Will this sump / refugium design work?

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by TurboSnail, 10 Jul 2009.

  1. TurboSnail

    TurboSnail

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    Hi guys,

    Ok My tank is going to be a 4ft and this is the sump / refugium design and plumbing I've come up with. It's not to scale yet, cause I'm currently modifying my cabinet so that a sump can fit into it and also buidling a metal frame for it.

    NB: the area in the 1st baffle that I marked with a red X... can I use something like egg crate over here to put activated carbon once in a while? or would your';ll recommend another location?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    TurboSnail - what's the RED X for? I would MUCH rather put the live rock AFTER the skimmer.... Remove the divider immediately to the right of the RED X, and use that whole chamber for live rock.... The only issue you MIGHT have here, is that you might need to get more than 25% of the water flow to the refugium, as 25% of the water flow might not be enough to feed the critters in the refugium, and in the DSB, and the DSB MIGHT just be rendered useless?

    BUT - let's wait to see what the others have to say, before you make up your mind finally?
     
  4. mnd123

    mnd123

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    I saw a design with a pump from the return chamber to the DSB and overflow back into the return, where at least you dont get detris from the DT onto the DSB - which is what you may get by not skimming all the water from the tank and not cleaning it up.
     
  5. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    Like Jacques said, I don't think your DSB would do it's job. Is there a spicific reason why you would want two intakes?
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I would use a normal 3 chamber sump where all the overflow tank water can be skimmed in the first compartment.
    If some uneaten food be missed by the skimmer - which happens if it's an "in-sump" skimmer - then it can settle on the DSB where it will be concumed by a hermit crab or two, copepods, amphipods and worms. I would put chaeto over the DSB for nutrient export and it's also a playground for the pods.
    Don't put live rock directly on the DSB surface as you minimise the surface area making the nitrogen cycle less effective.
    I have two DSB's - one with chaeto in my sump and one with live rock suspended on eggcrate in a seperate tank/refugium.
     
  7. TurboSnail

    TurboSnail Thread Starter

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    Ok I've read the comments and revised the design of the sump / refugium. The reason why I had a different intake for the refugium was I thought it needed slow moving water.

    Is this design any better?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    MUCH MUCH Better TurboSnail. I would still remove all but one partition between the live rock chamber, and the "skimmer/heaters" chamber....
     
  9. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I agree with J here, it just uses up valuable space. Make the DSB as big as possible, also take into account the return chamber. If you're going to use a RO auto top unit, then the size is not that serious - but if not, you'll need to take the daily evapouration into consideration ;)
     
  10. TurboSnail

    TurboSnail Thread Starter

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    If you don't mind me asking, what's your reason for doing this Jacques? (to remove all but one baffle?) I was under the impression that the baffles helped elminate the tiny bubbles created by the skimmer, therefore they don't end up in the main display tank.

    Not going to be using a auto top up unit for now mate, I'll be monitoring the evaporation levels for now.

    Is the any plans / idea's for a DIY auto top off unit?
     
  11. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I gave the reason in my previous post. I don't think the bubbles will bother as they still need to go through the live rock and over your DSB through the chaeto.

    My sump only has 3 chambers with no baffles, and I have NO micro bubbles coming into the display as I keep the water level just below the last glass pane so the drop is not causing bubbles.
     
  12. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Why not raise the first partition and then remove the last one before the live rock. So it will then flow into the first section where the skimmer is, then under, over and under into the live rock. This should remove all the bubbles and it is one less piece of glass.
     
  13. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    All I did was bought a small pump from the LFS, only 200lph, I cleaned the insolation, cut the live wire and "inserted" a 220v float switch. Put the pump into a separate container with a pipe into the return chamber and an adjustable valve (R2) on the end of the pipe. Fill the container with clean RO water only - no salt! Put the float switch the desired height in the return chamber and bob's your uncle ;)
    Everything cost me R75 for pump + R50 float switch + R50 glass container + R5 pipe + R2 valve = R182 :)
    You might even score some of the stuff from a friend :whistling:
     
  14. TurboSnail

    TurboSnail Thread Starter

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    Hmmm I see! My understanding is that there should be roughly 1" between baffles right? Would it be ok if I left two (2) baffles in after the skimmer section - over and then under into the live rock chamber. My thinking being that it would be better to have to water pass through the rock than flowing over it.

    Aah that sounds awsome... I'm going to give this a shot definetly mate! :thumbup: Thanks - what size container would be good?
     
  15. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    For the container for RO water I use a normal 1 ft tank. I think they only cost about R30 and it holds about 15 litres.
     
  16. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Well, that depends on your evapouration. It is usually more in the winter than summer as the air is dryer and has more "space" for water particles to be taken up. Mine is 25 litres, and it uses 12litres in 24hrs in winter :(
     
  17. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Thats true because in summer I only had to fill my RO reservoir once a week but now I have to fill it every 3 days...
     
  18. TurboSnail

    TurboSnail Thread Starter

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    What's a good height for the sump guys? I'm busy finalizing design idea's.... I was thinking about making the sump virtually 4 ft as well (or should I say has long has my cabinet will allow for me to). Instead of getting a seperate resvervior for the auto top off unit... I will create 1 extra camber now in the sump for this. Will send a pic soon (later today).
     
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I will make the first compartment just big enough to fit the skimmer. If the heaters fit, its a bonus.
    One glass to next compartment. Big as possible sandbed. Suspend LR above on eggcrate (if you want to have LR there), and have a cheato ball there. water level in DSB area at 30 to 35cm

    Last compartment as small as possible. Just big enough to fit a 2000l pump . Sump turnover should not be more than 4 times display size. Also measure pump rating at maximum height. (estimate your 4 foot tank to be about 250liters, so its a 1000L at 1.8m height)

    The last glass I will make lower, I will make it about 25. Then I will use ALL the area above the return pump AND the DSB for water evaporation. Can put an Eggcrate piece to prevent critters like hermits and cheato ball to fall into last chamber.

    On a 4 foot sump, I really do not thing microbubbles can be a problem, it have to travel over the DSB quite slow, with Cheato in the way. Rather use maximum space you got for the DSB.

    4foot, 120cm, first chamber max 25cm, last max 15cm, leaving only 80cm for DSB.
    With extra LR chamber and baffles that will take at least another 30cm. Leaving you with only 50cm for DSB. Not big enough. Check Siyaya had a thread on DSB footprint size.
     
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