Diy Freshwater Sumps And Refugiums

DixieFish

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Can anyone point me towards some good online articles on DIY sumps and/or refugiums?

By the end of the year, my husband and I are planning on getting two or three additional tanks, eventually totaling to about 120 gallons of water, give or take, and we are going to need some advanced filtration. I've started looking up info on building sumps and refugiums, but especially when it concerns freshwater refugiums, I get just basic info on how they work ending in, "but if you are a beginner, buy XX Brand refugium kit!" which is frustrating for a dedicated DIYer on a tiny budget. My local fish stores know next to nothing about freshwater refugiums, and info on sumps is daunting.

My questions so far are:

Should I start with a refugium now while we still have only two 10 gals?
How can I set a refugium up to maintain multiple tanks?
What do I stock a freshwater refugium with?
How do I maintain a refugium for the long run?
Has anyone had success with freshwater refugiums?
I understand the basic layout of sumps, but what filtration mediums can/should I use?
Can I build a sump and/or refugium successfully out of five gallon buckets?
Can I link a refugium to a sump? Is it more or less efficient than one or the other alone?
What sort of problems should I expect out of either system?

If there is a forum dedicated to this topic, then I apologize for overlooking it. But any info on this is EXTREMELY helpful and much appreciated. Thank you!
 

lilirose

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I highly recommend the YouTube channel called "King of DIY". The owner of the channel is an experienced aquarist and has videos on everything you're asking about here. Last night I watched an interesting one where he made an overhead freshwater sump out of a window box for planting flowers in. He also specialises in DIY and does not steer people to buy expensive stuff just for the sake of buying stuff. He also has a website, I think, but promoting other websites here isn't allowed.
 

bigdreams

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Refugiums are typically used in saltwater setups. ... A place to grow some green plants like algae etc. For freshwater it isn't a big deal... You will have plants in main display or your can throw some in to your sump. Are you looking to have a calm chamber to grow out some fry?


I have a some but very effective FW sump set up. I have a whole build thread on it (click on my signature if viewing on a web browser)... My set up is super simple... Two 3 inch Poret blocks act as my baffles in my sump. My sump is essentially a huge matten filter. I use two drain lines from a eshopps 1100 overflow box. Herbie configuration (Google that if that's a new term). One return pump. Simple. I have hornwort moss and duckweed growing in the sump ( recent additions). I constantly find fry in my sump (my lemon tetra population has more than doubled in the past year).


https://gmacreef.com/herbie-overflow-reef-tank-plumbing-method-basics/

You can make the sump as complex as you want but I find simplicity is the way to go.

I will also say DIY overflows are a bad idea. Either drill your tank or get a good overflows box like the eshopps one with dual drains to do a proper Herbie configuration. Don't be cheap, get quality PVC parts like Spears Gate valve.
 
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DixieFish

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I highly recommend the YouTube channel called "King of DIY". The owner of the channel is an experienced aquarist and has videos on everything you're asking about here. Last night I watched an interesting one where he made an overhead freshwater sump out of a window box for planting flowers in. He also specialises in DIY and does not steer people to buy expensive stuff just for the sake of buying stuff. He also has a website, I think, but promoting other websites here isn't allowed.
I love that guy! I get a big kick out of watching him feed his fish, lol. I only got to see part of the sump build vid, but I have it and several others saved on a playlist for when I catch a free moment to watch them. I'll watch for that site. Thank you!
 
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DixieFish

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Refugiums are typically used in saltwater setups. ... A place to grow some green plants like algae etc. For freshwater it isn't a big deal... You will have plants in main display or your can throw some in to your sump. Are you looking to have a calm chamber to grow out some fry?
I was hoping to house a breeding colony of red cherry shrimp and/or to hatch out ramshorn snails (I currently have a trio of Lymnaea Stagnalis snails in my "snail community tank," and their favorite food is ram egg patches, so if I want a steady supply of young snails to feed the assassin snails, I have to breed them in separate little cups).

But the Cherry Shrimp will be the first shrimp I've tried to keep.

I have a some but very effective FW sump set up. I have a whole build thread on it (click on my signature if viewing on a web browser)... My set up is super simple... Two 3 inch Poret blocks act as my baffles in my sump. My sump is essentially a huge matten filter. I use two drain lines from a eshopps 1100 overflow box. Herbie configuration (Google that if that's a new term). One return pump. Simple. I have hornwort moss and duckweed growing in the sump ( recent additions). I constantly find fry in my sump (my lemon tetra population has more than doubled in the past year).


https://gmacreef.com/herbie-overflow-reef-tank-plumbing-method-basics/

You can make the sump as complex as you want but I find simplicity is the way to go.

I will also say DIY overflows are a bad idea. Either drill your tank or get a good overflows box like the eshopps one with dual drains to do a proper Herbie configuration. Don't be cheap, get quality PVC parts like Spears Gate valve.
Wow, thank you for the information, and the advice. Based on the basic information, I might be able to configure it to a bucket...

Also, thanks for mentioning the lemon tetra I had to look that one up. I swear, every time I log in I discover a new species of fish, lol!
 
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