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Old 06-03-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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Refugium placed over Display Tank

I have a 29 gallon DT and I have been told that with PWC done weekly, I don't need all the extra machanics that a larger tank would require. But I plan on having a larger, built into the wall, SW tank as soon as I feel I've got the groove of this hobby. I'm the type that has to see it and do it, to learn it. Since I don't have anyone to show me how things are done, connected, arranged or how it helps here in my area, I'll have to do on my own until I get it right. This being said, I'd rather learn on my 29 gallon and not wait for the bigger tank.

I want to start with a refugium and since it's just a refugium, I don't want to redo my DT case at this time. I have a shelf over top of the DT that I'm going to put a 5 gallon tank on as my refugium. I'll have a pump inside my DT to send the water up to the refugium and a over flow to send the water back to the DT.

Now at this point...my questions are:

1. If the power goes out, will water from the refugium syphon back into my DT (flood) or will the pump stop that from happening when the power is off?

2. After I have the refugium set up and I'm doing PWC, will I take the water from the refugium or the DT?

Here is a picture of my DT case right after I bought it, so you can see the shelf...the 6 gallon is no longer there. I moved it to my kitchen.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:43 AM   #2
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As long as your incoming pipe is not submerge in the refugium I dont think there will be siphoning effect when the power is down
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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1. If the power goes out, will water from the refugium siphon back into my DT (flood) or will the pump stop that from happening when the power is off? Yes, If you have the pump pipe into the sump deep enough, It'll siphon untill it reaches air. So, If you have your pump pipe into your refugium near the surface it should be ok, Just leave room in your DT for a little water. Also, The siphon will keep on siphoning untill it reaches air aswell.

2. After I have the refugium set up and I'm doing PWC, will I take the water from the refugium or the DT? Either, Its the same water. It'll be easier to stop all pumps. Put a line in either tank and take water out then fill up till that same line and start that pumps again.
Now, What happens if your siphon fails. The pump will just keep pumping water into your refugium. So you may have to get a float switch or something.

Also, Your siphon will have to be quicker. i.e, Rated more GPH then your pump as your siphon will adjust to your pump, But the pump cannot adjust to the siphon.


EDIT: This may be completely wrong as ive never had a Refugium above my tank, But from logics, It seems right. Please correct me if im wrong.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:28 AM   #4
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Once your all setup drill a small hole in the pipe going from your pump in the dt just below water level, this will be your air break when power is out and will help aggitate surface water when normally runnig.
Use an overflow box which uses a syphon pipe,these rarely go wrongmeshopps or life reef,I use the eshopps 800
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
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The foolproof method for the returning water to DT is to drill a hole in a corner of the refugium and have an overflow compartment around the hole. As the water level rose in the refugium the overflow compartment (the height is lower than the top level of the refugium will allow water to fall thru the hole to DT (thru a pipe draining into DT.)
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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The foolproof method for the returning water to DT is to drill a hole in a corner of the refugium and have an overflow compartment around the hole. As the water level rose in the refugium the overflow compartment (the height is lower than the top level of the refugium will allow water to fall thru the hole to DT (thru a pipe draining into DT.)
I absolutely agree and this is the method I employed when I had a pod tank above my display tank.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for all of your information. I'm so glad that there are forums like this one where everyone is so helpful. Just to think...I started this SW journey because of a goldfish in a one gallon glass bowl
Since I'm using my 29 gal as my "learning tank" and talking it over with my husband, maybe I should just go ahead and go with a sump/refugium. It will still go on the top shelf so all of your info will come in handy.

How big of a sump tank would I need to go with for a 29 gal? And since I'm already asking how about for a 150 gal?
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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-Typically the recommendation is to go with 10-20% of your display volume as a fuge. I say go with what you have space for and what works for your system. I am a proponent of bigger is better and I always ran a much larger fuge than required. Dilution is the solution to pollution.

Since your fuge is going to be above your tank I would go with a tank that will fit on that shelf, the 5g tank you had there before worked, if it were me I would look at something in that size range.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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Thanks Ziggy. Like that saying "Dilution is the solution to pollution" sounds like a t-shirt...I'll have to keep that in mind. Can't wait to start my build thread.
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