Can't Find Properly Sized Sump Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
Can't Find Properly Sized Sump Tank

I recently decided to redo the sump system on my 55gal tank in order to make a few improvements. One of the goals is to replace the sump tank, an old glass 10 gallon aquarium, with a plastic tank that is longer, less fragile, and easy to drill for a bulkhead mounted float valve. A standard 10 gallon aquarium is actually a little too wide (front to back) to fit completely inside my stand. The only reason it works is that it is short enough (side to side) to sit in the doorway of the stand. The doors mount to the outside of the vertical braces, so they are just barely able to close with the aquarium sitting in the middle of the stand.

I need a tank about 12" deep to allow enough travel in the float and still keep the sponge filter covered in water. Because I'm not using an overflow box in the main aquarium, the water level in the sump tank fluxuates depending upon the flow rate, and is regulated by a float valve. So, what I need is a plastic tank that is 12" deep, no more than 10" wide (including any rim), and 24-30 inches long.

I've looked at all sorts of plastic tanks and containers every place I can think of, and can't find what I'm looking for. Everything I've found with enough depth and length is 12" wide or more. I really didn't want to mess with making a custom tank, but if the local glass shop can cut acrylic sheets to the sizes I want for a reasonable cost I may end up going that route. I just hate to pay $40 for acrylic and mess with silicone when there are hundreds of polypropylene and polyethylene tanks and storage containers for around $10-$15. Does anybody have any ideas on where I can find a tank/container the size I'm looking for? It seems like there has to be one somewhere.

Right now I've got a pair of cheap plastic containers that are 11" deep, 9" wide, and 12" long plus the "handles" on the edge. I drilled them to accept some bulkhead fittings I got second hand for free so I can plumb them together. They will probably work as a temporary solution, but there is very little room for the pump and filter and my submersible heater won't fit inside them; which means I've got to find a better solution before fall.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
smannell is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 03:01 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Well since you posted in the DIY section that's my suggestion to you. You could make your own acrylic sump that would fit your needs for most likely less money than you could Frankenstein something 'close enough' together.
Centurion is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
If I hadn't spent the past eight years battling a severe, chronic, and so far incurable intestinal problem I would have built one long ago. As it currently stands, I don't have access to as many tools as I once did, and I often don't have the strength, stamina or cash for serious tinkering; which is why in this case I was hoping I could simply buy something the correct size. I'll probably use the "frankenstein" solution for now so I have some more time to ponder what I want in the final version.
smannell is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 01:03 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfield, IN
Posts: 1,746
The only thing that I can think of that might be about the right size is a window box for flowers. I don't know whether you can find one deep enough or without holes in the bottom...

ETA: Or that I would trust to hold that much weight in water.
jasonpatterson is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 12:07 PM
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Feel better smannell
duke4meAU4me is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
Flower Boxes

I tried flower boxes. Most have drainage holes in the bottom. All of them are tapered quite a bit on the sides and ends and have a rim on top so they take up a lot of space, but don't leave much room for equipment. There might be some somewhere that would work well, but I didn't have any luck. It seemed like a great idea, they are long, skinny, and some of them are fairly deep; but most of them aren't something you would dare trust when full of water on your dining room floor.
smannell is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 05:46 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: northern ca
Posts: 20
My thoughts would be a small toolbox and remove the drawers or a poly battery box like these.


21.5" x 7" x 12" tall. http://willyfogg.com/jumpto.php?url=...ducts_id%2F995

: 21.5" x 9" x 11" tall. http://willyfogg.com/jumpto.php?url=...ducts_id%2F991
hungmanchina is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:11 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
jcgd's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,985
Send a message via MSN to jcgd
I dunno bud, for a box that size acrylic might be the way to go. I don't know about your shop, but my local acrylic supply will cut the pieces to size before I get them. You don't use silicone so that is one problem gone, you just use that acrylic cement stuff. I forget the name but you just run the tube along the seam and wick action pulls it into the seam, melting the surfaces together. For a project that size I would really consider it. That way it is perfect and a nice thing about acrylic is you can add to it with no issues. If you drill a hole and decide to move it, you just glue in a patch. And no special hole saws are required.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jcgd is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
Yeah, if I have to spend upwards of $50, I'm going with an acrylic tank the exact size I want. I'm not sure yet, but it looks like it might be just as economical to order a plain rectangular acrylic tank customized to the size I want, and then add any holes, baffles, braces, etc. myself. The acrylic alone is going to cost around $60, and I don't know for certain if the local glass shop can machine the edges well enough to get a good seam. I know for glass they simply grind the edges and corners by hand, which is fine for most things; but I'd be worried about getting a good water tight weld without an edge that was machine routed. By the time you add in the cost of the adhesive, clamps, solvent, and material for jigs, building a single tank is probably just as expensive as buying one; and that's not even accounting for time, mistakes, and the general frustration factor. I'll have to get a couple of quotes and go from there.
smannell is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 03:30 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: northern ca
Posts: 20
I would go the acrilic route (unless your comfortable with glass), I have used different containers for sumps and glass and acrilic seem to suite me better. I have even used a 55 gallon tank as half sump and half storage for my supplys. Was really nice until snails found my fertz.
hungmanchina is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 03:47 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
Storage bins usually have something that will fit... Walmart, home depot, etc. Sometimes they may need a wooden frame of sorts to prevent major bowing.
OverStocked is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 10:05 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Craigthor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (188/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hiawatha, IA
Posts: 9,774
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
Storage bins usually have something that will fit... Walmart, home depot, etc. Sometimes they may need a wooden frame of sorts to prevent major bowing.

And on this note why not make a box out of plywood to the exact dimensions and get some good epoxy to seal the inside. I know there are alot of plywood tanks out there.

Craig

Fluval Spec III Shelf!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
Craigthor is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
I've got two small storage bins plumbed together at the moment; but they suck. The rims and ledges get in the way; the bottoms aren't flat; the sides bow and flex. I thought finding one of those the right size would be better than my old 10 gallon aquarium, but I was wrong. I considered the plywood route, but if I'm going to go to the trouble of building a tank I want something I can see through for cleaning and troubleshooting. I'd use a standard rectangular all glass aquarium if it would fit; but since they won't I want something that won't crack if I accidentally smack it with a wrench (I cracked one old 10 gallon tightening a valve bracket).

The more I look around the more I think acrylic is the way to go (polycarbonate would be even better but it gets really expensive in large sheets). I just wish I could find an inexpensive tank about 15 gallons that would fit; but it appears I'm going to have to order one or build it myself. I may see if the local glass shop has some scraps I can practice with. If I already had a router and the necessary clamps I'd definitely build it on my own, but for a single project it may be cheaper to order one.

I appreciate all the suggestions.

Sean
smannell is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 03:25 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: northern ca
Posts: 20
could you just redesign/ build your stand to accomidate a 20 tall or long tank?
hungmanchina is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 79
My stand is a commercially made pine one that I got as a combo deal with my tank when I first bought it over a decade ago ($200 for a 55gal all glass tank and stand). It's glued together and doesn't have any removable fasteners, so modifying it isn't really an option. Besides I don't want to have to tear the tank down just to switch sump tanks.

I have often wondered why you don't see composite or urethane stands with built in sump tanks and elevated shelves for equipment and supplies; of course I haven't looked that hard so maybe they are out there somewhere. If I ever felt the urge to build a stand I'd consider using sealed MDF or plastic lumber inside so the stand was waterproof and could function as it's own sump tank (it'd work even better if I had a drilled tank). At the moment that's simply way too much effort for my failing body.
smannell is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome