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Old 02-14-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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P.S. Please forgive the ugly upper cabinet doors that I have not gotten around to staining
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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Also since you mention a refugium, I run an "algae scrubber" in the sump which is a similar idea. I'm not sure if this forum has a thread about that or if I learned about it elsewhere. The basic idea is to forcibly grow algae in the sump on a screen instead of in the main tank by making the conditions down there irresistible. Algae soaks up excess nitrates and any excess ferts. I run it at night when the main tank lights are off, and turn it off in the day before the display lights go on then add ferts, so that the display plants get to use as many ferts as they need before lights out.
p.s. I still have algae in my main tank as you saw, but that's because i tried out increasing my lights the last few days. Didn't work out.

The algae scrubber is the weird thing at the left of the sump in the picture of it in action. It's just a piece of plastic canvas from a craft store, coarsely roughed up and then attached to an air stone.
The air pump that runs the air stone is the noisiest thing about our system. It is noisier than the return pump by quite a bit!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:31 PM   #13
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Also, I have to stress I've never actually seen a drilled tank in person. I only assume that they are similar to an overflow box where they have the notched area at the top where the water flows in, but unlike an overflow box the hole is just right there at the bottom. My assumption is just that, when the water level drops below the notched area, it stops flowing into the overflow area so more water cannot leave the tank. Correct?

OK re: heater mine is just in the sump and it's great. It is almost never on. I have it set to 72 and it keeps the main tank 78. It seems really efficient in the sump. Yes, it will be on more often if you are running it through lots of pipe from the basement.

Dual overflows - no idea.

"-I’ve seen some sump layouts that involved an auxiliary water outfeed that immediately fed back into the sump, used as a relief system for an extra powerful pump so that the pump can run at full power. Is it bad on the pump to be throttled back? I think the designs I saw involved a ball valve so that the amount of “extra” water could be controlled. Does anyone have a good explanation as to what purpose this serves? I have ideas, but would like to hear it explained by someone who really knows the systems."
I have never heard of this, sorry
I run my pump at full power... just get a pump that is suited to your tank. This seems excessively fiddly to me.
The pump you have seems pretty well suited for 6-10x turnover. Might be a lot of flow, but the overflow can handle it.

Your tank isn't THAT much bigger than mine although we're talking about a bigger sump. Noise, heat etc none of these are problems for me.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:36 PM   #14
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We run everything off of one outlet. This includes:

2 pumps about 800gph (the return pump in the sump, and I also run one inside the tank to increase flow to carry all ferts to all plants)
1 48" LED
1 48" shop light fixture with fluorescents
1 300w heater
1 double outlet air pump
1 grouping of rgb LEDs for color correction
1 Turbo Twist 12x UV Sterilizer (plumbed in-line after the return pump)
1 desk lamp with fluorescent bulb

I think that's it but I actually feel like we have a LOT of stuff going on. The power usage of aquarium equipment is really not that bad.

The Tunze Silence pump in particular, which is our return pump, is a very power efficient pump. And all of our lighting is either LED or Fluorescent for good power usage. I bet the air pump is the biggest hog.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #15
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If I were using your setup:

I would turn the 55g around in the bottom, using just the right hand overflow section. I I love my "drawers" setup for mechanical media, love it to BITS (so convenient to pull out a drawer to clean),so I would be looking for a drawer setup that fits in there. I bet there are sterilite drawers would fit perfectly (like at Target). I would put bio media in the area underneath. I would put the return pump in the lowest baffle section, after the 12" baffle. The middle section would be perfect for an algae scrubber or plants or something.

Anyway that is just what I would do

OK! Questions?
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:10 PM   #16
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Good gravy - that's so impressive. It's one thing that it seems to me that a canister filter is easier to set up initially? I like the idea of sumps but the plumbing!!

A guy at work has a 6ft and they drilled the holes for him just before delivery. At his risk though. They said they had never had any problems with drilling holes.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #17
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The plumbing was intimidating to me just because I know so little about it but it was actually REALLY easy
I was paranoid for weeks that water was going to be everywhere, but it doesn't lol

Pro tip: use teflon tape even on threads even with plastic. Hubby didn't want to, I did. Guess which way was the right one? All of our joints are absolutely watertight and it was really quite simple.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:56 AM   #18
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Thank you so much, fantastic info and illustrations there. That's very, very useful. I'm going to come back and address some of that with more questions later, but I have some work to do on another home improvement project this weekend before I can dedicate the time to it. Just wanted to stop in and say thanks for now.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishperson View Post
I think it's a tank below that works as extra filtration, and that you can put plants in to take out nitrates, right? If so, then anacharis, hornwort, and water wisteria will grow very well and soak up lots of nitrates. But if not then just ignore it! I'm pretty sure I'm wrong about that. I can help you with stocking if you'd like. What are you planning on?

Good luck!
Yes, that's one of the benefits of the sump system, along with additional water for the overall system, a place to put all the fiddly bits and keep them out of the display tank, etc. I definitely plan to have a refugium with plants for nitrate scrubbing, and will take your suggestions for plants to heart!

As for stocking the tank, sadly, we're in a position where we've really got too many fish crammed into our 55 gallon, and needed the larger tank to give them more space. Please don't judge us too harshly when you see the list; we really were ignorant when we got into the hobby and did not realize our angels would grow as large as they have. Ignorance is no excuse, but we're trying to correct our mistake now by giving them the bigger home they should have had all along.

-9 angels
-1 common pleco (also a healthy fellow now)
-1 african featherfin
-4 leopard corys
-1 black-skirt tetra (will probably expand this school in the larger tank, we haven't restocked it as they died to provide more room to the rest of the fish)
-1 ghost shrimp (this guy survived, alone among his kin, to grow large enough to not be seen as food by the angels anymore. Kind of a mascot)
-4 glass cats (might add more of these in the larger tank, we really like them)
-Plants. Any recommendations on a good grow light system? We need a new one for this large tank. We're leaning towards an LED system, preferably one with a built-in day-night cycle timer. I know we could just put one on a standard outlet timer and have a seperate strip of blue night-time LEDs on all the time, but would prefer an all-in-one solution if possible.
-Foraging creepy-crawlies- Personally, I love snails and shrimp, crabs, etc. I like having them in the tank to eat up all the stuff that falls on the terrain, and I enjoy watching them do what they do. Not sure how many or which types we might add to this tank. All the crabs I've ever found needed to have time out of the water, so I've basically given up on ever finding any for our show tank.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Steelcrystal View Post
Thank you so much, fantastic info and illustrations there. That's very, very useful. I'm going to come back and address some of that with more questions later, but I have some work to do on another home improvement project this weekend before I can dedicate the time to it. Just wanted to stop in and say thanks for now.
No problem! happy to help
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