Here is my new DIY above tank sump. Now, I currently have a 75 gallon tank w a Penguin 400 and a 200 HOB filters for decent filtration, but I wanted more in major ways. This sump set up has a 350 gph pond fountatain pump putting water into a mechanical filter chamber, a 225 bioball chamber for enhanced bio filtration of NH3 (harmful Ammonia)and nitrites,, pad chamber if I desire to insert pads, sponge fllter recharging chamber, plant root chamber for removing NO3 (nitrates) and a discharge chamber which is to be kept free and clear of any obstructions. See pic below.


The second pic shows the unit w lids closed.


Third pic shows unit above tank.

IMG_1715.jpg advised that after I set it up, I found the all important Maximun Fill level for the tank. Having higher water levels might overfow the tank if there was a power outage. I do have an automatic generator for the house should there be a power out, but I have to plan for the worst. I filled the tank to a slight lower level, then unplugged the fountain pump and let the water in the sump drain into the tank. I found a level that prevents overflow from the tank and marked it on the tank as "MAX LVL". Now, when I do my WCs, I only fill the tank to this marked spot thus assuring no mess if the power goes out and the sump dumps into the tank. Hope this makes wording hopefully is not confusing.

On the internet, similar projects suggest using a window planter......don't do it. My first unit made did work, but it bowed too much and made me nervous. I went to a farm implement store and actually bought a four foot horse trough which is thick, stiff, and keeps its shape wonderfully. Also......I attached the holding shelf to wall studs w very strong brackets. Then I put elbows above the shelf to stud and screwed them to the shelf. Lastly, I put 2 screws into the forward lip of the shelf and ran some 16guage wire up two feet above the sump to another screw set into the stud for extra weight support. The sump probably only has 12 or so gallons of water and a few pounds of sump weight, but I want to be extra careful and not have a guess the total weight of the sump to be around 110 lbs spread out over three studs.

My goal was to have ultra ultra filtration (just shy of 1000gph for a 75g tank) to keep the water in pristine condition between WCs. My ammonia and nitrites have been at zero steadily with my two Penguin bio-wheel filters w ceramic bio bacteria media, but my nitrates kept creeping up. My use of plants dangling roots should help remedy the NO3 levels as I prefer not to rely on nitrate removing pads. The light I used for the plants was a LED which uses less energy.

Hope this gives some insight to my setup and provides others w the option of making a similar system if they wish. I just wanted a system that fits my particular needs and thought I'd share.