HOW TO: Build an aquarium sump – emerged trickle filter

HOW TO: Build an aquarium sump – emerged trickle filter


Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video I’m going to continue on with part [two] of the three [part] series on sumps I plan [to] show you how to build the three Most common [types] of sumps based on the method of filtration used when it comes to methods of filtration [I] break them down into the state the biological media is actually in which is either submerged Emerged or fluid eyes meaning the Media is below water above water or in a fluid eyes [we’re] constantly moving state I plan [to] show you a basic layout on how to build one some tips and ideas for them how to Size them for your aquarium, and then the pros and cons to each method with that said last week We talked about the fluid eyes filter this week we are moving on to the emerged filter the most popular type of emerged filter is the Wet/dry filter or the more descriptive name the Trickle filter essentially this works by suspending media over the sump raining water over that media design on these are really simple But their success really comes down to how good of a drip plate you have now I’ve shown this method of filtration in other videos Using different materials to create it however in this video We’ll be making it a little easier while making it a little more visually appealing [I] do one piece of glass suspended a few inches from the bottom of the tank The bottom of it should be high enough to be above the pump you’re using So that your pump stays submerged how much media you need depends on the fish Captain the ammonia [produce] But it can be really broken down into exact numbers like I did in my book However a good rule of thumb is 10 liters for the average 100 gallon aquarium stalking the size of the sum should be large enough to [accommodate] the equipment and Additional water that will drain when the power goes out to figure out how much water will drain from the sump during a power outage [a] simple rule of thumb that I use is to take the volume of the water your aquarium is and divide that by the height Of your tank for example [a] 24 inch hundred gallon tank would drain around 4 gallons of water usually it’s less But this is a good start using the hundred gallon tank example We would use 10 liters of media for it we also know that around 4 gallons of extra space in the stump will be needed when the power goes out however the media remains suspended above the water level when in Operation so that changes things we no longer need a large sump to accommodate the extra water volume as the sump will only be filled By about 20% anyways, so typically speaking if the sump is big enough to fit the media and all of your equipment It’s also going to be big enough to accommodate a power outage to suspend the meet Use a couple of pieces [of] glass or acrylic on the inside chamber [two] recipes of lighting diffuser on top of then I fill it With Media now I tend to prefer using [bioballs] for it as they tend not to Compress or clog as easily as alternative media like plastic pots [grubbies] however both would basically do the same thing [for] a drip plate you can build one like I’ve shown in a previous Video or you might luck out [and] find a small plastic drawer that fits your chamber perfectly you might even want to find the drawer First like I did I actually found a drawer with the rough dimensions I need it and then built the chamber to Accommodate it while ensuring the chamber was at least as big as I needed then drill holes in it holes should be spaced evenly And as many as you can drill spacing them by about one inch is a good idea You’ll want water to flow Evenly through all of them so start off with small holes and test if it ever clogs I also drilled holes in the sides For water to flow out of then I simply rested this directly on top of the media and then filled it up with filter floss Which is cheap and easily changed with the some size now determined? I also recommend running almost all sumps at around 6 times the volume of the system as a good rule of thumb Meaning that if your main aquarium is a hundred gallon you’ll want to run the filter return pump at 600 gallons per hour now Let’s talk [about] the pros and cons the [pros] are simple it’s an ideal environment for aerobic Bacteria It’s a highly oxygenated environment that allows the Bacteria to perform efficiently It’s able to do this simply due to the fact the water is constantly raining over the media with highly oxygenated water These are also typically very quiet as well and Generally the cheapest sump you can make the cons are what we’re really interested [in] though this filter can be difficult to create a pre-filter for as is generally above the water lines So we have to rely on a drip plate for the delivery of the water with that said the efficiency and effectiveness Depends entirely on [that] drip plate if you don’t get it just right then you can dramatically lose effectiveness So I guess you can say the drip plate can be finicky to get just right the second thing is that Channeling can happen this is when there is a buildup of Detritus that forms in the Media and water simply flows around it now given the [fact] that water will always travel the path of least resistance This is important The more channeling that occurs the less water that will actually come in contact with the rest of the media which means that over time It will become less effective if you don’t maintain it properly [which] brings me to my next con Cleaning is needed every few months to around a year while you won’t have to do with that often when you do It’s a pain the last con to this filter Is that most ups will add a lot of additional water volume to your system while this one simply doesn’t? With that said you can always use a larger sump or change up the design but typically this doesn’t do much for the water volume Which is typically a big plus to sumps? So I would recommend this some for people on a budget that still wants some sort of a benefit to a sump well still having a very effective filter Anyways, I hope that you guys enjoyed part two of the series [I] also wanted to [thank] you for watching [and] I’ll see you guys next week when we take a look at the submerged sump

66 thoughts on “HOW TO: Build an aquarium sump – emerged trickle filter

  1. Good break down of the trickle filter, wandered if was the best sump idea. Look forward to next week, Fired Up!!!

  2. Joey,
    I've got quite a few different styles of filters running on various tanks.  One thing that stood out to me when first setting them all up was how much quicker an emerged style trickle filter completed the initial cycle compared to say a sponge filter or any other submerged style filter.  Is that just due to the higher level of oxygen emerged media sees?

  3. Hi my name is Adam and I'm Polish . I have a question about the white grille which you use in your projects. I do not know whether at home buy something , but I would like to know what it is normally used . Thanks for your reply.

  4. I know this is off subject but I have a question about your DIY tank stand for large tanks. Can you put the vertical 2x4s that go from the floor to the top of the stand on the outside instead of the inside? By doing this giving extra room inside.

  5. I have bulit a aquarium that i was going to make as a nano reef, it is 10" wide,10" long, 12" high and i have done water tested it and everything is good but the problem im having is i have got the silicon all over the glass walls from finger prints and where i have dropped some and smeared it…ive tried to use a razor like you said in your how to build a aquarium video but after scraping than it still leaves a bit of a residue..is there any ideas you have on removing the silicon? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.thanks

  6. I have 2 doubts,

    1. Is it true that bio balls becomes a nitrate factory gradually?
    2. What if we dont use bio balls at all and use live rock instead as a biological media.

  7. Joey, love this filter! But I love your 5 gallon bucket sump filter a little better! I think it's easier, and it makes the cleaning of the bio balls easier. Just pull the bucket out, give it a couple gentle shakes, run some aquarium water through it, and done. Plus, ITS A FIVE GALLON BUCKET. It has automatic cool factor. One thing Joey, you mention in this new video that you prefer bio balls as to plastic pot scrubbies cause the bio balls don't compress. In your 5 gallon bucket sump video, you say that pot scrubbies have a higher surface area and can sustain more bio load. In your book, you seem to be neutral between the two. You are great and giving the facts in all your videos and not just opinions. But, what do you prefer?

  8. Well done joe just got the app and have been wanting you to do a podcast so this is great good luck and don't get too stressed out bud. The second book could have more pics and fish care tho I know it would be huge. 👍👍👍

  9. Thanks for part 2 Joey, you truly are @The king of DIY This idea is great, I actually want to look into this set up. I was thinking of having a corner trickle tower leading to a fluidized sump below my tank, in your opinion, would this be viable? or would just one option be suitable for a 55gal discus set up? Thanks again for all the great info. You're doing a hell of a good job. I'll wait for part 3 before I decide lol 🙂

  10. Have you ever had a problem with flies with a sump filter? I'm currently having a problem with them

  11. Could this set up be used for aquaponics? Also, could making smaller vertical chambers from the same plastic material at the bottom aid in removing the media for cleaning?

  12. I find your videos really informative and interesting. It would be helpful if you could stick to one unit of measurement for water since I found it difficult to follow when you say things like 10 litres per 100 gallons.

  13. i'm doing a big turtle tank but i want to do a sump filter, i just don't know form this 3 sumps filters which is the best one for my turtel tank. can you give me an idea?

  14. Anyone ever tried something like this on a turtle tank? Ill be building a 150 gallon for my turtle in the coming months but can't decide what kind of filter system I should use.

  15. im a fan of the good old wet dry trickle and only make one small modification to this desighn…..i use 2 layers of fibers sheeting one of fine grade then a bit more open one and i place them with a tight fit  directlet under the drip plate resting on top of the bio balls or cubes.this way i get even coverage of dibre collection without disrupting the drip plate.

  16. Wow, this guy has the biggest set of "Bio-Balls" I've ever seen before in the Fish hobby.
    Keep up the great videos

  17. Wouldn't a Bakki shower filter solve the issues that a traditional wet/dry suffers from – mainly channeling since the media is spread out over a larger surface area?

  18. I understand perfectly what you are saying and I am on a budget trying to set up my 125 gallon saltwater aquarium. now if doing an emerged sump will I still need a protein skimmer or not?

  19. How important is it to clean the media? I had a thriving tank and hadn't changed or cleaned the media at all in over 7 years. (I'd even forgot to change the sponge also, but that didn't seem to matter).

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