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DIY sump or shop bought filter?

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I am in the process of upgrading to a much much larger tank. The current filtration I have will not be sufficient so I'm looking at filters at the moment. My husband has proposed making me a sump saying it would be cheaper than buying a big filter and more efficient and less work for me (I have two surgeries coming up so will be convalescing for some time and the husband will be doing the cleaning/water changes - which is probably why he suggested the sump :rofl ). What I wanted to know was if anyone here has made a sump that worked well and if it's really going to be cheaper and better than a shop bought filter. The husband is handy enough but has never made a sump. Any advice or suggestions would be welcome! :D

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I would go with shop-bought, since a sump generally requires a small aquarium. (those can be expensive if you don't have a sale.) DIY canisters are also an option, but not as convenient as store-bought.

How big is your new tank going to be? It would be helpful to know so that we can make some suggestions on different filtration combinations for it. :)

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I would go with shop-bought, since a sump generally requires a small aquarium. (those can be expensive if you don't have a sale.) DIY canisters are also an option, but not as convenient as store-bought.

How big is your new tank going to be? It would be helpful to know so that we can make some suggestions on different filtration combinations for it. :)

The tank is 300 Liters - I think that's about 80 gallons american. I do have a small acrylic tank already which is about 30 liters which I don't use. I think it might be too small so the other option would be to use a sturdy food safe tub? I would still use my current hang on backs and corner/box filters. DIY canister is a good idea - how easy are those to make and how are they for efficiency?

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Food safe tubs aren't an option. They will break after extended constant use.

For an 80g I would stick with canisters. Most bang for your buck with least effort. 100+gallons is probably where I would start considering a sump just for better circulation.

I would suggest getting rid of the internal filters for cleanliness reasons. Having internal filters is like having your fish live in a filter. The waste trapped in those filters never leaves the tank, and has the potential of leaking out each time the filter is turned off for maintenance.

Like I said, the diy canister is not nearly as convenient as store-bought. This also means for cleaning. I didn't enjoy mine nearly as much as my current canister. (Cobalt EXT)

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You could have him build a filter similar to this. It's inexpensive, easy to build and maintain, and gives great filtration.

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I have built one of Sharon's filters for my outdoor ponds. The only caveat to using that indoors is that it has to be higher than the tank. They provide awesome filtration and are easy to clean. :)

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Only the outspout has to be higher than the tank rim. The real problem is having space next to the tank for a filter. One person put her tank diagonally across a corner and put the filter -- in a nice flowerpot -- behind the tank in the corner. It was beautiful.

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Right. I have seriously considered it a few times, but at home was often shot down due to 'open tank open filter omg bacteria.' (as you already know.)

It would look gorgeous that way. Then you could even plant it full of peace lilies and have a nice pot of beautiful flowers.

Edited by ChelseaM

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I've been chatting to the husband about the great suggestions here - Thanks guys!! I think I would go for Sharon's filter but I'm not sure how I would get it above the tank because of the tank's location/space. Maybe I could put it on a high stool or something, I might have to experiment first. My first priority is that it works really well and creates less maintenance for me but I also kinda want something that either looks nice or can be hidden away. My husband suggested a pump to get the water out and another to get it in (pumping at the same rate) so we could actually put it in the space under the tank. He drew me a picture...I think I understand what he means.

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I would be worried about 1 pump failing and causing the tank to just empty out all over the place. A standard canister filter would alleviate the space issue, as that is how they are designed to work (under the tank, hidden away.)

If you want to try it,

Like I said, not the best as far as ease-of-maintenance, but it did a good job keeping things clean. I ran it with this pump, which is the cheapest on the market I think. It did okay for my 55 gallon tank. With the 80 gallon, I would just try to find a pump that runs 400gph and call it good. (Canisters only have to run at 5x-7x filtration, whereas HOBs have to run at 10x.)

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Oh yes, as Chelsea said, that would be a disaster waiting to happen. Those pumps rarely fail, but by Murphy's Law, if you used them that way one would go out within a week.

How tall is your tank? For an 80 gallon tank, you would want a flowerpot that holds about 8 gallons. These should be nearly as tall as your tank, so the stand would only have to be a little taller than the aquarium stand. A basic wood barstool should work well. Since you are using a flower pot, a plant stand designed for a large pot is another option. Of course the surest way to get one the right size is to make one.

Here's an example of a suitable flowerpot. If you find one with similar properties that fits in your decorating scheme, you have a winner.

It has a smooth surface that will allow you to drill easily and have the uniseal to fit snugly. When you put the outspout near the top it will point down a bit, which looks and works very well.

The walls are thick and rigid enough to make it sturdy and easy to work with.

It's fairly well-shaped. The ideal would be taller and narrower, but it's hard to find one like that. The large top will hold lots of plants that will look great and keep your nitrate down.

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I know you are probably settled on a decision but I have 70- something gal tank and I plan on a hob paired with an hmf. I did try to convince my boyfriend to build an wet/dry but didn't trust that ball valves would prevent back flow in the case of a power outage. He also thought it was slight overkill considering how the tank is being used. :)

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I would be worried about 1 pump failing and causing the tank to just empty out all over the place. A standard canister filter would alleviate the space issue, as that is how they are designed to work (under the tank, hidden away.)

If you want to try it,

Like I said, not the best as far as ease-of-maintenance, but it did a good job keeping things clean. I ran it with this pump, which is the cheapest on the market I think. It did okay for my 55 gallon tank. With the 80 gallon, I would just try to find a pump that runs 400gph and call it good. (Canisters only have to run at 5x-7x filtration, whereas HOBs have to run at 10x.)

I'm not too happy with the 2 pump suggestion either, I think it would be tempting fate. We've kind of decided to go for a shop bought canister filter though. I wouldn't mind him making me a homemade canister filter as additional filtration (suitably prettied up) but I think I'd rather get at least one shop bought one so I know I have one that works properly. I did want to confirm about how many liters per hour a canister filter should be doing for goldies - I was under the impression that it would also have to be x10 like the HOB filters I have?

Oh yes, as Chelsea said, that would be a disaster waiting to happen. Those pumps rarely fail, but by Murphy's Law, if you used them that way one would go out within a week.

How tall is your tank? For an 80 gallon tank, you would want a flowerpot that holds about 8 gallons. These should be nearly as tall as your tank, so the stand would only have to be a little taller than the aquarium stand. A basic wood barstool should work well. Since you are using a flower pot, a plant stand designed for a large pot is another option. Of course the surest way to get one the right size is to make one.

Here's an example of a suitable flowerpot. If you find one with similar properties that fits in your decorating scheme, you have a winner.

It has a smooth surface that will allow you to drill easily and have the uniseal to fit snugly. When you put the outspout near the top it will point down a bit, which looks and works very well.

The walls are thick and rigid enough to make it sturdy and easy to work with.

It's fairly well-shaped. The ideal would be taller and narrower, but it's hard to find one like that. The large top will hold lots of plants that will look great and keep your nitrate down.

The tank is 48cm high. I do really like the flowerpot idea, we have some plain wooden bar stools tucked away so it's possible if we can get the space sorted out. We may still use this idea down the road as my husband was talking about taking my old tank and getting his own goldfish :blink: . He says he's going to put it next to the big tank. I love that my husband has taken an interest in goldies but he's the type that is more interested in having something that works well than how it looks - I can totally see his point but I feel it's possible to have something that works well and looks nice. I have this vision of finally having my perfect beautiful tank next to my husband's "It works well so who cares what it looks like?" tank :rolleyes: .

I know you are probably settled on a decision but I have 70- something gal tank and I plan on a hob paired with an hmf. I did try to convince my boyfriend to build an wet/dry but didn't trust that ball valves would prevent back flow in the case of a power outage. He also thought it was slight overkill considering how the tank is being used. :)

What's an HMF? I've not come accross that one before :) . Nothing wrong with a bit of overkill :teehee!

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It is only 5-7x, considering a canister has more room for media and can do a better job because of that. Just make sure to remove the Carbon that most canisters come with, and replace it with more of either the ceramic media or the sponge media. :)

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An hmf is a hamburg mattenfilter, it is essentially a large internal sponge filter. While it is not suitable to run on it's own in the case of Goldie's, it is an okay supplement combined with another filter like a canister or hob. :)

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An hmf is a hamburg mattenfilter, it is essentially a large internal sponge filter. While it is not suitable to run on it's own in the case of Goldie's, it is an okay supplement combined with another filter like a canister or hob. :)

I had a look at HMF's online, pretty nifty idea! :thumb:

This may be a daft question but do canister filters come with their own internal motor/pump or do you have to buy a seperate pump? :peeka

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I did not read all the comments but I would say 2 aqueon 55/75.filters on an 80 gallon tank will be the all around best option. 800 gallons per hour, $60, and much easier to maintain than a canister....

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I did not read all the comments but I would say 2 aqueon 55/75.filters on an 80 gallon tank will be the all around best option. 800 gallons per hour, $60, and much easier to maintain than a canister....

They seem like good filters but I've had a look and I don't think you can buy them in the UK unless you pay alot to have them shipped from the US. I have had a look at HOB filters and I currently have two All Ponds HOB's but while they work well I'm thinking a canister will work better?

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I did not read all the comments but I would say 2 aqueon 55/75.filters on an 80 gallon tank will be the all around best option. 800 gallons per hour, $60, and much easier to maintain than a canister....

They seem like good filters but I've had a look and I don't think you can buy them in the UK unless you pay alot to have them shipped from the US. I have had a look at HOB filters and I currently have two All Ponds HOB's but while they work well I'm thinking a canister will work better?

I think someone found free shipping to UK on amazon.com but I could be wrong. Part of the reason I suggest HOB is ease of maintenance for your husband and yourself as you recover.

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I did not read all the comments but I would say 2 aqueon 55/75.filters on an 80 gallon tank will be the all around best option. 800 gallons per hour, $60, and much easier to maintain than a canister....

They seem like good filters but I've had a look and I don't think you can buy them in the UK unless you pay alot to have them shipped from the US. I have had a look at HOB filters and I currently have two All Ponds HOB's but while they work well I'm thinking a canister will work better?

I think someone found free shipping to UK on amazon.com but I could be wrong. Part of the reason I suggest HOB is ease of maintenance for your husband and yourself as you recover.

Thanks :) . I did find them on Amazon.uk!

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Quick update : I ordered an EF2000 All Ponds canister filter (£70 - not bad!). I received it yesterday and have it all nicely set up. I have to say that it's quite large and very quiet (which is a plus since the tank is in my bedroom). I wouldn't say I will never do a DIY canister (I reckon if done right they probably have better filtration) but after looking at the cost of the container and media and pipes and so on it really wasn't that much more money to just buy the £70 canister filter which had very good reviews and had all the media included. Thanks for all the advice and tips everyone!!

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