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Japes' Sump Photolog

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Figured this was the appropriate section. Photolog time, have my sump running very nicely as of yesterday and today, here's some photos of the 'journey'. Like to take this time to thank everyone for their input over the last few weeks too, as well as Petland Aquarium at Southport for the custom built sump.

Copy/Pasted from another forum which was logged over the period of about a week, so there's breaks in it. I don't think there's anything in there that won't make sense but if there is, that's why :P


Hey guys,

I've finally gotten around to installing (or almost have) a sump on my 550L SA Cichlid Community aquarium.

<Sump explanation was here lol!)

Photos for people with ADHD.


Bad photo of the sump. Got it custom built to my exact specifications by Aquarium and Petland Southport in the Brickworks center on the Gold Coast (Cough, plug), big thanks to Michael there. It's 53x37x40CM LxWxH (70L total), with 2 baffles/dividers and 2 sets of lips for partitions in the main chamber.


The partitions etc. Yes I forgot to rotate the photo.


My poorly manufactured perspex drip plate, I'm terrible at the jigsaw but it fits and will do it's job, 1 of two I plan to make, this ones for the top, the bottom one will be peppered with much large holes as it's basically a cheaper replacement to eggcrate which is impossible to find and ridiculously expensive; already had the perspex lying around. Drip plates are used to spread water evenly over all of the media. My intake is going to be a spraybar anyway but the drip plate ensures that it's more effective.





Mechanical Media time, this stuff sits on that top drip plate right above it. A spraybar will spray into this section which will soak through then drip over all of the bioballs in the partition below; which I don't have any photos of today as I'm around 200 bioballs short and plan to replace them with something else.

Top layer is AquaOne mech media cut to fit, not sure on the exact coarseness. Bottom layer is the heaven sent 50 micron media which will help remove all of these bastard particles that have plagued my tank for months :P



Pump arrived today. Pentair QuietOne 3000, thanks TheReefShop.


250 Bioballs and a bad photo of where they're going. They fill up maybe just over half of it, so I need to prop them up so they're out of the water.


Sump goes here.


Plumbing holes. Will be using this awesome ribbed flexible tubing for the distance between the sump fittings and the overflow/spraybar, it's called Outlet tubing or something at Bunnings, I'll get a photo up when I buy it.


Where the overflow is going, big bit goes in the tank (at the back) and the other stuff runs down the wall. Just fits :D


Stuff that will be used. No idea why I bothered posting this.


Overflow time. This is a contraption made of 1" and 2" PVC that will siphon water and restart automatically if the siphon is broken (Basically if the power goes out). Because my tank isn't drilled this is probably the next best thing.


This shot is of the 25mm PVC to 25mm tube adapter.


Someone gave me this idea on QLDAF, a tap fitting on the air outlet. This means that I can plug a hose on (with a fitting that stops water when it's not plugged in!), turn off the tap which will be located just above my sump, and fill my tank using the Overflow.

Best idea ever.

Other thing is a 1 way valve to make sure any trapped air gets out of the siphon.


This hurts.

PVC from Bunnings (All PVC Parts, 2 25mm Ball Valves, Tube Adapters): $100

Pentair QuietOne 3000: $135 inc express postage

Custom Built Sump: $65 (Mates rates)

250 Bioballs: $39

Mechanical Media: $24

Still need:

Krylon Fusion - Paint: $30

5m~ Outlet piping: $25

Other assorted crap like tap fitting, suction cups etc. - $15

Total :( : $433

However, compared to how effective that is verse quality canisters at around 2000-2500Lph, It's cheap.


Photo updates from tonight, decided to fill it up with the scrubbies I picked up. Not the ones I planned to get (want the round nylon ones), but these set me back a total of $14, and will work nicely, probably have enough bioballs in there anyway, and any more bioballs would be fully submerged and less effective.


Filling up, no leaks, victory!


Running water level, half the bioballs above water = good, more would have been good but my sumps rather small.



Last update before it's running.

Pretty much built everything today, return and overflow fittings above the sump, spray-bar, everything has been purchased and ready to go. Plan is to paint the overflow and spray-bar tomorrow morning, fully set up the sump, fit everything into place, and have it running Sunday. Depends on the paint.



Spraybar. Have Suction cups to fit this so it doesn't wiggle around. Not sure how I'm going to fit them, probably fishing line through the holes and wrap it around tightly.


Pump fitting. Female screw end screws onto pump then to flexi up to the spraybar.


Sump spraybar. Not drilled yet because I need to work out where to drill it so it works effectively. Looks a bit weird but to fit it into my cabinet that's how I chose to do it. The ball valve will be saddled to the roof of my cabinet onto a block of wood that was Siliconed onto the roof, which goes down and around a little bit to the spraybar, which will run front to back in the center of the biochamber.


Saddles with padding. Honorable mention to my hand.


The awesome flexible tubing, it's called 'Outlet Tubing', $4.50 a metre at Bunnings. Turns out the employee that cut it for me used to work at Bayfish and handled the African Cichlids there, small world ;)


Sump sitting in there. Biochamber hasn't been set up as I need to remove and replace the sump with some padding underneath which proved impossible by myself as it's non-slip stuff.

Can see the bits of wood on the roof, only one will be used (altered my design!).


Sound tweaked to be completely noise free, can hardly hear pump (no worse than my PC) and no toilet flushing gargling sound. Who mentioned that?

Just took a full tank photo then - it will be at the end - worth every cent of the cost it was to put this thing together :P

Here's some photos of it all in.


Whats visible of the overflow. Hardly any real extrusion.


Bad shot of the pump. Little too much water running in the whole system but it's fine, just means as many of the bioballs aren't running wet/dry as possible. deviantART llama sticker.


Shot of the fitting for my sumps spraybar. Works well, there's some uneaten pumpkin sitting on my mechanical media that washed straight through, picky buggers.


Current running water level of the sump, as you can see it could be easily an inch lower. Weeks worth of fish feces also sitting on the Mechanical media as you can see. Nice and brown.


Spraybar + Mech media.


Dirty looking photo of Spraybar in the tank. Krylon Fusion is top notch, if you can find it, buy me some.


Overflow in the tank. Quite hidden considering how big it is.


Had the camera on auto, so that's a pretty average full tank shot.

Now, I linked this photo earlier as one of my pet peeves about my aquarium, floating specs.


As you can see in the photo prior to that, it looks a lot cleaner.

Here's the $450 moneyshot with my camera on full manual.



Ok, thats it. Cheers for your input once again guys, much appreciated.

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Cheers guys, it's working great currently, evaporation is proving to be a slight annoyance but I'm used to it already (Needed a bucket after 5 days but I've reduced it slightly so it will go the week between water changes now without a problem).

Will be replacing the scrubbies with BioBalls at some point down the track, and have also added some more mechanical media, the aquaone phosphate remover stuff (Black Beard Algae continuing to annoy me).


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