Your opinion on my sump/refugium design?

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jan 20, 2009
I have been up and running for only 7 months and already I'm in love. My system is 45 gal reef w/ CPR192 and 250W Metal helide.
I have
  • one large colt coral
  • 2 medium toadstool leather coral
  • Green star polyp colony
  • Many mushrooms
  • 2 chromis
  • 1 percula
  • 1 blue hippo tang
  • 1 lawnmower blenny
I am planning on moving to 75 gal w/30gal sump-refugium. I am a patient man and am in the early planning stages. I have purchased a 30 gal aquarium and drawn up my design. Please review and let me know what you think.


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My personal preference is to put the skimmer section and the macro section on either end, and the return section in the middle. This allows you to independantly control the flow rate through the fuge area so it's not going so fast as to not be very effective.
Aren't the baffles before the skimmer and return pump considered a bubble trap? I still learning.
you want the baffles to be right before the return pump. This ensures you don't get millions of microbubbles into the return pump to get dispersed into the display tank.

All items the create bubbles you want to try to get isolated from the pump via the baffles. Skimmer, any pumps, the overflow(s) from the tank, etc, all create microbubbles.
I have made a few changes to my sump design. My one concern is that I am going to use a Coralife protien skimmer and it has certain requirements for the water hieght.
I has another thought about the bubble trap baffles. What if I slanted the baffle back toward the refugium to help reduce the bubbles?
P.S. Is it really necessary to have a sock on the line to the Refug? Wouldn't it be OK just to let any debris fall into the refug for nutrients?


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your new design looks like my setup. No, the sock isn't necessary, I don't run one at all in my system - although, when I get around to it, I intend to put one on, but not on the fuge side, I'll put mine on the skimmer side.
What is your opinion about BioBalls vs Live Rock rubble. Or because I am using a Protien Skimmer and a Refugium I really don't ne to be concerned with the use of BioBall filtration?
My final sump design. What'd'ya think?

This is probably my final design for my 30 gal sump. It includes a Coralife Super Skimmer and a refugium. Please give me some feedback. This is version number 12. I am a patient man and have learned from experience that it always cost you more when you are in a hurry.


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