Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Okori

DIY Wet/dry sump for $50

Recommended Posts

Just thought I'd post this idea for anyone looking for a low budget DIY project that uses little to no tools (if you're clever) and if you have tools its that much easier.

What you'll need:

-A container large enough to house your wet/dry.

You could use a rubbermade tub, but since space in my apartment is limited I used Tidy Cat litter container. I needed the litter and dont consider this part of my costs, but if I did it was only 10 dollars, about the same as a rubbermade.

tidy%20cat%20litter%20box%20resize.jpg

-1 aquarium siphon

- 3 tupperware containers, large enough to house each kind of media you'll use

- 2 car sponges (large, porous sponges work best for large debris) You could use any filter media, this is simply what I used

- a dozen or more bath loofas (you could use pot scrubbers, but I couldn't find any)

- a submersible pump (choose a size that suits your need)

- a length of clear tubing that will attach to the pump return, I used about 4 feet

- a small container to fit inside your tank for your overflow

- 2 suction cups

- zip ties

All of these Items were purchased at the local dollar store, save the pump and the clear tubing. I purchased a Total Pond Submersible pump rated for 300gph with adjustable flow from a local hardware store for $25. I also bought the clear tubing there, 1/2'' tubing that was $7 for 4 feet.

*Optional: You can purchase aquarium grade silicon for some of your seals, but I found with this set up I didn't need it

Starting with the overflow, I cut slots into the side close to the top using an boxcutter. This will allow water to enter the overflow box without sucking in any floating plants or fish. (This is not my overflow, but it'll give you an idea of what the slots should look like)

normal_overflow04.jpg

Taking the same boxcutter I drilled two holes in the back of my container to make holes for the suction cups. This will allow your overflow to attach to the side of your aquarium. You could use aquarium silicon to stablize your suction cups to the back of your container (as I did) but it's not nessesary.

Now to start on the sump itself. Using a pair of scissors, I drilled two holes into the lid of the box, one at the back and one at the front. I made each hole about 1'' in diameter for my tubing. I used my boxcutter to clean the edges up.

Next take your 2 of your 3 tupperware containers and drill holes in the bottom like a drip plate. I dont own a drill and the challenge was to keep this as low budget. This picture once again is not my project, but will give you an idea of how to space the holes out. Less is more in this case. Drill too many holes too close together and you'll have too much water passing through too quickly. Start out with fewer holes and test your drip plate in the sink or bath tub to test the water flow.

3.JPG

I took the lids of each tupperware and cut the center's out, leaving a 1'' lip so I could stack the containers on top of eachother. You should now have two tupperware containers that have a lid with a gaping hole in them, and holes in the bottom. You can stack them on top of eachother and water will flow through them.

Taking your final tupperware, pick a side and starting from the top, cut out a rectangular box. This container will sit on the bottom of the sump, allowing water to pass through to the pump. You also need to cut the bottom out of this tupperware, like you did with the lids, leaving about a 1'' lip.

It might sound confusing, but you're almost done!

Taking the last tupperware you cut and flip it upside down, so that the bottom is upright. Take one of the drip plate tupperwares and fill it with your bath loofas, plae your lid on it and stack it on top of the first tupperware. Take the last tupperware and place your car sponges inside them. I had to cut mine in half to fit them properly.

At this point I placed my pump inside at this point, added my clear plastic tubing to the output, and used a couple zipties to hold the tubing in place. Run your tubing through one of the holes through to the top of your box and situate the output tube

Your probably wondering how it ties all together, especially since your overflow box only sits inside the tank, and not outside, as most do.

With your overflow box in your tank, and your wet/dry pump assembled your ready to start. Place the end of your aquarium siphon in your overflow box, suck all the air out of the tube to start your siphon, and quickly place the siphone output tube in the other drilled hole of your sump. Your siphon output should be pouring water over your sponge, filling up quickly. Allow your sump to fill a bit before starting, your pump needs to be full submerged before turning it on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sump.png

Here's a diagram to hopefully clear things up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice right up. I've been wanting to try this with my 35g tank. I like the bit with the tupperware for the filter media. What size tank did you make yours for?? Thanks again. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This setup is being used for a 55g. It's not my only form of filteration, but its certainly taking a load off of them! I know this form of wet/dry can often lead to a buildup of nitrates, so for now I've stuck a Pothos in my overflow box, hopefully it'll help a bit. I think this would be awesome for a 35g =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do the nitrates build up? That seems odd. Would it help if the tank were planted and you cleaned the media often??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure it would, on both counts, but it seems to be a common problem with this kind of set-up. Wet Dry filters are awesome at converting ammonia to nitrites to nitrates, but in heavily stocked tanks it can lead to a dangeous build-up of nitrates. Having a planted tank would help, along with frequent water changes; anything to reduce nitrates. The tank I'm using this sump for is over stocked as is, this sump was added to help with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do the nitrates build up? That seems odd. Would it help if the tank were planted and you cleaned the media often??

I had heard a lot of people say that before, also, and I was a little perplexed as well. I think, after doing some research, that it's mostly because the large volume of media provides a lot of really good places for the gunk to hang out--the extra food, the poo, the decaying plant matter, etc. You can get around a lot of it by having an awesome mechanical prefilter before your water goes through the biomedia, and you can also help by giving the media a good rinse regularly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes sense I guess. I do notice that the tank that I have a huge mass of java moss in gets higher nitrates if I don't wash it out periodicaly.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...