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Old 08-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #21
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A sump / refugium is nothing but a tank that sits under your display tank. Water will flow down into the tank on the bottom from the display tank through either a Hang on the back overflow or a drilled hole in the side of the tank. There is a pump in the lower tank that pushes the water level back up into the display.



You can run the tank without a skimmer as well. I've been running my 20g reef with just powerheads and live rock for about 4 months now. Previous to that it had been running with a refugium and no skimmer for over a year.

HOWEVER things such as a skimmer and a refugium will all contribute to making a more stable system. This will make it easier to keep your corals alive and fish happy.




If you want to start with a low cost system then I would suggest starting out with a basic fish only tank. Don't worry about corals yet. Then save up for the additions such as a refugium or skimmer as you can afford. This will help you get used to dealing with water parameters as well as giving your tank plenty of time to mature.

+1 to that! I'm gonna try and have my cycle started tonight and I don't have lights or a skimmer. It could be another 3 weeks until I get that but the only thing that'll be growing in there is bacteria and they don't need either!


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Old 08-02-2014, 04:12 PM   #22
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If you want to start with a low cost system then I would suggest starting out with a basic fish only tank. Don't worry about corals yet. Then save up for the additions such as a refugium or skimmer as you can afford. This will help you get used to dealing with water parameters as well as giving your tank plenty of time to mature.
best advice given thus far
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #23
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I agree with the others. If you can fit a 10 gal or 20 gal breeder tank in your stand, go with a sump and design it from the ground up.

If not, look at the Aquafuge PS hob refugium. You can grow a macro algae behind the tank, keep the heater there and it has a built in skimmer.

Again, if not a hob skimmer, and hob filter with the changes made as mentioned before.

Any future system I build will have only base rock and dry sand. Nothing 'live'. I want to control everything that goes into my tank. Cycle using ammonia for a strong bacteria base with no additional starters.




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Old 08-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #24
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I cant hang anything on the back of my tank it has a huge lid on it. I appreciate everyones comments so far, its helping me alot!! Thanks you guys


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Old 08-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #25
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Okay so ive had a thought, due to my stand i wouldnt be able to have a refugium, well not one large enough to be sufficient. So i had an idea, ive measured all of the compartments and am fairly sure i can fit 3 small acrylic tanks in the bottom compartments, i could then connect up a skimmer to the first compartment, then the second compartment would house where you grow algae and have live rock etc and third have a return pump back into the tank? What do you think? Moment of genius or stupid and bound to fail? Click image for larger version

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Old 08-02-2014, 09:24 PM   #26
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Im sure if i could come up with a way to get the water flowing through all three and back into the tank, i think it might be a sound idea but would need any advice or help!


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Old 08-02-2014, 09:47 PM   #27
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it could work. However, the more complex a system gets like that the higher the likelihood of failure. I would just put a tank on the floor beside it and use that as a refugium and then build a simple stand to go over it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:55 PM   #28
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Click image for larger version

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ID:	245375 please excuse the mess but if you can make anything of it, this is roughly what i have in mind? I have the time and making the individual tanks myself will be a piece of cake using acrylic so will be inexpensive. Then either add a skimmer to the first tank and forget media or possibly have a skimmer in thw last tank before its returned to the tank?! Full of ideas right now!


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Old 08-02-2014, 10:01 PM   #29
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With the way the shelves are i could have the first or 'tank a' on the top, 'tank b' in the middle, and 'tank c' on the bottom shelf, with correctly placed hoses i could easily get the water flowing through smoothly.


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Old 08-03-2014, 01:24 AM   #30
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The problem is 'what happens in a power outage'? Will all the water drain into the last one, plus back flow, and overflow the sump onto the floor.
Or what happens if the tank overflow looses syphon. Will all 3 tanks get pumped up to the main tank, overflowing it?

It's all part of a sump design. Complex designs like your considering have much more to think about than just 'will it work when everything's ok?


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Old 08-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #31
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I get what your saying totally.. Its alot that can go wrong, but again with the way my stand is i couldnt get just 1 tank in to use as a sump so id have to atleast have a sump split in 2, i was thinking maybe have the refugium and return pump in the same tank and have overflow in a first tank?! Theres still months before this is all going to begin, but i want a solid plan before i do anything so again, all advice is welcomed! Thanks


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:33 PM   #32
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You could take those shelves out and make 2 tall tanks to fit in there. Just do 2 separate overflows and treat them as separate sumps entirely.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:18 PM   #33
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What do i need?

As in run two completely seperate sumps? So an overflow and a return pump in each as well as some rock or algae in each?


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Old 08-03-2014, 01:50 PM   #34
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As in run two completely seperate sumps? So an overflow and a return pump in each as well as some rock or algae in each?


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I don't see why not. It would cut down on the complexity a bit. In one you could put a skinner and the heater while in the other you could put macro algae. You might run into micro bubbles doing it that way though.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:23 PM   #35
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Yeah definately. Only thing is the size of both cupbords in 9" x 9" (width and depth) so not a whole lot of room to work with. I may get a new cabinet yet, one that can house a bigger one!


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Old 08-03-2014, 02:26 PM   #36
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Yeah definately. Only thing is the size of both cupbords in 9" x 9" (width and depth) so not a whole lot of room to work with. I may get a new cabinet yet, one that can house a bigger one!


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Are the center pieces weight bearing? If not you could just remove them
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:37 PM   #37
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from looking at his pics, I'm pretty sure if he removes the center upright supports that the stand would be very unstable and could easily fold laterally if bumped hard or something. It looks like if he removed the center supports, then he would also be removing the back panels as well and I fear it would crumble like a house of cards.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:02 PM   #38
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from looking at his pics, I'm pretty sure if he removes the center upright supports that the stand would be very unstable and could easily fold laterally if bumped hard or something. It looks like if he removed the center supports, then he would also be removing the back panels as well and I fear it would crumble like a house of cards.
Possibly, heck, even probably but it's hard to tell without being able to touch it.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:06 PM   #39
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I would consider loosing the stand it comes with and get a new one with an open center space.
Or build one if your handy.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:47 PM   #40
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It would fold probably if i removed the centre pieces. Ive already thought of all of this, ive listed my tank for swaps to a bigger one with more storage. It would be so complicated trying to work with such little space i have already! But ive decided and so far this is what im going to go with:

200ltr+ tank
30ltr+ sump with protien skimmer, rocks and algae in refugium and a pump back to tank.

2 powerheads 20x

Live rocks and sand.

Still looking at lights.

Thoughts?


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