View Full Version : Diy: Sump 20gal
12-21-2006, 9:27 AM
I am going to convert my 20GAL (long) into a sump for my 55GAL. I bought the glass dividers yesterday at Lowe's, 4 each 1/4 thick. Tonigth I am going to clean out the 20GAL, currently occupied by 2 Florida Whelks, 3 Conch's, 3 Sand Dollars and a Conch shell with several large Barnacles and I think, a small Emerald Crab living in it. I am going to put the Conchs, Whelks and Sand Dollars in my 55GAL, and the Conch shell w/barnacles & crab into my 30GAL Reef. I will take pictures of the whole process and post them up. I bought a HO Overflow & 900GPH return pump from horseziggy so I have all the components to build the sump. I'll have my heater, HO protein skimmer and LR/LS in the sump with a hood w/FLOR light. I am hoping to grow some beneficial algae in the sump for filtration also. I bought a diamond grinding bit for my dremel to round the edges on the glass. It's quite sharp when they cut them to the desired dimensions. I'll start the process tonight so wish me luck!
12-21-2006, 9:33 AM
Good luck! Keep us updated with pictures!:up:
12-21-2006, 11:54 PM
I created a simple 3D rendering of my sump project using Google Sketch. Here is a JPG image of it and the Google Sketch file. (Free Download off Google)
Google Sketch File:http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/20 Gal Sump.zip
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/20 Gal Sumpsml.jpg
12-22-2006, 12:02 AM
be aware that with those specifications you are likely to not have enough room in your return chamber to restart your overflow.
Other than that... your sketch looks great!
12-23-2006, 3:11 PM
Wow. Good catch Tony. I didn't even notice that.
12-23-2006, 3:24 PM
this is true nice. That a great scetch good lord!! your a pro. Good luck with this yeah and post some pic's for us all.
12-23-2006, 6:57 PM
Showing my ignorance here but why have a baffle between the inlet (overflow) and the skimmer? I thought concerns for microbubbles were mainly from the skimmer anyway, right? :unsure:
Good eye Matt... I looked at this earlier and missed it... There will be bubbles coming into the sump from the overflow, but your filter bag should take care of most of them... The main purpose of baffles should be to eleminate microbubbles which are mainly a product of protein skimmers, so I think you'd be better off putting them just before the return pump area... If you've already siliconed everything together, then you might be able to just flip it 180... Hope this helps Mark...
12-26-2006, 3:10 PM
I caught this as well but figured it was a HOB skimmer and wouldnt be producing microbubbles nearly as bad as an in sump (like an ASM or MRC would).
I would also put only a single baffle on the "overflow side" and have the three on the "output side" as David mentioned above
Perhaps similar to this:
12-26-2006, 3:23 PM
I finished my DIY 20 GAL Sump over the holidays and I must say that for a first try it turned out quite nice. I recently bought around 40pds LR from hhughes on the board (thanks Heather) and quickly added that to the sump along with 3 conchs, a whelk and a sand dollar. The LR rock was well established and even had an 18 inch guest:
Here is a brief synopsis and some lessons learned:
20 Gallon Sump DIY project
1. Old aquarium (I used a 20 Gal long)
2. 4 Pieces of glass or Plexiglas
-3 each 11.5”X11”
-1 each 11.5”X10”
3. 1 Tube 100% Silicon Sealant
4. 1 Return Pump (900 GPH)
5. 1 - ¾ inch bulkhead adapter (threaded one end/tube adapter other end)
6. HO Overflow (700 GPH)
7. ¾ Overflow tube
8. ½ inch CPVC Pipe, 6ft
9. 1 - ½ inch quick disconnect CPVC fitting
10. 1 - ½ inch ball valve
11. 7 - 90 Deg ½ inch CPVC fittings
12. 6 - ½ inch CPVC T-fittings
13. 7 - ½ inch CPVC End Caps
14. 5 - ½ inch CPVC 45 Deg Street fittings
15. Hot Glue Gun, hot glue sticks
16. 1 Bottle CPVC Pipe Glue
I first cleaned out the old tank and made sure it was thoroughly dry. I positioned the glass panes in the tank ensuring fit and placement. I started with the return piece, 11.5”X10” since it was easiest. I “spot welded” each pane into place using the hot glue gun. I then continued with the pane closest to In-flow from the tank. To make sure the bubble trap pieces set without having to support each pane, I placed the aquarium on its side. When using the silicone I made sure ever part of the hot glue was covered to make sure it did not contaminate the tank. I used the whole tube of silicone to seal the glass panes. After letting it cure for 24 hrs I water tested the seals. (first try needed a little fine tuning)
After that cured for another 24hrs I then took the old hood and light (florescent) and modified it with a ¾ inch hole to screw the In-flow bulk head adapter. I used another piece of ¾ inch tubing to extent the in-low to the bottom of the sump. I decided to do this instead of using a debris bag/screen. I already had a foam pre filter in the overflow and thought it was overkill. I installed the return pump, using a piece of cut foam underneath to act as a silencer. I was going to use a return pump stand I built but it made the pump too high in the water and this option seemed to work much better instead. I also used this opportunity to do a 20% water change in the tank while testing the overflow, directing it into a 5 gal bucket. I filled the sump up and pumped the water into the tank through the spray bar till it almost reached the overflow. I had heard horror stories of mismatched return/overflows that flooded rooms so I was quite leery. After checking the levels in the return portion of the sump and ball valve I decided to continue. To my amazement it worked seamlessly. I tested the backflow of water several times by switching off the return pump. All worked as planned. There was plenty of room in the return chamber for the water coming down the overflow. I then added about 2 inches of LS and 40 pds LR, taking some volume of the water out to make room for the volume of LS/LR put into the sump. I attached the protein skimmer and heater in the main sump chamber. The bubble baffles did exactly what they were supposed to so and any micro-bubbles produced by the skimmer were being dissipated by the LR and flow into the return chamber. I'll add some pictures of the return plumbing tonight when I get home.
1. Have a frequent buyers card for Lowes
2. 24 hours curing for silicone means 24 hours.
3. Plans are great, but are not always the way you are going to do it!
4. Be creative and prepared for anything.
5. Read the warning about CPVC glue, "Vapors can be harmful"! I had a headache for a few days!
Completed DIY Sump:
12-26-2006, 3:31 PM
Awesome job! This will really help me with making my sump. Thanks!
12-28-2006, 10:25 AM
This is the spraybar I made from 1/2 inch CPVC pipe. It gives excellent water flow and since I didn't glue the end fitting on, I have total control over flow direction.
12-28-2006, 10:35 AM
great job!! Thats a pretty big spray bar I might add. It even matches the tank ad stand!!. That is b far the biggest Bristle worm i've seen. Is he still alive? You should make a small tank just for him and see how big you can get him.
12-28-2006, 11:03 AM
Grendell is still alive and well. So far he hasn't messed with my conchs or whelk so I'll leave him in my sump!
12-28-2006, 11:14 AM
HAHAHHA Grendell I love it. Im glad im not the only one who names there inverts. I have a HUGE brittle star named spike! He's about a foot or more in diameter.
12-30-2006, 11:22 AM
When you kill power to the return pump can the return section handle the extra volume without overflowing the sump? Tony mentions it earlier but that pic scares me a little. Other then that awesome job!
12-30-2006, 11:49 AM
The return chamber can handle the backflow of water easily. I was also scared about that part the first time I tested the pump being turned off, towels on the ready!