View Full Version : Recommended size Sump/Refugium for a 50 Gallon tank

11/14/2006, 04:10 PM
Hello all,
Starting a 50 Gallon Reef tank and was wondering a recommended size Sump/Refugium for a 50 Gallon tank. Just bought the tank but have been reading books and posts on here for the last year or so. Thanks

11/14/2006, 04:39 PM
as big as your tank stand and wallet can fit :)

loves saltwater
11/14/2006, 04:42 PM
I agree bigger is better......I would think that a 20 gallon would be the smallest I would have but that will be really small once you add pumps,skimmer and LR

11/14/2006, 04:49 PM
ya i've got a 20 gallon sump for my 40 breeder. I really wish i was able to fit that 29 under my stand (tank was too long by like...a quarter inch!) I would have been able to get a better fuge in there and it would add more water...remember, you dont fill a sump or fuge all the way up just in case you get a freak accident...that way you dont get a flood.

11/14/2006, 04:53 PM
that is what i though. Thanks guys and what would you recommed for testing your RO/DI water?

11/14/2006, 05:02 PM
just get a handheld or inline TDS meter

11/14/2006, 05:34 PM
I have a ~20 gal fuge for my 55 which is in the process of being setup. Here's a pic so you can see the relative size if it helps :)


11/14/2006, 05:34 PM
I agree, get the largest sump your stand will accomodate. I've got a 30g (36" x 12" x 17") under my 90g, with a 5g tank beside it (ATO resevoir). The LFS suggested I go with an 18g ready-made sump, but I'm glad I went larger. The 30g puts a little bit more water in the system, and there's lots of extra room in the sump in case of a power outage.

11/14/2006, 05:38 PM
chrisstie is that a predrilled tank, cause mine is not?

11/14/2006, 05:45 PM
no it looks to me that she has a hang on back overflow...same as what i got on my 40 :)

11/14/2006, 05:47 PM
would you recommend a hang-on back overflow and what size?

11/14/2006, 05:51 PM
Nope its the wonderfully crappy tempered glass type :) On the far left is my return hose where water is pumped into the tank. Closer to the right side (white box) is my overflow, U tube, overflow box and some flexitube stuff that empties into the sump.

here's some more pics so you can see how it works:
(oh and melev's reef site has an amazing explanation of how this stuff works if you're still stumped. it took me a while of fiddling with it to figure it all out!)

here's the return tube on the left (flexihose to some loc-line stuff .. was testing it for leaks this weekend and tweaked it abit) and on the right the overflow\return...
The Utube once primed with proper velocity of water going through it should hold a siphon even if the power goes out or your pump fails for whatever reason.

If you don't use pvc (which you can! my setup needs flexible stuff) and the flexitube is stiff or has kinks from being wrapped in a spool you can use a simple hairdryer to get it to bend to your will (the pure clear stuff is great, reinforced stuff like on my overflow box is more annoying.. but they were out of clear in that size)

A closer look at the sump. It has 3 chambers - Water in, refuge with light, water out - I am not sure where I am going to put my skimmer yet, wherever I have room once I have water and rock and what not to skim!

I should probably get a filter sock or do something more.. aesthetic with the tubing that goes down into it lol

11/14/2006, 06:28 PM
What size tank and sump do you have chrisstie?

11/14/2006, 06:30 PM
I'm setting up my 46 gallon tank with a 66 gallon sump.


11/14/2006, 07:07 PM
chrisstie...you've got the almost exact same setup as me...only my overflow was supposed to be a dual one (theres 2 holes drilled in it) but i blocked off one hole and am only using one. But you've even got it all placed in the same exact posision lol, and even the same hose.

I did something a little bit like you too...i couldnt get a couple of the flexpvc over the bulkhead....so i nuked the hose in the microwave of course! :) Worked like a charm. Stuff expands when heated, and thats just what it did...fit perfect over the bulkhead adn then i took a fan to cool it really quick and it pretty much locked on there. I cant even pull it off if i wanted to. I probably should have one but i dont...one of those metal clamp things. I just didnt feal the need to have one cuz it was seriously on there very very tight. But i prolly will get one sometime just to be safe.

Oh, and eisfish...you think your sump is oversized compaired to your tnak? I had my brothers 29 as a sump for my 2.5 nano for a while lol. Just because i was bored and because "I COULD!" ;)

11/14/2006, 08:43 PM
Haha thats awesome sump sizing. I'm interested in figuring out how to add more volume to my aquapod 12g but ehh. making this reef comes first :)

And I think I said somewhere before but its a 55g tank (48"x12"x height) .. i think i'll do fine with aquascaping but am doing it on a "budget" so i went this way.

and sirdudeguy I actually am using the metal hose clamps - I had just one on the return (note to self drill extra hole when RO\DI water is in and running) and the hose wasn't quite over the ridges on the black thing.. I had an intermittent teeny tiny drip coming out the top of it.. nothing big just a drop once in a while and I thought hmm.. thats a lot of pressure to do that.. So apply heat, hurt hand squeezing smaller thing onto bigger thing, 2 clamps this time, I should be good to go :)

I guess necessity is the mother of.. Convention in our case :)

If it helps I am a lazy person who had no idea what was going on with this "plumbing" stuff and thought it'd be easier to buy a kit to put together rather than "DIY" (which in my case usually means Do it yourself you screwed yourself) so i found catalina aquariums on ebay and for about the same price of doing it all myself.. hey it worked!

And yeah the bulkhead portion of the white box was exactly the same size as the tube.. that one required an actual heat gun, a drainage fitting (just microns smaller than the 1 inch hole), some cpvc glue, metal clamp, and my dad. He's my hero helping me figure this stuff out. Now that i've got it all set up its just a matter of.. well, getting everything to go inside :)