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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I need some help. =) I have a 40 gallon 36X18X16 breeder glass aquarium. I need some help with designing a closed loop system for it. How many holes would I need to drill, where would I drill them, what size, etc. I have a 29gallon glass aquarium I was going to use for the sump. Do you know of any designs I can use for the sump fuge? I really would like a nice large refugium in it. What size pump do you suggest using for my return? I was thinking of a quiet one, but am willing to take any suggestions. I would like to keep everything as neat as possible. I really would not like to see any piping inside my tank. I was going for an all black look inside the tank so that I will be able to see the corals full coloration nicely. I've been to melevs website, reef central, and nano-reefs.com. Just can't seem to quite get the exact specifications for this. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Oooh pictures too if you have them. Thank you all. :wavey:
 

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Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

i would suggest not doing a refugium. i think they are a pain, and do not do any good for our systems. without it will also give you more room for the important pieces of equipment that will help make the setup cleaner looking.

how quiet does this tank need to be? i am very partial to Velocity T series pumps. i do not think there is a better pump out there that can do less than 1000gph. i would use one of these on the return at least. matching it up to whatever your overflow is.

do you have a skimmer in mind? this is where i would start with figuring out what your flow through the sump would be.

have you ever thought of doing a coast to coast overflow/CLS inlet?

have you though about exactly what you would like to keep in the tank? are you going SB or BB? a lot of questions need to be asked in order to help you figure out where to put holes. :D

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
I guess I was a little vague. I have a Remora Pro Skimmer with magdrive, DSB, and I want to keep SPS and maybe some LPS. I have an Aqualight Pro Light. I would like the tank to be pretty quiet if possible because I have sleeping problems and I live in an apartment. Someone suggested a Mag Drive, but for the same output I can run a Quiet One with less Watt usage. Lower Bill etc. From what I understood from some people is, you don't need an overflow. Just the bulkhead draining down to the sump. This is why I need help. ;-) What is a Coast to Coast Overflow CLS inlet? Never heard of that one. I need the Refugium for more rock, algae, pod population, and frags. Any help would be great. Thank you.
 

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here is my coast to coast overflow. There are no parts of it in the tank, water flows over the back wall into the overflow. Im still not sure exactly how i am going to do my cls, and how much of it is going to be supplied via this overflow or through bulkheads in the tank or both......i have another tank im working on first.

Im kind of on the same thinking as Geoff as far as refugiums go. I hate them, i like a cleaner sump setup. Especially if you are using a sandbed, creating more pods shouldnt be necessasry unless you are planning on housing several mandarins in the future or something. There are other things you can do in tank to increase your pod population. All you need to have frags below is light. I like sumps for macroalgae, frags and equipment, and that can be done in what looks like a sterile place....no sand or rocks........but thats just my opinion.
The only reliable way you are not going to have absolutely any pipes in the tank is if you do your return over the top so it CANT backsiphon when there is a power outage or you shut the pump off. the third and 4th picture is what im doing in my other tank to accomplish that. The outlets wont sit down that far when im done, or even be visible for that matter. I dont know of any other way to fix the backsiphon issue without using a one way valve that i have been warned against due to reliability...OR of course just doing it the standard way with pipes running down into the tank with a couple of holes drilled at water level. Lot bigger tank but same concept i think.

-pictures got flip flopped--last 2 are the c to c of course
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Uhhh! I wrote out an entire little article about the types of corals and fish I want and the computer logged me off! Here it is summed up Mostly Soft Corals, few clams, false perc, goby, mandarin (yes I know all the horror stories and wanted the ref to grow pods) Royal Gramma. Just to name a few.
 

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if you really want to keep a mandarin, than do not use a refugium. it will not work. setup a second system just for growing pods. trust me it will be easier and less stressfull for you and your corals. what is necessary to keep pods happy will not keep your corals happy.

not sure the remora was a good choice for what you are thinking of doing. it is a great choice for that size tank if you do not plan on running a sump, but if a sump is in the plans a sump skimmer would be a better choice. they are able to be made much more quiet and you can get longer times bestween cup empties.

i have not heard anybody who thinks that the Quiet One pumps are quiet. if you want quiet the Velocities are your only choice.

you are correct in just needing to drill a hole and add a bulkhead to make an overflow. these can be troublesome to get quiet, but work very well. the bigger the hole the easier it is to make quiet. i would not put more than about 4-500gph through the sump.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,
How come the Refugium is not a good idea? I hear all these success stories of people keeping Mandarins very fat and healthy by growing pods in their Refugium. Why would those not be good? How big would you suggest making the hole for the overflow and where would you put it? During a power outage, I want to make sure I would not get a back siphon to flood the tank or sump. How many holes would you suggest making in the back of the tank for the flow? I was thinking 4. Two on the top and two closer to the bottom. Just not sure. Any advice would be great. Where do you get Velocities? How much are they? Would you place them inside the sump? Thank you. =)
 

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i have not heard of anybody successfully keeping a mandarin because they used a refugium. how do the pods get to the tank? then there is the water quality problems.

pods like high phytoplankton water. this is not good for corals. this will lead to algae problems. it is difficult to keep enough phyto in the water with a decent skimmer also. the whole point of a skimmer is to remove organic matterial from the water column.

if quiet is the concern, i would suggest doing somekind of overflow box. that way you can use a durso standpipe in the overflow. running a coast to coast inside the tank is much more difficult to get quiet and yet have good surface skimming. unless you go with a 1.5" bulkhead with an upturned elbow in the tank and a durso standpipe outside the tank. i would not run a return pump over 500gph though.

another 3 holes for a CLS. i would put the inlet high up on the back in an open area so that you can clear the inlet strainer of any debris easily. another hole down low behind the LR for a spraybar. another hole up high for regular flow on the opposite end of where the return from the pump will be.

do you have an idea of a CLS pump in mind?

you can get the Velocity pumps from either Marine Depot or Premium Aquatics. both sponsors here.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi,
I went to the local reef store and he told me to use a mag drive for both the closed loop and the return pump. He recommended a mag 7 for both. What do you think? Would placing the overflow 7 inches (middle of the tank) pose any problems? I am personally not comfortable with this, but this is the way my bf wants to design it. He wants to use a gravity fed system. What do you think?
 

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The return would mainly be dependant upon how much flow you have for your skimmer. I think the mag 7 would work nicely, you can always turn it down. The CLS would be mainly dependant upon what you wanted to keep.

I think the mag7 would be to small for your CLS there is alot of head in CLSs and you will actually only get about half of your pumps rating out of it. for what you would get out of a mag 7 you might as well just throw an hagen 802 in there and call it done. I would not go less than a mag12 on your CLS. You can allways turn it down you cannot turn it up.

I have 3 mag18s on my CLSs and I wish I would have gone with 6 mag 18s on it.


When in doubt make it stout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi,
I have a mag 3 in my skimmer. Adding 2 mag 7's wouldn't give me enough flow? 7 on the return, then another 7 on the closed loop. What did you think of my bf wanting to make the overflow so low? He wants to make it 7 inches from the top of the aquarium. I thought everyone just made it a couple inches below the surface? He says he needs it that way because of the volume of water and the gravity fed system he wants to use with it draining into the sump. He actually wants to make a clarifier to go before the sump. He is working on a wastewater treatment plant and thinks he can make a clarifier for the system. I jus don't know if that is such a good idea. What do you guys/gals think?
 

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I am not real fermiliar with designing over flows. I will leave that up to Geoff and Flyguy. I just baught my overflows and they are fairly quiet.

With the skimmeer and sump set up I would recomend designing your sump so that no water goes back to the tank with out first going through the skimmer. Like this...



If you can see the baffle between the LR and the skimmer chamber. The flow of the skimmer is faster than the flow of my return pump. what ever water the pump doesn't send back to the tank get run back through the skimmer. I would suggest doing the same thing.


There is no real need for a waste water clarifier, just a large skimmer and lots of live rock.

With the CLS... I would put (depending upon your overflow design) 6 holes in the back of the tank with 2 intakes. Use 3/4 inch for each of the intakes and 1/2 inch for each of the returns. put both of your intakes low and leave room to service them. Place 3 of your returns up high and 3 of them down low. It is easy to drill glass as long as you don't get in a hury.
 

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three90s&125sump said:
I am not real fermiliar with designing over flows. I will leave that up to Geoff and Flyguy.
im flattered to wrongly be put in the same category as geoff. Ive never designed an overflow. I buy cpr's. I have had some high visiblity plumbing experience in the past so i CAN come up with some creative cool stuff that LOOKS good on the plumbing side SOMETIMES.

BUT, to be sure, just because i dont always 101% agree with EVERYTHING geoff says, i listen when he talks and hardly think my 2 years of reefing is on a level with his experience. I have learned lots from him, and the only thing he has learned from me is MAYBE a different way to do a couple of things.

Now that THATS out of the way;) , i keep my tanks about 3/4" below the surface. 7"???? That would make for an ugly display IMO.

I worked for a major microbrewery for years, we had our own wastewater treatment facility, and the only thing similar to this hobby and an effluent plant is the fact that it IS biological filtration. To clarify the water we use carbon. That can efficiently be run by buying a cheap canister filter such as a phosban reactor. You can run this with either a 250 gph little pump or buy your sump return pump that much bigger and steal the flow from it. I personally like that method best.

hth
 

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Fly Guy said:
I have learned lots from him, and the only thing he has learned from me is MAYBE a different way to do a couple of things.
If Gee-Off doesn't learn something new everyday then he needs to find a new hobby. :beer:

I wouldn't put Gee-Off on a pedastool like that, its not that he his incapable of learning new things it that he is so stuburn that he refuses to do anything any differantly.:jester: :rotflmao:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi,
I personally don't want the overflow 7 inches below the rim of the tank. Yes I think it would be ugly too. I don't want the clarifier either. I just want the closed loop, sump that's it. It was his idea to build the clarifier. =/ It would take up too much space. He's says I never trust him. Well, he hasn't read anything even about reef aquariums or any forums about it. Oye. What pump would you recommend for the return and the closed loop. Is my skimmer the one thing that decides my gph through the sump? I have a mag 3 in it. It's a remora pro. Thank you for all the help.
 

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NanoReefer411 said:
Hi,
I personally don't want the overflow 7 inches below the rim of the tank. Yes I think it would be ugly too. I don't want the clarifier either. I just want the closed loop, sump that's it. It was his idea to build the clarifier. =/ It would take up too much space. He's says I never trust him. Well, he hasn't read anything even about reef aquariums or any forums about it. Oye. What pump would you recommend for the return and the closed loop. Is my skimmer the one thing that decides my gph through the sump? I have a mag 3 in it. It's a remora pro. Thank you for all the help.
With all due respect, you have a recipe for disaster going on there and I wish you luck.

Moving on........

I clarify the water perfectly with a 40 dollar total investment, 10 minutes of time to install and 15 minutes a month of maintenance, and hide it in the sump. Your skimmer isnt all that much of a factor relating to what the water flow in your sump should be, it will process the same amount of water regardless of how fast it flows by.

Since you ARE doing a closed loop system, and arent relying so much on the sump return for flow, i would choose a mag 7 or 9.5 for your return, and put a T in the return line just above the top of the sump and put a 1/2 inch ball valve off of the T. This will be for supplying your "water clarification plant" LOL. We actually call it water polishing and that 1/2 " line (not open all the way)will supply 250 gph or so to this. http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_filters_two_little_fishies_phosban_reactor.asp?CartId=
For a new tank i would recommend running carbon in it 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. In the two weeks you arent using it you could also run phosban in it if you have measurable levels of phosphate in your water. Carbon does rob your water column of the good and the bad and many people only run it when their water smells or visibly NEEDS polishing. All of that is preference and subjective and something you will no doubt over time adjust the schedule of to your needs. The frequency i state is just a good place to start.

AS far as the closed loop, we need to know what kind of corals you plan to keep so we can figure out how much flow you want to actually end up with in the tank. I would personally go with a genx pcx 30 in your situation http://www.myreefcreations.com/genx.htm for the closed loop. Its an economical and reliable external pump.

All of that will make for sweet little set up with plenty of options moving forward.

1 more thing, with your water level 1" below the top of the aquarium, you can hold 38.6 gallons of water, drop that 6 more inches and you are left with 23.2.
 

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I don't think he wants the intake of the over flow to be 7 inches below the top of the tank. I think he wants the over flow to start at the top of the tank and be 7 inches deep.


Also, I think you should let him have his own tank and you have your own tank. Let him do it his way and you do it your way. Then in 3 or 4 months you can say "I told you so."


Just buy a 20 gallon AGA RR, an ASM G-1, 15 pounds of LR a 10 gallon sump and a 175 watt MH with a 14K bulb. Then just add water wait 2 months and add coral.
 

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three90s&125sump said:
If Gee-Off doesn't learn something new everyday then he needs to find a new hobby. :beer:

I wouldn't put Gee-Off on a pedastool like that, its not that he his incapable of learning new things it that he is so stuburn that he refuses to do anything any differantly.:jester: :rotflmao:
:lol:

now this is where i need a copy of Spanky's dancing cow.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi,
If I design it the way he wants, is that my recipe for disaster or are you talking about something else? Here are some corals I want to keep, Frogspawn, Hammer Coral, Orange Caps, Open Brain, Zoo's, Mushrooms in low flow areas, Fiji Leather Corals, Flower Pot Coral, Plate Coral short tentacle, Pumping Xenia, and various others. Just a small list. I know the Flower Pot Coral is hard, so I will add that later. Also with the Clams, but those are what I potentially want to keep. I have a Captive Purity RO DI unit. Will this take care of phosphates? I am a beginner so please forgive me. What determines how much flow you have through your sump? How far would you drill the overflow then? I will just go to a glass store and have them do it if he's not going to do it the way I prefer. Would you suggest 3/4", 1", or what? He wants to be a Mechanical Engineer and when I inform him about what people advise on the forums, he tells me he knows best. I will do it the way you guys tell me. Thank you.
 
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