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Sump Time

CSnyder00

Bearded Wonder
Staff member
So I've got a problem that I'm sure has a reasonable answer, but I need help. I built Joey's (DIY King) 5 gallon bucket canister filter. It works great for short periods, but I always end up with a leak around the twist seal of the lid. I've tried sealing it with silicone, but this didn't prevent the leak, plus, it makes it that much harder to service. I am wondering if I can create a sump from a 10 gallon tank and use it instead. I have two issues I'm trying to figure out.

1) Will gravity feed the return pump fast enough to keep up and not run the pump dry? (It is a variable speed pump, but it is rather powerful ~1500 gph)

2) Will drilling a hole in the gravity feed inside the tank under the water line prevent tank drain in the event of power loss?

3) I'd love to have a larger sump, but I only have an opening under the tank that is 11" X 26" (size of the door opening) to fit the sump through. I've found one tote that is 13 gallons, but that doesn't gain me much. Any ideas on a larger sump?
 

Thai

Members
So I've got a problem that I'm sure has a reasonable answer, but I need help. I built Joey's (DIY King) 5 gallon bucket canister filter. It works great for short periods, but I always end up with a leak around the twist seal of the lid. I've tried sealing it with silicone, but this didn't prevent the leak, plus, it makes it that much harder to service. I am wondering if I can create a sump from a 10 gallon tank and use it instead. I have two issues I'm trying to figure out.

1) Will gravity feed the return pump fast enough to keep up and not run the pump dry? (It is a variable speed pump, but it is rather powerful ~1500 gph)

2) Will drilling a hole in the gravity feed inside the tank under the water line prevent tank drain in the event of power loss?

3) I'd love to have a larger sump, but I only have an opening under the tank that is 11" X 26" (size of the door opening) to fit the sump through. I've found one tote that is 13 gallons, but that doesn't gain me much. Any ideas on a larger sump?
1) Depends entirely on your overflow flow rate, of your pump can push water back into the tank faster than it can drain than yes you can run your pump dry but you’ll find that out quickly I a sump as small as you’re contemplating

2) Yes that would help with a tank drain in powerloss

3) a picture of your setup would help in figuring out best option. How big is your tank though? With an opening that small I can’t imagine it being a very large tank and maybe not worth it to run a sump on fresh. If it were salt I’d understand
 

FishEggs

CCA Members
Staff member
Have you tried a new lid? I don't have an issue with leaks with that part on mine.
You could make a bigger sump if you join 2 tanks together with bulkhead, pipe and union. Provided there is enough space beyond the door opening.
 

CSnyder00

Bearded Wonder
Staff member
The tank is a 75 gallon. The purpose of doing this is twofold.

1) This tank is a growout plus a home for my adult plecos and cories. It has gotten overrun with fish and the ammonia spiked even after being established for almost two years, so I knew a bigger/better bio filtration system was in order.

2) I want to get into the sump game and learn it now so that when I upgrade tank sizes in the future, I have a working knowledge of how to do it.

3) (extra reasons) It's cheaper to run one pump in a sump rather than two HOBs. This is a cheaper option than a good canister filter as well. I can hide the heater. Greater water volume for the fish.

I was looking for ideas online yesterday and found a few people running their gravity feeds into a container hanging on the back of the tank. It gave me an idea. I could use a bulkhead and plumb a sort of stand pipe/overflow pipe directly into one of my HOBs which would give me a pump up above, increasing water flow to the sump and giving me a chance to prefilter. It would also eliminate issues with power outages.

Again, thoughts?
 

CSnyder00

Bearded Wonder
Staff member
Here's a diagram for those maybe not understanding my vision. I have bulkheads coming from Amazon and I'm trying to acquire the 10 gallon tanks from y'all.



I would likely not put fish in the sump, but thought it might be useful as a small fry grow out depending on where I decide to put the foam. I may move the foam closer to the pump. I haven't decided that yet. I plan to use bioballs or ceramic tubes or lava rock for the initial media the water comes in contact with. Both tanks will have acrylic tops and if I do algae, I have an LED light that I will mount and run on it continuously. I will also use 1/8 inch thick acrylic as dividers in the sump tanks and attach them with 100% food grade silicone.

Now do you have any thoughts? I want to know now before I start if there is a glaring flaw in my plan.
 

Robinhud

CCA Members
i have several comments that should be of help sir
1. the first area I would make an algae scrubber and put a light over that area
2. the media should be last not first that way it does not get clogged with debrea.
3. floor scrubber pads make really great bio media, just cut to fit
4. vent tube though not needed if there are no bends, top has to be higher than your tank water level so you don't ciphen
5. I would drill the 75 it will reduce your potential problems greatly. but not a need.
6. go over board on size of bulkhead fittings between the 2 sumps you wont regret.
7. I put shrimp and snails in first compartment.
8. I would invite you to my house if you wanted, I have a really well working sump on my 220gal,, the sump is a 75gal.
 

CSnyder00

Bearded Wonder
Staff member
I ended up not pulling the trigger on this. I am revisiting the canister filter idea. I can’t/won’t spend $200+ on a canister filter, so I’m going to use the media I bought for 5 gallon bucket sump and try to use that for a smaller version.

The new idea is using a single 2 gallon beverage cooler that has a threaded lid and spout. I will drill and tap the lid and then thread in my plumbing to the bottom. One of the big problems I had last time was that my pump emptied the bucket faster than the water could trickle back in. To combat this, I’m going to use a much smaller adjustable pump (600 gph rather than 1500 gph). Media will be filter floss, poret foam, then lava rock. This should give me plenty of filtration and area for the beneficial bacterial to grow. I’d love to ramp this up to a 5 gallon beverage cooler, but it simply won’t fit under my 75 gallon tank.

Any thoughts? Any ideas?
 
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