Monday, July 21, 2008

If one sump is good...

The 20 gal tank I had planned to use for mys sump will indeed fit under my stand. Unfortunately, there is no way to get it in there. I can slide it vertically through one of the stand doors but there isn't room to tilt it down into position.

Plan B
I need to do this as inexpensively as possible so I'm not buy a pre-made acrylic sump nor am I going to take the time to custom make an acrylic sump that will just fit into the stand. The largest tank I can place into the stand turns out to be 10 gallons. I feel that a 10 gallon tank is too small. Once I add the deep sand bed and allow room for the water to rise in a power failure there won't be enough water volume in the tank. So, I'll use two tanks. It so happens that I have two of these already.

I will connect the two tanks together with PVC plumbing and bulkheads to allow the water to flow between them. One tank will have a deep sand bed and will serve as the refugium. The other tank will house the protein skimmer, sump and return pump. Water from my overflow box will flow into both tanks and I'll use valves to set the flow through the refugium. The output of the refugium will flow into the chamber that houses the protein skimmer in the second tank. A baffle will set the water level for the protein skimmer and refugium. Water from the overflow box that didn't go directly into the refugium will flow into the skimmer chamber. A set of baffles will eliminate bubbles as the water flows into the sump that houses the return pump. I'm also going to add a Durso Standpipe to my overflow box to cut down on noise. I am also going to add a float valve in the sump to handle automatic top offs. I'll post a set of plans soon and pictures when I complete it.

I can't wait to get started on this. My nitrates are still high and I need to do something soon. I'm losing my tongue coral. My glass hole saw and bulkheads are on order from Creative name, huh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Last week we rented a cabin on a lake on the border of Wisconsin and Michigan about an hour north of Rhinelander Wisconsin. On the way home we stopped at the Doctors Foster and Smith outlet store in Rhinelander. They were selling 160 gallon mix buckets of Reef Crystals for $29.99. I bought one bucket. I would have stocked up more if the van wasn't already bursting at the seams. Usually, the stores around here are selling Reef Crystal buckets for $60. I'm assuming that Doctors Foster and Smith are making money too so the LFS must be marking it up by more than 100%. By the way they charge $9.99 for shipping. So for $40 you can purchase this online and save $20 plus taxes over your LFS.

I also purchased a PF-800 overflow box and 40 pounds of live sand while there. These will be used for a refugium I'll be building out of an old fish tank in the base of my stand. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll add macro algae. I'll probably see if the live sand alone will reduce the nitrates.