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How to build a cheap sump wet/dry for your plant tank


Here's some images on an easy to make very cheap effective sump wet dry
The sump is 36 gallons, more than enough for most start stop capacities of
even large tanks and to to help reduce evaporation refills.

I am using a Surge pump to return the water and am very impressed with their
construction and quality. The impeller plate is a threaded screw on type
rather than the cheap snap on clips, the impeller itself is well made and
appears to be able to last for many years of service.
The intake grid comes with a sponge prefilter, similar to the Ehiem 1060
etc. I give this pump 4 stars. Cheap cost, great quality.

The prefilter is a basic Amiricale which run about 40-50$.
These take up far less room and make less noise than the built in overflows.
It'll be covered with plants and hidden anyway.

The stand itself is very strong and very cheap and nice looking. I used only
a hand saw to cut the door window out and a drill.
The wood I had cut at the local Lowe's out of a single 49"x 96" X 5/8" MDF
board(about 9$, cuts were free). I used construction framing ties instead of
over priced wimpy L brackets. These cost about 18-79 cents each and are very
heavy duty.

Nice stand and nice filter. CO2 system and lighting will be next and
substrate last.  

Total cost for the sump wet/dry filter"
40$ for the pump
15$ for the tupperware
15$ for the bioballs (Lava rock etc could be used etc)
45$ for the prefilter.
Better than the cost of larger canister filters, more flow, higher capacity,
surface skimming etc.

Easy to clean the prefilter, the filter needs no other cleaning other than
this part which is about the least painful filter I've ever cleaned.

Tom Barr