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Old 08-27-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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Sump/Refugium Design - Any Suggestions?

I'm adding a 30-gallon sump/refugium to a 90-gallon SW aquarium. The 90-gallon was set up about three months ago and is my first SW aquarium, so I'm still very new to this. Right now I only have some live rock and a few fish in the tank, but my plan is to develop it into a reef tank.

Here is my design for the sump/refugium:



Design Considerations:
1. To prevent accumulation of water in the display tank, the overflow box has to be able to drain water from the display tank faster than the pump can refill it. Maximum water flow through the overflow box, an Eshopps PF-1000, is rated at 1000 gph, and the water is drained through two one-inch pipes. The return flow is powered by an Eheim 1232 universal pump, rated at 900 gph, travelling up five feet from the sump to the display tank through a ĺ inch pipe.
2. Two ⅛-inch holes will be drilled in the return line about an inch below the water line in the display tank. The purpose of the holes is to prevent flooding in the event of a power outage.
3. There is already an Eheim 2229 Wet/Dry canister filter running on the display tank, so I didnít see the need for additional biological filtering in the sump, such as a wet/dry chamber or a Bioballs platform.
Questions:
1. I wasnít sure whether to put the protein skimmer before or after the refugium. Any thoughts on that?
2. Does the design look like it will maintain the water levels in the sump and refugium?
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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The design you have will work, except that I'd swap the skimmer and fuge sections so the skimmer is first. more time for the microbubbles the skimmer will create to get released before the water returns to the DT.

Also, a suggestion that I always make, is to isolate your fuge so that the flow through there can be controlled. Not necessary, but it's a nice feature to have.

For instance, move the return pump to the center and the fuge to the far right. Using a T and some gate valves, you can route some of the flow from the left over to the right. Then, have both the fuge and the skimmer section dump into the return section in the middle. Just a suggestion.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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If you haven't already, check melevsreef.com, he is a pioneer in awesome sump designs.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I will switch the positions of the refugium and the protein skimmer.

I agree - Melev's Reef is a great informational site, and beautifully done too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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Personaly I would extend the first section to house the skimmer(the water flow section)then have your baffles, but you have your baffles the wrong way round-the first piece of glass needs a gap at the bottom,the second a gap at the top and the third a gap at the bottom, in the next section have just live rock,the next seperator I would leave a gap at the bottom and keep the top of it at least 2" higher,then i would have some macro algae like chaeto and then on to your return pump section which you can also house your heater.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
The design you have will work, except that I'd swap the skimmer and fuge sections so the skimmer is first. more time for the microbubbles the skimmer will create to get released before the water returns to the DT.
plus, you don't want to be skimming any pods. you want them to hit the return pump so they are sent up to the DT.
intake with skimmer>>> refugium>>> return.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:21 AM   #7
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Revised Design

If I understand this correctly, the revised design would look like this:




I'm not sure how much space is generally used for live rock and macro algae, though. The tank is 36 inches long, the protein skimmer needs 15 inches, the return pump needs 6 inches, the baffles will use about 4 inches, so that leaves 11 inches for the live rock and macro algae. Is that enough, and if so, how much space would you suggest that I allocate for each chamber?

Also, what is the benefit of the live rock and macro algae?

Thanks again for your help with this.

--Ralph
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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I would leave yourself some extra room, IME skimmers are always a little bit bigger and funnier to fit then you would think. Plus you want to leave yourself a little bit of room in case you want to add more equipment.

Live rock is going to be your biggest filtration system in the tank. It's what hosts the bacteria colonies to filter out/feed on the poisonous waste that your fish put off. Cheato is just an algae, but a much easier to control and trim them your normal micro algaes. This means its just going to filter out lots of elements that other algaes that grow in your tank might feed on. You don't have to have a wall in between the LR and Cheato side.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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as jimbo said you don't need a wall between the lr and chaeto but its easier to remove the chaeto to trim it if its not tangled with the lr.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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I already have a wet/dry canister filter running on the display tank. Is the nitrifying bacteria on the live rock different than (or better than) that in the wet/dry filter?
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