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Slow flow through fuge


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#1
atoll

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I have read all the theories of turnover through sumps and fuge's however I was thinking of trying a slow flow through fuge. I have a number of reasons for this more of which later. However I had a sump many years (before people only through as sumps as something at the bottom of a car engine) ago and the turn over of the 130gallon system one once every 3 hours through the sump. The sump contained Caulerpa (no Cheato in those days) yet it all worked perfectly.



The Caulerpa grew very well under the not so good T8 lighting and was of great benefit to the tank.



I have a HOB fuge which hold around 1 gallon and was thinking of feeding it with airline sized tubing teeing off one of my pumps to feed it. The fuge would be fitted to my River and Reef 94L (approx 22gallons) and would overflow straight into the tank. I estimate the turn over/filling of the fuge would be around once every 10 minutes as it would be much more than a drip in fact a steady flow into it.



The turnover of the tank through the fuge would be around once every 3 times per hour same as my old sump system as it happens.



The benefits I can think of are.

1/ Pods would not get flushed into the main tank so quickly and would have plenty of time to breed and build up a good population.

2/ I would have no need for yet another pump in my tank, I have enough of them already.

3/ It would be far easier for me to bring a airline or RO 1/4" feed pipe to the fuge and the overflow could be much smaller than the 1.1/2" one on it at present in fact a 1/2 or 5/8"" would be fine.

4/ I could have say2"/ 3" of fine sand in the fuge which would also help nitrate conversion.



So would the constant slow flow of water to the fuge coupled with a DSB in it be enough to provide the Cheato with enough nutrients to make a difference to nitrate levels? There may also be other benefits to the system.



Your thoughts and experiences please.



Here's a pic of my HOb fuge complete with 11 wt PC light.

Posted Image

Edited by atoll, 21 March 2012 - 08:28 AM.

Les.
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#2
Amphiprion1

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The benefits I can think of are.

1/ Pods would not get flushed into the main tank so quickly and would have plenty of time to breed and build up a good population.

Good in theory, yes. I think that will cause more limitations than you may think. The biggest of these would more than likely be food availability, since that will be more limited because of the lower flow-through. This is assuming 'pod production is one of the major goals of the refugium.

2/ I would have no need for yet another pump in my tank, I have enough of them already.

What is the flow rate of the return? Maybe a slight upgrade is in order, unless it is throttled now.

3/ It would be far easier for me to bring a airline or RO 1/4" feed pipe to the fuge and the overflow could be much smaller than the 1.1/2" one on it at present in fact a 1/2 or 5/8"" would be fine.

1/4" seems too small, but a 1/2" to 5/8" feed sounds reasonable. A 1.5" feed is severe overkill given how small the container is. That sounds more like an effluent/drain given the size.

4/ I could have say2"/ 3" of fine sand in the fuge which would also help nitrate conversion.

Maybe, but I think the surface area is somewhat limiting. Not sure how effective it would be. That limitation may also not allow enough infauna to keep it healthy in the long term. However, I'm a big proponent of keeping DSBs in the primary display for that very reason.



So would the constant slow flow of water to the fuge coupled with a DSB in it be enough to provide the Cheato with enough nutrients to make a difference to nitrate levels? There may also be other benefits to the system.

It can make some difference, though it is hard to say how much. Chaetomorpha actually does bet in decent flow rates to maximize both light exposure from sediment/detritus, but also to increase nutrient availability. As far as completely limiting or stunting, I don't think it is as likely given the light levels and the mass of algae you can get in that small volume.


Your thoughts and experiences


See my thoughts above^

#3
atoll

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1
Pods would not get flushed into the main tank so quickly and would have plenty of time to breed and build up a good population.
Good in theory, yes. I think that will cause more limitations than you may think. The biggest of these would more than likely be food availability, since that will be more limited because of the lower flow-through. This is assuming 'pod production is one of the major goals of the refugium.



With a slow flow through I could feed the pods without most of it getting flushed into the tank. This would allow a far greater build up of pods IMO.

2/ I would have no need for yet another pump in my tank, I have enough of them already.
What is the flow rate of the return? Maybe a slight upgrade is in order, unless it is throttled now.


I have 2 maxi-jet pumps a 1200 and a 700 return in the filter compartment and a Tunze 6055 on a tunze pulse timer and a Polario 7ML in the tank so lots and lots of flow.

3/ It would be far easier for me to bring a airline or RO 1/4" feed pipe to the fuge and the overflow could be much smaller than the 1.1/2" one on it at present in fact a 1/2 or 5/8"" would be fine.
1/4" seems too small, but a 1/2" to 5/8" feed sounds reasonable. A 1.5" feed is severe overkill given how small the container is. That sounds more like an effluent/drain given the size.


Nope the 1/4" would be the pipe into the fuge. The outlets or return to the tank would be 1/2" or 5/8". The 1.1/2" is the current size of the outlet from the fuge not the input size which is currently 1/2".


So would the constant slow flow of water to the fuge coupled with a DSB in it be enough to provide the Cheato with enough nutrients to make a difference to nitrate levels? There may also be other benefits to the system.
It can make some difference, though it is hard to say how much. Chaetomorpha actually does bet in decent flow rates to maximize both light exposure from sediment/detritus, but also to increase nutrient availability. As far as completely limiting or stunting, I don't think it is as likely given the light levels and the mass of algae you can get in that small volume.


Chaetomorpha is best tumbled I know however the foot print of the fuge is just 3" x 11.1/2" and it wouldn't tumble. However the fuge would be lit from both above and from the side. I have a small 11wt power compact to light from above and the whole side would be lit from the tank lights as the fuge will be up against it.
Les.
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My River and Reef nano. http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3814686
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#4
Amphiprion1

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With a slow flow through I could feed the pods without most of it getting flushed into the tank. This would allow a far greater build up of pods IMO.

If you feed the fuge directly, then it is possible to get around this. You could also add rubble and the like to provide lower water motion in select areas, but this could work assuming the above.


I have 2 maxi-jet pumps a 1200 and a 700 return in the filter compartment and a Tunze 6055 on a tunze pulse timer and a Polario 7ML in the tank so lots and lots of flow.



Nope the 1/4" would be the pipe into the fuge. The outlets or return to the tank would be 1/2" or 5/8". The 1.1/2" is the current size of the outlet from the fuge not the input size which is currently 1/2".

That makes much better sense. I somehow managed to misread it. I still wouldn't reduce it for safety reasons jut in case there is a clog.



Chaetomorpha is best tumbled I know however the foot print of the fuge is just 3" x 11.1/2" and it wouldn't tumble. However the fuge would be lit from both above and from the side. I have a small 11wt power compact to light from above and the whole side would be lit from the tank lights as the fuge will be up against it.

Most tank lights are too blue to be ideal, but that does help some. It still won't diminish the boundary layer too much as far as flow is concerned, though. I do still think growth would be aided by better water motion.


Edited by Amphiprion1, 21 March 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#5
atoll

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Quote "Most tank lights are too blue to be ideal, but that does help some. It still won't diminish the boundary layer too much as far as flow is concerned, though. I do still think growth would be aided by better water motion." Unquote

The light on that side of my tank is all white cree LEDs no blue at all. I could easily add a small pump (don't really wish to though) in the end section to move the Cheato about. This could be retro fitted if I don't get the growth.

Edited by atoll, 21 March 2012 - 02:44 PM.

Les.
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#6
Amphiprion1

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Quote "Most tank lights are too blue to be ideal, but that does help some. It still won't diminish the boundary layer too much as far as flow is concerned, though. I do still think growth would be aided by better water motion." Unquote

The light on that side of my tank is all white cree LEDs no blue at all. I could easily add a small pump (don't really wish to though) in the end section to move the Cheato about. This could be retro fitted if I don't get the growth.


It will grow without the pump just fine--it's just not really optimal, so it won't necessarily be maximized.

#7
atoll

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It will grow without the pump just fine--it's just not really optimal, so it won't necessarily be maximized.


Yep kinda what I was thinking really. Here in the UK there are lots of reefers growing Cheato in their sumps without tumbling it (guess its the same in the US) and its grows well. Light being more important as an accelerator than tumbling. I will consider my options and replies then decide. Thanks for your input and advice much appreciated. :)
Les.
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#8
JamesHL88

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I first ran a fuge with moderate flow my macros loved it but i only saw pods occasionaly. Then i changed it to super slow flow (almost still). And my pods exploded. It was incredible. My macros however didnt like the low flow. I managed to grow my cheato by tumbling it in the drain section. But i would say super low flow in the fuge is worth it just for the pods.

I should add that my fuge was bare bottom.

Edited by JamesHL88, 21 March 2012 - 03:57 PM.


#9
atoll

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I have been thinking of a way to have the best of both worlds so to speak and have come up with this little idea. I already had a small 5wt pump which fits neatly into the first chamber of the fuge. The output is 150ltr hr so could just be right to created enough water movement to move/tumble the Cheato. here's 2 pic's of it fitted in the fuge. I just had to very slightly open up the existing bottom hole to poke the nozzle of the pump through. I could create some sort of defector if required to aid tumbling of the Cheato.


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Les.
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#10
bizzarro

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I think it depends on what type of fuge you have. The CPR I have is about 20" wide and even on the fast setting there's still dead spots right under the water output.

I threw in dead fish or fish meat I cut up to feed the tank and leftovers are thrown in there. After a few days, there's like a "fog" in the area from no water movement. The pods don't seem to be affected by the water there.

I have red garcilaria and prolifera and that choked out the chaeto clumps I had.

Edited by bizzarro, 22 March 2012 - 05:08 AM.


#11
atoll

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I think it depends on what type of fuge you have. The CPR I have is about 20" wide and even on the fast setting there's still dead spots right under the water output.

I threw in dead fish or fish meat I cut up to feed the tank and leftovers are thrown in there. After a few days, there's like a "fog" in the area from no water movement. The pods don't seem to be affected by the water there.

I have red garcilaria and prolifera and that choked out the chaeto clumps I had.


I have the one in my pic only holds about 1 gallon. I don't think I will be throwing dead fish into it :o
Les.
The more I learn the more I learn how much I have yet to learn.
My River and Reef nano. http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3814686
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#12
bizzarro

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I have the one in my pic only holds about 1 gallon. I don't think I will be throwing dead fish into it :o


Dead fish are not common occurence except for the last few I added that did not eat prepared or even live foods or had unfortunate run ins with crabs, they're like small fish less than 2". Thankfully it's not common. They are a treat for the pods but I do not make a habit of feeding them.

LA Reefs has something on how to grow red garcilaria and thats' where I got the idea to throw dead things in there to feed the pods and macro algae.

The CPR fuge I have holds 3.6 gallons. I covered as much as I could of the bottom with sand too then added macro algae.

Edited by bizzarro, 22 March 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#13
atoll

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Right I have taken the plunge and am well on with the project. I will report back when it is finished and its up and running. Wish me luck I might need it. :o
However I am known for pushing the boundaries and trying different things often against conventional thinking as with my recent lighting mod. ;)
Les.
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My River and Reef nano. http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3814686
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#14
atoll

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OK all but finished my Fuge, unfortunately when cutting off the large return pipe the surrounding acrylic sent out fine cracks however I am sure they will be water tight as I have seen this happen before. I have however covered them sill a silicone type glue just to be safe.
The inlet bulkhead fitting is 1/4" John guest RO type push fitting which will take the feed pipe from a Tee off from my phosphate reactor. I will also fit a John Guest 1/4" in-line tap to it.
Next having cut of the large bore overflow pipe I blanked it over with some 1/4" plastic and drill a hole to take a 3/4" bulkhead fitting. On the inside I have push fitted a strainer/guard from a small powerhead. On the external return side I have fitted one of those flexible knuckle tubes that come with some return pipes to direct the to the area I want the return to drop into. The original inlet I also cut off and blacked it off with a small rubber sucker pushed tightly into it.
All I need to do now is Tee off the 12mm supply pipe to my reactor, fit a 12mm to 1/4" tee and attach the RO pipe I am going to use to feed the reactor. I then need to cut holes in the lid to take the hanging brackets and overflow. All the bits I already had so the conversion has cost me nothing.

Pic showing the John Guest 1/4" bulkhead fitting.
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Pic's showing the completed over flow return to the tank with bulkhead fitting, strainer and flexible outlet.
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Les.
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My River and Reef nano. http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3814686
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#15
atoll

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I have completed my slow flow fuge and its set up with 2 handfuls of Cheato. Currently lit by a 11wt power compact. There is approx 1" of fine sand in the bottom and I have added a few bits of dead coral skeleton for pod cover. I will monitor its progress over the coming weeks and report on how successful or otherwise it is although I am confident it will soon have plenty of pods in it. Here's a few pic's.
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Posted ImageAnd finally with it sitting on the tank.
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Les.
The more I learn the more I learn how much I have yet to learn.
My River and Reef nano. http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3814686
My Youtube video. http://www.youtube.c...mp;feature=plcp