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Cabana Boy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received my new skimmer and its huge!!! so I want to set it up in a bigger sump. Right now I have my wet/dry (bioballs removed) setup but its less than 10 inches wide. Definitely not wide enough for the skimmer. I want to get something acrylic/plastic in order to drill it to put the float valve I have on my wet/dry. Was curious as to what you guys were using. I want something cheap but want to be able to add baffles if needed. I found an acrylic 38 gal for $108 shipped to my house. Is this the best price or are there cheaper options?
 

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Can appreciate you wanting to save money, but I went through the same process looking for a plain old sump that I could modify. Even with plain sumps, people want 20-30 bucks a hole for drilling. Although you could drill yourself, I didn't want to get into that. With my luck, the acrylic would fracture and I'd be out material costs. I finally stumbled across TruVu and I sent them a drawing. I live near cleveland, but with shipping from california I spent 260 bucks. It's layed out to my specs too. I'm not trying to plug for TruVu, but I know there are many places around that will do good work. I tried to deal with glass cages, but anything that deviates from their normal sizes or baffle patterns tends to turn into a no quote. My size is oddball and construction is 3/8". They are more than willing to accommodate any patterns. I originally wanted to have an in-sump skimmer, but with height as a concern, I opted for an external H&S. I have it running next to my aquarium in a separate cabinet. quick disconnects make cleaning and maintenance a snap.

In the long run, it might cost a couple of bucks extra but you're better off getting exactly what you need.
 

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Everything D said is true. Unless you want to truly go economy like with a rubbermaid, its better to have what you want first. I have built my last two sumps myself from scratch but i wanted them out of 1/2" and it really did save me quite a bit making them myself and they are exactly how I want them. Its not that hard to throw some walls together and make them water tight....and add a couple of partitions and some baffles. But if the DIY part of it isnt for you i would say drop the money and get it how you want it and durable the first time.

I too have cracked a couple of thin walled sumps and it SUCKS.

If you get 3/8 or more wall thickness its not going to crack drilling holes, that stuff is nearly bulletproof. If y ou do do anything DIY with acrylic make sure the holes you drill are where you want them and more importantly, DO NOT glue any walls or partions in place until you have ran water through it with them just sitting or barely siliconed in place. You really dont get do-overs.......you would have to hack the pieces out and that CAN fracture sumps real easily.

I made the sump in this picture and i didnt use any type of jig to do so.......just the inside of a stand that i knew was square, a table saw, a 50 x 100 piece of 1/2" acrylic and some weld-on #16.

Melevs reefs has some good info on making sumps although he is pretty particular about using jigs........i would imagin his seams are nicer than mine but you couldnt tell from a few feet away.
 

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table saw with a fairly fine blade and then a quick buff of 150 grit sandpaper where the edges come together.

I dont have a router or i would have used that with a acrylic bit.......thats what the pros use.

I for a very brief time contemplated making my new 90 gallon tank out of the same piece of acrylic that sump in the picture is made out of.......but im glad i didnt.....a sump is one thing a display is another.
 

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That is only for a 17 gallon aquarium IF it was filled to the rim, since you only run most sumps 70% (plus or minus depending on your tank size)full you would only really have an 11 or 12 gallons of water volume in your sump...............

To be sure, im NOT slamming the price OR that vendor, just pointing something out. For the sump you want from that guy you will be looking at a number more similar to the $200+ that someone posted earlier. He does look like he does nice work, and who knows.....might want to call him with your dimensions and see what he can do for you. You DO NOT need the highest grade acrylic for a sump, that is generally for clarity, not strength. See what he says when you give him your dimensions with a 3/8" wall and some baffles precut so you can glue them in place yourself when you are positive of how your sump should be configured to allow for your equipment.
 

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Cabana Boy
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well I went ahead and just ordered one. Came out to be a 42 gallon sump with baffles and holes drilled. I figure I could probably do it myself if I had access to a bunch of tools and had the time to play with it. So I called around and just went ahead and ordered one. Thanks guys
 

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afbengochea said:
well I went ahead and just ordered one. Came out to be a 42 gallon sump with baffles and holes drilled. I figure I could probably do it myself if I had access to a bunch of tools and had the time to play with it. So I called around and just went ahead and ordered one. Thanks guys
out of curiousity...did you order the one that you were originally looking at or from that link that milhouse posted???
 

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Cabana Boy
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was talking back and forth with glasscages and it didnt seem worth it. I wanted the biggest size I can get into my stand so I wanted something 16 inches wide. It would have cost me more than what I got this one for and thats not even including baffles and holes being drilled. I spoke to the guy that millhouse posted a link for. He seemed like he knew his stuff. He said he'd been doing this for years and would be very sturdy, even with bracing over the top of it. I could get a guy in Miami to do one for me for a little more and I dont think it would even come out as nice. I know for a fact it wouldnt even be braced on top. So I sould be getting it in a little over a week. I cant wait so I can put it in and try out my new, huge skimmer.
 

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Yeah, and that guy charges $15 per baffle or something like that, and drills for free. Crazy prices, and reasonable shipping. Let me know how it works out. Post pics in this thread when you get it.
 

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Cabana Boy
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah he seems like he does good work. Kept on mentioning about how clear the seams will be, and everything will be buffed and polished. I was thinking to myself, wow all that hard work and its only going to be hiding in my stand that no one will see. But I cant wait to see it done, Ill post pics of it when I get it.
 

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SWEET!!!! I just the other day searched this thread up to find that guys name, and had him make me a sump for my 90......i got lazy and didnt want to make it myself. : )

It looks great. That guy was VERY easy to work with and as usual, i am kind of a pain in the butt customer who needed things done a little different than his usual. Im looking forward to getting it in a couple of days......

Glad to hear you like it.:thumbup:
 
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