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Hello again-

I am getting ready to build a sump/refugium for my 30h tank. I drew up a quick and dirty schematic that I would like some feedback/ advice on. It's not at all to scale, but it gives the general idea. That tank I'll use will be about 10 gallons, maybe more. It has been in the attic for a few years, so I don't recall it's size.

Also, I plan to use acrylic because it is cheaper and can be cut at home. What do I use to glue the acrylic to the glass?

Thanks again!


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I've had luck with plain 'ole silicone on acrylic. It's not the strongest bond, but it works in low pressure situations like baffles. I've also heard of using weather stripping to create a non-permanent friction bind--that way you can move the baffles when you realize your existing schematic needs modification (it will). I'm assuming you're going to arrange your baffles so that water can flow over/under them, right? You could even consider adding a third baffle. Knowing how to arrange baffles can be a bit baffling :) Seriously, do some searches on the big boards--last I checked the consensus was....non-existent.


I would try to increase the size of your pump chamber--that is usually where your water level will drop due to evaporation (that somewhat depends on your baffle arrangement). Also, I'd put the Chaeto in with the live rock--otherwise you risk getting it sucked into your skimmer pump. Not to mention the live rock/Cheato combo is probably a better habitat than either alone.


You going to light that thing? you can use cheap yellow lighting since you're probably just growing macro's.


Also--when you get it going you'll probably notice this, but the actual position of the drain into the sump makes a big difference in bubble management. Putting an open tee fitting just above the water line can help to keep big bubbles from "burping" into the sump. Micron filters help reduce bubbles too, but this is a small tank without a ton of flow so you shouldn't have real problems with that.

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  • 1 month later...

D.Y.I Sump/Refugium


(plotting)I have often wondered if it would be helpful to recurculate through the skimmer twice, and back through the refugium twice before going to the out and back into the display tank? I am new to all of this, but it seems to me that if you utilize the skimmer for double duty, and into the refugium twice, that you are ending up with a more thuro cleaning of the water. Is that not what the sump is intended for? I am not claiming to know anything, I am just asking a question.


If something is dirty we clean or wash it. Sense people use RO, or RO/DI units to strip water of many different things, why would we not run through the skimmer twice and through the refugium twice, before we return it to the display tank?


I am going to try this on my 90 GAL. display, and my 45 GAL. sump/refugium to see if it cuts down on water maintainance and water changes. Maybe it will buy me a few extra days, and maybe with less residue and micro particulates being returned to the refugium and display tank.


Is this stupid? (nutty)

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I don't see any logical flaws in this, the only thing I can think of would be logistics. That would require more tubing, pumps, and space. I think once through is probably just a happy medium. Its like washing your hair, they say rinse, lather, repeat, but who actually repeats? It just wastes shampoo and your hair is clean enough after once through.

I think a better solution would be a longer refugium/sump. As for the skimmer, as long as you aren't overfeeding or killing things, your skimmer shouldn't have much trouble cleaning the water.

Hope that helps and that I'm not leading you astray.

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I just thought that I would ask, I thought that it might be a stupid question, but hey, what does it hurt to ask. My 45 GAL. refugium/sump is 36" wide, X 22" tall X 12" deep. I then have 8 1/2" width to spare X 12" deep X 22" tall that I could come up with in my stand. I guess that if I made an acylic box as a sump to put the skimmer in to place a skimmer and filter sock into. Then what about a pre-filter with live rockbefore going into the refugium that could be as much as 2/3 's of the 45 GAL. sump. Is this a better idea?


I am just wonder then if keeping the skimmer out of the sump and gaining that extra room if that would be more helpful in creating more room in the sump. (nutty)


I know for myself, if I plan this right it will make life much easier and my wife won't be on my back about water quality and clearity.


In doing it this way, what is the least I can get away with in a 45 GAL. as the return portion of the sump?


Thanks for your help for a newbie



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  • 2 weeks later...

(rock2) (clap) Finally got it up and working. Now I just need to know how much like rock to place on top of my 1" of used live sand, with 1/2" to 3/4" of fresh live sand from bag. Any good ideas of how much live rock, and do I need to crush any of it at all to bring more life to my refugium?




Kevin (nono)

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