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FAQs about Refugium Designs 13

Related Articles: Get Thee To A Refugium by Bob Fenner, Refugia: What They're For And How To Build Them by Forrest Phillips, Pressure Locking Sump Baffles; Welcome to the World of Versatility! By Joshua McMillen, Reef Systems, Reef Set-Up, Refugiums, Reef Filtration, Marine System PlumbingFish-Only Marine Set-up, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large Systems, Macroalgae

Related FAQs: Refugium Designs 1, Refugium Designs 2, Refugium Designs 3, Refugium Designs 4, Refugium Design 5, Refugium Design 6Refugium Design 7, Refugium Design 8, Refugium Design 9, Refugiums 10, Refugium Design 11, Refugium Design 12, Refugium Design 13, Refugium Design 14, Refugium Design 15, Refugium Design 16, &  Refugiums 1, Refugiums 2, Refugiums 3, Refugiums 4, Refugiums 5, Refugiums 6, Refugiums 7Refugiums 8, Refugiums 9, Refugiums 10, Refugiums 11, Refugiums 12, Refugiums 13, Refugiums 14, Refugium Rationale, Construction, Hang-on types, Pumps/Circulation, Lighting, Operation, Algae, Livestock, DSBs, & Caulerpa, Marine System Plumbing, Holes & Drilling 1, Durso Standpipes, Overflow Boxes, Bubble Trouble, Plumbing NoiseMake Up Water Systems, Marine Aquarium Set-Up, Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, MysidsAlgal Filtration in General, Mud Filtration 1

Refugium/Sump Design 2/6/08 I have a 90gal reef tank, with a Rena xp3 and a sump rated for 75 gallons (couldn't afford the bigger one at the time ). I'm thinking about building my own refigure <refugium> but I don't want to put another overflow box in, <A simple hole or baffles in descending height in relation to the water's flow path will do, no overflow box is needed.> so I came up with a plan, I was going to run them both my sump and refigure off the same over flow. <OK> I was going to have the water from the tank siphon into the right side of the refigure, <Do you mean gravity feed into the refugium?> run almost all the way through it then about four inches from the end it would go over a piece of thirteen or fourteen inch acrylic and then flow up into a separate section and then flow out of a hole nineteen inches high through a pipe directly into my sixteen inch tall sump that is right next to it. <I must admit I am not following exactly what you propose here, but it sounds like you are trying to get water to flow uphill, which it will not do.> Then it would flow through that and be pumped out from there. Do you think my Idea will work? <Not as I picture it from your description/diagram.> Can you give me any pointers? <Imagine a waterfall'¦water will always want to go downhill.> I read all of your articles on refiguriums which helped a lot; I 'm sending you a diagram, which the whole refigure is only eight inches wide (sorry I didn't label it). Thanks <Welcome, do keep in mind the water will flow where gravity tells it to! Good luck, Scott V.>

Refugium Set Up'¦Matching To The Size Of The Display -- 02/07/08 Hello, <<Howdy>> Your site will be my undoing, but thank you all. <<Ha! Is indeed addictive>> So my plans have changed yet again, I found a good deal on an Oceanic RR 150g and I already have my 150 at home. <<So, two 150s? Neat!>> I was planning on building an acrylic tank underneath the 150 but now I think I am going to build a stand to house both 150's one on top of the other with maybe a foot of space in between. <<And utilize one or the other for the refugium? ...Excellent. Many commercial/public facilities actually employ refugia as large as or larger than the displays they support. Many benefits to doing so>> The Oceanic has 2 overflows in both back corners so I think that will be the top display. <<Okay'¦and do be aware these throughputs will likely NOT handle the 'rated' flow. If these are 1' bulkheads/drains figure 600gph en toto. Plenty for draining to the sump/refugium'¦but you will need to contrive more flow/circulation overall for the display itself>> Then the 150 below it only has a single overflow, I was going to plumb one of the top tanks overflows into the bottom and then plumb the other overflow to a sump set up behind the stand. <<Okay'¦and the refugium would also drain to the pump chamber of the sump (recommended)? I would also consider either enlarging or adding a second drain from the refugium to the sump for a margin of safety from accidental overflow>> I have a couple of questions. 1. If I set it up like this and have the overflow on the bottom tank going straight to a pump back into the top, in the event of a power outage (I live in south Florida it is fairly regular) how would I set up so I would not get any leakage. <<This is accomplished by setting drain/skimmer box and 'running' water heights so that when power is cut to the pump, all transient water volume will be contained. This often requires a bit of 'trial and error'>> 2. For the sump all I plan on having in there is a rather large skimmer <<Do consider adding a media reactor or two for chemical filtration>> I guess I really don't understand how much transient water volume I would have coming from the top tank so I don't overflow to the floor. <<Again, this depends on the height of the overflow box and the running height of the water in the display. Position yourself where you can easily start/stop the return pump and play with the height of the overflow to fine tune. If the overflow heights are 'fixed''¦then it becomes a matter of adjusting the running height of the water in the sump and refugium to allow enough 'empty space' to hold the transient water volume>> 3. Do you see anything wrong with this setup? <<Other than needing another drain from the refugium to the sump'¦and some testing to determine working water heights'¦I think you have a good plan>> With the 1 to 1 ratio on the refuge (Chaetomorpha, LR, and DSB) and display do you think I will need any other filtration other than a massive protein skimmer? <<Possibly not, but will depend much on stocking density, maintenance/husbandry'¦do still consider the chemical reactors just the same'¦at least as an option as the tank 'fills up'>> Any ideas/suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Keith Fontes <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

10 Gallon DIY Refugium 1/30/08 What is a simple design of 10 gallon refugium for a 50 gallon tank? I don't want to put a skimmer since its fine in my display. Please help a confused aquarist out. Thank you mike, <If you want just a refugium, this can be as simple as overflowing your tank into the 10 gal and then pumping from the 10 back into the tank via a small pump or powerhead. Or you can do an upstream refugium that has the refugium above the tank. There is no law set in stone that says you need baffles, but they will help eliminate any bubble in the return though. Either way you will want to leave the water level low enough for the transit volume, the amount of water the lower tank will gain from water in the line and siphoning when the power is off. You will also need an overflow, drilled or siphon type on one of the tanks. I hope this help out, this is a project worth the effort, Scott V.>

Re: 10 Gallon DIY Refugium 1/30/08 Could you please draw me something? please <Hi Mike, designing something requires knowing exactly what you wish to accomplish and what will/is be(ing) included in the set up. If you simply want a refugium, an open tank will serve just fine with a small powerhead and overflow. If you are looking to design and build a sump you will need you account for your equipment and orientation of on an individual (your) basis. Even a sump can simply be an open tank; it is just something that holds water and equipment. I will include some links below that will show some sump designs, overflow type and how to put baffles in your tank if you wish. Best of luck, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Baffles/baffles.htm http://www.momsfishsupply.com/overflowinstallation.html www.cpraquatic.com/pdf/CS150.pdf http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html

Re: 10 Gallon DIY Refugium 1/30/08 Do I need to divide the refuge area and pump area? <It certainly doesn't hurt, it will help to keep the contents of the refugium out of the pump and minimizes the introduction of microbubbles into the tank. That being said, it is not a necessity, you can simply run a powerhead as a return and have it in the upper third of the refugium, off the sandbed. Scott V.> Refugium Question 1/17/08 Crew, <Joe> I have a 210 gallon tank I am currently setting up and wish to add a refugium. <A worthwhile addition to any tank.> I have a 30 gallon tank I am going to use for this purpose. If I feed the tank with a line teed off from one of my tank drain lines (will have a ball valve and will end in a elbow fitting half submerged in the refugium to cut down on noise and bubbles) and then have it gravity drain into the sump through a 1 1/2 inch bulkhead with a strainer will it work correctly? <Yes, do be aware that the strainer will reduce flow quite substantially (in the neighborhood of 15%). But, I assume you are splitting off from another drain line of equal or lesser size and have a ball valve to control flow, you should be fine. Just be diligent about keeping the strainer clean.> Or does it have to have baffles and such? <No, not for just a refugium.> I feel it should work correctly the way I have described, if not please let me know how I should set the refugium up. <Sounds good.> As always thanks for all the help. Joe <Very welcome Joe, have fun setting this up, Scott V.>

Refugium Design 1/12/08 Dear Wet Web, I am a long time reader and first time writer. <Welcome to WWM.> I have been prowling the 100's of pages of valuable information you guys have and not found a solid answer to my question. Current set up is a 50gal tank with a 20 gallon sump. My question pertains to my sump/refugium plumbing and design. At the moment the water drains from the overflow in the display (through a filter-sock) into the left compartment of the sump (which has a 2-3 crushed coral bed) and the skimmer intake pump is also located in this first chamber. <Do consider removing the crushed coral. It is a detritus trap/nitrate producer, even with the sock.> The middle compartment of my sump currently is housing Chaetomorpha with a bare bottom (and the actual skimmer due to size constraints). After a series of baffles there is the furthers right compartment which is my return section of my sump. I hope I did not confuse you with my configuration. <No, clear enough.> My actual question is should I move my skimmer intake into chamber two (the middle one also currently housing the actual skimmer) and move the Chaeto to the furthest left compartment (the initial display return with the crushed coral) and finally plumb my skimmer output the return section of my sump (the furthest left section)? <No, I would keep it configured as is. The skimmer intake is best separated from any water that has been through the refugium to allow any micro fauna coming out of it (the refugium) to make it to the tank.> I would greatly appreciate the help since I am going for long term effects. Thanks!!! <Very welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Refugium set up 01/11/2008 Hello <<Hello, Andrew here>> Thank you for your previous help and all the knowledge that your site makes accessible. <<Nice to hear>> I think that I have finally come up with the layout that I want for my refugium and I was hoping I could get your opinion. I have a 150g used tank that I recently purchased it only has one overflow in the center of the tank. I am building my refuge out of 3/8" acrylic the dimensions will be 69-1/2"L 17"H 15"W this is as large as I could make it and have it fit under my tank. I am planning on having the overflow run into one side of the refuge where the protein skimmer will be. I will be running a skimmer rated for at least 300g being as the total of both tanks will be somewhere over 250g. I only have 23" of clearance, which creates my first question I have been looking for protein skimmers but so far I have not been able to find anything with the capacity I want that I will be able to use with my size restrains any suggestions on where to look? <<Usual places like Bigalsonline.com or Marinedepot.com are two likely places. You could also go for something like Euro-Reef CS RC which have a range that fit your clearance, or the Aqua C EV180, that also has a footprint which fits your needs>> From the skimming chamber I will put baffles which will flow into the refuge. For the refuge and the display I am planning on doing a DSB I don't think that will be a problem but I wanted to make sure are there any issues with doing that in both the refuge and the display? <<No, none at all>> Also for the LS I live in south Florida and free diving, surfing, spear fishing are my life I love the ocean, I was wondering if I could collect my sand directly from the ocean in deeper water say 20' or more, so I don't get the larger sand closer to shore?<<I would not personally, as you don't know what is going to be introduced to your system>> I am planning on using Chaetomorpha only in the refuge and possibly putting some LR on one side of the refuge. <<A DSB, live rock and Chaeto make a good combination, yes>> For the return I was wondering if I need to baffle and have a separate section for the pump, or if I could get an external pump and pump directly from a bulkhead in the refuge? I want as much space in my refuge as possible <<Depending on the return pump size, chamber size for internal pump, either will work just fine though, get less evap with an external pump>> I figure with the Chaeto I will need a couple powerheads in the refuge. <<One would suffice, just enough to enable the macro algae to tumble slightly in the water>> I am also planning on putting Nassarius snails in the refuge do you think I will need anything else for sand stirring? <<Not overly, no, they should be fine, some also choose to add some hermits down there>> This will be the first time I have built/setup a refuge my previous tank/current tank is only 30g so if I have missed anything please let me know. <<It all sounds fine so far I think. Plenty of planning and design will always lead to a better system>> Thank you so much <<Thank you Keith, for the questions>> I don't know what I would do without this site You all are amazing for donating your time to make our lives easier and our tanks healthier <<you're welcome>> Keith Fontes <<Thanks for the email, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: refugium set up -- 1/18/08 Hello Again <<Hello again Keith, Andrew here>> More and more ideas/questions come up as I read more of your wonderful site So I have my 150g with a single overflow. It also has a 1-1/2" hole drilled in the bottom of the tank I was wondering if you have ever heard of anyone making their own overflow using pvc piped to the top of the tank at the same level as the original overflow with a grating on top of the pvc. If I did that I could have a completely separate chamber for the skimmer behind the tank and plumb one overflow into the refuge and one into the sump which would also allow me to have the whole 69" for the refuge with no baffles and no skimmed water. Do you think that this would work? <<Yes, I have seen similar setups such as that, all have worked to varying degree's>> Your site gives me new ideas everyday thank you all for the way you answer and encourage people to research, it is much better and encourages personal gain than just answering questions. >Ahhh! You "get it!" RMF< Thanks Keith <<Thanks for the question, A Nixon>>

Thoughts and Suggestions on a Combined Refugium/Sump'¦and Pumps -- 01/07/07 Hi Crew! <<Hiya Doug!>> I've been in the hobby just a few months now, and am excited to step up from my 20G to a 120G! <<Neat! Bigger 'is' better>> I'm planning for mostly FOWLR, but may add more inverts/corals as I slowly gain experience. <<Mmm, then do keep this in mind when making your stocking selections'¦you will want to collect 'reef friendly' specimens>> Here are my current plans: - 120G tank, 48x24x24", acrylic. - Stand 40" tall, 9" canopy. - 2 corner overflows -- each with 2" inner diameter bulkhead at 20" height. <<Ahh, very good'¦I see you've been reading!>> - 2x 1" inner diameter bulkheads for return from sump. For a sump/refugium below, I'm thinking of a standard 55G tank following your diagrams. <<'Standard' glass tanks work quite well as sump and/or refugium vessels'¦and are a whole-lot cheaper than the purpose-built retail alternatives. Add a few baffles, drill and install a couple bulkheads (when/if necessary), and you're 'golden''¦with money saved/ready to spend on other areas. My own system incorporates a modified 55g tank for a refugium, and a modified 75g tank for a sump>> - Skimmer: AquaC EV180 w Mag 7 pump. - Aiming for 15x water flow gives 1800gph. <<Indeed'¦but I expect you will find that trying to process this much water volume through a 55g sump will be problematic>> - Two sump return pumps, internal Eheim 1262s (want it to be quiet), should be about 1600gph at 5" head. <<Very good pumps'¦and the 'redundancy' of two pumps for your return can be a lifesaver, literally. About a year ago a faulty GFCI tripped and shut down the return pump on my heavily stocked 500g reef system (was off more than nine hours before discovery). The ensuing anoxic condition resulted in the loss of more than $1200.00 worth of livestock (fish and corals). Let's just say 'lesson learned''¦ I now have two return pumps on separate circuits for this system>> Questions: 1. Is that too much flow through the refugium? <<Yes'¦ A couple to a few hundred gallons per hour is generally sufficient for a refugium. Obviously, utilizing 'separate' vessels for sump and refugium make plumbing for the differing flow rates a bit easier>> 2. If so, would it work well to use just a single Eheim for the sump return, ~800gph, with an internal powerhead like a Tunze Stream in the tank? <<800gph through the sump would be easier to accommodate (and a LOT less noisy), and some creative work with the baffles could provide a 'raceway' to allow the full force of the flow to circumvent the refugium section on its way from the skimmer chamber to the pump chamber, while allowing you to divert a few hundred gph to the 'fuge'¦if you choose to keep with a single combined vessel. I still like the idea of two return pumps'¦perhaps a couple Eheim pumps of lesser size'¦>> Then maybe reduce the drains to 2x 1.5"ID? <<A pair of 1.5' drains would handle a flow of 800gph quite well, with a healthy safety margin>> Your thoughts and suggestions are very welcome! Thanks, Doug <<Is my pleasure to assist. EricR>>

Adding sump/Fuge to a nano -12/14/07 Dear Mr. Fenner & Crew, <Hello again Pearson> Below, you will find my previous correspondence for reference. I couldn't find the original emails, so I just copied them from the FAQs. <Ah, good> I wanted to thank you again for your input, and to let y'all know I finally went ahead with this project. A few nights ago, I successfully drilled and plumbed my JBJ Nanocube 12 gallon tank to accommodate a 15 gallon sump/refugium. While I have never drilled a tank before, nor done any kind of DIY projects related to aquaria, it turned out to be pretty straight forward. There were a couple of design considerations I took into account that may be of use to someone else considering doing something similar. <I thank you for sharing your experiences, observations> I decided to plumb the return line into the display portion of the tank, and the drain line in the last chamber of the rear section of the tank. This way, the rear section functions as an overflow of sorts, and still causes water to flow through all three rear chambers, so they can still be used to house LR rubble, carbon, a heater, or whatever else you might have back there. I also made sure to line up the return bulkhead with the location of the existing hole in the rear wall of the display tank where the stock MaxiJet pump outlet was, so I could take advantage of that hole, and not have to drill a new/larger hole. This also allows me to return to the stock configuration if I ever need to. I would only have to seal the bulkheads, and place the MaxiJet back in place. <All sounds/reads as reasonable> The benefits of this experiment are already evident. I'm using a Mag 2 as a return pump. Flow in the display is increased, and at the same time temperature is decreased. I now have plenty of room in the sump for growing macro, a DSB, more live rock, one or more media reactors (Phosban, carbon, what have you), an automatic top-off system, room to fit a decent skimmer, without having to resort to one of those tiny nano skimmers, not to mention the increased water volume and system stability. <Yes> Attached are a couple of pictures for reference. If you feel any of this might be helpful to others, please do post. <I will definitely do so> A great big thanks to everyone at WWM for all that you do for the hobby and hobbyists, and for helping me work out this project. Pearson <I REALLY wish that a couple friends/crewmembers here would crank out a title on "Aquarium Engineering"... such a work (DIY, mathematics...) with good graphics could/would help so MANY folks. Thank you again for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Refugium Setup/Design -- 12/11/07 Hello, <<Howdy>> Your site is wonderful. <<A collective effort we're glad you like it>> Since I started my 30g tank a while ago I have become addicted. <<There are worse things [grins]>> I just purchased a used 150g 6' long tank that is predrilled. <<Neat!>> It only has one overflow with a single hole drilled in it. <<Mmm...hopefully for a 2' bulkhead then>> I am planning on cutting out one side of the stand and putting a door on it so I can put rollers down through the whole length of the stand and build a sump/refuge that will fill the entire length and width of the stand and still be able to access the tank by sliding it out the side (the tank will be on a wood platform with legs that will fold down when it is pulled out through the track. Do you see this as possible? <<Mmm, let's see...I'm envisioning a sump/refugium about six-feet in length and the width of the interior of the stand (16'?)... Nope... Even with only 8-10 inches of water depth, I don't see how you are going to 'fold-down' the platform to roll out the sump with causing some sort of damage...just too much fluid weight to deal with. Best to let this vessel rest on the floor/bottom of the stand>> I want to build my refugium as large as I can make it to support my fish and coral population as naturally as possible. <<Bigger is better, indeed. But based on this brief description, I foresee problems with your plan>> I have a couple of questions. First will I need a separate return chamber or can I pump the refuge water directly into my display tank? <<Direct return to the display is just fine (is what I do)>> I am planning on plumbing the overflow directly into the skimmer chamber then having a baffle into the refuge, I was wondering if the nutrient export from the protein skimmer would be a detriment to the refuge or are any skimmers that efficient? <<This is one of the reasons I prefer to use separate vessels for sump and refugium. But what you propose is fine...raw/unprocessed water 'will' reach the refugium>> With my refuge I am figuring on about 250-270 total gallons shared between the tanks. I am assuming I will need to go with a skimmer that has a capacity larger than the combined total but wanted to make sure due to the cost that this will affect. <<Ah yes, but money well spent...if on a quality product. And my recommendation...get a skimmer that is sized/rated for about 10% more than what you figure you need>> Also what skimmer with that capacity would you recommend? <<My current fave is Euro-Reef... But do check out AquaC, H&S, and...if you really want to spend some bucks...Bubble King>> I was also thinking about creating a couple of different sections within the refuge to grow different plants, have you heard of this at all? <<I have...but 'I' don't recommend it. The macroalgae will compete/fight for space just like all other marine/reef life (the results of which can even malaffect your corals). Best to stick to a single species in my opinion, and let that energy be directed in toward more positive actions>> Would you recommend I stick with just one compartment with Chaetomorpha in it? <<I would, yes>> I am planning on putting a 5 or 6 inch LSB. <<Excellent...and another reason this sump/refugium will be too heavy to 'manipulate' with a 'folding' platform and rollers>> Another question... With my single overflow I know I will not be able to get enough flow back into my display tank, I am planning on putting a couple extra power heads in the display, will there be enough flow in the refuge to allow good growth. <<If you can achieve at least a few hundred gallons per hour with your overflow, yes>> I know this is getting rather long but I have so many ideas that I want to try and just want to run them by you before I try anything. <No worries...please do>> I am also looking at putting another baffle in the refuge and having a separate maybe 20 to 30 gallon section that would be very low flow and try to stock a seahorse only tank. <<Firstly...how are you going to control this flow on an integrated system such as yours? Secondly...whatever water quality/disease issues arise in the main display, will exist in the Seahorse tank. Maybe not the best place for this>> Is that possible or am I going too big? <<Best kept in their own isolated/specific system...in my opinion>> I have always been told go big or go home let me know what you think. <<Can be taken to extremes>> Do you see any problems or have any recommendations for this system? <<Indeed...and have stated such>> Thank you so much. <<Happy to assist>> The amount of knowledge on this site in invaluable. Keith <<We're pleased you think so. EricR>>

Re: Refugium Setup/Design - 12/12/07 EricR, <<Hiya Keith!>> Thank you for your input. <<Most welcome>> I am rethinking the seahorse portion and will probably just set up my old 30g for them. <<This is best>> I am also going to go with just one macroalgae and a 300g skimmer. I like the idea of keeping the sump and refuge separate but with just one overflow, I think that the plumbing will have too many areas where It could fail if I tried to plumb it to two tanks. <<Hmm...really is a simple matter to 'bleed' some off the drain to feed in to the refugium>> Do you know a good way to do this? <<Use a Tee or a Wye fitting (whichever is available/best suits your configuration) inline with your drain plumbing to allow directing part of the flow; controlled with a gate-valve, to the refugium>> The one thing I believe that you misunderstood, the actual stand for the sump will not be folding down it will be on a track on the bottom of the stand. The only thing that would fold down would be the feet every inch or two staggered on both sides of the tank. <<Hmm...am having trouble visualizing what you are intending to do here>> I cannot think of any other way that the tank would be accessible if any maintenance is required other than the regular maintenance, but even then you may be right I may have to just make the tank shorter so it is more accessible. <<And may just take a trial run or two to figure it all out>> Anyways, thanks a lot. <<Quite welcome>> You will be hearing from me over the next few weeks with my stocking plans. <<Okey dokey>> Thank you again, Keith <<Be chatting. EricR>> Re: Refugium design 12/10/07 Thanks Scott, <Welcome, hello Jesse.> I have completed refugium 2.0 and it seems to work as I expected. <Great to hear!!> This 29 gallon refugium with Bak-pak skimmer is the only filtration for a 60 gallon and 20 gallon tank with live rock and sand. Should I add carbon occasionally or can I just see how it goes like this? <I would use carbon. If you don't use it continually, add it just before your lights come on. Adding carbon and allowing it to work several hours before the lights come on can actually shock your corals with the extra light penetration.> Thanks, Jesse <Welcome, happy reefing, Scott V.>

Above Tank Refugium Design 12/6/07 Dear Crew, <Hello Nick.> Thank you for all of your help and a wonderful website! I am writing to ask about a refugium/sump I plan to construct out of a 29gal tank. <Great!> My tank has been running for a few years now and is not drilled, and I don't feel comfortable using an overflow siphon in my house (too many potential problems). <I couldn't agree more.> Therefore this will be an 'above tank refugium' with a DSB and Chaeto algae that will feed into my 55gal main system . I have attached a drawing of my plan, and have a few questions. First off, I plan to drill two return holes in the 29. I was thinking 1' holes, but would like your thoughts on this size. Also, as you can see in my attachment, where would you recommend these be drilled? I was leaning towards diagram #1. Any thoughts? <For the kind of flow you are proposing, go with 1.5' bulkhead(s). More is better here. Unless you plan to run other equipment in this upstream, you may be better suited drilling higher up and running this as another tank rather than a sump, skipping all the baffles/chambers. As far as overflow, any of your three diagrams will do, consider a PVC elbow pointing down on which ever setup you choose. Also include aspirating the elbow (drill an airline into it) to prevent the overflow from siphoning. These two considerations will keep your overflow quiet.> For a pump, I have a Quiet One 3000 (I know, isn't the greatest in SW, but it's what I've got for now) which pumps about 780 gph. I imagine with head loss that this rate will be cut at least in half if not more. <Likely around 600 gph per your graphic.> I am curious if you think this rate will be too much/little for my design? <Just fine.> Also, I plan to run it externally instead of submersed. Do you see any problems with this? <Just priming the pump at start up and power outages/service.><<RMF would insert a swing-type checkvalve just anterior to the pump intake here>> If you see any other problems, or have any suggestions for me in regards to my design, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you for your time and all of the help you offer enthusiasts in this hobby! -Nick <Worthwhile project, have fun with it, Scott V.>

Re: Above Tank Refugium Design 12/10/07 Scott, thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question! <So very welcome.> I have just one question in regards to your reply. You had mentioned that I make sure to prime the pump during start up and power outages. I believe this includes making sure that there is water in the lines leading to the pump. <Yes.> If it is a little more complicated than this could you please fill me in? Also, if this is the case, then would I have to worry about this during a power outage? I believe since my pump is lower than the top of the water in my main tank (and kind of at the bottom of the "U" in my plumbing line) that if the pump stopped (power outage, etc.) water would remain in the line, at least the line leading up to my pump, and I wouldn't have to worry about priming the pump. If I am mistaken here, please let me know. < As long as the pump will be below the main display's water level you will be fine. When the power goes out the water from the refugium will siphon out into the display until air is introduced into the line. If your pump is below the main display water level, it should stay primed.> I have attached the pic of my design again, just in case you don't remember what it looked like. <Thank you.> Thanks again for all of your help!> <Welcome. Again, worthwhile project, have fun with it, Scott V.>

New Setup Please Help -11/27/2007 Hi there, <Eric> I'm hoping you could help me with this query. I'm currently planning on setting up a coral reef aquarium which will have Seahorses, Pipefish and any fish that would be passive enough to live in harmony with them (Any suggestions would be appreciated). The dimensions of the tank that I'm having made up are 42x15x18H for the display tank and a 30x10x15H for the sump which will be located in the cabinet under the aquarium. I would like to use Miracle Mud and have the skimmer attached on it as well but I am unsure of the setup. Below is a diagram of the sump: <I see> I would like to hang the skimmer on the edge of the sump to free up some space. <Better to arrange a space... with baffles, overflow to make a constant depth of water setting for the skimmer... whether it's hung on or placed in-sump... otherwise, you will find it's very hard to keep adjusted. I see you illustrate this> The questions I have are: 1. Is the setup suitable for the aquarium I would like to set up? <Mmm, yes> 2. What size pump do you propose I use for the return into the tank? <For the relative sizes of the containers, type of life you intend to keep, not a very large one... Something that will get you 4-5 turns per hour for all volume> 3. I'm thinking of using some Rowaphos and Rowacarbon. Is this a good idea? <Not necessarily... Think about this... depends on the make-up of your water, other sources of phosphate input and use here... I would wait/hold off on the use of specific chemical filtrants...> If so where should I put it, should I create another section for it? <I would place in the sump, near one of the baffles... likely on either the skimmer or return side... in a Dacron bag...> Your help is appreciated. Thank you in advance Eric <Thank you for sharing... It is obvious that you have been studying, have a careful, conscientious approach... You'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

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