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Old 05-02-2012, 06:30 AM   #1
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refugium build plumbing question

We just picked up a small acrylic aquarium that we'd like to become a refugium under the 38 gallon DT.

How would we go about plumbing it to the main system to avoid flooding during power outages?

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Old 05-02-2012, 06:38 AM   #2
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If its not a reef ready DT then you either drill it if you can or use an overflow box,research them both.I have used the eshopps for a few years without problems

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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Only fool proof way to avoid flooding when the power goes out is to drill...overflow boxes work pretty well for the most part but you are still relying on a siphon and also your return can't exceed your overflows limits unlike a drilled tank that can handle pretty much anything since gravity does the work
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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Just to be clear for the OP, it's the DT that needs to be drilled. Your sump/refugium tank can be drilled as well, though it's more common when used with an external return pump and/or external skimmer.

Most folks don't drill their sump/refugium and instead use a submersible pump and tie it back up to the DT via PVC or flex PVC.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:56 AM   #5
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Thank you for the help. The tank is a flat back hex. shape and the dimensions are 15" long X 9" Wide X 10.5" high. I'm not sure what the gallon capacity is, but it looks smaller than a 10 gal. I'm not sure if it's really big enough to be a suitable fuge for our 38 gallon DT. We have an extra filter and heater lying around, so maybe this would make a better QT. What are your thoughts? What size would you reccommend for a fuge?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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I would personally use it as a QT. 10g is the min for any sump type setup, but it is usually better to go with a 20g minimum for the extra room that you would have. This is especially necessary since you want to have a refugium. Along with the fuge for a reef ready system, you are going to need a protein skimmer. Hence the necessity for the 20g.

In terms of plumbing, yes drilling is your best option. But if this isn't an option, in terms of overflow boxes CPR overflows are your best bet. Them utilized with an aqualifter pump will make sure you don't run into issues that were stated above. Along with this, plumbing is simple. The most difficult of the plumbing is putting together one made out of PVC...and having the word difficult in this sentence is very far from the truth. It is easy. It took me ~20 minutes to put together my setup as PVC and most of this was cutting it as I only ahd a hacksaw. I just walked into my hardware store with my return pump and overflow box. We got all the pieces necessary together, as I had measured everything the night before, and I went to work. Just make sure you get the primer and the cement for the PVC. The primer softens the PVC so the cement can make a more permenant bond, and since the primer is colored purple it helps you make sure you get enough of the cement all the way around. At that point, it is as simple as pushing the 2 pieces together and giving them a quarter turn.

Also, in terms of making your own sump setup, and I may be wrong about this part, but I have read issues regarding people building their own out of acrylic and them coming apart over time due to the silicon not adhering as well as it does glass. I have no personal experience with this, only passing on the information.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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If you want a sump/fuge you can just buy a 20g long tank cheap and make one. A 10g or smaller tank really doesnt give you much room

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