The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - 50G with 30G sump - month 10 update
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Oshawa
Posts: 750
Let's start with a word from our sponsors...Dollar store pot with more floatation power!!

Seriously. Did not see this coming.

After my initial disappointment, I got a good laugh out of it...looks so a child's bathtub or something. Scrubbies will be freeeeee!

Pretty sure I'll end up with some sort of drip-tray arrangement, but more on that later.

Sump stand reinforcement build
Always use the clamps...measure twice, cut once, blah blah. Makita's impact driver is pretty awesome...after years of not having one, will never go back. I wasn't super picky about the hole placement on the sides (within 0.5"), but it won't ever be visible, so not a big deal to me. I did, however, countersink nice and clean...gotta have some standards! Just used the table saw and mitre guide to cut the wood. Two 2x6 for the center (attached through the center chipboard divider) and one 2x4 on each corner. It's only for the 30-gallon tank, so probably quite overbuilt. All of the wood was leftover from other projects.

If I can make one critical recommendation to newbie woodworkers - buy clamps, even cheap junk like the ones pictured (Jobmate) will work great. As a matter of fact, even though I have higher quality/strength clamps, these get used 95% of the time because they are light, 'quick clamping', and I don't care what happens to them. For the not-so-newbie woodworkers, if you don't already troll Craigslist and Kijiji for garage sales with clamps/tools...well, the more for me, I suppose.

Trays finished
I fixed the one tray where a few edge pieces got yanked off by super-gluing some plexiglas. Then I siliconed the vertical divider in place, roughly 6x12" area for coarse filters and the drain lines.

Sump finishing details
Installed the pumps and tied the cables together, used some suction cup cable clamps to keep it tidy. I am sure that zip-tying the pumps together will come back to bite me, but too many hours spent cabling car audio systems and computer cases have taken their toll on me. IASCA standards, indeed.

MTS is still on hold
Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day...well, actually, the farmers are probably pretty happy, so I can wait.

Back to the comedy
Pictures, then my thoughts on how to fix it.

You can (sort of) see the flow rate in that first picture...I don't have any way of doing video, so you'll have to use your imagination. It's quite good - that 0.75" spacing on the first baffle is tons. The second picture is again, funny. Trust me. Third picture has highlighting (thank you Windows 7 snip tool) around the water level pre- and post-baffle. About 0.125" difference thanks to the input of the two pumps, but after 10-15 minutes it had not changed at all. Definitely no need to add in a water level cut-off, I think.

The fix
The DIY wet-dry filter has input at the top, then a mechanical filtration tray with lots of holes - enough to flow the water, but not so much as to immediately drain the tray. Those holes function as a shower-head, raining water down onto the biological filter media - you end up with excellent aeration of the water and thus happy, healthy bacteria.
  • I believe I'll have to add a removable plexi tray with the appropriate amount of holes drilled in it that will sit exactly at the top level of the top layer of pot scrubbies (preventing the float). It is unfortunate that I have to buy MORE of those things, as they are almost out of stock at the local Dollarama.
  • Also too bad that I have to buy some plexiglas...that stuff is expensive. Maybe there is a tray or something similarly flat I can salvage. I don't think this top tray has to be super strong, and I can add plexi ribs to prevent bowing.
  • Finally, the topmost tray will have more substantial 'tray rests' - these will be threaded for some sort of wing-nut or thumb-screw.

Material to source:
  • Pot scrubbies (4 more packs)
  • Plexi/plastic tray/lid thingie
  • Appropriately-sized coarse filter pad - ??
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