DIY Sump Design - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb DIY Sump Design

I finally got permission from the boss to set up the aquarium with a sump so I sketched out my basic plan. I have never built one myself so I am looking to get some advice, reviews and suggestions from those of you who may have experience filtering in a sump.

The plan is to have the water from my overflow box stir a fluid bed media chamber via gravity or maybe an air pump. Then flow into two stationary mechanical filtration chambers and one chemical media chamber. Finally ending up in a pump return chamber for returning the water back to the main display tank.

Let me know what you think!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 11:26 PM
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If thats to scale, I would rethink the layout. Look at a ton of prebuilts. Your pump return area is way bigger than the rest of your media. I would do a sock chamber draining into a media chamber draining into a return area. By far your media chamber should be the largest. You should be able to fit your heaters in there along with some bio media. So socks should do your mechanical. Pump area can be relatively small.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2017, 08:55 PM
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Build Your Own Custom Aquarium Filter Sump | Advanced Aquarium Concepts

I would build one closer to this. For cost saving I would omit the K1 media and use chunked up foam. Many sumps have superfluous baffles when one mechanical chamber and a biological area are all you need.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2017, 10:20 PM
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Best to keep it simple. Depending on how much actual mechanical filtration you use will dictate how big the first chamber can be. The harder it has to push thru the filters the more it backs up. Then you have to figure enough space for a power outage. So really the bigger the better. I have a 30 gallon long on a 180 reefer and it's barely enough for everything I wanna do.there's tons of great sketches online tho

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2017, 02:11 AM
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The advantage of a bigger pump section is that evaporation will not cause as much cavitation like it would in a smaller section. Baffle 4 and the pump are one volume so if you make the pump smaller, enlarge the other.

The space for water level fluctuations should only be for power outages or else the incoming water will wash over the 3 media sections.

The other issue is when the fine filter becomes clogged, water may back up in the prior section and wash over baffle 3.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 05:37 PM
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How bout a planted refugium where the last 2 media's are? And pool sand instead of k2 with all three mechanical filters in one baffle?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 12:01 AM
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It is fun to over engineer then build a really cool sump... but like the others have said it is overkill. Simple is better and easier to maintain.

(Assuming we are talking fresh water here) I would recommend a two chamber design and using filter socks in your first chamber. A slick well designed sump makes it very easy to remove and replace the filter socks... easy cleaning means you will clean more often. You want to mount the socks so that when they overflow because you forgot to clean them for a month they overflow into the sump not outside of the sump.

Fluidized K1 is really neat to see and has a lot of cache... but it doesn't really give you that much for the effort involved. For me some ceramic media with an air stone under it is the way to go for bio filtering.

I don't believe an extra chamber is necessary for charcoal... if you need it just throw a sack under the filter socks.

I would recommend leaving room to add a heater in the sump so you can move the heater out of the main tank. I like the heater that has the thermostat on the cord so you don't have to pull the heater out to change the temperature... I forget the manufacture.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
It is fun to over engineer then build a really cool sump...
I completely agree
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