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Refugium plumbing?

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snobanker

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Aug 23, 2004
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911
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Auburn, WA
I have an extra 10g tank I want to put on a stand beside my main tank and use as a refugium. I want to drill the side of it higher than the top of the main tank, and overflow the fuge back into the main via a bulkhead and pvc. I'll use a small powerhead to pump from the main to the fuge. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what size bulkhead/pipe to use for the overflow from the fuge, and pump line from the main tank. What size powerhead should I use (if I use a maxijet or minijet?) I drew out a simple diagram of what I'm thinking of.
 
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wanareef

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Aug 26, 2003
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Portland, OR
I would think that 3/4" BH would be a good size - since you are not worried about 'flow". I would add a 2nd Bh just in case the 1st get's clogged by something, you can just plumb it into the same line as the first.

If not a 2nd Bh, you can add a piece of pvc that has a lot of holes drilled in it to lessen the chance of clogging.
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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Stan - I'll take a look at mine today. I have a similar set-up, but my fuge drains into the middle compartment of the sump. I believe I have a Maxi-jet 600 to bring water from the sump up to the fuge. Also, when the powerhead feeding the fuge gets turned off, water back siphons into the sump, until it that siphon is broken (when the tube is out of water....about an inch down or so). This is something to also consider. It isn't an issue with me because my sump is so tall - it can handle the extra water, no problem....but it was scarey the first time I tested.
 

snobanker

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Aug 23, 2004
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Auburn, WA
Wanareef, the 2nd BH idea sounds good. I saw a link somwhere with the PVC inlet's with holes in it somewhere too...I think at Melevs reef. That sound like a good idea too. Holes along the horizontal axis and top of the pipe only, would also help prevent overflow of the main tank too, as the water level in the fuge wouldn't drop so far if the pwhd failed.

Nikki, I eventually want to use the same concept as you with the pwhd in a sump below it. I just don't have a sump set up right now. I want to start a fuge for nutrient export.

What if I put a u-tube on the intake of the pwhd that extended up to just below the water level of the main tank so that if my BH's in the fuge did clog, the water from the main could only pump until the pipe broke the "lowering" surface and quit pumping. This would keep my fuge from overflowing. I could put the pwhd in an overflow box, but I really don't have room for that. The BH's in the fuge would be high enough of course that if the pwhd failed it would stop draining before it overflowed the main...I hope ;)...Oh and I assume I should put some kind of valve in the pump output to adjust the flow if neccasary.....Or I suppose I could put the pwhd in the fuge and suck water from the main tank with the inlet extended just below the surface....come to think of it this would look a lot cleaner in the main tank....will an MJ600 draw water through say two feet of 1/2" with 4 90's in it?? hmmmmm
 
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snobanker

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Aug 23, 2004
Messages
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Location
Auburn, WA
What if I split the overflow into two with a Y fitting instead of two BH's Y'd to one outlet? Seems like it should work the same and the liklihood of both outlet tubes clogging at the same time should be remote :D
 
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NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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Seems like it should work the same and the likelihood of both outlet tubes clogging at the same time should be remote
Unless the clog is at the bulkhead or the base of the "Y". Are you going to have snails in your fuge?

One thing I see with the first diagram, and I'm not sure it would pertain with a powerhead. Would the powerhead have a draw enough that is would create a "tornado" effect with the water and surface air? I get this when doing a water change on my closed loop intakes. If I still have the closed loop pump on, as the water approaches/get's near the intakes (not as close as you would think), it creates a little tornado (like when you empty your bathtub), and sucks in enough air that microbubbles are created. Like I said I don't know if this would be a problem with a power head, but it is something to think about.

Also, if you want to have the powerhead in the fuge with 4 90s and 2 feet of tubing, then maybe do a more powerful powerhead.
 
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