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Questions & Feedback on DIY HOB style sump

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Im working on building a DIY behind the tank style sump modeled after the Oceanbox and CPR Aquafuge. This is currently going on a 20L until I can get my hands on a MrAqua/Aquamaxx style 22g long. This style sump will have an intake pump in the overflow and a gravity fed return.


The current measurements are 24” x 14.5” x 5” with three main chambers from right to left: 

Skimmer 5”

Media racks 3.5” (followed by heater)

Fuge 13”


The total estimated volume is 6.5g if completely full. My biggest concerns/lack of knowledge is the overall water flow since this is my first sump.


1. What are the ideal heights for my baffles?

2. Should the last baffle going into the fuge be the same height as the “return”  section baffle?

3. Should the hole for the return sit lower in the return section?

4. Does the height/depth of the teeth on the overflow effect the flow of the sump?

5. Is the overflow box the best place for an ATO sensor based on evaporation?


The intake pump has a 1/2” outlet and I was planning on using a 1” drain for the return.


Any other general advice would be greatly appreciated!


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