Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 04-23-2006, 06:10 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 670
Sump/refugium design questions (rubble vs bio-balls)

Designing a sump, for my 75g, using a 20g glass tank. I want this to be both a refugium (for macro-algae to eliminate nitrate and other waste), as well as provide enough bio-filtration that I can remove my HOB bio-wheel filter.

I have about 20lbs of LR in the main tank now, adding more all the time, but I won't have the 1.0 to 1.5 pounds/gallon needed for LR filtration for some time.

In my design so far, basically there's a suspended area on one end for bio-balls or rubble, a baffle next, which overflows into the main/refugium area. The height of that baffle will depend on if I want to submerge my filter media (bioballs or rubble).

The refugium will be about 1/2rd the tank, leaving about 1/3rd for return pump and future skimmer.

I figured 2g of bio-balls would be enough for a 75g (since each g of bio-balls are supposed to handle 45 to 60 gallons).

Would LR rubble, filling the same amount of space, be as or more effective? Is it best to have rubble wet/dry/trickled, or submerged? If it should be submerged, I can turn the rubble containment area into a corner box or something.

For 2g of bio-balls, I'm allocating an area 4.5" wide x 9" tall x 12" depth, or 526 cubic inches.

If I use LR rubble, in the wet/dry section (where water trickles over) is that enough LR, or should I increase the space allocated?

Or, is LR better submerged?

I want to have a large volume for potential overflow in the event of power or pump failure. If standard operating water level in the sump is 3", that will give me about 15.4 gallons of overhead, should the pump stop returning water to the main. That's about 3" of water in my 75g, which should be very easy to work with.

With 3-5" of water in the main area, that's about 4.6 gallons contained in the sump, half of which would all be pumped to the main tank if the siphon fails. That's barely over an inch of water to the main.

So, I'd operate the tank about 1 inch below the very, very top of the tank, and never have to be concerned with overfilling the tank. With the overflow siphon in the tank setup with about 1" of water over the "spill" level, I'd never have to worry about the sump overfilling.

There'd be lots of leeway on either side. I'm not getting the benefit of adding a huge volume of water to the system (around 5 or 6 gallons total added), but it should be effective bio-filtration, a good place for a heater and skimmer, and I'd also not have to worry about flooding.

Scoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2006, 07:50 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 343
Rubble rock is way more beneficial than Bio balls. Bio balls are only useful in FO tanks but you should take them out and wash them pretty regularly. If you go with the rubble rock the cornor box wouldn't be a bad idea but i would place the rock in the the first chamber, then overflow into your refugium, then overflow to the return chamber. Just my opinion.

angelscrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 670
So the rubble would be immersed, not trickled over in a wet/dry setup?

Would the equivalent of 2g of rubble be enough? Not sure what weight that'd be... maybe 8 pounds...

I'm really hoping to have something that can do both bio and mechanical filtration, and function as a fuge at the same time.
Scoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2006, 08:21 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
lando's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Savage, MN
Posts: 7,889
Bio balls are only useful in FO tanks
This is not entirely true. Bioballs have been used successfully in SW for many years. However, as mentioned, they do require a bit more maintanence to reduce the accumulation of NO3. LR rubble is a better filter media in general and works a bit differently then do bioballs. Bioballs are designed to work in an aerobic environment. This is why water is trickeled over them (hence the term wet/dry). LR rubble does best in an anaerobic environment, submerged just like LR.
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
lando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2006, 01:21 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 114
I'm not sure if one is more efficient than the other. I'd be curious to know the answer to that question as well. I have a tank size similar to yours (72gallon).

I bought 30lbs of rubble rock for $35 online. It's supposedly calcium carbonate and from a reef quarry bed. I can give you the info if interested. I put all of it in my sump. I think 30lbs of this stuff has more biofiltration than 30lbs of larger size rocks due to the increased surface area.
ctmedman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2006, 02:08 AM   #6
Community Admin
melosu58's Avatar

Tank of the Month Award
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 37,890
As Lando stated the LR rubble needs to be submerged. I`m going to very soon be changing mine over. And yes you will need more pounds of rubble as they weigh more than the bio balls.

melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote

balls, bio, design, refugium, sump

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bio balls or lr rubble! christy1430 Nano Reefs 5 02-07-2007 07:57 PM
how many bio balls = how many pounds of live rock rubble?? supermarvin76 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 04-06-2005 12:47 AM
bio balls to live rock rubble... How much needed?? supermarvin76 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 03-26-2005 04:24 PM
LR rubble instead of bio balls? Morticus Saltwater Reef Aquaria 19 03-10-2005 12:48 PM
removing bio balls for live rock rubble supermarvin76 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 03-05-2005 12:51 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.