Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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dlambert 07-06-2012 05:43 AM

2 Attachment(s)
some pics of the beginning of a refugium/sump for my 29g freshwater.. kinda just wanted a project, and this will be good for the fish and good for practice for when i get a saltwater :) i'm going to paint all the plumbing and the board on the bottom black. next on my to do list is to make an overflow and get the acrylic and silicone for the baffles.

Jay702 07-06-2012 05:56 AM


Dont forget to sand down the PVC before painting.. instead of painting the board on the bottom why not add some sorta fabric to cover the lower part of the tank stand. Maybe buy a window cover with a adjustable bracket? just an idea..

But looks good keep us posted :)

Fishguy2727 07-06-2012 06:13 AM

Use glass baffles, silicone can't grab acrylic worth squat. I like to use smoked glass so the light from the refugium doesn't grow algae throughout the entire sump.

dlambert 07-06-2012 06:25 AM

Thanks for the tip about sanding the pvc.. wouldn't have known to do that :) and for the cloth iidea.. i thought about it.. i'd really rather a wood cabinet stand, but the metal is growing on me and in this instance i think the refugium will be almost as interesting as the display.. so my plan is to have a very neat/clean diy look and have it be part of the display.. i know that i'm certainly going to want to look at it after :) i've got the bug, so you can expect more pictures soon :)
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Olympia 07-06-2012 06:28 AM

What does a refugium do? :)
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dlambert 07-06-2012 07:08 AM

The effects they have aren't as critical in freshwater aquariums so they aren't incuded as often.. but they increase total water volume, which helps keep the water parameters stable, and they make a "refuge" for beneficial plant and algea growth that would be bothered by display fish or unsightly in the display.. they also prevent your display tank water level from changing due to evaporation- any loss in water only shows up in the sump. they are usually added to a sump which just houses a pump, filter media, and also a protein skimmer in saltwater aquariums, although they make HOB or in tank refugiums as well.

Thanks for the suggestion about glass fishguy.. was considering it and i think i might use it now.. where do you get smoked glass? And to take that a little further, what about a mirror? Any downsides besides that cutting a mirror multiple times might be pretty unlucky?
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Fishguy2727 07-06-2012 07:13 AM

Any glass shop should be able to cut glass for you no problem. The smoked glass is more expensive but is worth it IMO. I have never heard of anyone using a mirror. I think it would be a lot harder to find some and get it cut like glass.

Tazman 07-06-2012 07:34 AM

A tiny amount of super glue is enough to hold the baffles in place while you silicone them. If you leave the silicone to cure for a full 48 hours then the vapors from the super glue will have gassed off. Silicone will bond to acrylic, I use it in all my 3 sumps and baffles.

If you dont want to use glass, acrylic is usually cheaper than having 4 glass panes cut.

Make sure you have a siphon break in the return line otherwise you might damage the pump, in the event the power goes out. If it is underwater that is, not needed if it is staying above water.

dlambert 07-06-2012 08:58 AM

1 Attachment(s)
No need for a syphon break as the return will be above water.. i also want to make the inlet to the overflow a tube to the lower half of the tank. Might be able to completely get rid off the inside box.. cant see any problem with it yet, heres a drawing of the idea.. the drawings show everything in line for clarity, but i would put the inlet/outlet on the side of the U tube. Is there any advantage to having the inside box in a freshwater tank that i am missing? I think it will look better and encourage better circulation.

Tazman 07-06-2012 09:14 AM

The box sets the water level when the aquarium is full.

If you have the inlet in the lower part of the tank, that will need a siphon break towards the top of the pipe otherwise it will drain the tank until it reaches the inlet pipe, likely flooding your floor in the process.

The circulation will come from the return line not the inlet pipe.

Have a look for an idea similar to what you are considering.

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