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ksatterwhite

Internal sump...what do you think???

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ksatterwhite

Ok, I'd like everyones input on a project I am considering. I have always purchased tanks that aren't drilled for sumps. Now that I understand more, I wish I hadn't done this.

 

Here's my ideas. (I have three tanks I am considering trying this on)

 

The first is a 20 gallon long. And, I mean really long. A LFS had them custom made by Oceanic. They are (about) 36" x 10" x 12". It's the same as their 30 long, but shorter and deep (front to back). It will work really great on a bookshelf. On a side note, I have a bedroom that I have turned into an office during a recent remodling project. (I closed off the closet in the room and opened it up to the kitchen for a pantry) Now, it's just a room with one door and a window. Anyway, now I'm going to put a bookshelf/desk area on one of the walls. It will cover the entire wall (top to bottom). There will be a desk in the middle and bookshelves on either side. One complete, it will look built-in. So, I'd like to have this 20 gallon on one of the shelves, but not have sumps, filters, etc. outside. I'm thinking that I can silicone in a piece of acrylic (blue or black) to section off the back. Similar to the Simplicity Plus by Tenecor. Then put a drain on one end for the water to exit the main area. I'm thinking about sectioning the back (sump area) into three parts. The first might contain bio-balls, but if I have enought LR I won't need this. The second maybe a refugium w/ different lighting than the main area. Then, the last section could contain a heater, protein skimmer, and a pump to return water to main area. This way I won't have an extra sump and the only thing coming from the tank would be electrical cords. I'll be putting electrical outlets throughout the bookshelf and desk area so there shouldn't be cords running everywhere. Sound like a good idea?

 

I also have a 30 gallon long by Oceanic that I'm thinking about doing this to. There's not much room in the stand, so this would good also.

 

My third tank I'm considering is a 54 gallon corner that's NOT drilled. I was thinking about putting a straight piece of acrylic across the about that's 12" wide to form a triangular sump area in the tank. In here I could house my heater, protein skimmer, and return pump. Again, if there's enough LR I shouldn't need the bio-balls. Right??? I was going to build LR sloping upward to the back corner anyway. So, this would have been covered up.

 

Also, I'm thinking that with this type of set-up the suface sludge would be drained into the sump area and increase gas exchange.

 

Oh, with the 54 gallon corner there won't be a refugium. I'll probably be keeping a few clams, so I figure they should utilize a large part of the nitrates once established.

 

My orginal idea was for the 20 gallon. After considering it, I thought it might also be a good idea for the others. The only one I'm not quite sure about yet is the 54 gallon corner. Again, with enough LR I don't see the need for bio-ball in a sump. I could hide the heater behind the LR. The only real advatage I see for the 54 is being able to use a sump skimer. I've heard that they usually work better. Oh, and of course the water movement is good.

 

I'd like everyone's opinion on this. And, if you've done something like this before, please let me know how it worked out.

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Sahin

Lots of ideas there, but sorry, I am new to this, you'de have to get some proper advice from the experts.

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C2187

You have some very good ideas, however if your going to build a refugium make sure that you use your powerhead to pump water into the refugium so that it can flow out naturally. If you dont you will kill most of any plankton leaving the refugium inside of the powerhead.  If you think about it I'm sure you can come up with an idea that will let you use the powerhead to pump water in and still get good surface extraction. I have done it on many tanks..

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lizbeth

The problem I see is if you are planning to run the divider the long way in the tank it decreases the depth for aquascaping. More front to back depth gives you more space for creative rock work. The corner tank sounds like it would work great, I love to have as little in view in the tank as possible.

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Toyfreek

If you are planning to glue acryllic to glass with silicone it wont last. I've tried it and inevetably you will have to redo the whole thing.

GL,

Toy

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Smokey Joe

Yeah, I'd try epoxying the plastic first, then using silicone to make sure the seal is good.  Also, I think the 20L is going to be too shallow considering you would need around 4" sealed off to be able to get your hands in and work.

 

Why do pumps to return and supply the flow at all?  Just drill small holes in the backing, or alternatively/additionally slits in the top.

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MarkF

Yup I'm with Smokey Joe, on my refugium I have a few small holes in the mid wall and then slits on top to allow the water to flow back into the main.  The water from the main is pumped into the refugium.  This works out really great b/c I have a snowflake moray eel that I can put some krill in the refugium and no body can fit through the slits except for him.

 

Good luck

Mark F

 

PS I'm talking about my 75G tank

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pandabehr

I have done something similar with my ten gallon project.  I used marine goop  and acrylic to make an in tank refugium. I use a rio 50 powerhead to pump water into the refugium on the opposite side I have an open bulkhead to return the water to the tank. I takes up space in the tank, which is a down side but I have a place for calpura to grow to help with sucking up nitrates.  I put a small piece of live rock with one small tube worm on it. It has now turned into a colony of worms and thier getting really big.  The refugium is encrusting with purple coraline (thanks to my new use of b-ionic) and i think it looks cool! Ill get some pics up soon.

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ksatterwhite

Hmmm...I hadn't really thought about the silicone not staying in place.  Another idea to keep it all in place is to use these acrylic rods (about as big around as a fat writing pin) at all 4 corners on front and back making sure they are against the bottom of the tank and at the very top (behind trim).  If they are in there tight enough and I silicone also, this might work.  The only tank that I really have to do this with is the 20 gallon.  It's going to be on a shelf and I don't want anything outside the tank.  I could go lots of LR and a good protein skimmer.  But, with as short as this tank is, getting a good protein skimmer in there will be a challenge.  Most protein skimmers that I've seen that small are air lift.  I'd like to use a venturi.  Maybe this would work.  I'm not going to overload it because of the size.  

 

What does everyone think about just using LR, powerheads for movement, and a skimmer (if I can find a good one that will fit in there)?  

 

I could just have the items that I was going to use in the refugium in the main area to help with nitrates.  I'll just need to get things that won't take over the tank and keep them trimmed.

 

I'll probably only keep simple things in the 20 gallon.  (a mushroom or two, feather dusters, shrimp, etc.)

 

How about an anemone with a clown?  Would this work in a tank of this size?  I wouldn't want the anemone to die and wipe out the tank.

 

Wow, so many ideas and so little space.

 

Keith

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Smokey Joe

Most people here will advise against an anemone in such a small tank.  Alternatively, try heliofungia, which look a lot like anemones and which many clowns will take to.  They're also much easier to keep.

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ksatterwhite

Hey Smokey Joe-

 

Thanks for the advice.  I'll have to look that one up.  I've never heard of it.

 

I'm not looking to do anything very elaborate...just something that's interesting with a little life to watch.

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