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Old 02-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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DIY Refugium/Sump Help and Build

So I decided instead of spending money on more corals that I should build a refugium for my 55 gallon reef but don't really know where to start. I wanna build a 20 gallon long with a nice size refugium compartment. Also gonna need help with overflow box kind of a newb in refugium/sump area. So I guess my question is does anyone have any plans or advice to help on how I should go about this? Also I am a college student so I'm trying to do this so it's not super expensive if possible? Thanks guys in advance and any help is appreciated!
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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a simple and effective sump with refugium would have 3 sections, intake (which will hold your skimmer and heater(s), refugium, and then return.
You will want a bubble trap before the return section.
The partitions should be the height of the recommended water level for the skimmer to work most efficiently. I think about 10" is good.
I would purchase an overflow box instead of making my own from scratch, but that's just me.
Then you'll need a return pump. This must be sized with the overflow box, accounting for head loss. In other words, if you have a 700 gph overflow box, you would need a slightly stronger pump, because you have to figure you'll lose some pressure pushing the water up and through any turns, so I'd probably want something about 850-1000 gph.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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What's a bubble trap? And what's its purpose?
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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it's just a series of partitions, usually 2 or 3, that force the water through a channel in the hopes that it loses the bulk of micro bubbles before it returns it to the display. Water draining into the sump crashes down inside a 3' drain pipe and then goes through the protein skimmer which really loads it up with tiny bubbles. If these are able to get back to the display the tank water will appear dirty, or cloudy.

something like this-
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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Ok that makes sense...so now in the first compartment where the water first enters it has the slits so the water can go in to the chamber should I have that or should I have it so it just flows over into the refugium?
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #6
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Na...don't worry about that. Just make a solid partition for just after the intake. i don't know why he's got a dotted line there.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Ok thanks well I'm gonna try and get this project started tomorrow...I'll post some pics thanks for the help! Also do you know a good site and a good overflow I should get?
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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Here's one-
Reef Aquarium Filtration: Eshopps Overflow Boxes

here's another-
AQUARIUM SINGLE OVER FLOW BOX FOR NON-DRILLED TANKS/ WET/DRY FILTERS | eBay
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:06 PM   #9
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How do you feel about the water level in the return compartment? Should it try to be level with the rest of the water level to minimize water crashing microbubbles?
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #10
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I think I'm gonna have the return area lower but the way it works that it just flows into the compartment instead of falling like a waterfall I believe? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong
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