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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2ft Aquarium Sump

Disclaimer: This project was done due to blogger's boredom. At the time of this post, a month has passed. Blogger will not be held responsible should readers attempt to follow what he has done which includes broken glasses, cut fingers due to glass, wrong size glass panel purchased, wet floor, sticky silicone on fingers etc. At any point, blogger is not trying to show off, show he's the expert of this project or in this field. Blogger mere attempt is to share his project and have readers throw in ideas and feedbacks on the project.
I was feeling bored and wanted to play around with a sump. I went to Y618 and the sump they had cost a bomb! I was surprised it cost so much. I went to research it online, reading and watching videos on diy sumps and freshwater sumps.
I had three options which I can pursue.
1) Send my dimensions for a 2.5ft acrylic tank to Dama (a huge company that does acrylic of all kinds)
2) Send my dimensions for a 2.5ft glass tank to a glass manufacturer in Defu.
3) Use the spare 2ft tank I already have and just buy the glass panels and fix it myself.
I chose number 3.
A 2ft tank with a) trickle chamber b) refugium chamber and c) return chamber.
There is a chance I might remove the refugium chamber in future and add a glass panel and turn it into a media chamber where I can place media, corals, peat or carbon. Let me know what you think.
This sump will not be attached to any main tank. It will just circulate within.
I have a used 2ft glass tank that I once used for my planted scape. It had serve me well and was in process of doing a hamster diy mansion of sorts. It was for my fiance but she decline as she didn't want it to be glass. So the 2ft was up for the dustbin. Luckily enough due to my boredom, I found another purpose for it.
Glass Panels
I bought my glass panels (5mm thick) from Kwong Fatt Glass Merchants Pte Ltd located @ Blk 10 Defu Lane 10. Provide them a drawing and measurements and whether you want it polish or not. As I was anxious I didn't have it polish. (Handle with care)
For those who wish to have this done, I recommend that the glass to be at least 8 to 10mm thick. The latter will be ideal.
Make sure that the silicone is safe for your aquarium. Selleys had a lot. Wet areas etc. But all that I checked states "Not for Aquarium Use" I had fear of this as I once had disaster with such unsafe for aquarium use silicone. Even when I waited 2 days for it to settle.

I found this silicone call DAP Aquarium. Cost about SGD$14. Yes it's a bit expensive but I wasn't gonna take any chance.
PVC Pipes & Joints
Using 16mm PVC for return and back to trickle.
Chamber 1 - Trickle Chamber (kinda)
This chamber is roughly 36cm (H) 15cm (L) x 30cm (W)
Using pieces of glass which will hold an egg crate, I silicone them in.
The top portion will hold my filter wool. 2nd portion holds my bioballs which will have some above water and the rest submerged. 3rd are my Mr. Aqua media. The bottom is just a course filter pad.
Chamber 2 - Refugium
I know reef keepers uses this area to cultivate micro organism to feed their main tank and I was wondering what purpose it then have for freshwater. My research shows that folks place plants that absorbs nitrate such as duckweed etc. I'm still observing whether it will be better to convert it into a media chamber by adding another glass panel to have the water flow through the media.
Anyway, I added sand and plants for this area. And since then have added a couple of fish.
Chamber 3 - Return
I have an unused submersible pump from Dymax. Using it for this project.
After, I silicone the glass panels and waited for 24 hours (48hours ideal), I placed the pump, fix pvc pipe to it and it goes back to the trickle chamber. The pvc end I actually place a T Joint with a short pipe at each end with an end cap. I then drilled holes so it kinda rain onto the filter wool. Yes, I'm bad at describing things so the pic will tell you what I mean.
I flooded the sump. And watched. Success! I added the medias, filter wools and pad, carbon, sand, plants etc. One month later, I added a couple of fish from my other tank. Oh the water is used water from my other tank.
As you can see the filter wool has turn black. Exactly what you want. Bacteria being cultivated blah blah blah. Fish are doing okay and flaring their fins around. My lights are switched on 7hrs a day. Plants looking green and I will be doing a water test later on.
I'm pretty happy that it turn out great. Future, I might be doing plumbing to my 10 gex tank to this sump. What do you think if I turn my individual tank and placed aquasoil and some easy plants? Beats having an empty looking tanks right? Will think about that.

Using wood and clamps to hold the panels in place.

Carefully putting the silicone and filling gaps in between.

Yup, I suck at this. Real messy eh? Using my fingers didn't help.

The trickle chamber

2hours after putting the silicone

Picture taken about 56hours later.
<<Final Pictures Pending>>
Anyway, if you have any comments or feedback, do drop me a few. Would love to hear what you think.
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