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Old 11-19-2002, 11:47 PM   #1
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Hang on back refugium+

I spent about 4 hrs fooling around in the shop today and ended up with this hang on back refugium. It is, as of now, untested, but I'll post later on how (or if) it worked out. The unit is 20" long, 12" tall, and 5" wide. It has 4 compartments. The first is where the U tube will come in. A filter bag will be attached here to catch any large particles. Water will enter the next part which will house a small CC skimmer. I think a Visi Therm skimmer would fit in there also and might be better due to it's venturi design, but this is a very limited budget project . The next compartment will house a Maxi Jet PH (900?) and the heater. The last compartment is the refugium and is sealed off from the rest except for 16 1/4" holes drilled in the divider about 2/3 of the way up. This will allow a slow flow of water into the refuge from the pump chamber. A very small PH...probably a Mini Jet will pump water from the refuge into the main tank. Here are some pics.
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Old 11-20-2002, 12:01 AM   #2
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pretty nice. once it is tested do you think you might make one for someone else. if so, let me know, ive been interested in getting one for awile. i would like to see what you would charge for something like this.
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Old 11-20-2002, 12:32 AM   #3
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More pics

Here are some more pics. The unit was built from scrap acrylic that I had laying around. It had some blemishes and some old tape stuck to it. I have found, if you're not too concerned about the clarity of the acrylic, that acetone will remove stuff like this. It will totally evaporate leaving behind no residue. Acrylic scraps like this can usually be purchased from any glass shop that does acrylic work for very little $. I used Weld On #16 glue for most of the construction and #3 for some of it. The #3 is very thin and requires that the parts fit tightly or it won't seal. If I was doing it again, I would make the internal overflow adjustable. The reason I didn't here is I was making this for a specific tank and knew where it needed to go. The PVC U tube was bent with heat. I think almost boiling water would be sufficiently hot...I stuck it in the fireplace till it was hot and bent it in small increments...not a method I recommend to anyone else . It bends fairly easily and will hold it's shape once cooled. I used the white PVC. The tan colored is CPVC and is rated for hot water use so I doubt it would bend as easily if at all. This might be a good thing for plumbing in a sump to tank return. You can put a gentle bend in the pipe thus reducing back pressure. A PVC 90 degree elbow adds 1 foot of head when you're figuring pump flow. Will post when I get it running and either update on how it worked or upload a pic of the mess in the floor if it doesn't .
Logan J
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Old 11-20-2002, 10:37 AM   #4
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My only initall suggestion for version 2 of this would be to make the "U" tube a little longer on the refuge side.

It looks like its bairly lower than the wall of that compartment. Having it an 1" or 1 1/2" below would give you a bit more 'slack' from a possible break in the spyhon.

Other than that it looks like something you could sell for $100
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Old 11-21-2002, 03:08 AM   #5
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Creation of a monster!

Well, about 12:15 this morning, my wife gave up and went to bed. She was, I think, pretty sure that the red eyed, unshaven creature bent over the aquarium was not even related to the guy she married . Anyway, it is up and running. Current in the tank is great...clown had to really look for a calm place to sleep. The 1/2" U tube proved to be way too small...ended up with a 1" U tube to carry the flow. Return pump is a Maxi Jet 400 rated @ 106 gph. I still have to add sand to the refugium...probably will wait until I can get some really good LS to go in there. The refugium pump is a Mini Jet and I think the flow is going to be about perfect with it. Should you ever use one of these for this purpose, be sure to remove the foam filter under the impeller cover. Will probably add some small LR to the refuge also. I would make the compartments a little larger next time...it was hard to get the PH, heater, and skimmer all in their places. Plumbing will need some refinement also...nothing a trip to Home Depot won't solve though. The skimmer is a Lee CC. I don't know how well it will work as I was unable to come up with an air pump to run the darn thing. I finally dragged out an old Whisper 300 that I used like 20 years ago on my first tank. It's so old that the rubber feet are worn completely off! Then I couldn't find an airline tee. Will buy new pump tomorrow. I think an airline from the high point on the siphon to the venturi on the in tank PH will be added also. This will greatly reduce the chance of losing the siphon. Not sure how well the 400 will handle this...I know a 1200 will start the siphon by itself. All things considered, it's working pretty well at this point. I'll post some pics tomorrow night if I can figure out the new camera...WAY too tired to tackle that tonight. Tank is all cloudy anyway. As always, any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated. Next step will be a canopy with a PC lighting system and a lighting system for the refuge so I can reverse light it and maybe try some macroalgae in there. BTW, Aaron, you were right about the length of the U tube...new one is longer.
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Old 11-21-2002, 09:35 AM   #6
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IS most household plumbing 3/4" ?

Maybe that would have worked better than the 1/2" with out the need to bump up to 1".

cant wait for pics.
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:06 AM   #7
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plumbing

Well...household plumbing opens a whole new can of worms. First, you are right...a 3/4" U tube might carry the flow just fine. It might do it at a greater velocity...not sure if that would be good or bad. The 1" seems to be doing fine so far. Most of the water lines in your house will be 1/2". The one coming in from outside will typically be 3/4" and there may be a main trunk under the house that is 3/4". White PVC, which won't handle hot water well, is measured by inside diameter. Thus a 3/4 pipe is right at 1" OD. The tan colored pipe is CPVC...rated for hot water. It is measured by outside diameter which is the same way copper is measured. The CPVC has, I think, a very limited use in aquariums. It will, on some PH's, provide a tight fit on the pump outlet. And it's pretty small so it would be good to direct the flow from a PH inside the tank. Anyway, the thing was still running this am. Didn't see anything dead in the tank as a result of my moving everything around. So far, so good.
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:22 PM   #8
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YA i know plumbing can become confusing when you start talkign about OD and ID pipes.

THe 1" pipes I am thinking about are 1" inside diamater and they are quite a bit larger than 1" OD pipes.
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:06 AM   #9
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ID/OD

The regular white PVC is sized by ID. The gray is also, but that is conduit. It has an additive to provide shielding from UV light...don't know if it's OK or not for aquariums.
Pics coming up
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:25 AM   #10
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pics of refuge

OK, here are the pics of the beast in action. I still have work to do to it...going to build a stand that will provide some support for the refuge as well as the tank. Guess that will make it a "sit on back" instead of a "hang on back". Also in the works is a canopy that will have a light fixture for the refuge. Do I need actinic on this or would a 6500k work OK? I got the skimmer running and added some fine sand to the refuge area. Will add the live stuff later. So far, it seems to be working very well as the fish is still alive and the floor is dry.
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