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Old 06-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
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Tank upgrade sump question

I am planning my upgrade from my 29g to a 90g. I am planning on using my 29 as my sump/refugium. I would like to keep my sand bed in the fuge since it is established. Is there a good way to add baffles in a tank and keep the sand bed or should I just forget about the sand? I have one idea but am looking for any input as I'm not 100% on mine. I have considered just doing one big fuge and not adding baffles but I want to avoid micro bubbles and would worry about a flood if my overflow clogged.

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Old 06-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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If it were me I would ditch the sand and start fresh because I've heard of too much disturbance can cause a mass release of nutrients. Also I don't see how u could add baffles w out removing the sand. Plus the potential cost of a tank crash far outweighs the cost of new sand.

Next comes the question as to whether you even want sand at all. Im in The process of upgrading as well and I've been researching this as I'm sure you are and the more I read the less likely I'm going to put sand in the fuge, just rocks and macro.

I like the idea of having the whole thing as a fuge but then you would need a separate sump for the return pump and skimmer...
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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How old is the sand bed in your 29? I like sand in the refugium.
A sump without partitions is not user friendly. You will need a compartment for your skimmer, and you will want that water level in that compartment to stay consistent. This is quite difficult without at least 1 partition.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:31 AM   #4
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My sand is 1 year old, would it cause issues if I disturbed the sand bed or even removed it and rinsed it out? If I removed it I could get the baffles in properly but it may cause a cycle to disturb it. I can run my tank off a temporary sump while I let my sand bed cycle if I need to. Would this be a better way to go?
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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You don't have to use a sump at all while you are waiting. A year old bed is definitely going to cause a spike if disturbed. Rinsing it may work, but I'm sure there's a lot of life in it that you would be killing off doing so.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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So the idea I had that wouldn't disturb the sand bed is this.

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Could this lead to any issues with the area under the return pump, it probably wouldn't get to much flow but I could put my skimmer in the main compartment on some egg crate and it would keep a constant water level.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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The water rushing in would blow the sand all over the place. The intake must not have sand in it IMO. Maybe a container inside the tank that the water crashes into then spills over the sides into the sump tank. How will you create this box for the return pump? How will you fasten it to the glass and have it not leak?
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:30 AM   #8
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I'm thinking it may be easier to just remove the sand and put it in the fuge after building my sump. If I moved it to a 5 gallon bucket for a bit should I expect much of a cycle or would I have much benefit. Would it be better to just move the sand to my dt with my love rock? I am just trying to avoid a cycle when I transfer and keep some of the benefits of my established tank.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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Disrupting that bed is going to cause a spike IMO. Nothing you can do to avoid it. You could try rinsing it in your water change water so not to kill the life with fresh water. This may help.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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I don't see why you don't just use new dry argonite sand... It will become "live" from the rocks. Also, you're not talking a lot of new sand to replace maybe 40 lbs? I think your risking too much for little potential gain. If you insist on re using the sand you will def want to rinse it very well and cross your fingers. Read kdpuffers upgrade thread.. He lost fish and coral trying to reuse his sand.
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