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Aquarium Advice Activist
Sep 26, 2013
Building a refugium for my new 72 gal bowfront. I'm using an old freshwater tank I had that 20 gallons. I'll be posting pics along the way. Any tips ? I'm also making my own filtration system out of PVC pipes if its possible. Anyone experienced in filtration and the bulk heads ? I don't know how I'm going to control the flow of water going into the sump so some opinions and experience will be great!
use an adjustable valve on every length of pipe so you can adjust your flow at each stage
IMO you'd want the water to free flow from the tank.
When you pump the return water back up, it will dictate how fast it comes back.
If you restrict it's exit with valves, you run the risk of restricting it enough the the pumps returns just a bit more then is exiting.
In fact you really want double the diameter for the overflow
So just have a straight open PVC pipe in the overflow leading to the sump? And then have an adjustable pump going back up into the tank?
Is this tank drilled or do you intend to use a HOB overflow? If it's drilled, gravity does the work, and the diameter of your drain will dictate the maximum you can return to the DT. If this is a HOB setup, water is brought from the DT to the sump by siphon, and your return pump needs to match your HOB overflow as close as possible or it can lose siphon.

You do not want to adjust anything in the sump. let the water go through at the speed it's dropping from the DT.
It's predrilled. Also I bought a pine stand for it but the stand is so light that I feel like t won't be able to hold the tank. Think it's ok?
If it's a factory built aquarium stand, it should be fine. Those things are definitely cheaply made, but they hold.
Yes correct on fee following pvc
I'd use the ratio of 2:1.
That is 2" diameter of overflow for 1" return.
Don't restrict your pump
Whatever is pumped us what overflows.
ok so control valves aren't very popular here...but let me run something by you...

you can leave them fully open all the time...

i strongly suggest having them as a precaution so you can easily make slight adjustments if needed, you add pumps/overflows, add tanks, or if your pump is a little too strong or weak for your overflow or siphon...

most of the time the valves are useless but are a wonderful thing to have available...especially for maintenance and add ons...
What is schedule 40...? Also isn't there an adaptor I need to connect the pipe to the holes in the overflow?
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