Cooking Oil Bottle
Overflow and Sump
Page 1 of 2
The container being modified started life as a
cooking oil bottle. A Weller brand 25-Watt
electric soldering iron is being used to cut slots
which will allow water from the aquarium to
overflow into the bottle.
A plastic food storage container has been
modified to serve as the overflow box.
A one inch diameter section of PVC tube
attached to a threaded male fitting has been
inserted thru a hole cut in the bottom of the
The container is secured to the aquarium frame
with a section of PVC tubing cut lengthwise and
threaded with blue rigid wire.re
A threaded female (grey) connector is attached
to the white male fitting thru the overflow box.
A rubber O ring with a small amount of
petroleum jelly insures a water tight connection.
The clear nylon tubing directs water from the
overflow box to a 15 gallon sump and refugium
below the main tank.
The cooking oil bottle has been submerged so
the slots are just at the water surface. Blue rigid
wire wrapped around the neck of the bottle
secures the bottle at the desired depth.
The wire is flexible enough to allow small
adjustments in the bottle position which
determines the water level in the main tank. A
nylon tube provides the siphon path from the
bottle to the overflow box.
As the water level rises in the main tank as a
result of water return from the sump, it overflows
into the cooking oil bottle. It then siphons into
the overflow box until it reaches the top of the
The oil bottle and overflow box insure the siphon
between the main tank and overflow box won't
be interrupted regardless of water levels in the
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
Disclaimer: Exercising reasonable safety precautions
when performing the steps described in this article
are the responsibility of the individuals building the
background. Dramaticaquascapes.com is not
responsible for personal injury or property damage as
a result of following steps outlined in this article.