DIY 20 Gallon Sump

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DIY 20 Gallon Sump

Postby gminor » Sun May 26, 2013 1:44 am

Here are some photos and info of a 20 gallon sump I'm building for my 40 gallon saltwater tank. Pretty traditional design here. I had a local glass shop cut the following pieces for my Aqueon brand tank. The cost was about $30.00 for the glass. GE brand 100% Silicone #1 was used.

Glass:
3/16" x 11 3/4" x 13" bubble trap
3/16" x 11 3/4" x 13" bubble trap
3/16" x 11 3/4" x 13" bubble trap
3/16" x 11 3/4" x 12" water return

I thought the easiest way to make sure the glass pieces ended up straight was to set the tank on it's end and use a stacking method with some wood and polystyrene between the glass.
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An important consideration doing it this way was to make sure the wood and polystyrene could be removed once the silicone cured. I made sure the lumber was short enough to turn and pull it out later. The polystyrene was fairly easy to remove.

As far as spacing, it was more of a judgement call then a science. The area to the right of the bubble trap had to be wide enough for the bilge hose from the display tank. The polystyrene pieces were 3/4 inches thick which seemed like a good width for good water flow thru the bubble trap.
Image


Once the silicone on the three piece bubble trap set for 24 hours, I turned the tank on it's other end and repeated the stacking method for the remaining 12" tall piece of glass. The area that will be on this end of the tank will be for the return pump.
Image


After several hours, the silicone is still curing on the last piece of glass but was firm enough it wasn't going anywhere, so I removed the stacking materials and set the tank upright. Using more 100% silicone, two pieces of egg crate were installed. These will help insure any fish or macro algae will stay in the refugium area in the center of the sump.
Image


Now all that's left is the waiting for the silicone to cure. Like other folks, I like to give it a few days even though the tube says 24 hrs for full cure. Once the odor from the new silicone is gone, the sump should be ready to install. This one will be replacing a 10 gallon sump that doesn't have a bubble trap.
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Glenn
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Re: DIY 20 Gallon Sump

Postby submarineguy » Tue May 28, 2013 2:35 pm

Looks good,

What are you putting in there? Live rock/sand, algae, heater? Do you plan on having a lot of "pods" in there and if so would you need a smaller filter or netting on the output side to keep them in place?
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Re: DIY 20 Gallon Sump

Postby gminor » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:52 pm

My 40 gallon breeder is still struggling with lingering copper from an unknown source so for the time being, just two Ocellaris Clowns are enjoying all the space.

Image

Meanwhile, improvements to my 20 gallon sump are in progress. Last night I finally got around to building the acrylic hood that seals the back half of the sump top to help secure equipment and stop evaporation.

Image


Careful measurements were taken and sections cut out along the back edge to accommodate the pump return hose, DIY protein skimmer (another water bottle solution) and overflow hose. For now, a hanging shop light with 6500k CFL bulb provides light, but the plan is to install a 10000k and royal blue LED in the raised section of the acrylic hood that's currently empty. To answer Submarineguy's question, as soon as the copper is gone, the center space of the sump will be filled with Chaetomorpha a.k.a "Spaghetti Algae" to help control phosphates and nitrates. I'm not sure if I'll put any other livestock in there.

I've found building the raised acrylic compartment on the hood to house lighting also strengthens the hood structurally so it won't sag when exposed to heat and moisture. I used the same strategy on a smaller scale for a 2.5 gallon hood project before this. Hopefully this larger hood will hold it's shape as well.

Image
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