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  1. #1
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Sump building hindsight

    Okay I'm a complete routing idiot. I have a dremel, a plunge router attachment, a 1/8" square cut bit, and a lack of any clue as to how to use them, or common sense it would appear.

    I seem to recall thinking "How hard can it be? I'll just mark off an inch, and cut my overflow by eye."

    My first lesson was: Routing is loud. Way loud on 1/4" acrylic. I think I frightened the neighour's dog, several houses down the street.

    Then after my first two reasonable cuts I relaxed. See it's not too hard... oops the dremel set to 35,000 rpm pulls left when using it way left. I have a couple cuts I'm going to call "artistic" and leave it at that.

    Then I learned that this melts acrylic as much as it cuts it.

    Then around the 8th or so notch I got the hang of it & the rest looks reasonable.

    Since the goal of these notches is to let wat flow out of the fuge while keeping snails and macro or anything else that might clog the pump in, I agonized a bit & then decided as "fancy" as some of the cuts are it should still do its job. If it doesn't a new piece is ~ $2.50. (There's only a marginal chance the next one will be less creatively cut though, I'm still a routing idiot.)

    Appariently you can make some sort of guide so your cuts are laser straight. If I have to do it again I'll look into it.

    Next comes the assembly part. Fun with silicone. I figgured this'll take 10 minutes & I can log into WoW. ugh.

    Okay so when they say "work in a well ventialled area." They mean it. I still have a mild head-ache.

    Anyway the eaiset two baffles to put in were the notched one before the pump and the first one after the drain from the tank.

    The under baffle is supposed to be about an inch up from the bottom & an inch away from the first baffle. Okay I'm not going to get my hand in there to run a bead on the left side, so I'll just put the silicon on the edges...

    You know you have to wait for silicon to cure before you can clean it off glass? The smear this made was horrific.

    Then I found out that silicone doesn't tack very quickly. The only way you can get the middle "under" baffle in is to prop it up on something. If I do that one again I'll cut the acrylic so it's bigger & then notch out a strip 1" deep leaving feet on either side.

    Since I didn't do that and I was covered in silicon, I had to get creative with an empty lipitor bottle. At least the second baffle was in and square. But I haven't figured out how to get silicon all the way down on the inside seam.

    The outside is good, but my hand's too big to get more than half way down between the baffles.

    If anyone's wondering it takes about 5 minutes for silicone to get tacky enough to hold 1/4" acrylic.

    The final baffle taught me that even though the ends of a tank are square, the closer to the middle you get the less true this becomes, even when empty.

    Alas it's in and the silicone is curing. The OM Squirt arrived last night, I have my return pump, all I need now are some valves, pipes, etc and I should be able to water test on Saturday.

    Oh yeah & this time I'm drinking some "priming" beer...

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Wow,
    Sounds like quite the adventure!

    If I read correctly, you only used silicone to adhere your acrylic? Did you not use any Weld-on or some acrylic glue?
    Silicone will not bond permanently to acrylic... You'll wanna be careful with that.

    Also... Excellent write up, (I liked the WoW reference)... but where are the dang pictures?!??!?!?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    The sump is a 20L AGA tank so I have to silicon the acrylic to the glass, weldon melts acrylic to acrylic.

    I didn't think anyone woul be terribly interested in an empty, unplumbed tank. I can take some pics once it's plumbed up during the water test if there's interest.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Ahhh... ok, I didn't know it was a 20gal AGA tank. Makes complete sense now.

    I love pics of equipment and DIY projects as much as fully stocked tanks!
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    I giggled all the way... not AT you but WITH you I love descriptions like this and realising that other people have as much "fun" as us doing all these DIY projects.....hehehe

    BTW its a bit late but did you rough up the acrylic with sand paper? makes the silicon adhere much better...


    On a side note... we had put some monster plastic kids bloc (they look like legos on steroids) to make the "under" space once... put the next baffle... sit back.... euhhh hun, how we gonna get the kid's block out of there?!?!?! oh maaaaaaaaannnnnn...... LOL
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  6. #6
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I completely forgot to rough up the edges.

    Part or me is expecting the baffles to collapse the second I turn on my MAG 12 but then again once the silicon cured a bit they felt pretty solid.

    At this point I'm just going to cross my fingers & see what happen when I do the plumbing & test it out

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    If the silicone lets go of the Plexiglas it will still be adhered to the glass and it will act like guides for the Plexiglas. It would not be water tight but the water will still flow for the most part as intended.
    Rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member boyohboy's Avatar
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    I just made a sump from a used tank too... here's my adventure

    But I elected to use glass instead as it's easier to find. Bought a glass cutter @ HomeDepot for $5 and it's my first time cutting glass.

    Well the first cut... the glass broke at exact where my score line was... NOT.
    AFter 3 more cuts or so then it seemed pretty easy.

    Then when silicone time came... well out of 5 pieces of cut glass, 1 was too long, and 2 were too short... and then I broke the too-long one in halves when I tried to "trim" it shorter. Doesn't matter, I just cut out small pieces of glass and 'patch' on the broken glass and vola good as new
    Same for the too-short glass slides... stick another small piece of glass to 'extend' them longer lol.

    Then everything was done siliconed and cool. Then I dropped my Prizm skimmer head to head on to the glass section... broke the glass with a big crack... well who cares it's just an internal piece of glass, water will still flow
    And the Prizm cracked as well...epoxy pathed it... it still skims fine.

    Ended up with about 5-6 cut on my hands as well. NOT one was made while I was cutting the glass nor siliconing. All those cut on my hands were actually happened when I'm done and marvelling my lovely patchy sump and when I rested my hands/arms on the glass edge repeatedly.... reminds me of a sharp knife going thru tofu...

    So right now I have an ugly glass-patches-everywhere sump and an epoxy-patched Prizm running, pretty cool.
    Hardwares: 50G reef tank, 30G sump & ~55lb Indo/Fiji LR. Finnex 36"x4 T5 lights, Coralife Superskimmer 220g, Mag9.5 return and SEIO820+MJ600 PH.
    Corals: zoosss, mushrooms, hammer, torch, fogsprawn, blasto, crocea clam, RBTA
    Fish: Percular clown PJ cardinal, royal gramma, yellow watchman goby, 3x chromis.

  9. #9
    Member LowKey's Avatar
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    Here's a great link that may help the less experienced individuals in the art sump design.

    http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html

    Hope this helps

    90Gal Tank 35Gal Sump

  10. #10
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    It's a good link, but at least in my case it was putting the theory into pratice that proved ummm interesting

    Ah well live & learn. I just won't be in a hurry to enter any router work in a competition.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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