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Blog Comments posted by kortniee

  1. This tank is gorgeous, and I'm so sorry it's giving you trouble. :(Could you tell me exactly what you had to buy to mount your light? I found the plant brackets at lowes today, but what is the metal wire that the light is hanging from?Would this kind of setup work to mount a dual t5 ho fixture?

    The actual wires are the hanging kit that goes with the light fixture. Here is a link to both the light fixture I bought as well as the hanging kit. The light I have is the 48" freshwater and the hanging kit is down at the bottom there under "Suspension Hardware."

  2. Helen, the canisters themselves have cutoff valves. You close them, then pull the hoses out the top of the canister. So I think that'll work for servicing the canisters.

    When I decide I want to clean out the hoses, I'm lucky in that I will be able to drain just the overflow box and not the whole tank in order to get the water out of the hoses entirely.

  3. I know exactly what you're talking about and... I think they are compensating for something! LOLI just went to look at my sump and all the acrylic parts are 1/4" and they are really strong! They're really rigid, I can't even bend them if I try. But it doesn't look like any of your acrylic broke, it just came apart at the seams, right? What a huge bummer. :( The drip tray is the only part the aquarium shop people put together for me, and the guy used some kind of special method to actually fuse the parts together. Everything else was siliconed together by me.I feel bad that this happened after you put so much work into everything! At least you have some nice canisters on the way to look forward to now.

    My middle baffle was also 1/4", and it felt super beefy. But, like you said, the silicone seam was where it failed; the acrylic itself is fine.


    Helen, I probably would do that if I were to remake the sump again. However, the poor media baskets were just collateral damage in this particular accident. :) Actually, when the sump is running, they float! Just a little, but I didn't think that was going to happen...

    After looking at the forensic evidence, I think I know more or less what happened. You guys see that little bubble in the silicone, just below the bottom left-corner of the media basket? I didn't notice it before. The silicone is now extra destroyed right about where that is. That's the side that came loose on that piece of acrylic; the back side (from the perspective of this picture) is still attached to the glass. If I had to guess, I'd say the baffle developed a leak right there, which weakened that side. Eventually, the water separated that entire side from the wall, which then swung to the right away from the water pressure. This pushed my media baskets to the right also, which pushed the smaller rightmost baffle loose from the glass as well. With both of their support baffles now loose, the media baskets then fell down.

  4. If it helps at all, I have a Fluval 206 it works great. The new 06 models have a better priming system and they strengthened parts as well, so don't be too discouraged! I'm really sorry the sump didn't work out for you though, I've been watching your blog and you did a wonderful job putting everything together.

    I think the canisters will work well; I'm pretty excited for them to get here. I would have liked to have a filter system I made and could be proud of, but this is certainly not a bad situation either! :D

    I don't know Courtney... the pieces of acrylic you used all look a little too thin to me. All the pieces need to be made of thick, high quality acrylic for it to work well. And even if you buy the acrylic from a fish store, you can still put it together by yourself- that's what I did! I showed them my design and they cut the acrylic pieces to size for me. Then I took it home and siliconed it together by myself. Both my sumps are holding up really well with this method! And I didn't do anything too special or crazy when applying the silicone either, I just used a lot of it, that's all. Well, I'm sure you'll have better luck with your canisters at least!

    Hm. How thick is your acrylic? The fish stores around here all just want to tell me I'd be better off buying a premade sump (I think it's just a local culture thing; there are waaaay more saltwater dudes--yes, definitely dudes, not just men--than freshwater enthusiasts and they all want to spend a ton of money on their tanks for some reason) but I talked to some guys who claimed to know acrylic at a local shop and they thought mine would be fine. Mayhaps you just have better acrylic dealers. :)

  5. :( ugh that sucks. I can't wait to see this tank up and running!

    I can't wait either! Minor setback... I will get this done! :D

    I'm sorry that happened. :( I think you need to use thicker acrylic for the separators in the sump though. When I first built my sump, I used thin acrylic like that from the hardware store and did it all myself just like you did. I brought it to the fish store to show the employees my idea, and they all said it would fall apart in a second if I used that thin plastic in my sump. So I took their word for it and had them make me one out of nice thick acrylic instead and it works great! It did cost a little more having them custom-make something for me, but still not nearly as much as buying a prefab sump- those are stupid expensive! I'm sure yours will work fine as long as you rebuild it (or get a fish store to build it for you) using thicker acrylic.

    I did use the thick acrylic for the one "water-bearing" wall in the sump--and that was the one that failed (and took down the one after it). I think it was the silicone, and my lack of skill applying it, that did me in here. :( I know it's tricky to silicone acrylic to glass, as they both have totally different ideal bonding methods. As I was researching this, I did definitely entertain the idea of having one made for me, but I was more excited to try making one myself, because that's half the fun, you know? Unfortunately it didn't work out. Thanks for all your help through the process, though! I really appreciate it. :)

    Sorry Courtney, but with all the activity with your new house, I would just go buy the canisters and revisit the sump further down the line.

    This is actually what I have done. I ordered two canisters online because it was significantly less expensive that way. So now I just wait a little longer and I should be good to go! I will have to figure out the plumbing connections, as I'm sure the tubes I have right now are much larger than the ones that come with the canisters. But they make all kinds of plumbing adapters, so I'm sure that'll work out.

  6. I have realized that I have a third option, which is to buy a sump. However, those are stupidly expensive, so I probably will not be doing that.

    Oh, man, that stinks. You did such a good job on it!!

    Thanks Shawn. It is sad, but the whole thing was an experiment so... no guarantees I guess.

    Oh, I'm sorry, Courtney, that's really heartbreaking! :(I think canisters would be good options, if that's what you decide to do.The other thing that might be worth exploring is to set up a thread to discuss the sump. I know that Sakura built hers, and that worked pretty well. I think David (ichthius) did also, so perhaps you guys can troubleshoot?

    Going into this, I looked a lot of sumps, including Sakura's; I even asked her about the design of hers and what she liked and didn't like. But in addition, I looked at dozens of marine tank sumps, and as many sumps set up for freshwater as I could find (they're not as common here on the non-salty side of things). It probably comes down to silicone technique or something like that (which I did research on also!), and I don't particularly trust my ability to get better at that aspect of this. I feel like I prepared well and failed anyway. At this point, I think I'd rather get something more reliable just so I can finally stop waiting to use this tank.

    Maybe someday I will revisit the sump. I am just not sure I'm up to it right now.

    That's too bad, Courtney! How disappointing to be so close to being set up only to have it fail. However, I still admire that you designed and built the sump yourself.good luck! I look forward to seeing what you decide.MJ

    Thanks MJ. :) I will definitely continue the saga of this tank as soon as I do something else with it.

  7. Nice! It looks really good!How much water do you think it will hold in the end?

    Thanks! On the low end, it'll hold 12-13 gallons. It can hold up to ~29 if it has to, of course. :) But that's with the water pump turned off and all the water in the tubes drained back down into it.

    that is just BRILLIANT!!!my tank manufacturer doesn't want to put a filter sock on my sump because it could lead to flooding! ARGH

    Thank you, Fede. I'm sorry you can't have a filter sock. :( If mine overflows, all it'll do is overflow into the sump, so I'm not worried about it. But I know our sumps are vastly different.

  8. looks great hun :)

    Thanks Helen. :D

    When all of this is done, you should be immensely proud of yourself for having made it, and for having so thoroughly documented it.

    I am going to be really proud of it, I think. Hopefully it'll work great when I get it all set up to test it. And maybe someday someone will use this to do something similar for their own tank. :)

    I agree. You are awesome!

    Aw, thanks Fede. I don't know that I feel awesome so much as someone who takes the hard way out, but I am proud of what I've accomplished.

  9. I'm so jealous. I want! I want!Everything is coming along nicely! :D

    LOL Alex. I would be happy to make you a drip tray of your very own after my tank is all set up, if you want one so very badly. :D

    wow!Is your husband as handy as you? You must make quite the pair!

    We're both pretty DIY-ish, but in somewhat different ways. My DIY things tend to be more crafty and creative, I guess. He really likes fiddling with electronics. His last big DIY project was installing LEDs and new vent fans in the hood of his Biocube marine tank.

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