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Coleman/Igloo Cooler....the Ultimate Temperate/Coldwater Sump?????


AquaticEngineer
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So in my search to find a good way to plumb my two marineland coldwater systems together I've come across some large coleman and igloo coolers. My plan is to put the cooler on a stand in between both tanks at a height that will eliminate any problems with overflowing. I'll need to drill 3 or 4 bulkhead fittings into it and I'll probably use some directional valves just in case.

 

I can pick up one of the large coolers for about $50 - $80. I dont think I could get a similar sized extra thick acrylic tank make for cheaper.

 

Also could potentially be a place to put more filters, probes, skimmers, calcium based live rock, etc.....

 

I picked up 3 coolers for $40 from craigslist this weekend to use as proto-types for the larger sump. The cooler I'm going to use is a 52 QT, about 13 gallons, which is smaller than I eventually want to have. But for about $13 each I figured this would be good to use as a test sump before I drill holes in a huge expensive cooler.

 

I'm going to plumb the lines with ball valves, one way valves, and disconnect points so that when I get the bigger cooler I can hook it into the existing plumbing.

 

Figuring out the interior of the sump layout I'll have to spend some time on still. It'll probably be quite simple with this first one since it is a test sump. Also, since I'm not decided yet on what additional filtration to put into it yet, it will mostly be to connect the 2 tanks together.

 

What do you guys think? Would it be worth it? Ideas? Concerns? Input?

 

Also,where would be the best place to go and get bulkheads, ball valves, and one way valves locally?

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Do they have drain valves? If so then you may need to do something to seal them off. Most of the ice chests I've had slowly leak from the drains if they are filled with water. You also may need to use silicon or some kind of sealer on the inside unless they are smooth. (I think they usually have a little texture inside) Be careful though as using silicone on bulkhead gaskets will cause them to squeeze out if they are tightened to tight.

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I'm going to use the hole that the drain valve is in right now and plumb the drain back to the tanks there. It looked like it had a threaded plastic nut on the inside, so I should be able to remove it and put in a larger one.

 

I like the idea about the elbows with stand pipes for adjusting the water height. I'll probably use that on the hole that is provided by the existing drain. That may even eliminate the need to put baffles in it, for the time being at least.

 

The lines in will be about mid way up the side, since that is the flattest area of the cooler.

 

Any suggestions on what size bulkheads and tube to run in and out? And where to get them?

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I'm going to use the hole that the drain valve is in right now and plumb the drain back to the tanks there. It looked like it had a threaded plastic nut on the inside, so I should be able to remove it and put in a larger one.

 

I like the idea about the elbows with stand pipes for adjusting the water height. I'll probably use that on the hole that is provided by the existing drain. That may even eliminate the need to put baffles in it, for the time being at least.

 

The lines in will be about mid way up the side, since that is the flattest area of the cooler.

 

Any suggestions on what size bulkheads and tube to run in and out? And where to get them?

 

size is usually determined by capacity of flow.

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You could get a thermos for the skimmer drain container and a battery powered lantern for the fuge and probobly get Coleman to sponsor you! Great idea on the coolers. I would put them up high enough to keep people from "sneaking beers" when they are over. Lol

 

The thermos idea I may just do (laugh)

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Here's the cooler I'm using, its an Igloo 52 qt. The drain plug came out with a twist of the nut. The area where the drain is is hard flat plastic with no insulation, it will be real easy to drill larger and add a drainage bulkhead. It also has the notches in the interior sides to slide dividers into, should be easy to put some baffles in and silicone them in place.

 

39755_406646876055_508601055_4971714_2629853_n.jpg

 

37890_406646976055_508601055_4971715_5019353_n.jpg

 

39490_406647061055_508601055_4971717_6907801_n.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

well I totally f'd up the first hole I drilled on the larger cooler and cracked the inside plastic, but on the plus side, the second cooler I did came out pretty sweet :)

 

Here's the sump so far, gotta get some more threaded barb fittings and the tubing. Then I can water test it and make sure its all sealed up right before I hook it up. I need to add the baffles still or a stand pipe on the return.

39938_410129711055_508601055_5070361_1450310_n.jpg

39049_410129871055_508601055_5070373_5863920_n.jpg

40041_410129571055_508601055_5070355_6244173_n.jpg

36826_410129371055_508601055_5070347_2705895_n.jpg

38708_410122056055_508601055_5069892_5381386_n.jpg

39477_410122221055_508601055_5069902_5184831_n.jpg

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well I totally f'd up the first hole I drilled on the larger cooler and cracked the inside plastic, but on the plus side, the second cooler I did came out pretty sweet :)

 

Here's the sump so far, gotta get some more threaded barb fittings and the tubing. Then I can water test it and make sure its all sealed up right before I hook it up. I need to add the baffles still or a stand pipe on the return.

39938_410129711055_508601055_5070361_1450310_n.jpg

39049_410129871055_508601055_5070373_5863920_n.jpg

40041_410129571055_508601055_5070355_6244173_n.jpg

36826_410129371055_508601055_5070347_2705895_n.jpg

38708_410122056055_508601055_5069892_5381386_n.jpg

39477_410122221055_508601055_5069902_5184831_n.jpg

 

Been tagging along in the background for a while now...

It's coming together nicely! Looking forward to seeing it all set up.

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  • 2 months later...

Here's a quick lay out of what I'll be doing I think with the sump for the second coldwater tank. The whole idea for this sump is to add some mechanical filtration with the filter sock and add biological with all of the submerged bioballs. They the solenoid valves with allow the auto feeder to circulate the food in the system for a while without being immediately filtered out.

 

I'll be adding a loop on to the sump to plumb a skimmer into with an external pump as well.

 

Any suggestions, comments, please add :)

 

SUMP.jpg

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