Hey All, It's been so long since I've checked in on the site, I feel guilty starting a thread! But I do have a couple questions and I always get good advice here.
I have a wet/dry filter under my reef tank. I don't use bio-balls or filter floss anymore, not since I realized they are nitrate factories. But I do want to convert my filter to a sump with refugium for better filtration. There is one baffle in the sump that I will have to use, since I can't cut it out to reconfigure without the risk of cracking the arcrylic box. Also, I have no desire to try moving my 125-gallon tank in order to remove the box from the tank stand and put in a new sump.
Therefore, I will have to improvise. I'm going to use the box the way it is. It's a 30 X 12 X 16H rectangle box. The origional baffle is 16.5 inches from the left side, which is where the drains come in from the tank. My tank is pre-drilled on two sides, so there are two drain lines. So the intake compartment is large, leaving 13.5 inches on the right side for the return pumps. What I'd planned to do is divide the left section to include a small refugium. This would give me a 5" wide intake section for the drain lines from the tank, a couple of baffles, a 9.25" section for the refugium, a couple more baffles, then a 12.5 section for the return pumps. Unfortunately I will have to put the skimmer in the return section, since there won't be room in the intake area.
I know the refugium needs unskimmed water anyway, so I'm thinking this will work okay. In researching the feasability of this, I found a couple of sump/refugiums that are sold with the skimmer space in the return area, thus avoiding the need to split the drain lines between the skimmer and the fuge.
That's my plan, and you are welcome to comment on it. I can try to post my drawing of what this will look like if anyone wants to see it.
Here are a few seperate questions: I have to obviously turn the sump setup off, drain it and dry it out in order to install the baffles. I have two pretty strong powerheads in the tank and a second heater inside the tank. (I can also add an extra heater that I have on hand to the tank in the interim).
Question 1: Will my display tank be okay with just the circulation from the powerheads that are in there while the sump is out of commission as long as I have that water movement to help with gas exchange?
Question 2: If I use Lexon Silicone, or GE Silicone 1 (which is aquarium safe) how long will I have to let the newly installed baffles cure before I can turn the sump back on? I know the silicone needs to be past the tacky stage, but I don't want to wait like 24 hours to turn the sump back on.
I have no other filtration except the live rock in the tank to keep things under control while this process takes place. I would love to just buy a ready-made sump and install it under the tank, but as you know, the display tank would have to be moved in order to remove the old setup and install a new one. I can purchase and add more live rock if that would help, or make up some salt water to have on hand and do a water change while I'm waiting for the silicone to cure and the sump to be ready to run.
The other thing I was thinking of is I could use the 13.5" section as my intake area with the skimmer, then have the refugium (which could then be larger) and have a small return section. I don't know how large the intake and return sections should really be, but I'm thinking it won't really matter??? I just want to get a fuge set up with some macroalgae for filtration and a safe place to grow pods
ANY comments or suggestions you all have are most welcome. Thanks in advance. And I missed you guys! I got busy with the ranch and quit checking in.