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Old 09-21-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Unique Sump and Refugium design – will it work?

Unique Sump and Refugium design – will it work?

let me start by saying this is my first salt water tank ever – and I'm a little 'wet behind the ears' so to speak. I've been doing a ton of research and planning for about a month and I've already started acquiring some of the parts.

The 50 gal tank was given to me and the stand was purchased before I had decided what kind of tank I was going to do, so the stand is not the ideal setup – but I'm determined to make it work since the stand is the perfect match to the room. at least that's what the wife says

OK – so here's what I have... The tank will be a reef tank, so I need a Sump with Protein skimmer as well as a Refugium. The stand has split cabinets on either side and an open center area. The filtering equipment needs to be hidden as much as possible.

The water will flow to the Sump with Skimmer first, where it will then drain via a 1 - 1.5" pipe mounted behind the cabinet to the Refugium, and then be pumped out and returned to the tank.

Each of the Sumps have about a 12 gallons total capacity, but will utilize about half of that volume while everything is running.

The biggest potential issue I see is the placement of the pump – it's above the water line, which means it will need to draw water up. I've talked to a few local shops, and they all agree that the pump 'should' be able to do this provided it's fully primed. My solution is to add a check valve just at or below the water line to keep the pump primed in the event of a power loss.

Beyond that issue, what other potential pitfalls do you see in my designs? Do you have any suggestions to make it better? and finally – what am I missing?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Watching this one. Looks to me like it would work but I since I have never had a sump I want to see what feedback you get.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! very innovative and creative design in my opinion. I unfortunately am not sure how it would all work...

But am following to see what the experts say!
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome - Ive been lurking around these forms for about month.

Like you, I'm not sure it will work but then on the other side, I can't find any reason why it shouldn't work. Assuming I can get the pump to do what i need it to do, balancing the whole system will be key.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:34 PM   #5
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Thats the trick though, the balancing act. if one pump goes out or the power goes off you need a system in place that won't flood.

You lurkers you, lol, glad you finally joined up!
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey View Post
Thats the trick though, the balancing act. if one pump goes out or the power goes off you need a system in place that won't flood.


Ya - i thought about that. assuming my calculations are correct, about 4 inches of water off the top would be equal to about 9-10 gallons (48"x12"x4") / 231 = 9.9gal . the Sumps will have about 12 gallons of reserve space. I'll have my overflow and returns positioned no more than about the 3 inch mark below the water line and employ a check valve on the return line.

It would be cutting it close... but it should be just enough.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Sounds like you havr this all planned out in your head lol. The check valve is a good idea too, you dont want any back siphon from the output nozzle.

also a ball valve ont he return line can adjust the flow so you can throttle it back if it's too much, another neat trick I learned here and implemented in my own system
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
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yep - Ball valves are on my list as are a few couplings to allow easy removal of the pump. I also want use threaded couplings for the transport tube in the back to make it easy to remove so I can clean it once every few months as well.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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Hi Onlytono
First off why are you only utilising half of the tanks?,those eshopps dont drain off too much from the DT during a power cut, nor will the return pipe work as long as you have an air break.
There are alot of pumps on the market which run ok above the water line.I wouldn't advise on any check valves as these can get blocked,you dont even need a ball valve to throttle down the pump if you get one which has one built in,but personally I would have the pump situated on the bottom shelf in the centre and put a false back on it to hide it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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I'm sorry but is the tank drilled? What would stop the pump from emptying the sump into the dt?
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