DIY Sump (Build yourself a cheap Wet/Dry Sump!)


Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Jul 31, 2003
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A few days before I got my tank, I started working on a sump.

I originally got my idea from here.

Its a simple sump and cheap too, only cost me 50 bucks where it usually costs around $200-300.

First, I got the actual sump, a 32 gallon Rubbermaid. That cost about $5.
Next, I got the drawers. They are modified to fit under the stand. Pic.

This pic shows how I modded them. I cut a third of the bottom drawer clean off then fitted it back together. It fits on under my iron stand but it might not in a wooden one. :|

Ok! So you wanna know how to make it? There's 2 ways. In one, the water goes through the skimmer first, then drips into the sump and if pumped into the tower (of drawers). Next its pumped back into the tank. This method is better but its hard to find a wide enough skimmer input (needs to be 1 inch).

The other way (which mine was designed as) is to make the water go through the tower first, then drip into the sump, be pumped back up to the tank while another pump pumps the water into the skimmer.

The process:

1. Take a 1 inch 90 degree of PVC (or better yet a curve) and connect it to the overflow.
2. Make the skimmer output drip into the sump. Get a good pump (one that can take 2' of head and still pump 400 gph).
3. Get a tube, connect it to the pump, and cut a hole big enough for your tube in the top (or side it there is no room because of a stand) of the top drawer. Start with a small hole and then get a drill bit a little bigger then a little bigger until you have a good sized hole. Add a 90 if you came in from the side.
4. In the first and second drawers, drill lots (I did about 70) of 1/8th inch holes. Center them in the middle.
5. Add media. For the top drawer add blue material as seen here. Also add carbon.
6. For the second drawer, add things with alot of surface area. Pic. See it in action!

Now you have an operating sump!

Some Pix:


Tip: If you experience an overflow of water in the top level, raise it off the plastic. Pic.

I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope this article saves people mucho dinero! :D


Haliphron Atlanticus
Jan 8, 2004
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Represent BOE! Great post! Hope it does help many, if not only build one, but atleast understand what is actually involved in w/d. Bet there is a lot of trial and error! :wink:
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