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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-07-2012 02:07 AM
crazymittens Hm, fair enough.

Just ordered the drill bits, bulkheads, and gravel, as well as some loc-line for my returns. Point of no return is back that way...somewhere.

The budget I'm tallying up is a little more than we'd anticipated (no local source for Black Diamond grit), but still on track.

What I'm thinking for the returns is they come out inside the overflow box, but the loc-line carrys them over and into the tank. If that doesn't work out (physically doesn't fit or whatnot), I'll go back to the original plan of boring through the overflow box, but still use loc-line to adjust the flow. Gives me more options, anyway.

Thanks for all the input, everyone - I will post updates in my tank thread (will link to it once created). This is starting to get a little off-topic.
08-07-2012 01:14 AM
Diana Air pump should add more air to the bio filter area, and air is about 20% oxygen, so yes, that would. Do not seal off the lid so tight the air will not escape, though. And that would allow CO2 to escape.
I think I would skip the bubbler.
08-06-2012 11:53 PM
crazymittens The check valves are only going to be used on the return side - if the power goes out I don't drain that extra 5 gallons to get below the return openings. (or whatever amount it is) To be honest, I probably don't need them...the tank will be able to accommodate at least 5-10 extra gallons, and the coast-to-coast/BeanAnimal overflow system should only drain something like 2-4 gallons at most (what's in the drain pipes + weir height).

Here's another thought I just had - among the equipment I inherited are a number of air pumps. What about using an air pump + stone(s) in the bottom area below the bio-filter? Would that not allow significant oxygenation for the bacterial colony?
08-06-2012 10:57 PM
Sdavis1982 Function wise i love them both. The lava rock gives you so much bio area. All you can do is try. No one can tell you what you will be happy with. like me what i thought i would like(look wise) and what i really want(ease of cleaning) i only found out after my second try.

on other note i dont use check valves. i drill a hole above water line. a small amount drains back but if you account for that your good. for me the pay off no check valve= clear route to tank. will take pic stupid work gets in the way of my hobby.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
08-06-2012 10:47 PM
crazymittens Ah, okay, so it's just maintenance differences - the functional aspects you are happy with on both?

I've already got the plexiglas, so might as well give it a try. Since I'm ordering the diamond hole saws for the main tank, I might just get a glass top and drill it.

Also considering adding in a drip tray, but will try out this method first - I will be testing this in the garage for a week or two prior to moving indoors.
08-06-2012 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by crazymittens View Post
So between the two, it looks like you're happier with the sump that supports less water but uses a wet/dry filter.

Why are you happier with the second?

Also, why are you unhappy silicon on plexiglas? (I've just cut the baffles from some spare plexi I had lying around and am about to silicone them in)
Others told me i would not be happy with the mix of plex silicone and glass. They were very right the test parts i made held no wieght, peeled, and never really looked "nice"

They both hold about the same amount of water. First sump is over filled today because i topped it off. The way i put the filter in is hard to service but personally i felt looked more "store bought". My plastic top is not the nicest but with so much flow i get lots of " splater" outside of sump.

bio wise they hold about the same amount of lava rock. i am trying both large rock and pebble size.

im happer with second one because its just pull drawer out and slip pad in. All drip and splatter is self contained. soon i will make full cover to go over rest of sump.

Second pros...
structure already there just drill holes in drawers.

easy to pull drawer out and replace filter pad.(i buy bulk and cut myself)

i left room for large heater. first one i didnt think about that(no room for 300w heater)

I may in the future rebuild first like i did second.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
08-06-2012 09:39 PM
crazymittens So between the two, it looks like you're happier with the sump that supports less water but uses a wet/dry filter.

Why are you happier with the second?

Also, why are you unhappy silicon on plexiglas? (I've just cut the baffles from some spare plexi I had lying around and am about to silicone them in)
08-06-2012 08:54 PM
Sdavis1982 I keep seeing the word simpler so i thought i would throw some ideas other for you. This is something i have in place and find very effective.

Personal experance is that you will be unhappy with siliconing anything but glass.

My first sump i went about in the same direction as you and it works but im not 100% happy with.


lava rock

2" drain 1" supply

My second try im much happier with.

First sump runs one 55gal @ 550ish gph

second one runs 2 55gal each tank gets 200ish gph.
Sent from

my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
08-06-2012 08:53 PM
crazymittens Bad drawrings, but you get the idea. The top returns will get flex line in the hopes of saving some GPH. Also, unions will be used wherever the can be best hidden. I believe check valves will have to be used for the returns.

08-06-2012 01:38 AM
crazymittens Okay, so without the filter socks, we lose the 'splashing' onto the bio-filter media, but gain much simpler serviceability.

Edit: Yes, it will have plenty of room around it. I will make some 'ledges' of acrylic or pvc, then silicone them to the glass walls. I would not zip tie socks because if they clog, nowhere to overflow (granted the BeanAnimal overflow deals with that...but why design in a clog).

Also, yes, it will be ALL pot scrubbies, beyond this new addition of a coarse filter pad.

- Moved the heater to the bottom 1/4 of the tank.
- Flat lid.
- Coarse foam held in place by egg crate riser.
- Drew in the overflow on the baffles.

Next up, figuring out how the actual plumbing will work.
08-06-2012 12:58 AM
Diana Much simpler, much easier to maintain, and a lot more surface for use as a filter. Will it all be biomedia? Scrubbies? You could do coarse sponge in one, and finer sponge in the other. (then no need for socks)
Should be easy to clean as long as the lid and down pipes can move enough to clean the media. Don't wedge this in under the tank in a way that makes it hard to maneuver.
A secure lid will help retain CO2, so don't skimp on the lid.
To hold up the socks, why not zip tie them with the reuseable zip ties? Remove them for cleaning and zip them back on.
Keep the heater low so that if the water level drops for any reason the heater is still below the water. The water falling over the baffle will circulate well, and get warmed. No need to position the heater so high up.

I have used small chunks of PVC pipe under egg crate for a similar set up, you could use that to support the stack that you have.

I would cut a notch in the taller baffle just in case the other route gets blocked. Leave enough of this one up to support the lid as needed, but cut out some, too, as an emergency bypass.
08-06-2012 12:12 AM
crazymittens More thinking equals this.
- Simpler two-chamber design - 'dirty/drain' and 'clean/return'.
- Pot scrubbies are on shelves for easier maintenance (can just rinse out the top shelf when crud builds up).
- Drains are now in an enclosed area (the overflow will be a slot cut out near the first baffle's top).
- Lower water level to allow for splashing onto bio-filter.
- Each drain now gets its own filter sock, even emergency drain.
- Heater placed so that it heats the water entering the clean chamber.

A note on the 'lid' piece: It looks fancy, but in reality is more required for filter sock mechanical attachment. I might bypass the fancy lid (cut/bent acrylic) and just do hangers, but it might be nice to make the entire water system enclosed, perhaps limit evap and room humidity issues.

08-05-2012 10:22 PM
crazymittens Revised. Filter sock is the white thing. No more refugium.

Edit: Forgot to revise the baffle heights - they will be at an appropriate height to still allow for splashing out of the filter sock onto the pot scrubbies. The second line (lower) is the new water line. This design loses about 5 gallons of water, but makes a little more sense. The only item I'd probably change is to do multiple filter socks and separate the drain lines a bit.

08-04-2012 02:00 AM
crazymittens Wow, that's some great input, thanks Diana. I will work on a re-design, but thought I'd mention that the chamber after the pot scrubbies is the refugiu, those two layers are MTS and gravel. Did not put in the plants, either.

edit: Oh right, and I did not picture the filter sock that will be the initial mechanical filter.
08-04-2012 12:48 AM
Diana Bio media can be in the air, with water running through it. Does not have to be submerged. The bacteria have high oxygen needs, but also grow in the soil in your garden. As long as it is not a desert! (They even grow in the desert, but probably a small population!)

I think I would arrange the baffles so that the water splashes into the bio media, increasing the oxygen content to benefit the bacteria.
What about putting the pot scrubbies in the first chamber? Or combine chamber 1 and 2 for larger volume? Then put something like a spray bar with very coarse holes over the bio media so the water is spread out over it.

I think the very thin bit of media you have between the baffles before the pump chamber is too small. Subject to filling up with debris. Yes, the water can flow over and then into the pump chamber. However, if you want that fine a media I would use a larger piece.
How about arranging some grids in the media chamber so that all the sponges, floss and similar material has a large surface area (as shown by your brown and grey media), and does not have to be too thick.
Also, follow the water flow: It never passes through the brown or grey sponge media.

Here is what I would do with the baffles:
First pair: Omit.
Allow the scrubbies to half fill chamber 1 and 2.
Second pair: Leave them. They are fine.
Put some egg crate or similar in stacks alternating with sponges so the water flows down through coarse-medium-fine
Third pair: reverse these so the water flows under from the sponge chamber, then over into the pump chamber. No media between these.

Tank set up looks OK, yes, figure out how close to the edges is OK to drill the glass. Leave plenty of safety margin.
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