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Design and Construction of a filtration system (sump) - 1

by John Salakidis

The purpose of this article is to describe in detail the design and construction of a filtration system which was built for my 720 liter Malawi cichlid tank. I will not refer to the pros and cons of a sump filter since other authors have already done it in this site. I will refer to the details of the construction with photos taken during the process. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Vagelis Papadopoulos for his precious help. The dimensions of the sump were chosen according to the available space under my main tank and can be easily adapted to meet the needs of other hobbyists. Prices, whenever stated, are to be used as a rough indication since they may differ considerably from shop to shop.

The main tank measures 200 x 60 x 70 cm. The space under the tank (where the sump was placed) measures 200 x 60 x 45 cm (see photo).

We started with a tank measuring 90 x 50 x 30 cm (135 liter capacity) which was constructed using 5 mm thick glass. A divider was placed vertically along the long axis of the sump in which the filtration material was to be located. This divider has a height of 20 cm and thus leaves a 10 cm opening over the bottom (see photos)

 

As shown in the diagram above, the biological filtration media is going to be placed in the left hand side while the pumps will be placed in the right compartment. The construction, up to this point, was made by a professional and set me back  120€ . Needless to say, the cost can by substantially reduced if you decide to make this yourself. Plexiglas was used thereafter for the biological filtration compartment since it is a material much easier to be handled.

I used three pieces with the following dimensions:

1)      60x50 cm as a base

2)      59x50 cm as a cover for the compartment

3)      70x50 cm as a cover for the whole sump

Cost: 20€

Many openings were made on the first piece of Plexiglas which was then glued with silicone on the tank walls and the bottom of the divider described above. Small supports were also used at the corners to stabilize it (see photos)

Continued in next page

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