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Old 11-09-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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DIY Refugium

Hello, I am in the planning stages of making a 10 gal sump/refugium for my 55 gallon SW tank.

I do not want to do any drilling for this to work, I was planning on using a 'U' tube gravity feed line (of what diameter I do not know). First compartment to house my Reef Octopus BH-100 and heater. Second compartment is to house some LR and chaeto and hopefully thousands of pods, and finally third compartment would just house the return pump.

Now I have about 4' for the pump to work against, and am not really sure as to what strength pump I should be looking for. Secondly, to avoid flooding my apartment, what measures can I take if godforbid I lose power (especially with a gravity fed intake)? Also, I was under the impression that pods liked really low water flow, and macroalgae likes high water flow. What sort of happy medium can I achieve in order for all of the above to be happy? (With only a 10 gallon tank I think having an extra compartment in there would make things pretty cramped.)
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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It's highly unlikely that you can fit all of that and baffles in a 10 gallon. IMO 20 is a minimum if you want chambers and even that will make everything very small and not leave much wiggle room for evap in your pump chamber.

Just some thoughts before you get too far down the road.

Also save yourself some grief and buy the overflow. The D in DIY overflows often stands for Disaster....
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:13 PM   #3
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I figured something like that would have been difficult. I'm mainly just looking for a place to breed some pods and throw some chaeto, dropping the heater would be nice but is not necessary. (Not drilling is also a requirement)
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:17 PM   #4
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I would really suggest moving up to a 20 (long preferably)
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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I just recentaly brought a Reef Octoppus overflow box, Havent set it up yet properly yet, But i have to test it all and see how it works.
I did make a video on it to show u how u cannot cause an overflow in any tank, But its kinda dodgy.

Just make sure your return pump is kinda near the surface of the water, So if power goes out and your overflow box doesnt start to re-siphon then it doesnt pump all the sump water in your aquarium, You might burn out the pump but its a bit better then flooding the joint. But thats only if it doesnt re-siphon, Which it should 100% of the time.
I should have mine all running this week if you would like a vid on it?
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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That would be awesome, thank you very much.

And it would be impossible dimensionwise for me to keep anything bigger than 10 gallons under my stand, so anything larger is sadly out of the question.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Just an FYI, if you lift that return pump up then you're even more a slave to evaporation. Once that pump burns out if you forget to top off (possibly every day at that size) then you'll still flood because your overflow will flood your 10g sump.

A sump is a very balanced modification. Anything goes wrong on either end and you're flooded (sump or display). There are ways to mitigate the risk but (not to sound like a broken record) but it will be very very hard w/ a 10g
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyb View Post
I did make a video on it to show u how u cannot cause an overflow in any tank, But its kinda dodgy.

Love to see that design.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAhab View Post
Just an FYI, if you lift that return pump up then you're even more a slave to evaporation. Once that pump burns out if you forget to top off (possibly every day at that size) then you'll still flood because your overflow will flood your 10g sump.
Nope, The overflow shuts off, So u get no flooding. Its really hard to explain and alot of people dont get it. Ill post up a vid. lol.

And i dont mean have the pump so its only skimming the water, But below the surface.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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I'd like to think my setup is pretty robust, and I did kind of a DIY job for part of the refugium...

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/flog/newsetup01.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/flog/newrefugium.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/flog/floatswitch01.jpg

Up top is a HOB overflow cup, here's a closer picture, but it's an older picture:

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump3.jpg

The key to my system is that the pump is designed to break siphon if it should fail, and there is a float switch that will turn off the pump if the water level gets too low. There's actually a thread about that here:

Float switch auto pump turn-off

To prevent flooding if power goes out or if siphon breaks in your U-tube, (which it shouldn't) start the system with the pump turned off and make sure there isn't too much water in each tank. Also, my system is on a battery backup.
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