05-29-2008, 04:20 PM
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OK, Now it's my turn
A. A sump can be made from any "FOOD SAFE" tank or tub. If you're using a water trough, be sure it has not been treated with an algicide.
B. The sump can be any size so long as the following necessary requirements are met. (1)the inlet section need be large enough to house the skimmer, its pump if intternal, and any inlet piping. (2) the refugium, if incorporated, need be 10% of the total volume of the display. (3) the return section need be large enough to incorporate the pump, the water necessary to cover the pump completely, and enough water to compensate for maximum evaporation for a 24 hour period. If it takes 1 gallon to cover your pump, and your evaporation rate in the winter with forced air heat is 3 gallons per day, the return section need house 4 gallons of water minimum. (4) there should be ample room to house any additional equipment you need. i.e. Heaters. and (5) there must be enough room left over, beyond the normal operating capacity, to house any water drained from the display (and the skimmer) in the event of a power outage.
The tank will not drain from the overflow below the height of the lowest slot in the inlet section of the overflow box
The display will however drain from any inlet pipes that do not have a syphon break
you do not need a check valve to prevent excess drainage from the display in the event of a power outage. You need a syphon break. A syphon break is simply a hole drilled in the return pipes, where they enter the display, just below the surface of the water.
A spray bar should not be above the surface of the water. This will cause micro-bubbles. Micro - bubbles are not good for your corals. Increasing the surface area of your display will improve gas exchange. You increase the surface area of your display by increasing the disturbance of the surface water with flow from inlets and powerheads. Meaning the surface of your display should have lots of waves and ripples.
and to start a syphon in a u-tube for an external overflow, you place the end of a long section of air-line tube into the u-tube, place the u-tube in the filled overflow (both sides must be filled) and then suck the air out of the u-tube. The end of the airline tube should be in the highest point of the u-tube when you perform this, and you must do it fairly quickly once the u-tube is full of water, the flow will have started. remove the airline tube (without letting air back into the tube.). Small air bubbles in the u-tube should eventually be swept away with the current. Larger bubbled can often be removed by vigorously (but carefully) shaking the u-tube to chop the bubbles up a bit.
hope that helped.