Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

HOW TO: Build a fully integrated aquarium filter – Internal sump TUTORIAL


Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back. So in today’s video I’m going to show you how to build a fully integrated filtration system for your aquarium [I] plan to show you how to do it with a couple of examples then show it in action then talk [about] some of the Pros and cons to this method of filtration now if you’re not familiar with what these are They’re actually a filter system built directly into your aquarium as part of it Typically using the inner back or side wall of your aquarium to accommodate this filter sort of like having a sump Directly in your aquarium for these examples I’ll be using a clear acrylic so we can see right through it so as to understand how it works If you plan on building this I advise using a colored plastic of your choice So it remains hidden whether you’re building one of these for your back wall of your aquarium Or the side wall is completely up to you however. They are both built in the same Manner the only difference is size You’ll want to start out by dry fitting the main panel in first to ensure a proper fit They should be cut to size of the inside dimensions of your aquarium followed by Partitions now these are commonly called Baffles the Width of this filter will depend entirely on what you want, but in these examples [I] made it three inches wide simply to accommodate the pump Three inches is more than enough for everything else including fitting my [armand] almost to the bottom I Also, enjoy the walls are at least a half inch shorter than the main tank Just in case I flood this filter the water will simply flow back into the main aquarium with the wall and [the] baffles confirm that they fit I now mark off where these are for future reference and then mark where the entrance will be as Well as the pump exit. I leave the protective plastic on to allow me to market without directly marking on the acrylic now I suggest making sure that you put all your equipment in first before making a final Decision on how everything will go just to make sure everything will fit now because there is no real pressure on the panel I don’t need a thick acrylic So I’m using a cheap extruded acrylic that is three millimeters thick The reason being is because the pressure on the [outside] and the pressure on the inside of this filter are the same Now if you have a router you can use that to make the slots in the acrylic for the overflow into the filter however Most of you will have a drill so what I like to do is use a small section of lighting diffuser to evenly mark off where I want the holes And then I use a step drill to carefully drill the holes how many and how a large depends on the flow of your pump? However adding in a few more holes afterwards or making them bigger can be easily done later if needed If you press too [hard], you’re going to crack the acrylic But it’s not the end of the world a bit of silicone or even acrylic cement can fix that again only because [there] is no Real pressure pushing up against it for the baffles I do the same thing except I’ll make them a lot larger because I won’t be able to adjust them later on All of how you do this is totally up to you however. This is just one [example] on how to build these Installing can be done in two ways Either install the main wall first and slide the baffles in after followed by lining it all with silicone to hold them in place Or install the baffles first followed by the main wall either way renders the same result After waiting 24 hours. It’s now ready for water before We move on let’s talk about how this works [now] as water is pumped out from behind the wall water will replace it by Overflowing behind it again. It will first enter through the holes we drilled at the top and at this point We would want to have some sort of mechanical filtration to filter the water [I] chose to have the holes at the top so I can get some surface skimming as well But the position of these and layout and everything is up to you We just need to make sure we follow one simple rule Which is alternating the position of the openings of the baffles meaning? We want to make sure that water flows under one and then over the other or vice versa So that water actually has to flow through each chamber and not just pass under it or over it [after] Flowing under the first baffle the water has nowhere to go, but up and through whatever biological media is in place to get to the top and Overflow to the next side at this point the water will be met by your heater and pump back into the main aquarium to show you a couple of [ideas] in the side wall filter I built a small table out of lighting diffuser and some zip ties to hold a bag of ceramic biological Media I did this always not to block the entrance As that will only promote channeling of the water and eventually bypass the media this method ensures that the water evenly flows into that area? And up through all of the media for mechanical filtration prior To it I could have done the same thing, but I had a sponge that fit in tightly enough So I didn’t need it for a back wall filter we have much more room [to] play with with a couple of more Baffles I could have added in as many more sections to perform different duties as I wanted however I decide to turn that entire section into a fluidized bed now the side wall filter will be good enough for most people however obviously the back wall offers far more space and more Options now the downside to this filter is it takes up space in your tank and obviously that’s not something we would typically want to Do however it still has a lot of benefits? I like them because it totally separates the fish from all of your equipment Everything is completely hidden it also allows me [to] have a lot of options a typical sound would have without having to have an overflow in my tank extra plumbing or an actual sump below I can use it as a filter or I can even incorporate something like a refugium Depending on the design you pick you also get a lot of surface skimming a typical overflow offers not to mention It’s also more energy efficient now I’m only using an 8 watt pump to power this versus a 20 to 50 watt pump or more that I would typically need to Power a typical sump this filter also has no size limit You can install it virtually on any Tank for any purpose if you’re building your own tank you can even plan the tank size and dimensions around this method of filtration So as to accommodate it and you’re not losing it on any space ultimately this may be a new idea for many of you But it’s been around for many years now, and I simply wanted to give you my take on building them anyways I hope you enjoyed the video and maybe got some ideas from it I also wanted to thank you for watching and I’ll see you guys [next] week for a new project

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