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Old 11-15-2005, 10:55 AM   #1
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Expanded sump set-up

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!
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Old 11-15-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 11-15-2005, 05:08 PM   #3
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How much flow are you working with? do you have a closed loop? (I would sugest that the UV be plumed in a closed loop in a way that would allow you to controll the flow rate, I could explain this further).. what make and model of skimmer do you have (in other words how many GPH can your skimmer process)?

1) The plan sounds intresting if not a little complicated.. thats cool.. :P
2) Im unsure how much GPH you should use because I havnt a clue how much GPH your skimmer can process..
3) Im not seeing any problems in the plan just yet..
4) plastic window screening :P

side note.. do you know how to frame a header for a exterior door or window? that would let you increase the with of the opening in the support wall if you were intrested..

btw.. I happened to be asleep when you posted this. that would be why I hadnt replied yet..
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:32 PM   #4
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Hey neighbor! I'm in Indiana... just up the street from you.

Quote:
How much flow are you working with? do you have a closed loop? (I would sugest that the UV be plumed in a closed loop in a way that would allow you to controll the flow rate, I could explain this further).. what make and model of skimmer do you have (in other words how many GPH can your skimmer process)?
I have an Aqua-C remora skimmer with a Mag3 pump (300 GPH) hanging on the back of the sump, so I'm shooting for a sump and refugium system flow of 300 GPH to match it. I also want this slower flow so the macroalgae has a better opportunity to maximize nutrient uptake and exportation. I've already got plenty of flow in the display tank-- 4 maxijet 1200's on a wavemaker (295gph each) and a tunze 6060 (1600gph) that pulses on and off through-out the day, so I'm not worried about the slow flow thru the sump and refugium. I get anywhere from 10 to 38 times/hour turnover depending upon how many pumps are on at once. My UV sterilizer is plumbed in series with my PO4 reactor and has a ball valve so I can manually control the flow rate thru them so I'm set there.

Quote:
The plan sounds intresting if not a little complicated
The story of my life!

Quote:
Im not seeing any problems in the plan just yet
Good... neither am I.



Quote:
plastic window screening
Huh???

Quote:
side note.. do you know how to frame a header for a exterior door or window? that would let you increase the with of the opening in the support wall if you were intrested..
I don't want to take that chance... I've got 3,000sqft of 2-story that could come crashing down into the basement if it wasn't done right. The basement was finished with partition walls during the construction of the home so many of them are load-bearing, including the one we are talking about.

Any recommendations on how to get the water from the 55 gal refugium into the 45 gal sump? My best idea so far is a CPR CS-50 overflow box. That's what I use right now to drain the water from the display tank into the sump. I've been pretty happy with it so far. I've been reading about water bridges that people use to connect different display tanks together. Would that work?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
Hey neighbor! I'm in Indiana... just up the street from you.
Hay.. my aunt lives in Carmel.. so I travel that way every once in a while.. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
I have an Aqua-C remora skimmer with a Mag3 pump (300 GPH) hanging on the back of the sump, so I'm shooting for a sump and refugium system flow of 300 GPH to match it. I also want this slower flow so the macroalgae has a better opportunity to maximize nutrient uptake and exportation. I've already got plenty of flow in the display tank-- 4 maxijet 1200's on a wavemaker (295gph each) and a tunze 6060 (1600gph) that pulses on and off through-out the day, so I'm not worried about the slow flow thru the sump and refugium. I get anywhere from 10 to 38 times/hour turnover depending upon how many pumps are on at once. My UV sterilizer is plumbed in series with my PO4 reactor and has a ball valve so I can manually control the flow rate thru them so I'm set there.
you answered my conserns.. that sounds sweet to me.. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
The plan sounds intresting if not a little complicated
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
The story of my life!
good luck with all of that..

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
Good... neither am I.
good then we agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
plastic window screening
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
Huh???
the stuff at the hardware store that you get to replace the screen door screening when you acidently rip it.. does that help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
side note.. do you know how to frame a header for a exterior door or window? that would let you increase the with of the opening in the support wall if you were intrested..
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
I don't want to take that chance... I've got 3,000sqft of 2-story that could come crashing down into the basement if it wasn't done right. The basement was finished with partition walls during the construction of the home so many of them are load-bearing, including the one we are talking about.
It would be fairly complicated if you wanted to be extra carefull you could use bottle jacks to hold up the area while your working... and I could get you instructions for a laminated beam DIY that would likely be more sturdy then the studs that are there LOL.. it was just an idea.. if your leary about doing it, dont sweat my suggestions and just ignore them.. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
Any recommendations on how to get the water from the 55 gal refugium into the 45 gal sump? My best idea so far is a CPR CS-50 overflow box. That's what I use right now to drain the water from the display tank into the sump. I've been pretty happy with it so far. I've been reading about water bridges that people use to connect different display tanks together. Would that work?
I personaly like the small overflow idea better.. the water bridge idea is a little harder to prime and requires a pump to circulate water between the two tanks.. it might be tough to ballance the flow that you want between your tanks that way IMO.
with an overflow.. you only need one pump.. the one off your sump up to the display tank..

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyReefMan
Thanks for the help.
no problem :P
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:00 PM   #6
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Any reason you cant have the 55 drilled in the end? I have my fuge drilled in the end and a 1" bulkhead, it drains via gravity into my sump.

Plans sound do-able as long as you can get all the flows to match.... tank into fuge into sump.. You may want to T off the tank overflow and have some go into the sump and some into the fuge. This way you get the lower flow you said you were looking for.

What make on the 55? Call or email the company and make sure its not tempered glass, have a glass shop drill 1 to 2 - 1.5" holes in the end facing the fuge. You want the holes about 4" down from the top Get 1-2 1" bulkheads and use these instead of a overflow box, no chance of losing siphon with bulkheads.

Not sure why you need flow to match the skimmer?? The skimmer has nothing to do with water return to the tank, unless you have it hooked up different? My question is your skimmer large enough to handle the extra water volume?
Your looking at least 130 gallons of water now..
Get the plastic tank dividers they sell to keep macro out of the overflow.
With a 55 fuge I see some little fish in there... I have a yellow clown goby in mine, he would never make it in the tank because he is sooooo small.
How about some pics..
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:21 PM   #7
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wetmedia tip on determining if glass is tempered..

take two pair of cheap polarized lens sunglasses.. place one on one side of the glass and the other look though the other pair though the glass and the lens on the other wile turning the lens thats on the other side of the glass.. it revels a pattern.. test it on a windshield of a car first to see what the patten is suppose to look like.. if the patten isnt present that panel can be drilled.. :P
I like the idea of drilling as well.. they sell the diamond hole saw drill bits on ebay for like 5 bucks a pop if you want to DIY it.. of course you can get a glass shop or LFS drill it for you..
Im also thinking it would be a good idea to upgrade the skimmer or add a bigger skimmer..
the theory on matching the flow from the overflow comes from trying to skim as much of the surface water, were the most consentrated "dirtiest" water happens to be, without getting it remixed with the main tanks water, it happens to be common practace in europe from what Ive read..
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:22 PM   #8
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What make on the 55? Call or email the company and make sure its not tempered glass, have a glass shop drill 1 to 2 - 1.5" holes in the end facing the fuge. You want the holes about 4" down from the top Get 1-2 1" bulkheads and use these instead of a overflow box, no chance of losing siphon with bulkheads.
I like this idea. Anything to avoid another overflow box.

Quote:
Not sure why you need flow to match the skimmer?? The skimmer has nothing to do with water return to the tank, unless you have it hooked up different?
Nothing that I've seen or read. The dynamics just make sense to me. Too high of a flow thru the sump and my skimmer wouldn't have an opportunity to skim it all so I'd be returning "unskimmed" water to the display tank. Too slow of a flow, and I wouldn't be maximizing the efficiency of the skimmer (some water might be skimmed more than once).

Quote:
My question is your skimmer large enough to handle the extra water volume?
I've thought about that too. The Remora Pro that I have is rated for over 75 gallons, I believe. I don't remember seeing a max volume that it was good for. In my first post, I said that I had a Remora... it's actually a Remora Pro. Sorry about the error.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:24 PM   #9
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its common to normaly half what the manifacturer says the maximum volume is for a skimmer..
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:48 AM   #10
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I like a drilled overflow from the 55 to the 45 much better also. Far less opportunity for failure. Go big on the bulkheads, use 2 offset from one another so that the second one is a little higher so that it serves as a backup for the first. I bought screw in strainers for my bulkhead fittings to prevent stuff from entering them. That would be my suggestion. Bear in mind though that the strainer will slow down the flow a little bit. Be sure to plan some float switches into the system to protect your pump(s). And I like the idea of the T'ing off the return so that you can redirect some of the flow to the 45 if necessary. Again, the T will slow the return flow from the main which may be a problem for you depending on your overflow from the main.

As for the skimmer, if it is skimming your tank volume Ok now then I don't think adding the additional volume is going to compromise that. The bigger factor is how much waste is in your water (heavily stocked v. lightly stocked). Most skimmers will say that they can support 100g of heavily stocked or 150 of lightly stocked, for example.

If you're going to drill the glass the most important thing is to keep the glass cool. You'll want to run some water over it while you're drilling it.

Good luck with the project!
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