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I bought my current tank used 2 months ago. When I bought
the tank it included a sump - wet/dry filter loaded with bio balls. After
reading various posts on Reef Central I decided to build my own sump. The old
sump was 12 X 12 X 24 and was just barely small enough to fit through the
cabinet doors sideways and still turn inside the stand so that it could be used.
The stand that came with my tank has a center support which leaves me with two
doors that measure 16 inches wide. When I started to design my new sump I had
several goals in mind:
The cement cost me about $10 between them. The first can of cement has the consistency of water and is used to assemble the sump. The tube of Weldon 16 has the consistency of maple syrup and is used to seal the seams after the sump is constructed to make sure it is water tight.
When I ordered the Acrylic I ended up with 19 individual pieces of various sizes. After cementing the first few pieces this is what it looked like.
The acrylic went together very easily. After about 45 minutes I had the sump half done.
The design I came up with was to connect two different cubes
together using a pair of 1 inch bulkheads and a PVC union. The first
would have the drain from the tanks overflow box, the skimmer, heater, the
return pump and a Mini-Jet 606 Power head that would pump about 100 GPH to my
refugium which would be in the second cube. When the water level in the refugium
reaches the level of the bulkhead it simply spills through the bulkheads and
union into the first cube again. Each cube is 14" X 15" X 18". At this size each
cube can easily fit through my cabinet doors, and it increases my sumps water
capacity by 17 gallons over my old sump. Here are the finished cubes.
Since this is my first experience working with acrylic I
decided I had better test it out in the garage to make sure there were no leaks.
So I filled it up to the level the water would reach during a power failure, and
let it sit in the garage for a day.
This picture was taken 4 weeks after the refugium was set up. If you compare this with the picture above you can see my macro algae has probably grown to 3 times the original amount I purchased. You may also notice that the water level in the refugium is now higher. I added a PVC elbow to the bulkhead in the refugium to raise the water level to make room for more macro algae to grow.
I have had a few people request a schematic drawing in personal messages, so I thought I would just post it here.
I spaced the baffles in each of these chambers one inch apart, if I had it to do over again I would have made them a little farther apart (1 1/2 or 2 inches) because now the water flow through the baffles is fast enough to take some micro bubbles all the way through to the return pump. It is not a big problem, but it just bugs me that any bubbles are getting into the tank. If the baffles were farther apart the water would flow through more slowly, allowing the bubbles to rise to the surface easier.
If anyone is thinking of an acrylic DIY project this is an
excellent how to booklet online: