Need some sump advice
I have a 60 gallon aquarium with 70lbs of live rock and 60 lbs of live sand. I want to install a sump but Im not sure on how much live rock I need to put in my sump. Should I just use sone crushed coral? Or take sone rocks out of my tank into the sump?
no rock in the sump (i assume it will be in a refugium section?) keep it in the display. i would also suggest sand over the crushed coral, even in your refuge. using this for a deep sand bed might be a good idea too. the slow flowing area allows to many things to get trapped in the cracks of the rock and crushed coral and allowed time to break down, releasing excess nutrients into your water.
IF you are heart set on keeping rocks in your sump ( again, guessing its in the refugium section ) i suggest keeping 3 - 4 rocks, not stacked on each other. once a week, rotate 1 rock from your refuge into your display. by using this method you hopefully wont allow anything enough time to fully break down and also bring live foods up into your display.
What size sump should I use ?
20 or 30 gallon should do ya ok.
as for the size, this will depend really on what you want your sump to do for you, what you want it to fit in it, and the space you can afford for one. a 20 long or 30 gallon tank would be a good sump, but the larger it is, your only adding more water volume to your overall system creating more stability. larger does have downfalls though, as more surface area = more evaporation, larger water changes/doses, and may take more to keep your temps right ( depending where you are in the world )
adding to onefish2fishs good advise, please do go with a deep sand bed, this will ive you anaerobic bacteria which will complete your biological filtration and eliminate your nitrates. as fr as the substrate you will need to go with something fine, sand if you have too, but i would suggest "mud." i tend to take for granted how easily it was to obtain mud when i worked at a store that specialized in mud sumps.
if you go with pure aragonite it can cease up and turn into one big block of cement, i forget the term offhand. that being said aragonite can work, just be aware of this. also i would add a light and some macro algae.
adding to this, even if its just for others to gain ideas.
here is a shot of my current sump. the drain line will split into two pipes, one leading to the left of the sump and one to the right. this method allows my skimmer section ( left side in the photo ) to be fed water to be skimmed and my refugium section ( right side ) un-skimmed water to feed my refuge. the down drain will also lead into the clear box you see in the back right corner. this allows the water to enter without much force. by doing this im also getting away with having only one bubble trap ( on the skimmer side ) and i can keep my deep sand bed from getting blown out. the return pump will be in the center, along with a heater.
the sump light was an easy, cheap but effective build. the bulbs are 2 ( i can switch back to one if needed ) daylight flouros. i plan on running this light on a timer set opposite when my display tank lights are on.
a quick fix to this would be a clamp on work light, which you can even split with the " Y " socket piece and have 2 bulbs but theres a risk of that " un-clamping" and failing into your sump...might be wise if you use a clamp light to screw it into position or use some sort of mounting bracket. just some ideas.
would it be possible to house the return pump in the skimmer compartment instead?
if your asking if both the skimmer and the return pump can be in the same section, id would say no because this is going to leave you with a display of microbubbles.
if your asking if you could switch their sections, yes but i personally like to split my drain line to feed both sides with the return in the middle.
if i were to switch them i think i would have
| drain/skimmer | refugium | bubble trap | return pump/heater |
i guess depending how fast your drain/return pump will be which will decide how fast water will be moving through your sump. i say this because your refuge needs to be fed and if your skimmers doing a great job it may deprive your fuge of food, but if waters moving through alittle faster hopefully enough reaches. im sure your fuge would be alright setup like this but ive always split my drain because ive just felt it was better to feed both. my last tank actually had 2 drain lines anyways.
if i set up my sump with drain/refugium i would include a box to reduce the water force. another alternative could be a larger PVC that the drain comes down into.
this would mean the skimmer would be in your middle section which you want to make sure your bubble traps are made right so your not left with a tank full of micro bubbles. again just some ideas.
i was just asking because if it were me i would knock out that center panel and open it up for more sandbed/algae. the skimmer and the return pump would be fine together as particles are already passing through the sand bed area first and depositing larger particles of waste were they will feed your dsb. my only concern is that the three pane section might be a little high.
as far as flow 4-5x the main tanks volume turning over every hour should work. some say slower, some say faster. i think the rate of diffusion probably isnt affected too much either way, but i haven't tested it much.
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