Our DSA Neo 105 Build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by coral4me, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    I purposely made the sump wider than the stand opening to maximize the sump size. To make sure the sump would still fit in the stand, I cut a rectangle of scrap wood to represent the dimensions of the sump base plus some extra length. Then I test fit the piece through the door opening into the stand and shaved off a little length until it fit perfect. As a backup plan, the back center panel of the stand could be removed by several screws. As we'll eventually see, the sump does end up fitting through the door opening as intended. Thanks for the suggestions to consider. I have to say there were a ton of things to constantly consider and keep in mind while building this sump. It was even a bit frustrating at times trying to make the best choice to yield the most optimal outcome. In the confined space of the sump and the stand, everything that you make bigger leaves less space for something else in the other dimension. (Example: a taller sump to hold more water leaves less space for pluming above the sump, a larger chamber for the skimmer and equipment leaves less room for the refugium.)
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    wpeterson likes this.
  2. Ashalye

    Ashalye Webmaster

    Hi @sfsuphysics!

    ..I've seen the sump test-fit into the stand, altho I'm not sure how much air circulation it got around it. I know the mesh filter socks are a lot bigger than our current felted socks. They had a neat waterfall effect when he tested with water for leaks. :)
  3. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    @Ashalye is correct, you can see the digital drawing that the ATO is not in there. We have a tall skinny 15 gallon black acrylic ATO container that can stand next to the tank. We may eventually set up a small frag tank next to the main system and store the ATO container under the frag tank.

    As for the filter socks I was able to get 200 and 300 micron socks. Haven't figured out yet if I'll run two 300s and one 200 or one 300 and two 200s. If anyone has tried running multiple grades, let me know how it worked and if you have any recommendation?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Excellent job guys... I am indeed jealous of your craftsmanship. I only bring up the sump size because I have seen my fair share of tanks that have had center braces cut out (and hopefully reattached) due to the sump not fitting in the stand because people tend to forget that yes it will fit in the space, but can you fit it INTO the space.

    Keep up the good work.

    And while I have run multiple grades of sock, forget the number one was the "nylon" thin kind and another was the thick felt kind, I still found the felt one did get gunked up quite a bit, and that's the one that's the real pain to clean out. I think on my next sump (if I ever get around to buying/building/doing anything fish related again) I might just go with the thin ones, and siphon out whatever micro-detritus gets through those.
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I've got a place for the socks to go but I'm going to try and run it without to begin with. I'm on the low end of what my skimmer can handle if I overstock the tank so we'll see.

    So did you build the whole sump from extra acrylic you had just sitting around or did you have to buy a couple sheets? What thickness(es) are you using for it?
  6. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    Luckily, I did not have to buy any new acrylic, I was able to salvage from what I had. Unfortunately, my shop is not well insulated. Right now its really cold in the evening after work, but the problem for acrylic is in the summer, the temp gets pretty high in the shop which bakes the paper masking onto the acrylic. The easy peal adhesive that holds the protective paper on begins to dry out. This seem to happen from the outer edges first and works its way inward. I had a full sheet of 1/4" clear and nearly a full sheet of 1/4" light blue to work with. I cut off 4 to 6 inches of material on all sides. Not knowing how much need to be cut off to get good material made it difficult to plan out my cuts for optimal yield from the sheet. I ended up with a few pieces that required a lot of elbow grease to removed all of the adhesive residue. Thanks to my fathers help we got all the pieces cleaned up. When the paper doesn't peal nicely it really slows down the build process and takes a toll on your fingers. Most of the sump was built from 1/4" material but I did use some 1/2" for the tops of the filter sock holders.
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I remember struggling to get the paper and adhesive off of acrylic. I always thought it was just because they were older sheets. I didn't know it had anything to do with temperature.

    With it being so cold do you think it effects the cute times of your seams?

    I used up almost every square inch of my first sheet of 1/4" and then needed to cut into my second sheet to make the lids.
  8. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    Temperature definitely affects the cure. On hot summer days I notice tiny bubbles will form in what started as a perfectly clear joint. To get the clearest glue joints during the summer months, I use to build my acrylic projects in the mornings and evenings. If you work in an HVAC controlled space, then time off day and outdoor temperature won't matter. Most of us will be doing this in our not so well insulated garages, so temperature could be a factor for the average hobbyist.
  9. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    Made two adjustable chamber partitions for variable water levels in the refugium and skimmer equipment chambers. The partitions are not glued yet, they are just sitting there for a visual mock up.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.04.56 PM.png

    Gluing this 'L' shape box on to the filter sock chamber was one of more challenging glue joints. There are four seams that all needed to get glued at once. The piece had to fit perfect to make this work. This was the first time I glued around the outside of a radiused corner.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.06.13 PM.png

    There it is after it cured. This 'L' shape section is where the water will first enter the sump from the tank. Originally, I was going to have this chamber extend the full height of the sump. I decided to make this change to provide more space in the last chamber below for the sump pump and water volume around the sump pump.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.06.32 PM.png

    View from the other side to see the adjustable walls
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.06.49 PM.png

    You can see a small clear chamber in this bottom middle of this picture and left side of the picture above. I'm hoping it will serve two purposes. One is to retain most of the sand or mud from the refugium if I decide to go that route the other is to hold a bio-block on end.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.07.25 PM.png

    Here's my dad being enthusiast after I glued the third side on the sump. =)
    Higher up you can see some acrylic blocks and blue tape, they are supporting the recently glued clear chamber wall that I mentioned in the picture above.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.08.20 PM.png

    Attached Files:

  10. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I know what you mean about needing it to be perfect. Gluing acrylic is so much more temperamental than wood. at least if that L shaped box leaks at that rounded corner it just flows down into the chamber below it.

    I really like the two tone look. I almost bought a sheet of something other than clear but felt the clear was going to be more versatile for future projects.
  11. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    I have a heat bender, but there are no heat bends in the sump pictures. I'm guessing that you're looking at the "L" shape box. That is a glued edge with a routed round over bevel. So far I have only used a heat bend on one of the lids, but I haven't posted that far yet. Maybe tomorrow. =)
    It's getting exciting though, just a few more posts and I'll have this build thread caught up with the current state of the project. ;)
  12. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I took a closer look at it and saw that it was just a roundover. Your seam was just so clear it looked like a bend upon first look. I edited my post and took the comment out but you were too quick and already responded. @Vhuang168 was asking me about bending acrylic for a project he was thinking about. I think that's on the back burner right now for him. I can't wait to see what's in store for tomorrow.
  13. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    If you'll be at the weekend potluck we can talk about bending and routing the edges after bending for a clean perfect glue joint.

    Here's a picture on my 6ft heat bender that my dad and I built almost 20 years ago.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    man it's like a lego set just going together piece by piece.
  15. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    Don't underestimate Matt's craftsmanship. I am positive his sump will come out exactly as drafted up. He is a true Master of his craft.
    Ashalye likes this.
  16. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    Ok, here we are gluing on the front of the sump. Most sumps have all exterior walls the same height. I'm trying something a bit different to increase the clearance to get equipment in and out of the sump.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.08.47 PM.png

    Gluing on the base was a bit of a trick. This was one of the most challenging steps. The solvent for acrylic cement has a pretty short working time, and you have to glue all exterior and interior walls pretty much at the same time. I pin almost all of my glue joints but this one was a must for pinning. I went around the exterior walls first because a water tight seal is the most important on them. Then I switched to the interior walls. It actually went a lot smoother than I thought it might. Next, I wiggled out the pins, added the blocks on top for weight and put sticks where extra pressure was needed at the joint for a good seal.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.08.59 PM.png

    The next day after the joints had dried, the excess acrylic was routed off from the edges with a flush trim bit.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.09.39 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.10.27 PM.png

    Stand test: Does it fit? YES! :)
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.11.00 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.11.22 PM.png

    Water test: Does it leak? No! Yay! :)
    Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 12.12.17 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.40.44 PM.png

    I repeated the test with filter socks installed and realized that I needed a slightly taller lip at the back of each sock to prevent any of the water from unnecessarily taking the emergency path. The last sock chamber was a little different, so I made removable panel to increase the height of the emergency overflow wall. The part is essentially a sandwich of two pieces of 1/4" blue on the outside with a piece of 1/4" clear in the middle. The clear center is cut chevron shaped to match the hole that it is plugging.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.33.34 PM.png

    Next I made a lid for the refugium. This is the part with the heat bend. You can also see the removable wall from the pic above now has a 'V' shape top to center the water into more of a pouring shape which will hopefully be loud enough to draw attention that the sump is running in overflow mode if water were to reach that height.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.25.47 PM.png
    Can't upload anymore pics to this specific post. I'll post a couple more shortly with the lid installed.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  17. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    Ok, as promised here are the last few pics that wouldn't fit into today's post.

    Lid installed over refugium
    Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.26.09 PM.png

    The lid fits so well that it's a little hard to see. Look closely, it's there.
    Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.26.56 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.29.14 PM.png

    I plan to make lids for the other chambers as well. They'll have cutouts for equipment and pipes to pass through, but for now, you are caught up on the sump. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I decided to do to the stand.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    how did you make that little groove for the sock lip to slide flush into? Jig on your router table?
  19. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    I made a circle jig to fit the base of the sock. I cut the hole in the 1/2" thick material with the jig and a flush trim bit. Then I used another flush trim bit but installed a bearing that had a smaller diameter than the bit. Set the correct height and let the bearing go around the inside of the first hole. With the cutter being larger than the bearing, it cut the lip around the top for the filter sock to be recessed. It worked pretty good. In hind sight, I'd probably just cut the two size holes in two different pieces and laminate them together.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  20. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

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