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Old 06-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
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capj64's unofficial plywood build

I have read and researched until my eyes have given out, trying to learn how I need to run the plumbing for my build that I plan to do at the begining of the year. It seems like when you know what you are doing, you can pretty much set it up however you want to, just so the filtration process happens, having found that no one really does it the same as the next person.

First let me say that I desided to go with a plywood build, only because I'm building it into a wall and didn't see the point of buying a glass tank just to cover it up with wood except for the front and back glass. Plus, I'm always proud of myself when I make something and it actually works

I've played in photoshop trying to get what's in my head to be on paper so that when I ask my Dad or husband for help, they'll know what I'm talking about. So attached are not to scale, nor does it show any of the bracing that will be needed.

To me...it makes since to use two small sumps instead of one larger one. One reason being that if there is a problem in one sump, I can run on the other one until I get what I need replaced, ordered and delivered. The other reason is that is just seems cool

My first question is, can I run my return lines like I have it drawn...up to the sides of the tank plus at the bottom? Or would it loose too much pressure before it got around and up to the side? What if I used smaller pipes to the bottom of the tank with a valve to adjust the flow, would that push it more up the sides?

Or am I just way of base on all of it

On the first picture I have the intake and return backwards, opps sorry
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Hopefully when done, this is what I'll have...

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Old 06-14-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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I love this idea!! taggin along
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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Following along.

I question whether two sumps is better than one larger one. I'm a big proponent of the KISS principle.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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Tagging along, quick question, why did you decide to put glass on the front and back but no the sides, and why on the back? Also why do bioballs, rubble works better and isnt as much maintenance i thought.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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only thing with rubble if all of it dont get wet it might die off cause nasty smells lol
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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Etunes, pretty sure she mentioned that above. And it was because you wouldn't be able to view the tank from the sides.. only the front and back.

I also think you should just go with one large tank as a sump. One section for your protein skimmer and other filters and media reactors, and then a section for a nice sized refugium. Having both of those would definitely make for pristine water quality, assuming you put the right stuff in both.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:51 PM   #8
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I thought I would show what I'm planning to do, so that y'all can set me right if I'm headed down the wrong path

Ok, so two sumps isn't a good idea, huh? ok, I'll redo that design. But what about the return lines? Can I pull water up to the sides? I'm thinking that if that works, then maybe I won't have to buy PH's?

I'll probably build the tank this fall/winter so it will be ready to install around springtime. The reason that I'm spacing my time frame out so long is because I don't have the money to go get everything I need at once. Plus I think that if I go slow, then maybe I won't make many mistakes

Yes, the glass will only be on the front and back because I'm building it into the wall that divides my livingroom from my kitchen. I have a very small house so built in's are my friend.

I got a quote on 1/4" starphire glass. I thought 1/4" would be thick enough since it's not going to have pressure on the edges as it would on an all glass tank, but...now I'm thinking maybe I should just go ahead and see what 1/2" would cost me.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
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No one ever said you couldn't do two seperate sumps.. we're just saying it would be a better idea if you had just one large one. I see people with multiple tanks plumbed in to one all the time.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #10
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I would definitely look at glass that's thicker than 1/4". The required glass thickness is dependent on the depth of the tank. There are several glass thickness calculators available online that would be a big help.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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#1 problem is with the returns placed low in the tank. In a power outage the water will drain from the main tank to the sump until the siphon is broken. That happens when air enters the return pipe and stops the water from draining.

Therfore you returns need to be just below the surface of the tank.
What you are trying to do is called a closed loop. That does not drain to a sump, but is plumbed directly to a pump. So even if the pump fails the water has no place to go. You also want valves on both sides of the pump so you have minimal spillage if the pump ever needs to be serviced (annually) or replaced.

I also would go with one sump a bit larger and maybe a seperate refugium.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:05 PM   #12
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so...my intake and my return lines are both towards the surface...so when I see water coming into a tank from the bottom, it's most likely a closed loop?

Ok, think I've got it. If I have a sump plus a closed loop, I'll need two separate pumps. I'll google "closed loop" and redo the drawings.

And now I'm leaning towards the one sump. Since I'm having my wall reframed anyway (it's a load bearing wall), I'll just make sure that I have a big enough opening for one sump instead of the two smaller ones.

Thanks for everyones help!!!
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #13
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I had a 50 gallon AGA on my system that i had my LFS order, it was 36x18x18. Worked awesome as a sump.

Also, how are you planning on accessing the sump/equipment? Maybe i missed it in your drawings.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo7 View Post
I had a 50 gallon AGA on my system that i had my LFS order, it was 36x18x18. Worked awesome as a sump.

Also, how are you planning on accessing the sump/equipment? Maybe i missed it in your drawings.
Was that a specail order is that a common size?
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:30 PM   #15
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All glass aquarium makes them, so its not a custom order, but most places dont choose to carry it as an item. Any store that sells AGA should be able to get one with their next shipment at no additional cost.

On here
http://www.aqueonproducts.com/produc...-aquariums.htm
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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Good to know, thank you
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:20 AM   #17
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I'm working on the redesign of the sump/refugium...do I want the skimmer at the beginning of the process...middle...end? I've seen them just about everywhere so I'm not sure where it's best use is.

I'm working at the shirt shop today so I'll not get to plan on paper but I know this is pretty much all I'm gonna think about I'm starting to hear echoes in my head, lol. My friends are sick of hearing my fish stories
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:06 AM   #18
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You want the skimmer before the refugium. You don't want to skim out the pods. Google Melev's Reef. There are in-depth explanations of various sump designs and their respective pros and cons.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:40 PM   #19
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Thanks BigJim, I'm checking out Melev's Reef now (lots of reading), very interesting site. I even found out what the unidentified worms are in my tank from their Visual ID Page

I did some rearranging to the line layout and added a couple things that I know I want my system to have.

If anyone sees anything wrong with this, please point it out.

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Old 06-17-2010, 12:22 PM   #20
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What type of skimmer takes a direct intake line?
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