.

I plan on using the maxi-jet 1200 powerhead I have for the return flow to the tank, but don't know if this is even possible with a powerhead, or if the powerhead and filters should be switched between the tank and sump, or if the whole project just might not be doable.

I have the protein skimmer that the maxi-jet was originally used with, I really don't see a use for it here, but I figure since I have it, at some point through the project I may see a magic place for it, but I doubt as much.

I would prefer the sump lower than the tank, but I figure there's a good chance it might be too much work on the powerhead, so if i have to I will put the sump at a higher level than the tank, but for now this junky drawing is my intended setup.

The 55 gallon on the stand to the left, the intake on the left of the tank, and the hob filter output on the right end.
(technically I guess I drew the picture backwards for flow direction, but I don't think it matter which direction the sump is flowing as long as it is passing through the filter medias in the right order)

I would love to hear any input on this, and I can't start building it until I have a day off next week, but as soon as I do I will post in here with picture for input and suggestions.

Thanks for looking
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post #2 of 2 Old 04-23-2010, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
Somehow forgot I have an Iwaki MD-30RT(I believe it was the RT, it had the threaded heads, and was the japanese version)

I'm going to see if I can find that, and if I can I'm going to run it for about a week in clean water that i will be changing regularly, it was used for about a day with an anti-freeze, so I don't want to throw it into a fish setup, so I will be cleaning it very thoroughly many times, and running it for a good period of time refreshed water to be extra sure.

Does anyone have suggestions on what to clean it with other than water, and extremely dilluted bleach(I'd even prefer avoid that one)

I figure after a very extensive cleaning process, any trace amount of anti-freeze would be so dilluted from the 55 gallon tank and the 10(or20) gallon sump setup would be near impossible to affect the fish, but I'm not sure of any way to test for anti-freeze in water, so if anyone has a suggestion on that other than "seeing how it goes" it'd be helpful.

If I do have the pump, and it is usable, I think that might make the project even a bit easier, especially if I have the sump tank underneath, since the md-30 would hopefully be powerful enough to run water up to the main tank, but I'm not sure if it would be quite powerful enough for that much.
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