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View Poll Results: Which will be more effective
10g sump system 5 83.33%
Skimmer/reactor combo 1 16.67%
Something else.. 0 0%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #1
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Filtration System Poll

Ok AA, here is my situation..

I have a 20g reef tank started that has been up for 3 weeks now and have realized I need to expand my system's filtration.

I currently have a Cascade 700 canister filter with no sponges, just filter floss and a bag of purigen, the filter runs almost 200gph. I have around 15lbs of rock, a maxi-jet 400(around 100gph) powerhead, a heater, and an ebay, 120w LED light set up.

My tank is repeatedly blooming hair algae, even after water changes and keeping the lights off for 2-3 days after picking off as much as I can. So, here is where I'm looking for opinions....

In my 20g system, would I be better off adding a sump, with a refugium/skimmer/return?

OR

Adding a HOB skimmer and a dual reactor, GFO/carbon and keeping my canister filter for flow and replacing the floss with either ceramic bio media or some live rock rubble?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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Pretty easy question. More water always assists with stable parameters in saltwater. That'll give you the room for a skimmer, a reactor setup, and even a refugium is a possibility.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:53 PM   #3
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Will a refugium that small accomplish anything, seen a few videos and posts that say they aren't very effective in small sumps. Anybody have experience with a 10g sump?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #4
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Bigger is always better, for sumps and refugiums. I was pointing more towards you having more options by utilizing a sump.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:00 PM   #5
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For space reasons, I'm thinking a 10g would be about what I can handle right now.. That's where I'm confused I guess, if a 10g sump would be more effective than the reactor, but I guess I could always have the sump AND the reactor eventually..
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:28 PM   #6
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IMO it all comes down to how comfortable you are with the hob overflow. Sumps in general make tanks look cleaner and it's always nice to have the extra water volume but the same things can be accomplished via the hob route. So I guess the question is are you comfortable using the hob overflow?
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:33 PM   #7
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I have looked up a ton of HOB overflow designs and I'd say I'm comfortable trying it. This will be my first overflow, period, so it is a little nerve wracking but the theory behind the PVC overflow seems legit, even with a power outage as long as the intake tube is deep enough in the water I don't see a way you can lose suction..

I've read a lot of post by you two guys (Sniper/BigRed) and can tell you know your stuff, so with that being said, I think I'll pick a tank up this weekend/Monday and start construction for my overflow and sump. Any recommendations on return pump brands to use/avoid?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:01 PM   #8
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I use eheim submersible pumps. I've also heard good things about mag drive pumps
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:07 PM   #9
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Is there a rule of thumb as to how fast water should move through the sump?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:16 PM   #10
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It depends on the equipment being run in the sump. If you have a skimmer with a 500 gph pump them you want at least 500 gph moving through the sump. You can go for more but going less isn't a good idea because your equipment won't run as well as it should. You get what I mean?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:24 PM   #11
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Yea, I get what you're saying, seems like I have some equipment to research specs on before I buy stuff and try to Frankenstein it together lol

Would 3 chambers in a 10g be good if it was setup up with the skimmer on the intake side, refugium in the middle and then return in the last? If I have the sump do I need a reactor or can I use my canister as a reactor with bagged GFO/carbon/purigen?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:35 PM   #12
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So here are two skimmers I'm looking at, both of which would start in my tank until I could get the required pump/sump/ and overflow built to move. Can one of you guys give me insight on which I'd be better off with?




Amazon.com: Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter, 30-Gallon: Pet Supplies


Amazon.com: Aquarium Nano Skimmer II: Pet Supplies
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:36 PM   #13
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In my opinion the size of the potential refugium in a 10g with three baffles will be too small to see any real benefit. You;d be hard pressed to find a skimmer as well to fit in that first compartment.

Yep, no need for a reactor if you can run chemical filtration in a canister. Just ahve to keep it clean.
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180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:38 PM   #14
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I have used the aquaticlife skimmer before and its not a bad little skimmer. The other one is made for really small tanks though so I would skip that one.

One step up from the aquaticlife one is this:

Hydor Koralia Nano/Slim-Skim Internal Protein Skimmer
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180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:20 AM   #15
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Amazon.com: Rio Plus 1400 Aqua Pump - 420 GPH: Pet Supplies

Thoughts?
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:00 PM   #16
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In my first tank, which is now my running QTank, I have no room for a sump. So I got a CPR Aquafuge HOB refugium and skimmer. It's only 5 gallons and has the skimmer and chaeto. My trates are 0. When it was my main tank, my trates had climbed to about 80 as a FOWLR system. I got the Aquafuge and surprisingly quickly my trates dropped to 0.
IMO any sized sump with a light and room for a skimmer is better than a kick in the butt.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRock View Post
Will a refugium that small accomplish anything, seen a few videos and posts that say they aren't very effective in small sumps. Anybody have experience with a 10g sump?
Quote:
Originally Posted by carey View Post
In my opinion the size of the potential refugium in a 10g with three baffles will be too small to see any real benefit. You;d be hard pressed to find a skimmer as well to fit in that first compartment.

Yep, no need for a reactor if you can run chemical filtration in a canister. Just ahve to keep it clean.
I run a 10g refugium without any baffles on my 20g mixed reef. I also don't run a skimmer on my tank. There isn't a single doubt in my mind that my tank wouldn't be as healthy as it is now without my refugium. My suggestion is to skip the skimmer and go with a 10g refugium. Skimmers aren't necessary on a tank the size of a 20g.

Furthermore, a suggested sump size is approx 1/2 the size of the display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRock View Post
For space reasons, I'm thinking a 10g would be about what I can handle right now.. That's where I'm confused I guess, if a 10g sump would be more effective than the reactor, but I guess I could always have the sump AND the reactor eventually..
Start with a refugium and move up from there.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:07 PM   #18
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Thanks everybody! I went ahead and ordered a skimmer based on everybody's recommendations and looking at successful tanks, I am going to build the 10g sump and probably make as much of it a refugium as possible. Going to build the PVC overflow and probably baffle the tank this week, I'll post pics and probably do a review of the aquatic life skimmer I bought.

Mebbid, any recommendations for a light for the refugium?

D
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRock View Post
Thanks everybody! I went ahead and ordered a skimmer based on everybody's recommendations and looking at successful tanks, I am going to build the 10g sump and probably make as much of it a refugium as possible. Going to build the PVC overflow and probably baffle the tank this week, I'll post pics and probably do a review of the aquatic life skimmer I bought.

Mebbid, any recommendations for a light for the refugium?

D
I use two clip on shop lights with the strongest powered 6500k CFL bulbs I could find. It grows both my chaeto and caulerpa obscenely quickly. About the second month my tank was set up I saw a little bit of turf algae and a smidge of hair algae. About a week or two later it had disappeared and never showed back up despite daily feedings.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:33 PM   #20
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I use two clip on shop lights with the strongest powered 6500k CFL bulbs I could find. It grows both my chaeto and caulerpa obscenely quickly. About the second month my tank was set up I saw a little bit of turf algae and a smidge of hair algae. About a week or two later it had disappeared and never showed back up despite daily feedings.
Can you post a pic of your sump set up or message it to me? I'd like to see it as a reference.
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