DIY Polycarbonate Sump

karpomatic

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Sep 2, 2006
82
77
51
Vineland, NJ
I'm going to take a crack at building my own sump for my 125 mostly South American 125 gallon aquarium. I have been using the one in the photo for 3 years now and it's okay but it was originally designed for saltwater and I'm hoping I can do better. The planned dimensions are 48" x 15" x 15", approximately 46 gallons. I'm building it out of 1/4" polycarbonate and sealing it with the Weldon 16. I am basing it on the attached photo I found online. I'm looking for constructive criticism and help only. It's planned for the water from the tank to pour into the socks on the left, flow into 2 or 3 Cer-Media bio filter blocks, then spill over and down thru the vertical section but with 3 levels instead of 2. Cotton batting at the top, volcanic rock, and/or bio-balls. I was thinking of adding another vertical section of 3 levels with more filtration and purigen as the top level. Next it will flow over into the heater section and finally the return pump on the far right.

One of my thoughts is, if I add another vertical section that would flow up then to the heaters, should the water flow under the divider to the pump or still go over spill into the pump section?

**I removed the logos from the sump diagram as it's just used as a reference. **

20200224_070203.jpg

20200522_135635.jpg

20200522_174421.jpg

Sump Filter.jpg
 

DN328

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Aug 14, 2014
2,404
1,079
164
Fish Tank
I am a fan of having some chambers rather than one open box. I do think you may be going a bit far with chambers and varying types of mechanical to bio and back to mechanical and bio. For transparency this is from someone using a sump made for saltwater and I like the few chambers.

Personally, if using socks I Iike the drain going directly in rather than the overflowing into the sock. More likely for detritus loose in the chamber.

The filter pads would be fine, and do you really need all the various types of bio media? It seems excessive if your tank is properly cycled.

What type if UV are you thinking to install?

Edited: Any particular reason you are using polycarbonate rather than acrylic?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oughtsix

karpomatic

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Sep 2, 2006
82
77
51
Vineland, NJ
I am a fan of having some chambers rather than one open box. I do think you may be going a bit far with chambers and varying types of mechanical to bio and back to mechanical and bio. For transparency this is from someone using a sump made for saltwater and I like the few chambers.

Personally, if using socks I Iike the drain going directly in rather than the overflowing into the sock. More likely for detritus loose in the chamber.

The filter pads would be fine, and do you really need all the various types of bio media? It seems excessive if your tank is properly cycled.

What type if UV are you thinking to install?

Edited: Any particular reason you are using polycarbonate rather than acrylic?
The water would drain directly into the socks and under the first divider to fill the next chamber with the blocks. I want to keep it as clean and efficient as possible.
I've already got a SunSun UV in my current sump. I would just reuse it.
The Poly is readily accessible thru my job.
 

DN328

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Aug 14, 2014
2,404
1,079
164
Fish Tank
Im not sure the sock flow is as clean and efficent as possible, imo. Sounds like you've made up your mind on design then. Good luck on your project.
 

BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Dec 12, 2005
3,640
4,193
179
NC
I like having baffling to separate the mechanical and biological.
Then maybe one to create a chamber to keep the biological from the heaters and return.
One thing I noticed with the baffling you are contemplating is the ones in the center.
If the fiber get clogged there’s a good chance the water will just flow straight over bypassing the other chamber.
8581ED49-AAB4-4E05-B304-B1BF1435E563.jpeg
 

karpomatic

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Sep 2, 2006
82
77
51
Vineland, NJ
I'm not sure the sock flow is as clean and efficient as possible, imo. Sounds like you've made up your mind on design then. Good luck on your project.
Wouldn't the flow going directly into the sock catch all the larger detritus? I would think that would be more efficient than filling up a separate chamber then having it spill over into the socks but I could be wrong. I've not made up my mind. If I had I wouldn't be looking for help on it. I don't know whether to build my mock-up with the extra chambers or build the CAD drawing I found. I want as much water flow as possible and for it to be quiet. My current setup is very loud.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oughtsix

karpomatic

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Sep 2, 2006
82
77
51
Vineland, NJ
I like having baffling to separate the mechanical and biological.
Then maybe one to create a chamber to keep the biological from the heaters and return.
One thing I noticed with the baffling you are contemplating is the ones in the center.
If the fiber get clogged there’s a good chance the water will just flow straight over bypassing the other chamber.
View attachment 1419923
I see your point on the fiber. So what do you suggest? I could cut down on the chambers in the middle like this. The volcanic rock and bio media do the same thing. I've just got the ceramic cylinders in a couple bags.

layout2.jpg
 
Last edited:

DN328

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Aug 14, 2014
2,404
1,079
164
Fish Tank
Wouldn't the flow going directly into the sock catch all the larger detritus? I would think that would be more efficient than filling up a separate chamber then having it spill over into the socks but I could be wrong. I've not made up my mind. If I had I wouldn't be looking for help on it. I don't know whether to build my mock-up with the extra chambers or build the CAD drawing I found. I want as much water flow as possible and for it to be quiet. My current setup is very loud.
I think you and I were saying the same thing, but the sample picture in your first post showed the open first chamber through me off. My bad. I now see in the following you have what looks to be the drain will go directly into the socks.
 

DN328

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Aug 14, 2014
2,404
1,079
164
Fish Tank
I see your point on the fiber. So what do you suggest? I could cut down on the chambers in the middle like this. The volcanic rock and bio media do the same thing. I've just got the ceramic cylinders in a couple bags.

View attachment 1419924
If you keep the pad and it does its job lowering will buy you time before overflowing into the next chamber. The good news is the water will flow into the next chamber regardless and not out of your sump.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store