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I think I'm done tinkering with the setup for awhile

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After a major upgrade, then a minor modification last night I think I'm where the tank will work best. With my engineering focus obviously this is way over engineered but it's working and the tank looks the best it ever has.

Dual tiered sump with dual "pit stop" tiered return. From here on out I'll find ways to increase redundancy in case of failure but at this point, I have so many float switches around that I'll know if something happens, on top of them ceasing any possible disasters to the house.





125g DT with a top emergency float that tells the DT return to stop if it starts to over flow. Dual 1" drains fully open (still silent) draining down to the 1st tier sump that houses all the reactors/skimmer/dosing/etc. It also has a high float incase levels get really out of wack. From there it gravity drains down into a 100g rubbermade tote that is 100% refugium. Chaeto sectioned off with egg crate, some live rock so far. DC6000 pump controlled by apex pushes water up to the frag tank. Here is the most worrying part of the whole system. Inside the frag tank is a red dragon AC pump that pushes water back to the display. Getting the two return pumps to balance was the difficult part. I've got a high and low float inside the frag tank that apex will use to modify the speed of the DC pump in the fuge to match the water demand of the AC red dragon. I also drilled a 1" emergency return in the frag for any excess water to ease balancing issues. That way they dont have to be 100% spot on (which is almost impossible) but as long as the DC pump is pushing enough water to keep up with the AC pump, it's fine.

The entire sump is in the basement. The stand that everything is on also doubles as a floor brace for the display. I originally had return flow issues due to the head height with the primary return sitting inside the refugium, which prompted the frag tank install. Now I have a great amount of flow since I've eliminated around 4' of head height. It really made a huge (probably 200%) difference.

ATO sits inside the refugium since that is the most variable part of the system. I keep the tolerance pretty tight due to amount of water that will need to evaporate to kick off the ATO. It's at about 1/4" variance.

In case of a total system power outage, DT water will ultimately drain into the 100g tote, which has enough room to hold the increased water volume. No issues there.

I have a neotherm heater inside of the display to keep water temp stable incase of a pump failure. The only issue would be no dosing happening, but I'll immediately know even if I'm away if something goes wrong. I can run the DT without the sump for a couple of days probably, until nitrates start to rise too high. I'll have to manually dose also, but that's worse case if I cant get a replacement pump soon.


All in all the huge increase in water volume was a noticeable difference in stability.


Sump setup pre-frag tank install.


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why not just have both pumps in the fuge, one for the frag tank and one for the display? no balancing required then.


That was the plan but I wanted more flow into the DT, so I had 2 options. Spend the better part of a grand on a new pump or just engineer a solution to eliminate some height.

The dual pump balancing really isnt too bad due to the forgiveness allowed by the emergency return on top of the safety of high and low floats.

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