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Old 05-02-2004, 07:22 PM   #1
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Potentail Refugium/Chiller/Canister setup Quandry!

I am trying to setup a Refugium, but have some basic challenges. First my tank is supposed to be completely contained and as such has an iternal sump with Protein skimmer. In order to get the water flowing, I am going to use a canister filter, Rena XP2, to pull water out of the overflow box and into the canister then out to the other pieces in the system. I live in Texas so I also have a chiller and thus my question continues. Does the chiller need to go before or after the fuge? I have attached a couple of design thoughts and would love some feedback on the viability of the design. I am going to use float switches and auto top off to control water levels. The canister filter will have only GAC and possibly some Phosphorus sponge, no pads or biological media. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Mac
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:17 AM   #2
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IMO, I would go with version two. My theory, the chiller works by taking whatever temperature water comes into it, and chills that water to a set temperature. If that water comes out of the chiller at say 83 degrees, and then goes to the fuge, the lights and such in the fuge will then heat that water slightly before it gets to the display tank, therefore the water reaching your tank is already warmer than you would like it. If the water is chilled just before it reaches the display tank, then you can ensure the display tank is being kept cool.

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Old 05-03-2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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I would not have the intake to the canister be attached to yoru overflow. Your overflow should be gravity feed. Having the overflow going into a pump is a bad idea because if the overflow feeds faster than the pump can intake you will get a backup. Also most of teh time your overflow drain will have alot of air bubbles in it resulting with alot of air in the canister filter. If you must use the canister filter have it take water out of the tank directly and return it to the tank or have it take water out of your sump and return it to the tank or the refuge.

Plumb your overflow directling into your refuge.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:58 PM   #4
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I cannot plumb the overflow directly into the fuge since it is internal. The Overflow goes into a larger box that houses the skimmer and the canister intake will pull water out of the resevoir that normally pump back to the tank. This design allows for the water to pass through a bubble trap before going into the canister. I know if is not optimal, but this is what I have to work with. Also, if the overflow backs up it will only go into the tank, not the floor.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:46 PM   #5
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Also, if the overflow backs up it will only go into the tank, not the floor.
but when the overflow stops that doesn't mean the chiller will stop. The Chiller will continue to move water from the fuge to the tank. So you will basically pump 15 gallons of extra water into your tank before the chiller runs out of water. Your display tank won't have room for an extra 15 gallons.

I think FishFreek is right with his suggestion. you should plumb the internal overflow with a U tube and an external overflow box and run the filter in and out of the fuge.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:53 PM   #6
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I was planning on using a float switch to keep that from happening. If the level drops too far the switch will turn off the return pump until the level goes back down.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:59 PM   #7
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does your internal overflow have any drilled holes/bulkheads?
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:52 PM   #8
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No, That is why I wanted to use the canister filter. it should run in the 300gph range which is about what I want going throuhg the fuge. It also has a flow valve that will let me turn it down if I need to in order to keep a balance. The fuge actually has an overflow that will go ito a small resevoir that has the return pump and float switch, so if the water stops going into the fuge it will stop overflowing and the return pump will also stop. I am putting a ball valve on the return pump so I can moderate its flow as well. I know it will be a game of balance, but with the internal sump thee is not much in the way of options. Also, I do not have room for an external overflow or I would have chosen that option first. Thanks for the thoughts, keep them coming.
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:23 PM   #9
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I know it will be a game of balance,
yer not kiddin... you'll be constantly adjusting the filter and ball valve to try and get them to flow at the same rate... I dunno about you but that would frustrate me to no end... hmm... but with no hole in the overflow and no room for an external overflow... you really don't have many choices... is this a glass or arcylic tank? feelin brave? drill a hole in the bottom of the overflow 8O

I would go with two float switches. One controlling the filter and one for the chiller. If the fuge level gets too high have that shut off the filter. If the fuge level gets too low, shut off the chiller pump. This way if the flow changes a bit while your not there to adjust the lines (which will no dobt happen at least once ) it will sort of control itself enough to avoid an overflow.

an external overflow really doesn't take up that much room... I've seend them as shallow as 3-4 inches.
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