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Old 09-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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Sump Baffle Question 20g Long

I just completed the build on a 20g long sump/refugium for a 65g DT. I’m using a Glass-Holes 700 kit for the drain and a Mag 7 for the return pump.

The sump was recommended by 2 reefers at a LFS through an independent review. The 3 compartments will be used this way:

Section 1: live rock rubble
Section 2: microalgae
Section 3: return

The bottom baffles are 7". The baffles top-down are 10". This allows just over 1.25 inches off the tank bottom and 1" spacing between the baffles contained in each set.

The first set of baffles is to separate the rock from the microalgae and, the 2nd set of baffles act as a bubble trap and to create the return section.

But in testing it today, I'm troubled with the water flow from the 1st section and middle sections of the sump, because it appears that the water flow is suggestive of a much higher circulation near the water line and seems not to encourage circulation throughout the middle section. So I’m questioning the ultimate effectiveness and efficiency of the refugium. Otherwise, from a return and drain design, it seems okay.

The only method I could conjure up to test my “poor” water circulation theory was to place a tiny piece of pink plumber’s tape in the 1st section and watch it flow through the 1st set of baffles, etc. - thinking the tape light enough to mimic what travels with the water (but not sure the tape is the best media to use.)

Two problems were immediately obvious:

1) The tape (1/4" strip) needed to be coaxed near the bottom of the 1st baffle before it got sucked through into the 2nd section. Otherwise, it just hung out meandering here and there... in the 1st section. Which then had me questioning flow from section one to section 2.

2) Once in the middle section of the sump, the tape immediately floated to the top and went nowhere. It just hung out.

Comments on the design; feedback on my methods or whatever are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated.

http://s1223.photobucket.com/albums/...oto1/Aquarium/
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I just completed the build on a 20g long sump/refugium for a 65g DT. I’m using a Glass-Holes 700 kit for the drain and a Mag 7 for the return pump.

The sump was recommended by 2 reefers at a LFS through an independent review. The 3 compartments will be used this way:

Section 1: live rock rubble
Section 2: microalgae
Section 3: return

The bottom baffles are 7". The baffles top-down are 10". This allows just over 1.25 inches off the tank bottom and 1" spacing between the baffles contained in each set.

**The first set of baffles is to separate the rock from the microalgae and, the 2nd set of baffles act as a bubble trap and to create the return section.

**You dont need 2 sets of baffles,if you leave the divider with the gap at the bottom this will help mix up the flow in the second section.

But in testing it today, I'm troubled with the water flow from the 1st section and middle sections of the sump, because it appears that the water flow is suggestive of a much higher circulation near the water line and seems not to encourage circulation throughout the middle section. So I’m questioning the ultimate effectiveness and efficiency of the refugium. Otherwise, from a return and drain design, it seems okay.

The only method I could conjure up to test my “poor” water circulation theory was to place a tiny piece of pink plumber’s tape in the 1st section and watch it flow through the 1st set of baffles, etc. - thinking the tape light enough to mimic what travels with the water (but not sure the tape is the best media to use.)

Two problems were immediately obvious:

1) The tape (1/4" strip) needed to be coaxed near the bottom of the 1st baffle before it got sucked through into the 2nd section. Otherwise, it just hung out meandering here and there... in the 1st section. Which then had me questioning flow from section one to section 2.

**The baffles are too far apart for high flow or your pump is too weak.what size pump and head do you have.

2) Once in the middle section of the sump, the tape immediately floated to the top and went nowhere. It just hung out.

**Again slow flow through the sump.If you look in my albums there is a photo of a sump with slow flow and some mist in the top layer of the water.

**If your only having LR and chaeto in this sump then you could go with a high flow through the sump,If your putting a skimmer in,make sure its in the first section.


Comments on the design; feedback on my methods or whatever are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated.



http://s1223.photobucket.com/albums/...oto1/Aquarium/
Cant seem to access photo
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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Cant seem to access photo
Let's try this: Sump Test 20g - Testing baffle design and flow within the sump. Aquarium Advice Gallery


(I have had no success in uploading an image directly to this post. :-( Have no glue why. :-( )
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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I have answered your thread with the ** at the beginning of the line.
Are you putting a skimmer in there,if not you dont need baffles
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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I have answered your thread with the ** at the beginning of the line.
Are you putting a skimmer in there,if not you dont need baffles

Yes, a skimmer will be added to the first section.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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I have answered your thread with the ** at the beginning of the line.
Are you putting a skimmer in there,if not you dont need baffles

Let's revisit, please. My apologies, I did not give your very considered reply justice sooner. I was a bit overwhelmed with the advice coming from the LFS (and this their design).

Re: flow questions I raised, I discovered a bad seal in the far right (last baffle) closest to the return pump. Once this was corrected, flow now seems much better. Return pump is a MagDrive 7. Overflow box is Glass-Holes 700 kit.

Re: what's to be in my sump? I'm no longer comfortable with the original suggestions of design and content (what goes in it) made by the LFS, because the advice has proven inconsistent, incomplete, and the design issues raised. BUT, it's not too late to change any of it albeit I am in the midst of the cycling (now day 9) but am adding/swapping out some dry live rock this week.

That said, the original design & plan suggestion:
-1st section for drain, LR, and protein skimmer (section size: 9.25" x 11.5");

-2nd section: macro/microalgae (chaeto and caulerpa) (size: 11.5" x 11.5")
-3rd section: return only. (size: 4.5" x 11.5"

My current thinking:
-1st sect: Drain and ...the rest if all confusion, as not sure if best place or room for skimmer, etc. and would I need to modify the plumbing... etc.?
-2nd sect: mud layer?? (in place of LR rubble?); macro/microalgae from ReefCleaners...specific package not decided
-3rd sect: remains return.

I am willing to redo the sump (if reasons justify the expense and labor), if benefits outweigh the cons. I can install a temp sump inside of 15 minutes in the way of a 5g bucket (which I used and tested fine when I pulled the 20g sump to reseal for the leak) which will maintain good water throughput.

David, I've looked at your designs and photos... all seem very well thought out.


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Old 10-14-2011, 07:39 AM   #7
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It appears to me that when you start getting water loss from evaporation, the section that will be affected is that small section where the pump is. Make sure you put the float switch for your auto top off in that section.

Here's my sump. It's a 55g, but the same setup can be used for any size. When water evaporates, the entire section to the left of the baffles is where the water level drops.


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Old 10-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #8
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It appears to me that when you start getting water loss from evaporation, the section that will be affected is that small section where the pump is. Make sure you put the float switch for your auto top off in that section. Here's my sump. It's a 55g, but the same setup can be used for any size. When water evaporates, the entire section to the left of the baffles is where the water level drops.
Impressive build! And, very instructive. Love also how you integrated the egg crate for flow/circulation but division in the fuge. Great idea.

I'm waiting on pics from a reefer who has build a maze in lieu of baffles! Gets him the kind of flow you have.

Not sure how I can accomplish that circulation without removing and re-spacing my baffles... flipping the sump (making the return side the drain side) would allow me to have the drain in the 4.5" section where the return is now. And, I remove the 2 baffled section and use egg crate I have. BUT, skimmer would then not fit in drain section.

Is a complete rebuild worth the time and expense? Or is there another viable method to get better flow in the fuge area?
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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It appears to me that when you start getting water loss from evaporation, the section that will be affected is that small section where the pump is. Make sure you put the float switch for your auto top off in that section. Here's my sump. It's a 55g, but the same setup can be used for any size. When water evaporates, the entire section to the left of the baffles is where the water level drops.
RE: ATO. I'm in complete agreement and that is the current build plan.

RE: Skimmer. Purchased a downdraft (Reef Devil Help Please With Cycling Questions Foam In Filter Sock See Photos) and my current thinking is to 'T' off the DT drain into the skimmer based on our discussions and other research I've done. Placing it in the drain section seems the preferred option of many. Makes things simpler.

RE: Your fuge light. What size and K bulb? 13 watt 6500k?

RE: Your fuge contents. Very curious what's in there?? I got a suggestion last night from a reefer who says that in my 20g long (fuge is 11.5 x 11.75) that 2 handfuls of Feather Caulerpa + 1 handful Great Caulerpa + 1" bed of "medium course" live reef sand will allow me to add fish (keeper fish) for getting my FOWLR in about 3+ days.... not weeks. Make sense???? Sounds like a "Tanked" version of starting a tank...
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
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The light is a spiral CFL 75w 6500K.
The right side is chaeto and live rock rubble and to the left of that is a small frag rack with anthellia. It's low light and grows like weeds.
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