My Sump + Refugium Project for 265 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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My Sump + Refugium Project for 265 gallon

I have a 265 gallon tank which is filtered by a 90 gallon wet dry filter, with a pump that does almost 2000 gph. I had some more space under the tank and I had an idea to add a separate refugium to the system.

I added a separate 20 gallon tank under the stand and made an overflow which overflows back into the main sump. There is a small pump (roughly 150 gph) which pumps water from the sump to the 20 gallon refugium.

My plan was to make it a planted tank/refugium to just add to the filtration and hopefully knock down the nitrates a bit along with water changes. Right now I am planning on using fugeray planted + LED lighting long with whatever bulb came with the fixture for the tank. I'm not sure what substrate to use.

Let me know what you all think. I need suggestions/opinions this is my first time doing something like this. There aren't any live plants in the main tank. I wouldn't be dosing c02 but could do dry ferts if needed.

Can this work? I figured with such a small planted tank (20 gallons), feeding off a much larger system, probably handling 300 gallons, the minerals and nutrients for the plants should be abundant and last a good bit without dosing as much.

I can post pics tomorrow
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 04:04 AM
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No plants for the main tank ?
You may be over complicating things. It will have a fairly large amount of evaporation/w just the sump. The Refugium will only add to that. Auto top offs are available though.
If your prefilter is good you may never need to mess/w the main bio-media. I would suggest you use Pond Matrix for the main bio-media. One handfull of it is almost equal to a 5g bucket of bio-balls. Bio Bale, available from the flea bay is great also but price shop on that one as the price varies considerable from dealer to dealer.
Two qts of the pond matrix and a gallon of the bio bale is enough bio-media for a 500g tank.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I didn't mention this, the tank and sump have been running for almost a year now. Using filter socks and probably about 50 gallons of bio balls
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 04:27 AM
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It can help.

There is a method of filtering outdoor ponds similar to this.
The refugium is a flowing stream, rather shallow, with lots of emersed aquatics.
The pond water is pumped through the stream and the plants do the job of nitrogen and phosphorus removal.
The volume in the stream is about 10% of the volume in the pond. The water flow is quite slow.

Part of the point is that the plants are growing in the air, so they do not need CO2 in the water. If you are growing submerged plants they will not be very effective in cleaning the water compared to emersed plants.

I have also heard of people who breed fish and raise the fry running their tanks with planted refugiums. The one that I remember is someone who kept the light on over the planted tank 24 hours a day. The fish had a regular day/night cycle. But the plants did not, and they did just fine.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 11:15 AM
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If your only goal with this is to lower nitrates then I wouldn't even really bother with a substrate. Just buy some duckweed and it will remove more nitrate then a fully planted 20 gal. The bonuses are you won't need much light, no co2, no substrate, and no trimming. Just dip a net in it to remove. That being said you will want a tank like a 20 long, or a 30 long instead of just a normal.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys. I actually was going to use a 20 gallon long but it cracked when I was installing it. I replaced it with a 20 gallon tall ( 24 x 12 and 16 inches tall). I have to make do with what I have. The planted plus light is on its way I only have not even 4 inches to work with above the tank but I can try to raise the light up. The water isnt filled up all the way because of the overflow.

I would probably have about 4-5 inches clearance from the light to the water. Would that be enough for plans to grow out of water?

Also, about the substrate. I have 20 pounds of Eco complete substrate, it would just barely cover the bottom would it be worth not even putting in? If not I could run another little light shining up from the bottom of the tank as well. Would that be beneficial?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the setup. The light in the 20 gal is just the fixture it came with so that could be the one I move under once I get the planted plusor even to the side if that would work
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 09:39 AM
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Looks nice and I like how sturdy that stand looks.
I had no idea you were this far along/w this project when you first posted the
question. If there is not much turbulence on the surface of the water(they don't seem to tolerate it well)frog bit will not be tall. Water lettuce will stick up but only a couple of inches and can tolerate the disturbance of the surface well.
No substrate needed with these, same as duckweed or Silvania.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 12:47 PM
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I had a friend that had huge system about 2000 gallons on a large sump. He had no plants in his tanks but grew plants out of the sump they were vines that he let climb out of the sump. He kept his nitrates almost zero. Only problem was he had to prune them weekly. Yes your plan will work I just don't know if you need a separate tank to grow the plants.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch for the input. So I would have to figure out a way to tie the plants down and keep them from moving. The inflow goes into a filter sock first so there is little or no disturbance to the surface of the water. The overflow is through the side of the tank and I need to come up with some box or screen to cover it that keeps plants and leaves from going out through it and without clogging it up over time
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