Sump and refugium

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Filter' started by Billy1205, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Billy1205

    Billy1205New MemberMember

    Hi, currently i'm struggling with the mix of sump and refugium. Can someone advise me on the questions i asked below. I really need help on this because the nitrate in my tank is gradually increasing due to i'm using canister filter. I'm really regret to listen to LFS of using canister in my reef tank.

    1. I have a 80gallon tank, what's the size(gallon) of sump + refugium require?
    2. Can i use dry sand to form a deep sand bed instead of live sand?
    3. What else should i put into the refugium others that deep sand bed?
    4. What is the flow should i use in a sump + refugium tank? I see alot of people using slow flow, but my question is, how slow does it require?
    5. Regarding the light on refugium, does it apply any WPG? If yes, what's the normally WPG u guys using?
    6. How many chambers should i have in sump + refugium and what should i put for each chamber? 1. Protein skimmer, 2. Refugium, 3. What else?

    I really need help on this because i know nitrate kills coral, any help really appreciated.

    Sent from my SM-N910C using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  2. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    1. A rule of thumb I follow with sumps is 20 gallons per 100 gallons of display tank. A 20 gallon tank should be fine for your setup.

    2. You can use dry sand, all sand eventually becomes live. But I would just go with live sand to speed up the colonization of the bacteria needed for a DSB.

    3. You can put chaeto to help reduce the nitrates further and provide a home for copepods to colonize.

    4. I don't remember exactly, but I remember being told once that the flow a sump should have is around 5x turnover. You do generally want to have a gentle flow in the refugium though, which could be accomplished with well placed baffles.

    5. I would just use a CFL 6500k bulb with a clip on fixture.

    6. First chamber, the water flows in. The skimmer would sit in this chamber since the water level will stay consistent. The second chamber will house the refugium as you states. and the third chamber is where the return pump will go, and where your variable water level will be. You should watch the final chamber to know how much to top off in your aquarium.
  3. OP

    Billy1205New MemberMember


    Thanks for your reply, above is my sump and refugium design, please comment whether I need to change or add anything else. Besides, will this design lead to overflood when failure in return pump.
  4. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    The only modification I would make is having a plate on the far left to have filter socks.

    And if you fill the sump in this manner, it won't flood:

    First, set up the overflow, fill your tank as normal and let it drain into the sump without the return pump on.
    When the tank is done draining into the sump, fill the sump with fresh salt water to the level of the baffles.

    When the return pump goes off, it shouldn't drain past the baffles.