Had an idea tonight while trying to figure out how I'm going to go about building a refugium for my 90gal out of a 20h. I want to maximize the useable area in the fuge, minimize the cost & effort of the build, and keep it absolutely silent.
Here's what I'm thinking...only divide the tank into two sections, one for the fuge & one for the return pump. In the fuge section, mount the spray bar off one of my xp3's. The filter would be siphoning from the display tank and pumping filtered water into the fuge, the return pump would then be pumping the filtered water back into the DT through a DIY spray bar.
I THINK this seems like a pretty solid idea. The flow rate of the return pump is much higher than the canister, so I shouldn't have a problem with getting the flow rate balanced. I don't know what would happen in the event of a power outage. With the canister return being lower than its intake, I would need to see if the siphon will continue pumping water out of the DT until it's dry.
If thats the case, then I would have two options that I can see off the top of my head. #1: Get a battery backup, this would be pretty simple, but it only helps if I get back to the tank in time to shut it off. #2: Add some plumbing to the canisters intake & install a solenoid that controls a valve...if no power runs through the solenoid, the valve closes. I don't know how much this would cost or how feasible it is, but would 100% eliminate the chance of a flood due to power outage. It would also allow the system to get itself going again when the power were cut back on.
What do you think? I think its pretty solid as long as the canister will work in this configuration.
The thing I have NO idea about it setting the water level between the two sections. I'm hoping that with the two baffles I could fill the tank from the left side until the water is where I want it on the right side, but I have a feeling it just won't work like that. Although, if I don't have to worry about power outages causing an overflow, then I could just install a single baffle & fill the entire tank to a desirable level.
Edit: I don't know why I hadn't also thought of this....but another (easier) option might be feeding it with a powerhead out of the display tank. I already know I can put a 1/2" flex hose on my powerhead and it'll blast water into the 20gal sitting in the stand. And I'm fairly certain that between the adjustable flow on the powerhead and putting a ball valve on the return plumbing to adjust that flow rate I could achieve a perfect balance there....and then I wouldn't have to worry about power outage at all since its being ------and it hits me------a siphon would still continue to flow through the powerhead even without power, damnit. Still might be easier though.