View Full Version : 100 Gallon Rubbermaid Sump ideas

07/14/2007, 03:30 PM
I have a 90 and I just bought a 100 gallon Rubbermaid poly container. Here is what I got http://www.mytscstore.com/detail.asp?pcID=8&paID=1039&sonID=214&page=1&productID=24965

I want to incorporate a fuge and prop system in one. Questions:1. who has overhead pictures 2. do you put baffles before the bulkhead to prevent sand from getting into your external pump and if so how did you make them. 3. Did you replace the already in place bulkhead, or use the one that it comes with.

All experiences, ideas, pictures are always welcome.
Thanks, Chris

07/14/2007, 08:55 PM
Anyone? I know you guys have these. I am just looking for some ideas. Anyone?!?!?

07/14/2007, 09:18 PM
I purchased and am now setting up a 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank as my sump. In regards to the bulkheads, I simply drilled to holes into the tank in addition to the predrilled one. I only used my two holes for two pumps. I basically ignored ther predrilled one. Why? Who knows. But, you simply need to get a bit that would allow for the drilling. They cost about $8 at Home Depot. I was nervous before starting the drilling, but, it went very well and i have no leaks. In regard to baffles, I am not sure. I have a seperate 75 gallon refugium tank above the main tank. My problem with the sump is that I am producing many microbubbles. If you opt to make baffles, please share your ideas, as I may cheat from you. It looks challenging as the insides of the tank are not flat - they are angled.


07/14/2007, 10:07 PM
I use a 100 Rubbermaid stock tank for my sump.

Here is a picture showing the bubble towers (made from large diameter pvc) and the float valve for my auto top off.


This is how to avoid microbubbles returning to your tank. Put the return pump draw at the opposite end from your drain line.


I replaced the bulkhead with a better made one. I had to drill a larger hole with a hole saw and chisel down the ribs inside the tank so the bulkhead would sit flat against the sump.


I also recommend building a platform for it in case you need to siphon from it.


As for baffles, I can't help you. No baffles in mine. For frags, you can cut eggcrate to sit on one of the ledges to hold frags.

Here is a pic of my whole setup


07/14/2007, 11:09 PM
As for baffles, I can't help you. No baffles in mine.

i was just getting ready to ask how you can put baffles into a rounded container with varying height.

07/15/2007, 07:09 AM
MArino, I will have let another aspect of your design in mine. I like your idea about the drain for the pump. As for the bulkhead, did you just remove the one there and then drill a new hole? What size bulkhead did you use, and can you show a close up of the outside of the rubbermaid and inside where the bulkhead is located. Thanks again for your help. Chris

07/15/2007, 07:17 AM
Marino, nevermind about the pictures for the bulkheads. Here is another question, from the bulkhead to the pump is the bulkhead threaded or did you use clear tube and then have a connector to your pump? How high do you keep the water? Do you think there would be any problem of making this a fuge, sump w/ skimmer, and prop system?

07/15/2007, 08:04 AM
My pump is hard plumbed with pvc. The bulkhead has a slip fitting on the outside of the sump into which I glued a threaded reducer coupling. Then I used the appropriate sized pvc to attach a ball valve so I can shut off the flow and remove my pump if needed.



As far as using this as a sump/fuge, I don't think that is a problem at all. You just have to contain the macroalgae so it doesn't get into your pump intake. You can use eggcrate for this I believe. Before I set up a separate refuge, I did this but did not have much success. The light I was using was too far from the surface.


I have my water level about 1" above the second ledge in the sump. This allows plenty of room for overflows in the case of a power outage.

07/15/2007, 08:51 AM
Thank you so much for all this info. I was thinking the exact same things you mentioned. I do like that idea of the little case for the cheato. Another question now, what about live sand? I am planning on having my skimmer in here too, but it will be elevated on a stand so I am not worried about the sand getting into that pump, but for the intake I guess I will have to make a rubble rock wall to keep sand on the one side and not the other. Do you have mangroves? What K bulb are you using? I have an extra 250 MH that I plan on using on a reverse cycle. I was thinking a 10k bulb. This would work for the prop aspect and the macro side too right?

07/15/2007, 08:54 AM
Had an idea in regards to the bulkhead; would it be wrong to flip the bulkhead around so that the nut of it would be in the water and the flat lip being exposed so you could just add a PVC coupler? Or should I just do it the way you did? What size bulkhead did you use and what size fitting went to your pump? Mine is 3/4".

07/15/2007, 09:35 AM
Again, I don't have live sand in my sump, just live rock. My live sand is in a separate refugium. You might consider doing this as well. You could lay a platform over one end of the stock tank and set a small aquarium on it to use as a refugium.

Otherwise, I would suggest cutting a piece of acrylic and building a dam inside the bottom of the stock tank to hold the sand. You can silicone this dam in place and keep a bare bottom space for your return line and skimmer. Just a thought.

I think your 250 w MH will be fine. I have trouble getting my chaeto to grow as my system is low in nutrients. Which is a good thing.

I wouldn't suggest flipping the bulkhead. I like that flat part with the washer to be on the water side. Less chance for a leak.

My bulkhead is a 1 1/2" and my pump fitting is also 3/4"

07/15/2007, 09:45 AM
Okay sounds good thanks again. I am off to the airport for a business trip, so I will start this project on Wednesday and have pictures afterwards.

07/18/2007, 07:54 PM
Marino and others,

Bulkhead question, after measuring the hole for the Rubbermaid, it looks to be about 2 1/4". So in replacing it with a good bulkhead, which one did you get off of this list.

<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/bulkhead.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

So did you use BKF6 or 7 and then reduce it down. When i tried to put in my 1" bulkhead, the "D" description on the chart was not wide enough. So now I am thinking I will need atleast a 1 1/2" or 2" bilkhead to cover up the hole. What do you think?

07/18/2007, 10:22 PM
Here's mine, but as with the others, it's a sump only...




07/21/2007, 09:56 AM
My bulkhead is like the one on the right in your picture. Threaded on the inside of the tank, slip fit on the outside. 1 1/2"

TGreene, that is quite a setup!

07/21/2007, 11:17 AM
Thank you. That's not connected to my display system, it's just for Aquaculturing... My disply is upstairs, and has all of the same equipment (except for the giant skimmer) crammed into the cabinet under my stand.

I can monitor and control both systems from anywhere though, which pretty much rocks. :D

BTW: You do realize that you're plenty close enough to come by and check it out anytime, don't you..? ;)

Here's a better picture of the frag tank.



07/21/2007, 12:26 PM
Yeah, I'm from Caruthersville, MO which is even closer. My parents still live there so next time I'm down visiting, I might take you up on that.

07/21/2007, 12:29 PM
Bring beer since we're stuck in a dry county!!!!

07/23/2007, 06:44 AM
Tgreen, awesome setup.

07/23/2007, 07:15 AM
Thank you.

07/23/2007, 08:24 AM
I always liked your setup Tgreen... though I would be tempted to cleanup the spaghetti mess of wires and hoses over on the far wall... the room has a very clean feel to it, then my eye gets stuck on that corner :D

What are you up to now, total system gallons in the house?

07/23/2007, 08:46 AM
I recently moved my sump from the basement and used a 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank for my sump. I had similar questions.

I was using a 10 gallon glass aquarium with a CPR overflow draining to the old sump as a refugium. I didn't want to disrupt the sand bed by so I simply picked up the glass aquarium and put it into the new sump. All the sand stays in place and I still use the CPR. If it breaks siphon the refugium simply overflows into the sump.

To solve the microbubble problem I used an old salt bucket. I removed the metal handle and cut 2" diameter holes in the bottom. I then fed my return through a hole cut in the cover. Not elegant but cheap and effective.

07/23/2007, 02:09 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10395647#post10395647 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by BeanAnimal
I always liked your setup Tgreen... though I would be tempted to cleanup the spaghetti mess of wires and hoses over on the far wall... the room has a very clean feel to it, then my eye gets stuck on that corner :D

What are you up to now, total system gallons in the house?
Hehehe... Most of the wires and 1/4" tubing have been re-directed and are in a more permanent and clean position, but not all... Not yet anyway. ;)

The Aquaculture system pictured above is right at 400g, and my display is 125g.

I generally pride myself on building clean systems that are designed and plumbed properly, rather than conveniently.

BTW: The compliment means A LOT coming from you, as I've followed your posts for years. :)


07/23/2007, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the return compliment. I am glad you did not take the post in a negative manner.... you took at exactly as it was meant; with a smile!

My fishroom is an incomplete mess and it is killing me...

07/23/2007, 06:35 PM
Bah, you know I've been around here long enough to know who's who, and most importantly when someone is joking or not.

All this PC "watch what you say so you don't hurt some bedwetters feelings" crap gets insanely old these days. It doesn't seem that anyone knows how to accept constructive critism anymore. FWIW: I think there are only a handful of members around here that pretty much tell it like it is these days, and you guys are the ones that I learned from.

- Tim

07/23/2007, 06:55 PM
Yeah, when I am not joking, I tend to get a fairly strong reaction. I bet I am a household name at the staff meetings :D I don't try to be.. but like you I get nauseated with the victimhood and the deluded rude folks who accuse others of being mean and rude. I come here to get away from modern reality.. .and wouldn't you know... this place is mired in it too :)

07/23/2007, 07:27 PM
In all honesty and sincerity, you should come hang out at the reef club site that I own/operate (http://www.nea-reefkeeping.com). It's a no holds barred site where you absolutely CAN say what's on your mind in regards to reefkeeping, without the ever present fear of banishment that is so prevalent on most sites today.

I was actually IP banned from lareefclub.com yesterday (and 3 other reefkeeping sites before that. :rolleyes: ), because I hurt someones feelings. It all stems from responding to some n00b woman (she owns an LFS) who attacked me for absolutely no reason... Yep, you guessed it; some know-it-all LFS owner that actually doesn't know much of anything at all, got her panties in a bunch when she called me out on a couple of issues that I had countered her on while she attempted to give "expert" advice to a very conscientious newcomer that was trying to do everything right...

It also pains me to see anyone refer to this as a "hobby", because it isn't, REEFKEEPING IS A LIFESTYLE, and it must be looked upon as such!

Anyways, it would be great to have you join up w/ us on my site. ;)


07/23/2007, 07:37 PM
Thanks for the invite... i will check it out.

07/23/2007, 07:41 PM
[i]<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10369055#post10369055 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by tgreene [/

http://gallery.nea-reefkeeping.com/album/Aquaculture%20Facility/mini-DSC_4797.JPG [/B]

I gotta get one of these skimmers! what is it? Thanks


07/23/2007, 08:11 PM
Looks like a big Euro Reef, am I correct?

07/23/2007, 08:49 PM
Reef Octopus FDNW-400 quad recird.

07/23/2007, 09:39 PM
Here are some pics of my VERY simple set up using a filter sock and pvc w/ eggcrate for a skimmer stand.http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p200/slimj78/100_2158.jpg http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p200/slimj78/100_2157.jpg
The 100 gallon on the left is for topoff/ mixing for changes.
This is all connected to my 180g inwall tank.