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Old 06/20/2018, 11:46 PM   #26
sfdan
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My sump is basically exactly like your design, so I'll tell you some of the things that bothered me and I messed up:

1. Light spill from the refugium causes algae to grow in and around my pumps. This is annoying and I had to clean them much more often otherwise the algae would clog the intakes.

2. When I put enough flow into the refugium so the chaeto would tumble, it would create a powerful enough waterfall to make bubbles that would go straight into the main tank (and worse, right back to the refugium after they'd been chopped up into even smaller bubbles). I also had an issue with the chateo wanting to tumble right into the return pump section. I put up some eggcrate to stop it, but ultimately this made the flow into the return pump section more errant (more bubbles), and lots of algae grew on that too. Ultimately I just really cut down the flow into the refugium and just manually turned over the chaeto which ended up working fine, but I never could find any happy medium where the chaeto could tumble without having additional problems.

3. My return pump area was too small which made water changes really annoying. I wish I had made the refugium smaller and the return pump section bigger.

All my problems were also compounded because I was doing all of this in a 30 gallon tank which was too small for my 120 display, but if I had to do it again I'd have made sure:

1. My return pump area was big enough to allow me to do my most common water change size in one shot. In retrospect I'd have happily sacrificed refugium size for more return pump size. You really don't need that much space if you are going to have a giant ball of chateo in there, it's a very efficient pod factory on its own. I also really hate microbubbles so maybe I'd have put a baffle here too (and if you go over/under from the refugium, the volume would still count towards the return area).

2. I'd have used black acrylic or something to block the light from spilling from the refugium area to the return pump area.


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Old 06/22/2018, 04:19 PM   #27
spiritwalker
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Join Date: May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdan View Post
My sump is basically exactly like your design, so I'll tell you some of the things that bothered me and I messed up:

1. Light spill from the refugium causes algae to grow in and around my pumps. This is annoying and I had to clean them much more often otherwise the algae would clog the intakes.

2. When I put enough flow into the refugium so the chaeto would tumble, it would create a powerful enough waterfall to make bubbles that would go straight into the main tank (and worse, right back to the refugium after they'd been chopped up into even smaller bubbles). I also had an issue with the chateo wanting to tumble right into the return pump section. I put up some eggcrate to stop it, but ultimately this made the flow into the return pump section more errant (more bubbles), and lots of algae grew on that too. Ultimately I just really cut down the flow into the refugium and just manually turned over the chaeto which ended up working fine, but I never could find any happy medium where the chaeto could tumble without having additional problems.

3. My return pump area was too small which made water changes really annoying. I wish I had made the refugium smaller and the return pump section bigger.

All my problems were also compounded because I was doing all of this in a 30 gallon tank which was too small for my 120 display, but if I had to do it again I'd have made sure:

1. My return pump area was big enough to allow me to do my most common water change size in one shot. In retrospect I'd have happily sacrificed refugium size for more return pump size. You really don't need that much space if you are going to have a giant ball of chateo in there, it's a very efficient pod factory on its own. I also really hate microbubbles so maybe I'd have put a baffle here too (and if you go over/under from the refugium, the volume would still count towards the return area).

2. I'd have used black acrylic or something to block the light from spilling from the refugium area to the return pump area.
Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question here but can you elaborate on the return chamber size and its relationship with the water changes? I would think as you drained water out of the DT the overflow would stop. The return pump would continue to fill the DT until that chamber got low enough for the pump to suck air. Would you not turn off the return pump when doing the water change?

I'm still in design and setup mode and happy to avoid problems :-)

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Old 06/22/2018, 04:59 PM   #28
sfdan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritwalker View Post
Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question here but can you elaborate on the return chamber size and its relationship with the water changes? I would think as you drained water out of the DT the overflow would stop. The return pump would continue to fill the DT until that chamber got low enough for the pump to suck air. Would you not turn off the return pump when doing the water change?

I'm still in design and setup mode and happy to avoid problems :-)

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I think maybe this is a more philosophical debate, but I personally find water changes are easier if I don't have to the turn the return pump off.

So the bigger your return pump section is, the bigger water change you can do without turning the pump off, because as you start siphoning water out from the tank the water level in the return pump section is what will drop. If you prefer to turn the return pump off when doing water changes this is a moot point.


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Old 06/22/2018, 06:02 PM   #29
spiritwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdan View Post
I think maybe this is a more philosophical debate, but I personally find water changes are easier if I don't have to the turn the return pump off.

So the bigger your return pump section is, the bigger water change you can do without turning the pump off, because as you start siphoning water out from the tank the water level in the return pump section is what will drop. If you prefer to turn the return pump off when doing water changes this is a moot point.
interesting.. I dont have my tank up yet so zero experience with a and overflow and sump.. I would think it would not take too much water to make the overflow stop.. I have a 120 gal and if I do a 10 % WC that is going to be 12 gallons.. seems to me that would be plenty out of the DT to stop the overflow from working.

Cheers!


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Old 06/22/2018, 06:15 PM   #30
sfdan
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Originally Posted by spiritwalker View Post
interesting.. I dont have my tank up yet so zero experience with a and overflow and sump.. I would think it would not take too much water to make the overflow stop.. I have a 120 gal and if I do a 10 % WC that is going to be 12 gallons.. seems to me that would be plenty out of the DT to stop the overflow from working.

Cheers!
The return pump is constantly pumping water back into the main tank, so the return pump will go dry before the overflow stops working. As long as the return pump is on, whenever water is removed from the tank the only water level that will change is in the return pump section.

Just to use the example of my tank, I also have a 120 gallon and I also liked to do 10% water changes. But my return pump area only holds about 4-5 gallons, and it needed about 1.5 gallons in there for the pump to be submerged, so I basically had to do 3 gallons at a time. I'd siphon out 3 gallons, then pump 3 gallons in, rinse and repeat 3-4 times.

If my return pump section could have held 10 gallons for example, then I could have siphoned out 6-7 gallons at a time, which means I could have done a 12 gallon water change in 2 shots instead of 4 which would have saved some time.


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Old 06/22/2018, 06:49 PM   #31
spiritwalker
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Originally Posted by sfdan View Post
The return pump is constantly pumping water back into the main tank, so the return pump will go dry before the overflow stops working. As long as the return pump is on, whenever water is removed from the tank the only water level that will change is in the return pump section.
I get it now. Makes sense. Thanks.

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Old 06/22/2018, 06:51 PM   #32
spiritwalker
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It also explains the evaporation support comment earlier. I get it now.

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