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Old 08-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
A sump / refugium is nothing but a tank that sits under your display tank. Water will flow down into the tank on the bottom from the display tank through either a Hang on the back overflow or a drilled hole in the side of the tank. There is a pump in the lower tank that pushes the water level back up into the display.



You can run the tank without a skimmer as well. I've been running my 20g reef with just powerheads and live rock for about 4 months now. Previous to that it had been running with a refugium and no skimmer for over a year.

HOWEVER things such as a skimmer and a refugium will all contribute to making a more stable system. This will make it easier to keep your corals alive and fish happy.




If you want to start with a low cost system then I would suggest starting out with a basic fish only tank. Don't worry about corals yet. Then save up for the additions such as a refugium or skimmer as you can afford. This will help you get used to dealing with water parameters as well as giving your tank plenty of time to mature.

+1 to that! I'm gonna try and have my cycle started tonight and I don't have lights or a skimmer. It could be another 3 weeks until I get that but the only thing that'll be growing in there is bacteria and they don't need either!


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Old 08-02-2014, 04:12 PM   #22
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If you want to start with a low cost system then I would suggest starting out with a basic fish only tank. Don't worry about corals yet. Then save up for the additions such as a refugium or skimmer as you can afford. This will help you get used to dealing with water parameters as well as giving your tank plenty of time to mature.
best advice given thus far
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #23
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I agree with the others. If you can fit a 10 gal or 20 gal breeder tank in your stand, go with a sump and design it from the ground up.

If not, look at the Aquafuge PS hob refugium. You can grow a macro algae behind the tank, keep the heater there and it has a built in skimmer.

Again, if not a hob skimmer, and hob filter with the changes made as mentioned before.

Any future system I build will have only base rock and dry sand. Nothing 'live'. I want to control everything that goes into my tank. Cycle using ammonia for a strong bacteria base with no additional starters.




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Old 08-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #24
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I cant hang anything on the back of my tank it has a huge lid on it. I appreciate everyones comments so far, its helping me alot!! Thanks you guys


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Old 08-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #25
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Okay so ive had a thought, due to my stand i wouldnt be able to have a refugium, well not one large enough to be sufficient. So i had an idea, ive measured all of the compartments and am fairly sure i can fit 3 small acrylic tanks in the bottom compartments, i could then connect up a skimmer to the first compartment, then the second compartment would house where you grow algae and have live rock etc and third have a return pump back into the tank? What do you think? Moment of genius or stupid and bound to fail? Click image for larger version

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Old 08-02-2014, 09:24 PM   #26
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Im sure if i could come up with a way to get the water flowing through all three and back into the tank, i think it might be a sound idea but would need any advice or help!


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Old 08-02-2014, 09:47 PM   #27
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it could work. However, the more complex a system gets like that the higher the likelihood of failure. I would just put a tank on the floor beside it and use that as a refugium and then build a simple stand to go over it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:55 PM   #28
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Click image for larger version

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ID:	245375 please excuse the mess but if you can make anything of it, this is roughly what i have in mind? I have the time and making the individual tanks myself will be a piece of cake using acrylic so will be inexpensive. Then either add a skimmer to the first tank and forget media or possibly have a skimmer in thw last tank before its returned to the tank?! Full of ideas right now!


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Old 08-02-2014, 10:01 PM   #29
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With the way the shelves are i could have the first or 'tank a' on the top, 'tank b' in the middle, and 'tank c' on the bottom shelf, with correctly placed hoses i could easily get the water flowing through smoothly.


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Old 08-03-2014, 01:24 AM   #30
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The problem is 'what happens in a power outage'? Will all the water drain into the last one, plus back flow, and overflow the sump onto the floor.
Or what happens if the tank overflow looses syphon. Will all 3 tanks get pumped up to the main tank, overflowing it?

It's all part of a sump design. Complex designs like your considering have much more to think about than just 'will it work when everything's ok?


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