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Sump design

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Mymanfryday View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 02 2016 at 9:45am
I'm trying to plan out my sump for a 90 gallon reef tank. I picked up a cheap 55 gallon tank to build it from. I'm having trouble finding information about the order my equipment should be placed in with actual information about why. I would like To do some research, but everywhere I look I see a lot about the equipment, but not the details about the possible orders. Does anyone have any suggestions where I could do some research?
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Krazie4Acans View Drop Down
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In general the first area is for socks (let's not get started on all the discussion on this topic and just agree that if you use them they go here ).

Next section is usually for the skimmer. The research I have read says skimmer next to remove as much protein/waste/food as possible to prevent them from breaking down and increasing Nitrates and Phosphates into the water. You could also use this area for reactors if you have some and don't want to worry about leaks.

Next would be a refugium (keep in mind that if it's too small it may not be effective to put one in your sump) with your 55 you should have ample room for a good refugium. This is to allow macro to remove as much nitrate and phosphate as possible before being returned to the tank.

Last is the return pump section. Many also use this area to place mesh bags with Carbon and other mechanical filter media in.

Hope that helps. There is tons of reading on this is you search here and on other sites but this should give you a start.

My ocean.
90g (yup, won it!), 40g, 28g, & 10g Systems
PADI Advanced Open Water
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Mymanfryday View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mymanfryday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2016 at 12:18pm
One thing I had considered was moving the refugium to the end with the return compartment between the equipment compartment and the refugium. This would allow me to slow the flow of water in the refugium without slowing the flow on the return pump.
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Krazie4Acans View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2016 at 1:41pm
I have seen some setup like that. My only issue with those was that you either have to split your drain line so you can feed the refugium or you have to T off of your return line to feed it. So it came down to a plumbing mess for me not to do that. It can definitely be done that way.
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2016 at 3:00pm
I agree with Krazie, especially with a 55 because it's long and thin. If this sump was a 40 gal breeder my recommendation would be different, but there is a way to use the best sump principles in a 55. Keep reading. Smile I've 100's of sump-refugium setups. There are some basic principles to be considered.

Filter sock
This is useful and yet it's not a bad idea to leave it off half the time. Detritus/Food coming down the drain feeds the bugs living in the Refugium, which in turn provides live food for the animals in the display. Thumbs Up

Flow into the Skimmer
All the drain water does not need to flow through the skimmer, in fact the tank does better in many ways if just 50% of the drain water goes into the skimmer. The constant turnover of water through the sump will still send all tank water through the skimmer every hour.

Flow through the Refugium
There is very good reason for flow through the Refugium to be swift. Algae grows better in swift flow rather than stagnant flow. Also splitting the drain can be a source of failure. If sand is desired in this area a pan can hold it or just Crushed Coral and small rubble can be used there which isn't easily swept away in the stream. Smile

Baffles or No?
I didn't see anything about baffles. My recommendation is to not use them. The filter sock will isolate and slow the flow so the current can run past the skimmer and into the macroalgae. Without baffles the open flow of water in a larger channel allows microbubbles to rise and pop. The Macroalgae also captures bubbles so they don't make it to the return pump.

Return Pump
A return pump can be maintenance free, or in other words can almost never clog if a double strainer or what I call a strainer cage is used. It's made by sewing together with fishing line, a cage of needlepoint plastic canvas. Here is an example.


In this whole thing I am the exception in the way I do sumps, but that's probably because I believe in the engineering principle KISS (Keep It Simple so that untrained(Stupid Unhappy) people can repair it in the field. Keeping it simple has worked very well for me. Complexity causes points of failure. There is a link to a good thread in the "Reefkeeping Tips" (see below in my signature line) titled Secrets of an Easy Refugium.  That's the link directly to it. Enjoy.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug



Edited by Mark Peterson - December 04 2016 at 8:22am
Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
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christhjesus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote christhjesus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2016 at 11:33pm

This is how I made my DIY 55 gal.  I calculated how much room I have above the bottom of my overflow box teeth and the top of the tank and made the pump sump area small enough to prevent the display tank from overflowing if the overflow gets clogged for whatever reason.



Edited by christhjesus - December 03 2016 at 11:39pm
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2016 at 6:45am
Excellent diagram above.

Consider a modification which allows for a large sand/rubble bed and larger refugium area. From the design above I would do the following:
1. Raise the return pump to within several inches of the water surface.
2. Reduce the height of the baffle at the skimmer.
3. Remove all other baffles.
4. To prevent the return pump from creating a vortex that sucks air, float a 4" piece of flat styrofoam above the intake

Voil√ɬ†. There it is. The biofiltration capacity has now been increased 20-fold with a sand bed and double the area for Macroalgae (LS harbors up to 80% of a reef tanks biofiltration and Alk/Ca buffering). The height of the return pump and/or the running water level can be adjusted to account for flood prevention during power outages/pump off. See the thread given in my previous post above for a few other details.

Simple, efficient and providing maximum productivity in the available space.

Aloha,
Mark.

Edited by Mark Peterson - December 04 2016 at 8:14am
Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
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Mymanfryday View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mymanfryday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2016 at 10:19am
The last time I did a tank I did it with a 55 gallon with no baffle, no skimmer deep sand bed the whole length, live rock, and macro algae. It seemed to work for me, everyone told me I was doing it wrong. I only did some soft corals and I wanted to do some LPS and sps this time. Everyone seems to tell me I need a skimmer and the sump needs to be compartmentalized.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote christhjesus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2016 at 11:29am

Mark, is this what you have in mind?

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phys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2016 at 3:54am
You'll want something between the rubble portion and the pump, you don't want macro and rock getting into the pump assembly. Unless you like replacing them weekly ;)
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