By Eric Bourlet
Here is a simple DIY for those that want to make a cheep overflow/surface skimmer box.
- 2ea. Small hang on plastic nursery (Lees makes a good cheep one)
- 2ea. 1/4"-20 nylon screws and nylon wing nuts
- 1ea. appropriate size siphon "U" tube
- 1ea. 1"MPTxslip PVC fitting (or sized to fit your required flow rate)
- 1ea. 1"x1'FTPxSlip PVC fitting (or sized to fit your required flow rate)
- 1ea. 1" "O" ring
- 1/8" thick acrylic or plastic approximately 3"x4" (you can find a scrap at most plastics stores)
- aquarium safe silicone glue or Weldon brand acrylic glue
- 1/4" Drill bit
- coping or hack saw
- hole saw to fit threaded end of MPT fitting
- Cut the hanger tab off of only one of the hang on plastic boxes.
- Take the box you cut the tab off and drill 1/4" holes about 1" from the top. About 1/2" apart around the front and two ends
- Take the box that still has the tab and line the tab up against the back side (the side without the holes) of the box that you drilled the holes in. Now mark a location to drill 2ea. 1/4" holes that will allow you to hold the two boxes together using 2 nylon screws. Drill these holes about 1" down from the top of the box that has the holes in already, and drill the two holes in the tab of the other box with the same horizontal spacing.
- Using a saw cut from top of box strait down to the side of each hole you drilled in steps 2 and 3 . Now you should have a box that has 1/4" wide slots 1" down from the top . This box will be the surface skimmer and will hang into the tank. Set the box with the slots cut in it aside.
- Using the PVC fittings locate a place near one end of the box that still has the tab. Drill a hole just big enough for the threaded end of the MPTxSlip adapter to fit through. Place the MPT fitting into the hole from the inside of the box . Take the rubber "O" ring and place it over the threaded end of the MPT fitting .and screw the FPT PVC fitting over the threads ( be careful not to tighten so much that the "O" ring bulges).
- One last step cut the 1/8" thick plastic sheet to fit into the box with the PVC fittings .T his sheet needs to be in about the middle of the box parallel to the ends and about 1/2 way down from the top of the box . Glue this bulkhead in place making sure to seal the joint well . This will make a compartment that the water will stay in so you wont loose the siphon when the main pump is shut down.
- Now just join the two boxes together with the nylon screws and wing nuts. Hang it over the tank .Adjust the inside box depth to control the water level in the tank .use whatever type adapter you need to connect a hose to the PVC fitting on the outside box. Connect the appropriate length hose to your sump. Add the siphon tube between the inside box and the small compartment you made in the outside box by installing the bulkhead. Fill the small compartment with tank water and using a small air line suck the air from the siphon tube and away you go.
Last modified 2005-01-30 00:17