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Old 08-02-2013, 11:50 AM   #16
crazymittens
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Making some more progress on the sump design. A few key changes...
  • 1.5" drains will have to be converted to 1.5" braided flex-PVC lines where they enter the stand/sump
  • If a simpler alternative cannot be reached, going to try and make a beananimal drain system for the refugium...but it drains direct into the sump
  • Definitely want to incorporate a drip tray system as research indicates an oxygen-rich environment is best for the bacteria
  • An alternate to the above is the incorporation of air stones, but means more equipment/noise/items to maintain

I will have 3x .75" bulkheads spare, so making the Beananimal drain system from refugium into sump is possible.

Definitely realizing that I will not be able to direct swap the plumbing as-is, so good thing there are interested buyers for the extra parts that came with the tank.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:21 PM   #17
crazymittens
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Plumbing sketches




Ok, a legend/key for the sketches above...
  • Display drains are 1.5" PVC w. flex where entering stand
  • Refugium drains are 0.75" PVC via mini-Beananimal
  • All 3 return pumps are via 0.75" PVC (or Eheim flex)
  • Heater is red
  • Water lines are noted in black
  • Drip tray area has two sections, same media - one is 'dry' the other 'wet'

The water level in the middle area of the tank dictates how much of the pot scrubbie media is kept aerated. That middle box area housing the scrubbies will essentially be packed full, so no flotation issues.

For the refugium, I wasn't sure what my options were...aside from taking the XP1's top and creating a weird little section in the sump for it...so instead I got creative! Or overcomplicated...

Refugium plumbing design
As mentioned, this will be essentially identical to the display overflow/drain setup, except I'll drill holes in that side of the sump to pass through the 0.75" PVC. The refugium itself will have 0.75" bulkheads...but didn't see a need for them on the sump side. If the water ever gets that high, I have way more serious issues to deal with. (I don't even think it's physically possible due to the overflow designs...even if the returns go into full siphon)

I'll then have another small return pump go over into a spraybar or just an elbow, not sure yet. I might even just use the spare 3/4" tubing instead of hard line. The nice part about this is I continue the theme of designing flooding out of the setup. If the power goes out, overflow finishes emptying, done.


If anyone can point out issues with this or have better ideas how to plumb the overflow back into the sump, please chime in! The only 'issue' I can see being raised is more complexity equating to more work to implement...but not more complexity = more points of failure, as the overflow/drain design I'm confident in.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #18
Phil Edwards
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I really need to learn how to use sketchup! Those designs are awesome!!

*locline...don't use it. You're better off having more gentle flow coming out of 1" elbows than jetting water across the tank. You'll get the same amount of current, but the flow will be better for everyone in the tank.

Last edited by Phil Edwards; 08-02-2013 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:17 AM   #19
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A nay for locline, eh? Hm...the fish currently seem to enjoy the high pressure... (no pun intended, ish)

Any thoughts on the direct drain from the refugium? Good/bad/ugly? I suppose I could use some sort of HOB overflow...but I like the bomb-proof-ness of the Beananimal design.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:59 PM   #20
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More sump design ideas (bottom of thread here).

Interesting ideas: http://www.hirtc.com/HIRTC/sump.jpg
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo...-design/page2&

I think the key point in adding wet/dry functionality to a sump is keeping the 'dry' portion above the water line. So, to minimize the amount of water volume lost to this factor, the drip tray would have to utilize as much area as possible.

However, Phil Edwards (300G dutch build) is now bringing a new direction to this...in that having more and more consistent contact between water and biomedia is the ultimate method for biofiltration. More on that to come, I suspect.

In the meantime, I'll keep working on my stand plans...
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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In yet another twist...hopefully will be picking up a 48 (50?) gallon tank this week. Why? Two reasons - one, I started building a task list and it is a bit insane, and two, rushing things always ends up in cut corners, broken stuff, and unnecessary expenses.

I'm still thinking through the options, but I am considering:
  1. Set this up next to the basement sink (for easy water changes) and migrate all fish/plants for a mid-term option.
  2. Use this instead of the existing 50G as the new sump to accelerate the build process.

Hm. Either way, the price should be easily recouped, either in dollars or sanity.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:46 AM   #22
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Well, it's just a 30G, but it'll do the job. I felt really bad for the seller, so didn't turn them down when I saw the size. Besides, it's good enough, and I'll be re-selling it in future anyways.





Even 'clean' it's still kinda dirty...but the inside is clean, so good enough. Note that I removed the rim...it did not have a center brace, therefore little function, and was cracked in 8 places.

I'll be using the XP1 and this powerhead stuffed with foam for filtration. Should be good for 30 fish in a 30G, eh? 25% water changes weekly just to be safe.

Still investigating whether or not they'll require a planted tank...I suspect it's 'better'...but perhaps not required. Going to assume things will be down for at least a month. Not certain what I'll be doing with the plants...probably use the spare 5G pails near a window.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #23
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Ok, I think we're done the planning phase here.

Next steps
  1. Get the 30G ready for fish
  2. Move the fish and plants
  3. Full teardown
  4. Cleanup and prep

More updates once that's done, unless the sump design changes...again...
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #24
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I like the linear plumbing layout, however, I would put the plumbing external to the tank if you can.

Look at the picture near the bottom of this link. It is not exactly what I was looking for, but close enough for the description.

http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/s....php?p=2191658

I haven't followed the thread closely enough to know where you are in the plumbing but wanted to catch you to share what I wish I would have done.

Basically drill the side of the tank, then construct a thin weir, like maybe protruding 1" or so into the tank footprint. Then, construct a box, supported by triangle pieces on the outside of these holes. Drill the bottom of this box and put your plumbing into it. This helps smooth the plumbing path and reduces the lost space inside the tank greatly.

Water skims from the surface over the weir. The holes in the tank equalize water levels between the weir and outside box. Plumbing in box does all the siphoning.

I wish I would have done this and not lost so much space in my tank. If I buy an undrilled tank in the future with the idea to drill it, this is what I would do.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:36 PM   #25
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P.s. I would not do the angled weir as pictured. Just a thin traditional one.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:02 PM   #26
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Couple of other points from experience:

The plumbing should enter the sump at a point of static water level. This does 2 things, constant back pressure on siphons and allows you to locate drain outlet just below the water surface. This both quiets the flow (no splashing) and evens the flow out.

So basically it looks like your design has the water enter, then pass under a weir and filter from the bottom up. I would do this opposite. I would have it enter from the top, then flow over a weir through your mechanical, then under the weir that seals the return. This creates a vessel for water to always enter at a place of constant water height. You can also go ghetto and use any container but do it right from the beginning (I had to do this when I cracked my original sump moving and needed to slap something together). Depending on space, you could put in another top down weir to mimic the design of a mechanical separator. So your filter cycle qould go enter silent=>separate heavy particulate => scrub fine particulate => bio => chem => temp=> co2=> return. That's what I would do.

Locate all your valves next to the sump Rather than at the siphon. I tried both and this worked better but Im not sure why. It also reduces the weight your plumbing is supporting. Use bulkheads on the lid entering the sump and seal that entry area. You're going to have to do the same for your refugium to stop excess splashing in the open top section that leads to co2 loss.

Leave enough space above the sump and refugium to use a gravel vac/siphon and a fish net. if you have never run a rack of tanks before, you will thank me later.

All of this is worth what you paid for it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #27
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One more thing, but I'm not promising this is the last unsolicited opinion from me. Lol. I've had way too much coffee to calm down.

Anyway, ideally your refugium should enter the same filtration process as your main tank. I umderstand why it isn't in your case, but I would say definitely do not link the refugium to the sump by drilling through both walls. Drill the refugirum and allow the flow to enter the sump from the top just like the main tank. This allows much more flexibility. As long as the sump is the lowest point it should work fine.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:14 PM   #28
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On second look I realized your bottom up first mechanical accomplishes the same thing I suggested, but probably more evenly. Too much coffee...
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:04 AM   #29
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pandacory, will try to address your concerns - thanks for the excellent input!
  • Sump plumbing - valves - I'm on a budget, so have to re-use what I have. Otherwise, would be interesting to investigate why valves at the bottom work better. Having them up top makes them easy to adjust (visually see water flow in OF), and they look cool.
  • Sump inlet water level - my goal was to maintain a constant water level in that area for the reason you mention - my current setup is affected by sump water flow, so tried to address this. What I'm hoping this does is cause that area to always be overflowing down to the drip tray, since everywhere else in the sump is lower. I didn't have two layers of filtration (large mech, fine mech) simply due to budget and I didn't consider it necessary. If it is, let me know!
  • Height above the sump for fish netting - YUP, this is key in my stand design, and frankly my last sticking point...not sure how to address yet.
  • The overflow design - I agree with your points, but as stated, due to budget I have to do the internal coast-to-coast. It should only take up 3x5" of space...in a 72"-long tank...I can live with that.
  • Refugium plumbing - I agree with your points here, again, but I'm really not sure how I can still fit the 30G inside the stand while routing the drains into the far end of the sump.

So the two items I could use clarification on:
  1. How to fit the refugium inside the stand, while getting the drains over to the far side of the sump?
  2. Is fine mech filtering a 'must-have'?
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:19 AM   #30
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Fine mechanical is not necessary. I think for poret foam 20ppi is the standard for planted tanks, but don't quote me on that cause I've never personally used it. Right now I just use a course sponge lining my overflow weir and the disposable 2 sided filter floss that is blue on one side and white on the other. I don't think it would work for your flow path though. I hated the sponges I had from an lfs. They got grose quick and were hard to clean.

My gut reaction answer to the refugium answer is probably a bad one.
Honestly I would probably ditch the refugium all together. If I was dead set on it, then I would use a sump large enough to use a more linear flow pattern with the refugium. Or limit it to what could be held in one tank.
Personal feelings aside, i think the design is almost there for your goals and materials. Having the refugium on it's own pump and overflow is a very flexible set up in case you change your mind about running it or need to isolate it from the display in the future.

The only change I am kind of insistant on is not linking the two tanks with drilled holes. The refugium the way you have it should be higher up and be draining down. You can accomplish this by lifting the tank a few inches, say so the top of the sump is in line with the bottom of the overflow box. You will also need to seal where it enters the sump. all the same rules apply to the refugium entry way as the display entry way.

You could probably get away with what you have going, but the holes would have to be perfectly aligned between the two Or the tanks separated enough laterally to accomodate a flexible connection. use gravity to your advantage, save some floor space.

I am also a bit concerned with your proposed operating height. The tank should run lower than that if you are following good top off procedures (kill all pumps, allow tanks to drain then fill sump to top, turn on pumps, allow it to stabilize, now mark, this is your operating max). The drawing makes it seem like there won't be enough free volume to catch what will be skimmed off the display and refugium in a power outage.

The only other idea I had would introduce too many risks so we won't go there.

.02 $ woeth what you paid for it.
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