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Old 09-30-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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Sump

Had another topic going about whether to get a sump or Refugium for a 29g reef. Building a sump just seemed so intimidating to me. I have zero mechanical and building skills.
Then I thought to myself a sump with a Refugium and skimmer won't cost too much more then an hob filter. And it also occurred to me that I have a newly retired ex engineer/contractor step dad who is bored out of his mind looking for stuff to do. So decided to recruit him.

Going to go with a 20 high with three chambers. First for a skimmer. Second for Refugium with dsb. And third for return pump. Baffle between first and second chamber.

Do still have a few questions about connecting sump to tank. Tank is not predrilled so figure I need an over flow box. Which one should I get? How do I connect it to my sump. How can I protect against a flood.

What size pump do I want? How do I connect it back to tank. Read need valves and bubble traps.?

Going to get the skimmer last after I pay off the rest of my aquarium purchases. Any in sump skimmer recommendations. Any more sump advice.


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Old 09-30-2014, 10:11 PM   #2
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A sump / refugium can be as simple as a tank with plates of glass siliconed in. Generally, there are 3 areas to it.

First piece is where the water from the display drains into. This is where the skimmer usually sits and where a bubble trap is as well. This only needs to be large enough to fit a skimmer into. The bubble trap is a series of 3 panes of glass approximately a half an inch apart. The First and 3rd panes of glass should be the same height and they will regulate the depth of the water in the first chamber. The middle pane of glass needs to be raised approximately an inch off the bottom to force the water to flow under.

Second is the refugium section. This is the bread and butter of the build. Just a large space to grow algae in. Make this section as large as possible.

The last section is the return pump. Just a single pane of glass that will regulate the depth of the water in the refugium section. Make the last section large enough to hold the return pump + 2 to 3 inches.

It's a lot of text but it's a really simple thing.

This picture demonstrates it quite well. They added an extra baffle to prevent any bubbles from getting to the pump. Not necessary, but it works.




As to getting the water out of your tank and into the display, a drilled tank is the way to go. You can usually get a glass place to do this for you or a small fee. A 1.5 inch hole is fairly standard and should work for most applications. You will need a bulkhead and a baffle box for this. Drill the hole near the top of the tank, insert the bulkhead, and then attach the baffles.

PVC plumbing will need to be ran to the refugium. It can be a bit of a pain to get to work but just try it out dry fitting it before gluing it down.

The return pump, shoot for something that will give you at minimum 10x the volume of the refugium / sump per hour. Keep in mind that height will decrease the flow of the pump.

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Old 09-30-2014, 10:28 PM   #3
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So about 200gph pump.


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Old 09-30-2014, 10:32 PM   #4
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I have a 29 gal nano and I don't have any of those. In reef keeping the simpler the better. I just do regular water changes and that's it.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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I have a 29 gal nano and I don't have any of those. In reef keeping the simpler the better. I just do regular water change and that's it.
That works for you, but ever since I got my refugium running I haven't had a single positive nitrate reading. It's been a year and a half. I wouldn't trade my refugium for anything.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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I def have some scum and algae. Feel sump can help.


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Old 09-30-2014, 10:54 PM   #7
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For large tank yes it is practical to have a sump/fuge and I have those in my 150 gal.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:04 PM   #8
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In a 29 gal the 10 pc is just about 3 gal. You can do it even 2x a week and it is easier than maintaining those complicated equipment and still do the pwc.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:14 PM   #9
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I made a sump/fuge for my 60g cube. I split a 2' tank down the middle lengthwise. Right side is basically where water comes in through a sock, the skimmer is next. Front where the water wraps around has Chaeto and live rock and that goes back to the only chamber where the return pump is. Simple design, nitrates are always zero. Don't need bubble traps as the bubbles from the skimmer get eliminated going through all the rock and Chaeto.


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Old 09-30-2014, 11:21 PM   #10
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Would you def want the skimmer chamber before the fuge chamber? In the fuge should I have dsb or is rubble and cheato enough. Would a reg clip on desk light suffice?


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Old 09-30-2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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In a 29 gal the 10 pc is just about 3 gal. You can do it even 2x a week and it is easier than maintaining those complicated equipment and still do the pwc.
A refugium is anything but complicated. Just a tank that you pump water out of. Heck, you don't even need baffles. My refugium on my 20g reef didn't have any and it worked just fine. Heck, even you can't argue that increased water volume from a sump is helpful in maintaining proper water parameters in a tank.

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Would you def want the skimmer chamber before the fuge chamber? In the fuge should I have dsb or is rubble and cheato enough. Would a reg clip on desk light suffice?
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I would, The most bubbled are going to be created by the skimmer and putting it as far away from the return is a good way of keeping micro bubbles out of the display.

You could do just the chaeto if you wanted. You don't really need rubble and I would advise against a DSB in a refugium. There's just not enough surface area to make a DSB useful.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:50 PM   #12
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Just think it makes sence to get one. I need a skimmer. So may as well do it the right way. Seems complicated to set up but with online help and my step dad. Sure I can figure it out. With a sump can I keep more livestock. Have a pair of clowns. Watchman goby with shrimp and a Firefish. As well as some inverts. Could I get a fifth fish. Tank still feels empty


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Old 09-30-2014, 11:52 PM   #13
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So cheato wound be enough. Would you recommend putting in some snails to eat the cheato or just trim it when it gets overgrown.


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Old 10-01-2014, 12:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mcgolg76 View Post
Just think it makes sence to get one. I need a skimmer. So may as well do it the right way. Seems complicated to set up but with online help and my step dad. Sure I can figure it out. With a sump can I keep more livestock. Have a pair of clowns. Watchman goby with shrimp and a Firefish. As well as some inverts. Could I get a fifth fish. Tank still feels empty


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I think 4 would be pushing it. There are a lot of territorial issues that saltwater fish bring to the table and there isn't a lot of space in a 29g tank. But I understand entirely what you mean by the tank looking empty. I only have 4 small fish in my 90g atm

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So cheato wound be enough. Would you recommend putting in some snails to eat the cheato or just trim it when it gets overgrown.


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Just trim it ant toss it but NEVER flush it. I usually take mine and trade it in to my LFS for credit. I've bought quite a few of my coral frags doing that.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:05 AM   #15
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Complication is already at work as you are discussing what will it take to have a sump. You haven't touched yet on how to install an overflow box or drilling your tank.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:09 AM   #16
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Wouldn't even have thought of trading in cheato for credit.

Watchman never moves more then a few inches from his whole. Luckily it is at front of tank so I can see him and the pistol shrimp usually is out and about. Clowns never leave their corner. Feels just so empty. I guess instead of a fish just get more inverts since they are fun to watch to. Just so use to fw where you have fish all over the place.

As for equipment I am think of max jet 900 for return pump and the eshopps 300 for overfly box. Not sure about skimmer. Want one that works without breaking the bank. Any suggestions





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Old 10-01-2014, 12:10 AM   #17
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Def gonna have an overflow box and yes not too sure on how to plumb. But getting great info from everybody and learning so much


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Old 10-01-2014, 12:12 AM   #18
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If I didn't want complicated I would never have gone sw. Would have just done a gold fish bowl. Just kidding never would put a goldfish in a bowl


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Old 10-01-2014, 12:20 AM   #19
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Wouldn't even have thought of trading in cheato for credit.

Watchman never moves more then a few inches from his whole. Luckily it is at front of tank so I can see him and the pistol shrimp usually is out and about. Clowns never leave their corner. Feels just so empty. I guess instead of a fish just get more inverts since they are fun to watch to. Just so use to fw where you have fish all over the place.

As for equipment I am think of max jet 900 for return pump and the eshopps 300 for overfly box. Not sure about skimmer. Want one that works without breaking the bank. Any suggestions





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How long have you had the fish? Is the 29g already stocked?

Rather than the eshopps overflow box I would suggest going with this.

Super Nano Overflow Box Complete Kit - Glass-Holes.com dope aquarium stuff

The HOB overflows can sometimes (very rarely) fail and can potentially cause some flooding. The drilled option is very safe and something catastrophic would have to happen to cause any problems.

For a return pump I would probably go with a mag drive of whatever gph you are shooting for.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:29 AM   #20
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So that overflow kit you actually have to cut the glass? Will it be big enough for 30 g.


Tank up since late may. First fish early August. Got my Firefish last week


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