My first diy sump/refugium.. HELP? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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My first diy sump/refugium.. HELP?

I am looking to do a reef setup in my spare 48 bow front. i wanted to build my own sump and have come up with a design that i need some feedback on..i was gonna use a 20 gallon tank and add acryllic partitions. First my inlet/bubble trap..then a space for a refugium..i was thinking 11.75x 11.75x 12.00 holding approx 7.25 gallons for the refugium. then the space for the return pump. i was planniing on using live rock rubble instead of bio balls in the inlet section. then a deep sand bed more live rock and maybe some algae or critters in the refugium. and of course a light of at least 5000 for the refugium..this is my first design and my first shot at a reef setup..any and all input positive and negative is greatly appreciated. also would i be better off doing the refugium or a in sump protein skimmer? is 20 gal for the sump adequate?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 08:15 AM
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ok so i like most or your plan.... i use a 20 long for my sump and its wonderful to yes thats good... in the first section (inlet) i would put in a skimmer then bubble trap to refugium, then buble trap to return section... (major flaw in mine is not doing the first bubble trap just a high wall to refugium and this will limit the eventual inhabitants as i get a TON of bubbles) as for the DSB (deep sand bed) i love the idea and have not tried it yet (coming soon) with some LR but from what i have spoken to a few members here about the LR is just as bad as bio-balls after awhile and based on how good my tank looks in comparison to my fuge after leaving LR rubble in there i am inclined to agree (just moved all my rubble out).... so i dig your set up just offer a few tweaks ....

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 11:46 AM
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a 20 long does make a good sump, but ofcourse larger is better. i personally would do an insump skimmer over the refuge if the option was one or the other. if you can fit both that would be great.

i dont understand why you want a bubble trap on the inlet? who cares if bubbles are throughout the sump? the big thing is putting a bubble trap BEFORE the return pump so bubbles dont make it back to the display.

if you can fit both the refuge and skimmer i suggest putting one on either end and the return pump in the middle. if this is the case, you will need 2 bubble traps on either side of the return pump. you can make 2 inlets into your sump or split it off with a Y to either side of skimmer and fuge.

live rock in a sump does act like bio balls because the slow flowing water allows things to get trapped, just like bioballs. this is NOT good, and i suggest putting that rock into your display. maybe 1-3 small pieces of rock tops in the refuge. i used to do this and rotate 1 rock to the display every week or two. this allows the pods to catch a ride up to my display, adding more natural food to my fish. i dont know if it did much, but i had a healthy group of pods zooming around in my display.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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so if possible i should make the inlet chamber larger and add a skimmer and eliminate the live rock rubble? i plan to use about 45 pounds of lr in the display tank anyway..this would make my refugium smaller but i gues thats ok.. im also gonna try to add another bubble wall before the return. my return pump has a fine sponge over the intake so that should help also regarding bubbles. can anyone recommend a good skimmeer that has a small footprint?..and rgarding deep sand beds..iv heard that there is a risk of a gas bubble forming in the sand and if it rekeases coukd harm the this true?..abd beside lf and live sand what wouyld be added to the refugium?

p.s i love you guys..the feedback is always so helpful!!!
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 12:11 PM
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please explain the "inlet" chamber. could you maybe draw up a rough draft or two in the paint program and post it?

i would not use the sponge over the pump. this is just like the bio balls or a piece of filter floss and will need to be kept clean constantly. the bubble trap should be before the return pump to prevent bubbles from entering the display tank. also dont skimp out to much on the return pumps area as this is where you will notice your evaporation that needs to be replenished with RO water ( as salt doesnt evaporate )

when i had a 46 bowfront i used an ASM mini G skimmer. i suggest reading online reviews for skimmers as this is a very important part of your tank. the deep sand bed will be fine. keep the sand 4-6 inches NO LESS, unless you want to do 1'' or less which will not offer the deep sand bed qualities. your refuge can have a deep sand bed and a clump of chaeto which is a macroalgae good at absorbing excess nutrients. above the algae clip a clamp work light with a daylight full spectrum bulb. it doesnt need anything fancy. i suggest putting this light on a timer to come on when your tank display lights go out and off when they come back on, you could also keep this on 24/7. either way, every few days give the clump of chaeto a rotate.

it may also be a good idea to look in your area for a local reefing club. since your in NY im almost positive theres a few. these are good for meeting people, learning things and maybe picking up a few pieces of equipment.
also scroll to the top of your page and check your messages please, i sent you one.
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