• GBD videos on vimeo
  • subscribe : rss feed
  • Entry

    DIY Reef Sump Build

    We eventually would like to build our own rimless sump, but for the time being we decided to go with a AGA 15g aquarium to convert into a simple 1 baffle sump design.  Our return pump will be an Eheim 1250. With the head loss it will be pumping about 200gph. That may seem like very [...]

    We eventually would like to build our own rimless sump, but for the time being we decided to go with a AGA 15g aquarium to convert into a simple 1 baffle sump design.  Our return pump will be an Eheim 1250. With the head loss it will be pumping about 200gph. That may seem like very little, but it means quiet operation, less splashing, and nearly all of the flow will be able to feed directly into our protein skimmer.  We went with oversized plumbing, so should we like more flow we can do so without adding an additional pump in the tank.

    With such low flow, we decided on a single 6in baffle. This made it a very simple DIY sump. (We ordered the glass from Torstenson Glass. If you are in Chicago, we highly recommend them.)

    To start we clean all the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils from your hands. Then measure where you want the baffle, and tape it off.  Using a clear ruler makes it very easy to check if the tape job is straight and even.

    reefsump1 

     To start place a thin bead of silicone on the very bottom edge. This ensures the silicone fills the gap between the baffle and the sum, and aids in holding the baffle upright while curing.

     reefsump2

    Here you can see the tape. We used two small pieces of tape on the top edge of the baffle to balance the glass and hold it in place.  Even though you put a small bead on the bottom edge, go back and do the front and back seam of the baffle’s bottom edge and the remaining two sides.  With the tape, any extra silicone will be removed.  

     reefsump3

     After all the silicone is applied, use a wet finger to smooth out the silicone. This cleans up the seams and pushes the adhesive into any gaps. Above is a shot of the finished silicone job.

    reefsump4 

    After 30 to 60 minutes, pull the masking tape. (Dont let the silicone dry too much, or the masking tape will pull all the silicone with it.) There was maybe some excess as can be seen in the photo on the baffle’s top edge that can be removed via a razor blade the next day… but for the most part there’s the finished product. It is extremely easy to do. 

    Related Posts

    1. sump design
    2. glassbox build
    3. GE Caulk Singles | DIY Made Easy
    4. Eco-Friendly Glass Zeolite Reactor
    5. Patented RoboSnail is a Roomba for Your Reef
    • Jose

      Nice job, but im offended, should have called me
      to do the silicone. I play with the stuff every
      day at work, and i do mean play :p
      by the way how is the copperband? saw a couple
      nice ones at living seas yesterday while i was
      buying a fish there.

    • GBD

      Haha, the silicone was fun. We’re going to make some rimless nano’s to practice some more and then try some other stuff we have have been wanting to do.

      The Copperband is doing great he’s one needy fish though. Craves attention more than any fish I’ve ever owned! So far it’s eating mysis and brine, hoping to get it it onto pellets and “seafood mush” soon too.

    • Pingback: 3reef - DIY

    • Pingback: Take Your Time When Designing Your Sump | Aquarists Online | Saltwater Aquarium Resources And Information

    • Pingback: glassbox-design.com » GE Caulk Singles | DIY Made Easy

    • Richard

      how did you plumb your eheim in? i have a 1250 as well I was thinking about hard plumbing it

    • http://glassbox-design.com eric michael

      @Richard, we used an included barb to connect the Eheim to soft tubing which is then connected to PVC. This soft plumbing to hard plumbing reduces potential vibrations and noise. HTH.

    • Richard

      do you have any pics of this?

    • http://www.plumbingwalnutcreek.com Plumbers Walnut Creek

      Those are one of the simpliest DIY reef I have seen on the net but still it serves its purpose.

    • Pingback: My Sump/Refugium build!