New sump advice

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by herkie, 12 Sep 2011.

  1. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    I believe in natural, simple, easy to care for systems. The KISS principal, Keep It Simple Stupid.

    So for me its big DSB systems and refugiums. With a nice size cheato ball.

    But at the end of the day, its your choice.

    The quote above was Riaan's advice in another thread and I like it so I would like to stick to it although it is almost too late. My sump started cracking and the water leaks became hectic.

    While getting glass prices I got hold of a weird shaped tank that I have turned into a sump in the meantime. The dimensions are 1600lx600hx400w and I think that will leave me with 320l capacity. The first chamber will house the overflow from the sump, a wool filter and the skimmer. The sump has 6 chambers of which 5 will be full of live rock and the last one will have an overflow into a standard 4 ft tank that will have a pump area and as much as possible area for a DSB. What I have never understood well is the concept of a refugium. How do you suggest I build the 4ft sump to incorporate a fuge and what is the purpose of a refugium in simple as possible language.
     
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  3. moe101

    moe101

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    what is a cheato ball ?
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    A refugium is a place where firstly, there are no predators. No wrasse or mandarins whatever. Secondly there should be macro algae. Either Cheato or Caulerpa.

    • Cheato grows slower but are stable. Looks like those copper pot scourers but just green.Problem is that you need to turn the ball or be able to set the tank up in a way that it turns by himself.
    • Caulerpa grows faster. And can give pieces of caulerpa to you tangs as food. Different types, from fern leave, to grape to bubble. Problem with caulerpa is that when it realized that there is no more food, it can go sexual, meaning releasing spores to propagate while the complete colony die off in one afternoon. Looks OK in the morning and you got something that looks like half cooked spinach in the afternoon. Need to trim it excessively at the optimum growth point, but you do not know when it reached that point.
    The refugium provides place for copepods, worms, and a lot of other critters make it their home. Safe from predation. It helps to maintain phosphate and nitrate levels. Lightning runs on reverse cycle to the main display.

    Water flow should not be too hectic. Just nice calm flow. You can use the space above your DSB as refugium, basically combine the two areas. But I found that the cheato ball affects the flow over the sand causing dead spots. Also if the water is not deep enough above the sand, then the cheato ball tends to lie on the sand not turning anyway. That is not a problem, but rather the small pieces of cheato that scrapes against whatever and then breaks off, and they tend to end up in your return pump inlet. Or other reactors inlets.

    My opinion is that the water level above the DSB should be more than 150mm.

    Currently I run a remote DSB and refugium system, basically a old standard Daro 4ft tank 220L. Water is pumped from the return chamber and returns into the main sump DSB (main sump is skimmer, DSB and return). Both DSB are at 160mm. (I misjudge the amount of sand a bit :whistling:) and both have a lot of water above the sand. Main DSB also houses my Ceriathus Tube anemones. Water level there is 220mm. The remote DSB water above the sand is 260mm. More than enough to have a nice big ball of cheato.

    Remote DSB just after I set it up. Using 4*39w T5 10000K tubes. Want to replace them with Phillips 840 Tubes. Cheaper and closer to natural sunlight. The pieces of liverock is there to provide a home for critters to hide in.
    [​IMG]
    Circulation by the return pump entering at the back right hand corner. And a small powerhead front left corner.

    The main sump, The yellow thing is a spa bath leave trap to catch the pieces of cheato that does come though. Works wonderful and it spreads the flow nicely.
    [​IMG]
    See the settlement, Thats now mostly sorted due to me replacing the 3000Lh return pump with a 5200L/h. a lot better flow across the sand. The Cerianthus arms where normally spread straight out, now its moving and waving in the current
     
  5. herkie

    herkie Thread Starter R.I.P.

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    Thank you so much Riaan, that was a excellent reply that answered every question very well. I will do my DSB/refugium in a similar way. I will do try to do a drawing of my plans to illustrate later.
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Pleasure Herkie
     
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