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Old 12-22-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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Sump/refuge question...

OK... many years of freshwater tanks... it's time to convert one of the 55's to saltwater.

My current question is regarding a sump/refuge set up beneath the main tank.

This tank does NOT have any holes in it... so a "drain tube" will go over the edge to get water from the main tank to the refugium... then a pump moves water back up to the main tank.

So my question is: What keeps the water level maintained in the big tank?... What keeps the "siphon/drain" from moving water to the refugium faster than the pump moves it to the tank (or vice-versa) ?
In the event of a power failure, what would keep the drain from siphoning the main tank down and overflowing the refugium? (or even withOUT a power failure, what keeps that from happening if it can siphon faster than the pump can return it?)

I'm obviously missing SOMEthing about the setup... just haven't been able to figure it out yet.

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Old 12-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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You have realized the great conundrum of the siphon sump. If I were you, I'd drill it prior to setting it up.......

Wanna calculate the cost of that new reef tank?? Take your worst nightmare, double it, and you're halfway there.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Granted, I haven't spent TOO much time googling yet ... but I'm still having trouble finding a good diagram of how it's to be set-up.

Even drilled... does the "outflow" from the main tank happen at the top of a standpipe? from near the surface?... to prevent accidentally draining the entire tank into the refuge and then onto the floor?

I guess I just keep picturing the outflow sourced from the bottom of the tank and can't help but picture all the water in the tank all over the floor.

I know... like I said.. I need to put more effort into locating a good diagram/picture of how the whole thing sets up.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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Check out this site Melevs reef . com great info on sumps if done right no worries. I have a eshopps 800 overflow and mag 7 pump flow is right on. If you can drill do it if not you can still have a tight set up.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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The tank will only drain as fast as the return pump sends water to it, providing you have a standpipe.
You can also check out "glass holes". They sell overflow kits if you are interested in drilling the tank, which is what I would do if it doesn't have a tempered back pane.

As far as you initial questions, If you are using a HOB overflow box with the correct return pump, the siphon should restart on it's own after a power outage. The overflow box will dictate the height of the water inside the display, and it will never drain more than the return pump sends to it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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It's a "standard" 55g, so most likely made from tempered glass... so... I think I'm just going to build a new (acrylic) tank for this saltwater project ...
Planning a 24" x 48" tank at this point... 120 gal !

I figure if I'm gonna do this, I might as well do it "right" !

Found a local source for cast acrylic sheet today... so I guess I need to make a decision on the tank size and get that ordered!

...still trying to decide if i want to build a custom sump as well, or just use the 55 for that.

(Always open to comments and suggestions... I like new ideas and correcting my own misconceptions.)

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question, sump

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