Double 10 gal sump/refugium idea


Hello again ladies and Gents, I don't post here often, but only because I can usually find the answers to any questions by perusing the "threads of old" so to speak.

I am in the process of building a separate sump and refugium, each to occupy a Wally world white box 10 gallon.

These will be attached to each other via a uniseal ( I will drill one tank about 4" below the top edge, so the pipe connecting them will lie on the rI'm of the other, supporting the weight) and will all but fill the space beneath my 55. This tank will be Fowlr (puffers) for a while, while I get used to everything corals need, but would like to do a mixed reef with it one day. Attached you should find a rough sketch of my plans at the moment.

I have built a 1" diy overflow which is currently working wonderfully, I will also build another which reaches slightly higher than running water level for an emergency drain.

I plan to use:
Pump: Danner mag 5 at 4 ft 6in head height

Skimmer: sca 65/ 301, providing the 17.5" tall dimensions I found are correct, as my stand only gives me about 26" of height.

1" PVC: for drain and maybe return.

Overflow: DIY, yes I trust it, I have left it off (not draining) for a week and it started again immediately upon taking in water, so it is air tight. I don't use a check valve because they don't work as check valves.

I didn't mark heater position, but I am of the understanding it would be best in the skimmer compt.

I also didn't mark a ball valve above the T after pump to adjust flow to DT.

1. If anyone that runs an sca 301 can verify the height of it I would be greatly appreciative.

2. Should I run 3/4" for return? I have read a lot that implies drain could/should be one size larger than return. Maybe I'm reading too far into it, I can't really see a reason not to just use 1" everywhere, but a creative mind might conclude that one size smaller than an adequate drain line would be a good size to return.

3. Those of you that run sca 301/ 65's, how deep are they set in the water? I'm not too keen on the idea of setting baffle height before I get the skimmer, but enough people giving me the same depth might convince me.

4. I know there are many pro's here, or at least people who may have fish older than me, so if you see Anything that may be an issue down the line, or immediately, don't hesitate to correct me, I'm a usmc vet and I can take being wrong

I'll have 88lbs of liverock throughout the system.
I'm also undecided as to the utility of a sand bed vs the maintenance? Am I better off with a bare bottom and macros with a good flow through the 'fuge to keep it tumbling?
If we can sort this out I've got hundreds more questions and theories for the 135 gal in my livingroom. but for now, we tackle the 55.

P.S.: I could also use a good source of chaeto and macro algae, anyone want to ship me some?

Thanks in advance for the help I have no doubt you all will be.

I'm drilling the tank and putting it together tomorrow evening. Is there somewhereelse I could post this to get the right attention? Can you guys not see the picture? Maybe that's it?


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I'm not familiar with the skimmers you mention but I'll answer the PVC size. Yes, you can do a 3/4" return line for your Danner Mag 5. If the return port is close to the water line you can get away with just a siphon break hole. If it's too low then you must use a check valve. An eductor attachment can also help add more flow in the tank. As for the sand bed that is really up to you or what you want to keep in the refugium. You can always change it and try different things.

Note on check valves: Swing or Wye check valves only. Spring types will really cut flow if they work at all.


Thanks I'll be using locline for the returns, they have a jet above the water line which breaks siphon immediately. Right now I only back drain about 2.5- 3 gallons when I shut the pump off. Never heard of an eductor attachment so thanks for that idea too.



Locline is awesome and they do make an eductor attachment. My eductor is 3/4" MPT made by CPR Aquatics.


I see, its a venturI of sorts, uses water to suck more water though it. Ingenious! Beautiful puffers as well.



I see, its a venturI of sorts, uses water to suck more water though it. Ingenious! Beautiful puffers as well.

haha thanks! I guarantee that with your Mag 5 the eductor can easily move water 2ft deep and 4ft across. Mine was digging the substrate at the other end of the tank so I had to point it higher. I have a 528gph Jebao pump.


Sounds Awesome, I found the ones for locline. Looks like I'm not quite done shopping. You've been a great help!

The model you have will also fit on locline apparently. Sweet.


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