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Old 02-15-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
LedZeppelinfan101
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DIY Sump


Hello All,
I'm looking to build my own wet/dry trickle filter style sump using an old 20g aquarium. Does anybody have any plans for this? Also I'd need to build an overflow box, but that shouldn't be too hard. I can handle the overflow on my own, I believe. Call me cheap, but I'm still not to the point where I'm willing to shell out $300+ for a wet/dry filter. Thanks!

John
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:25 AM   #2
lostwhirley
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I don't know the exact specs on your system, or the one your planninng on building, but if your doing a reef, I'd suggest going to a Berlin system.

I use a plain old rubbermaid container for my sump. Not pretty but does the job and cheap! $3-4, how can you beat that?!

Skip the wet/dry, buy a kick $%^ skimmer.

Just trying to help.
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:44 AM   #3
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I agree with whirley. I'd skip the wet dry. I can't personally recommend the rubbermaid sumps though--I used to have one and a heater melted through the side while I was on vacation.
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Old 02-16-2007, 09:27 AM   #4
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Wow...that's the first time I've ever heard about a heater melting a rubbermaid container.

;-)
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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If you are doing LR in the tank I would agree with the above. Skip the wet dry and just make a sump. Get a really good skimmer and your set. No need to spend money building or buying a wet/dry. I bought a wet/dry when I first started out not really knowing and I took all the bio balls out and made it my sump only.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:26 PM   #6
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John, What are you planning on stocking your tank with? If FO, a properly designed wet/dry can be a good route to go. You don't need to do a LR setup like eveyone else. However, if you plan on having any sort of corals, I would lean towards not using a wet/dry.

Now this doesn't answer the question you originally posed. I do not have personal knowledge about wet/dry. However, here are some bullet points from http://www.wetdryfilter.com:
  • After a wet/dry filter is hooked up to your aquarium and has water flowing through it, helpful bacteria naturally start to colonized on the bio-media in the filter. These bacteria break down the chemicals in the water from decaying waste. There are different types of bio-media (e.g. bio-balls) and all are designed to have a high surface area to volume ratio. The idea is to provide as much surface area as possible in a given space for the bacteria to colonize on. These bacteria are aerobic (require oxygen) and thus water is only allowed to trickle over the bio-media; submerging the bio-media completely with water would kill the bacteria. So, in short, it is the bacteria that are doing the work of the wet/dry filter.
  • A pre-filter of some sort must be used to keep debris/waste from reaching the wet/dry filter. Debris and waste that do reach the wet/dry filter and accumulate can cause spikes in nitrite/nitrate levels. This is why some people think that wet/dry filters can cause these spikes to occur. If set up properly with a pre-filter, however, this won't happen. However, if your wet/dry filter does need to be washed out, do so with water from the aquarium and don't wash all of the bio-media at the same time so that you don't destroy all of the bacteria that have colonized on the bio-media.
  • Your wet/dry filter should circulate around 5 times the volume of your aquarium per hour. So for a 100 gallon tank, the water pump on your wet/dry filter should be able to pump around 500 gallons per hour. Make sure you don't get a water pump that exceeds the flow rates of your wet/dry filter and pre-filter. Or, put another way, make sure your wet/dry filter and pre-filter can handle the flow rate needed.
Link that should give you a good idead on what it should look like:
http://www.wetdryfilter.com/setting_up_your_filter.htm
I like the above link because he explains the reasoning behind what was done.
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:18 PM   #7
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Ok I've already got a 29gal. reef set-up. It's been running with a H.O.T. 2 1/2 gallon wet/dry for almost a year. It's not doing so hot as of late, and I talked to the guys at Midwest Corals about upgrading to a bigger sump, and they thought that would be good. They only use wet/dry's on their tanks.
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Old 02-17-2007, 06:08 PM   #8
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Yeah but their fish load per total volume is very very light. Where is yours at? In addition, if I remember correctly, Jim doesn't feed his coral tanks - relys on the corals zooanthelle to do photosythesis. It's also hard to correlate how efficient your 29g tank will be with a W/D with that of a commercial store that has thousands of gallons of water.

The problem is we live in Elkhart and the LFS we have here are limited in their knowledge of diverse system setups. I can only say is to try to post on the general forum and request that people with similar size tanks to yours respond - that way you're looking at apples with apples.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tasher80 View Post
If you are doing LR in the tank I would agree with the above. Skip the wet dry and just make a sump. Get a really good skimmer and your set. No need to spend money building or buying a wet/dry. I bought a wet/dry when I first started out not really knowing and I took all the bio balls out and made it my sump only.
By "sump" are you talking a refugium? I'm confused. Maybe I have my terminology mixed up here.
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:55 AM   #10
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I think he means more of "a place for skimmed water to collect before being returned to the tank". I suppose you could do a refugium, but I've heard that refugiums should have less waterflow through them. Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe empty the water from the tank close(r) to the return, and have the refugium be on the 'other' side of the tank (sump).
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:21 AM   #11
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Before doing my sump I looked at many many plans for building a sump......refugium. This is by far one of the best sites for building and planning a sump.....

http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:19 PM   #12
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Thanks a bunch Adnuces!! That's a great website. I'm definitely going to keep in mind some of the things he was saying.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:32 PM   #13
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Ok by "sump" this is what I meant. Something along the lines of http://www.petsolutions.com/Pro+Clea...I-C-26-C-.aspx
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:34 PM   #14
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This is what they use at Midwest Corals and Gordon told me they usually set up customers with those. I would hook up a nice protein skimmer in there as well. Right now I'm saving up for the skimmer, but seeing as I'm not flowing with wealth, it may be a little while. Right now I'm still in the design stage of building something new, so I'm not going to do it just this second.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:39 PM   #15
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Right now my fish load is relatively light. It's a 29gal. reef, and all I have in the way of fishes are 1 Sixline Wrasse, and 1 Ocellaris Clownfish.
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