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Old 06-22-2005, 04:25 PM   #1
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Please critique my sump/refugium plans

I'm going to do my best to explain this thing to you.....

I came up with this idea to make a series of modular boxes (I like the ability to change things without remaking the whole unit). The first box would contain the trickle part of the unit. The water would enter into the top of this box and go through a prefilter (not sure what material I'll make it yet). The prefilter would sit ontop of eggcrate where the water would then trickle through bioballs that sit upon another eggcrate (your basic wet/dry design) and then there would be an opening below the bioballs where the water could pool up as it gets ready to flow out of the box. The next box would be connected to it with pvc pipes that are sealed with bulkhead rings so they can be disconnected at any point.

In the second box, there would be baffles alternating the flow from top to bottom and they would contain a series of materials (carbon, that white ammonia elminating granules, floss or sponge. Then the water would leave through more pvc tubes into the third box.

In the third one there would be a refugium (live sand, plants, lr....if I can get it growing in my tank first since I can't buy it in Hawaii). It would also give me an isolation tank so that I can seperate anyone I need to for various reasons. There would be mesh covering the inlet and outlet to keep fish from swimming between boxes. Then the water would flow out more PVC to the final box.

In the last box I would put my heaters, pump, and possibly skimmer....not sure what type I'm going to get yet though.

So what do you think? Would it work? We would, of course, have an overflow box too. I liked the idea because we could add in a larger box here or there if we wanted or another box if we wanted it to go through something else.

Ok....ready for you to tear it apart.......
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:39 PM   #2
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Wow that is really complicated. yeah, it would work how are you planning on making the water flow through the boxes? Water basically moves wherever you push it, so no matter how crazy you get with your design it will work as long as the water is flowing through it.

Loose the bioballs

good luck.
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:40 PM   #3
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No reason for bioballs if you plan to have a refugium. Ditch that part, otherwise the rest would work, but too modularized for my taste
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:54 PM   #4
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Well the reason we have th bioballs is that we can't buy lr here in Hawaii, can' gather it from the ocaen either. I'm starting to grow some (i think) from my base rock, but it will take a long time for it to take over. I guess I just felt it wouldn't be enough bio media to just use the live sand.

I was going to have the water flow by gravity into the sump since it will be located under my tank (55 gal) and then to return with a pump. It will be flowing through pvc pipes between the boxes (not sure how many yet between each or the size of the pipe).

Another reason I designed it this way is that my husband was too worried that the acrylic (1/4") would be too thin for a larger sized unit. I really wanted an isolation tank/refugium added to it, so I figured lots of small boxes would be able to be made out of the thinner acrylic (it's soooo expensive here in Hawaii....our 2x4 sheets are $40 for 1/4"). It was basically my way of ensuring i get what I want! We also would like to get a bigger tank when we move to TX (in a year) so we want it to be adjustable. We would also have lids on top of each unit so that we can get in to clean or change out the media when needed.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:50 PM   #5
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LR is live because of bacteria inside of rock has nothing to do with what is on outside. Rock starts becoming LR once its in the water, how long has it been in salt water and have you added any food or shrimp to the water.
My problem with your plan is the bio balls chamber. It would have to be very tall or sit above others from your description. Remember the water level in that chamber since its first has to be the highest. Since you say the water will trickle down and collect under the bio balls, the bottom of the bio balls becomes the height of water in next chamber. LR needs to be under water so you would not have that problem and your design would work better.
I would think it would be cheaper to buy new equipment in Texas than to ship it from Hawaii.
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Old 06-23-2005, 01:41 AM   #6
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I have only had the rock in the water for three weeks. THe base rock I have is starting to grow very colorful spots on it (i'm guessing coralline algae). The bio ball chamber was going to be twice the height of the other chambers so that it can trickle properly. I agree live rock is better, but unfortunately not going to happen for awhile.

I don't have to worry about moving as we are military and they owe us one final move on our way out. We're under our weight limits so it's no issue, but yes, everything is cheaper in Texas. I can't wait to get there!!! Hopefully there we will have the live rock!!! Thanks for your opinion though. Is there anything else you think may not work? Do you all have a suggestion on a cheap protein skimmer or overflow?
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