I am planning on increasing the size of my sump/refugium to increase water system capacity and to increase the size of my refugium.
Currently, I have a 72 gal
reef that drains into a 45 gal
sump that has a 2.5 gal
drop-in refugium. The substrate of the sump consists of 25 pounds of live rock rubble. My hardware (skimmer, heater, UV
sterilizer, etc.) is in the sump as well.
Here is my idea: Add a 55 gal
tank w/ 6 inch deep sand bed, Chaetomorpha and Caluerpa to act as my new and improved refugium. The display tank will drain into this 55 gal
refugium. Add an overflow so that this refugium can drain into the 45 gal
sump (the one that I already have). I will keep live rock rubble and the hardware in the 45 gal
sump. Then place the return pump in the 45 gal
sump and return the water to the display tank.
Ideally, I would rather have one large tank (120 gal
or so) to act as the sump and refugium, but I'm limited on tank width (front to back). The display is in my finished basement and the sump and refugium are behind the wall under the stairs in an unfinished area. To get the sump and refugium behind the wall, they must go thru a wall support area where the wall studs are spaced 14" apart. So, a 13" wide (front to back) tank is the biggest that I can fit thru this opening. I can fit up to 8 feet of length so I'm limited to two smaller tanks. Ideally, I'd like to place a pre-drilled tank to act as the 55 gal
refugium and drain it into the 45 gal
sump but I don't have the height to work with. So, I'm stuck with a hang-on overflow to drain the water from the 55 gal
refugium into the 45 gal
sump. I have enough room to elevate the 55 gal
refugium 9-12 inches so that it will drain into the 45 gal
sump without any problems.
1) How does this plan sound?
2) Any specific hang on back overflows recommendations?
3) Any potential problems with this set-up?
4) How can I keep stray bits of macroalgae in the refugium from blocking and clogging the overflow?
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!