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FAQs about Above Tank Refugiums

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Above Tank Refugium Concerns   1/29/13
I love the website; it has to be one of the most useful tools on the internet.
<I/we thank you for your kind, encouraging words>
I have decided to add an above tank refugium (unable to add sump) to my 55 gallon reef tank, but am a little nervous about it; I was hoping to run my plan by your crew.
The refugium would be placed above my display tank on a very sturdy shelving unit.  I want to use a 10-20 gallon glass tank, but am leaning towards a large acrylic tank due to DIY drilling concerns (perhaps they are unfounded). 
<Mmm, I too would go w/ acrylic over glass for this and other valid reasons>
I will be using a powerhead to pump water from my display tank into the refugium, my current choice of powerhead moves 48 gph and will be placed very close to the surface of my display tank.  The return of water to the display tank will be powered by good old fashioned gravity.
 I will drill a primary hole (not sure how wide)
<Make that two holes; one slightly above/below the other... for safety, redundancy... you can tie/tee the overflow plumbing together on the way back to the main tank>
 near the top of the refugium and pipe the water down, while also having a second emergency hole above the primary piped to the display tank.
<Oh! Yes>
 Will this type of return cause a loud slurping sound?
<Mmm, no. 48 gph is not much water, and the drilled holes inside diameter of  one or more inches won't siphon, make cavitation sound/s>
I plan on housing Chaeto, live rock/sand, pods, and maybe some rubble in the refugium.  Since the refugium will be in full view, I think it would be nice to give it a visually appealing aquascape.  Do you think I could add some mangroves without causing too much warfare with the Chaeto.
<Mangroves... the few tree species offered in the trade (out of some 53 families) get too big, are too much trouble for trying here really. I would not employ them>
I know it’s a fairly simple process, but any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time. 
<Do peruse as much of the refugium series/input on WWM as you deem worthwhile; and feel free to write me/us w/ further comments, questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>

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