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Seamless Sump Unboxing and Setup

By Pecktec on

Hey, folks, the aquarium is nearly finished. I have a very important component to install this week. We're going to take a look at the filter that runs this big tank. Coming right up.

Hey, YouTube, this is Pecktec today. Today, we're going to take a look under the hood and see exactly what I've got in here to keep this tank clean. Now, this is a big tank, so I needed a big filter, and I decided to go with a sump. Sumps are really common in large tanks like this that have drilled out bottoms for overflows.

Now, this tank behind me and several other tanks, they have something called a weir, which is basically a series of openings where the water can pass through. On the other side, there's an overflow. Now, each side of this has two holes, one's for an overflow and one's for a return. The water comes up through the returns, it starts to build up in the aquarium until it flows over, and it goes back into the sump.

A big advantage of having this sump, to begin with, is it really increases the amount of water in your tank. The 210 can go- become more like a 250, at least, as far as water volume goes. Another great thing about a sump is you can generally hide your equipment, your heaters and things like that can all be put inside the sump. Now, there are lots of options for sumps, and a lot of the ones I saw were these acrylic fabrications or aquariums that you could DIY into a sump by putting little compartments in there. I decided to go with this system.

I discovered Custom Aquariums, I guess, about two years ago at the Aquatic Experience. Actually, I did a video with one of their employees, and I'll link that down below. Ever since I saw the Custom Aquarium stuff, I knew I had to have. Now, Custom Aquariums have the entire package. You can buy an entire aquarium, stand, hood, filter, everything you want if you want, or you can buy just a little part. If you just need an aquarium or you just need a sump, you can get those too. Now, the Custom Aquarium seamless sumps are a little bit special for a couple of different reasons. Let's talk about that. What seamless means is, this made out of one piece. It's not actually bonded together by anything, so there's nothing to leak.

As far as what these are made up of, these are polyethylene plastics. It's a very hard, durable plastic that is super tough and resists any sort of things building up on it. Things can't really adhere to its surface, which makes it really easy to clean out. Now, the way their seamless sumps work is they come in these three basic components. You've got a sock tub, and what happens is, the water comes out of the aquarium to the overflow, it goes into the sock which removes any thick material. This tank has two overflows, so I actually have two socks on this, but you could possibly combine those into one.

Now, after the sock tub fills up, it goes to this little spout here, and it goes into the next chamber, and the next chamber is a baffle chamber. Now, the first part of the baffled chamber has your biological materials. The water comes right out of here, and flows right through a tray of biological material. After that, it flows through this little V-shaped thing that is the baffle. The baffle basically keeps the water level at a certain level so that the biological material will always be wet. It also keeps it at a nice level if you want to install a heater in the next chamber.

Now, after it flows over the baffle, it goes into a holding tub where a pump pumps it back up through the returns, and the process starts all over again. The third component is this tub. They have small and large versions of-- You can use these tubs for any number of different things. They've got two spots, so you can attach it back to the tub that has the pump in it, very high or very low. If you touch it very low, it turns that tub into the evaporation chamber, working like an auto top off it. If you attach it high, you can make it a refugium. If you want to grow some plants, like I've done before, or if you've got some baby fish to grow out.

There's any number of scenarios for that other tub. It's really fun to go on their web page and see all the different versions of these things. There's so modular, you can mix and match these things to make any number of different kinds of really cool filters for big, big tanks. Because they come in small pieces, if you've only got the little small doors like this, you can easily put one piece in at a time, moving into place, put another piece at the time. It's not one big item that you have to stick in there.

I actually have a big double-doors behind me here. It opens up and it's a nice wide area to work, but I decided to take the higher maintenance areas of these sumps, that is the sock drawer and the bio media. I decided to leave these in this one special area right here where it's really easy to get to. That leaves me a lot of room in there for the tub, which I'm going to hook up later at a later time. That'll leave me a lot of room in there to work with.

Another thing that's really neat is, this is not a pressurized system at all, so it's not something that's going to leak under pressure or you had to watch seals or things like that. This does have little glass tops for all the openings in between, so you can look and see what's going on inside, but it won't evaporate quite so bad. They've got a lot of convenient holes for the return tubing and also grommets and stuff or electrical cords, especially in the baffle.

The sock tub came with these really nice convenient tight fitting hoses right here, and really, the only modification I did was I took it down about a half-inch, I believe. I think it comes with a two-inch hose or inch and a half or something like that. I took it down just a little bit because I needed to match the overflows coming out of this Aqueon tank. Actually, most of the plumbing- if not, really, all of the plumbing, I owe a big thanks to Leah Watkins. She's my good buddy at the local fish store here in town. She came over and showed me how to do it. She's hooked up tons and tons of these tanks.

That's great advice too, if it's your first sump, if it's your first time doing one of these, especially dealing with the volume of water that could be quite tragic if anything really went bad, it's probably a really good idea to go ahead and invite a friend over to help you out and make sure it just gets done right the first time. This tank didn't come with the overflow or the return pipes in there all set up, you had to assemble those yourself, and she helped me put those things together. Thank you. Thank you so much, Leah. I really appreciate your help.

Also, I had a drill out some holes in the background to make room for the returns, and I've got all the flexi hoses out. Basically, I'm ready to go. Something else that this tank came with was some special bio media. Their bio media is a little bit different. It's sort of a ceramic material, but it's really, really round. I guess the idea is that the big chunks and particles will roll off there, but it'll still have some porousness for the really, really small bacteria, which is really what you want to live there.

Sometimes, media with big nooks and crannies, what they do is they just gather and hold things. They're holding the organic compounds and keep the biological stuff from being able to get into the little cracks and live in there like they should or at least that's the thought process behind these things. It's a really interesting media, and I went ahead and added it to most of the trays. What I'll probably do is, on the top trays, I'm going to add some used media to help cede the rest of it, and then, I'll just take it out as part of the natural cycle.

Lights for this thing will be coming, literally, at Christmas. [chuckles] I'll probably do an after Christmas video and really finish it out. Next week, I'm going to unbox at least one more big package and start looking at the hardscape and maybe some hardscape options and really get that set. I'm going to at least have my ground cover set and some hardscape stuff in place. I don't know. I might even Aquascape it and just put the lights on as a secondary thing. I think the plants could last for probably two or three days without the final lights on them.

I'm not positive what's happening next week, but I do have at least one special surprise unboxing for this. I've got my aquarium box to open for you guys. I got a plant pack from H2O Plants to open for you guys. We have a few unboxings next week. [chuckles] Folks, that's all I got for you today. I'm so excited to finally get this thing up and running. Until next time. Follow your bliss. Keep a clean tank. Try out a sump. I'll see you soon. Bye-bye.

About Pecktec

Sean Peck (PeckTec on YouTube) uses a Seamless Sump filter system to clean his 220-gallon freshwater planted display aquarium.

Sean's tank is a freshwater planted tank with a seamless sump system. Sean really wanted to solve the issue of filtering a really large aquarium. Sean actually interviewed members of Custom Aquariums staff and that is where Sean learned about Custom Aquariums seamless sump system and is quite impressed.

Pecktec posts videos every Sunday about his aquarium projects, so stay tuned!

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