Jump to content

Finally got a sump running

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member


My main tank is a drilled 75g corner flow that I bought off Craigslist from a guy who had one too many reef tanks. [emoji3] I’ve been running canisters hooked up to the overflow forever but have been wanting to add a sump for a while. Just never enough time or energy to get it going. But now I finally have it up and running.


I originally wanted to do a trickle tower using stacked bins so I got a 20L for the sump after finally catching a dollar per gallon sale at Petco over the summer. I got the stacked bins from Walmart and painstakingly drilled what seemed like millions of holes.




I set it up and it was so loud... [emoji86] I tore it out and hooked my canister back up. It also ran with a whole lot less water than I was expecting. That was disappointing, so it was back to square one. ☹️


I was contemplating a baffle system but finally decided on going simple. I bought some Poret sponge from Swiss Tropicals. I am a sucker listening to all of my favorite You Tubers gush about the product. I am using a Herbie drain with the emergency stand pipe running a trickle. The pump I got on clearance from Lowe’s a year ago. It’s a pond pump that stops automatically if the water is too low which is nice.



I made the return pipe myself. In retrospect I should have used some street els to reduce the depth of it because I do get a back siphon of a couple of gallons when I turn off the pump (I’ve accounted for that in the max water height I can run my sump). Could drill an extra hole but then I’d have to repaint that. I may also switch out the side elbow for a tee to get better down sweeping action.




I wish i had decided on this design first because I would have gotten a 29g instead of a 20L. Still better than a 10 I guess. Maybe next dollar per gallon sale I’ll pick one up. As I have it set up I’ve added 10g to the system. Anyway, for now i am going to continue to run my canister for several weeks or more to seed the new sponges. The canister runs at “500gph” and my sump pump is also supposed to be 500gph. The fish aren’t being blown around though so that is a relief. I do hope in the end that it will be easier changing out filter socks and occasionally the sponges rather than dragging my canister to the sink.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Edited by Butterfly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
10 hours ago, Butterfly said:


Thank you! Here is one of my best recent pics of one of my feesh-


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Gorgeous picture!!! You should enter it in the Goldfish contest!!!  :thumbup2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

So, I’m going to try this out in my sump. I don’t know if it will work but I figured I’d document it here.

A long time ago on another (Koi) forum I was entertained by what became a long, long thread on anoxic filtration. Recently I came across some You Tube videos by Kevin Novak on anoxic filtration and his discus tanks. Since I have room in my sump I figured I’d give it a try. (I thought about adding a fluidized bed first but it’s to shallow).

So, you can google for greater detail what an anoxic filter is and does but the short of it is a basket of clay kitty litter and laterite that creates a very low oxygen zone for facultative bacteria to inhabit and convert nitrate to nitrogen gas (along with the typical ammonia and nitrite conversions). Laterite is no longer sold by API but I had a leftover box, a pond plant basket and kitty litter so I was good to go. These are all things I use to plant my pond lilies so I had no concerns putting it in my goldfish aquariums.




Put some litter in the basket, some laterite in the middle.

Top it off with litter.

I put some plastic craft mesh on the top and actually sewed it on with plastic thread to prevent any tragic accidents.

Rinsed the dust out.

And put it in.

Nitrates are high out of my tap (yuck). Test results on day 1. Ammonia looks a tinge green for some reason in the pic. I didn’t notice it until I really looked at the picture later and so redid it and it was yellow/zero (take my word). Nitrite is zero. Nitrate next to the nitrate is the tank and the other is my tap 🤮. It’d been a few days since I had water changed.


I have a canister running on this tank at the moment so this isn’t a test of how long it will take this filter to get up and going with the normal aerobic nitrification (I do plan on removing the canister at some point- this was the whole reason for the sump). I am hoping that eventually this will work and help me keep my nitrates at the level of my tap or even lower. Wouldn’t that be great!

My only other choices are to cart in spring water (not happening for my big fish tanks) get an RO or ion exchange system for the house (which I’m still considering but very pricey and not ready) or using ion exchange resins in a reactor the sump (most reasonable option but have to regenerate them frequently for my nitrate levels). So for almost nothing I thought this would be great to try. My fish have lived at these nitrate levels since I’ve had them and seemingly are doing well anyway.

My expectation is that if this works it is going to take several months or more. So not going to update this too frequently but I will be testing occasionally and will let you know if any magic happens.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

So it’s been about a month since I added the kitty litter basket.  I was away for most of the week so my fish had only a few feedings.  I tested the water today before a water change and was pleased to see the nitrate at about 25-ish.  That is just about where the tap nitrates were for the water change before.

In comparison, the nitrates in a companion tank (smaller but with much lower stock level using canister +purigen) were higher, closer to but not quite 50 (using Sailfert test kit).  

So, encouraging preliminary  results.  Definitely keeps me hopeful. And yay today the tap nitrates were about 10 so it was a great day for a water change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...