those with rubbermaid sumps


12-5 Chiefs record
for those with rubbermaid sumps how are you creating diffrent sections in them? I am going to be adding a 100 gal. sump to my tank in the basement but I am not sure how to create diffent sections in them. (sump, return, fuge, ect) or do you use the whle thing without sectioning it off?

any help would be great


Tank Tinkerer
Well, let me start this by saying, I am a newbie (8 months in, but read RC EVERY day). I apologize up front that his may be lengthy, but I like to be descriptive.

I have a 30 gallon light blue rubbermaid container under my 120 gallon display tank. It held a Wet-Dry and a skimmer for the first 7 months and I just switched to a "fuge in the sump" setup. I studied other people's designs here and on severl aother websites. I noted that you have to have a constant volume in the skimmer compartment and in the fuge and that most acrylic designs have compartments for this on the ends, with the return pump compartment in the middle. This may not work for you but it's how most people do it. I'm a cheap DIY, Rube Goldberg kind of guy that kluges stuff together to make it work. I don't care if it's pretty, if I can save $200-$300 and it works well too.

I just decided to use a separate plastic trashcan for the skimmer compartment. It sits in the tub and the top of the trashcan is 10 inches tall, becuase my skimmer's control knob and air vents sit at 11 inches and I can't raise the level of that compartment any more than that. The fuge is a 10 gallon aquarium I got for free on Black Friday. It has just sand, some live rock rubble and 3-4 handfuls of chaeto, with the lights over it. The top of the aquarium is about 12 inches. I plumbed PVC pipe from the external overflow to the skimmer and fuge. I got the idea from the DIY page of The external overflow box has two outlets, which I combine into one PVC pipe. The flow goes downhill and then 3/4ths of the flow goes into the skimmer compartment. Right after the water goes into the skimmer at the T junction of PVC pipe, there's a ball valve that is 3/4ths closed down. That lets me control the flow into the fuge aquarium to a slow trickle. After the plastic trashcan and fuge aquarium fill up, the water flows over the edge and down into the bottom of the Rubbermaid sump. I bought a piece of acrylic to design a weir gate that will sit right in the plastic ledge of the 10 gallon aquarium. My return pump and shutoff devices for the return pump are in the end of the rubbermaid bucket, where I can get to them to clean them once a month or so. I've heard all sorts of things about buying food grade buckets, but one of the guys here on RC that worked in the plastics molding industry said that the "getting BPAs in the food in plastic containers scare" was only a problem if you have the temp get above 158 degrees. I don't plan to get my fuge or tank water above 158 degrees, so I'm okay with using the rubbermaid container from Home Depot. The only thing I'm worried about is that I have such a small space, I had to "jimmy" the rubbermaid sump into position because the center brace sticks out in the back of the stand. This makes the Rubbermaid container into a figure 8 shape or kidney bean shape. The Rubbermaid container is labeled as "virtually unbreakable" by the company. It was thin enough to get into the stand but strong enough to hold the pressure of the water. Having the 2X4 wood slats in the stand keeps the rubbermaid container from bowing out, which is the biggest problem I've read that people have with using rubermaid containers. Even with really thick walled containers, you should look into bracing the walls with supports of some type. I will probably replace it in a year to make sure the water pressure doesn't cause the sides to give way.

I thought about the design and my constraints for 2-3 weeks and then tried to make it as simple as possble. The entire cost for the rubbermaid sump and PVC tubing was $35


12-5 Chiefs record
thanks for the input very well put. right now I have a 30 gal. sump/fuge under the tank with 3 sections for each but I am wanting to put everything down in the basement to make the tank room cleaner and figured a 100 gal. sump would be a good way to add water vol.

I am running an external skimmer so water level won't be an issue. I think my main issue is my ATO. I have a dual float switch, and if I use the ATO in this sump because of the diameter of the tank I am wondering if the water will go low enough to change the sg. it prob. won't and I am just prob. being parinoid. lol