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Sump with bypass to lower flow in refugium

Mad Reefer

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I am building a tank with high flow that will result in even higher flow through the sump. I'd like to slow the flow through the refugium chamber of the sump. I have seen this accomplished by placing the return in a center chamber then split the return flow between the display tank and the refugium.


I have also seen this accomplished by splitting the return and running a lower flow through the refugium


Neither one of these works well for my application.  

I wonder if anyone has seen it done another way and can direct me to any information on it?

One way I am considering is to provide a bulkhead on both entrance and exit of the refugium chamber with ball valve/PVC allowing control of the amount of water allowed to bypass the refugium thus slowing the flow through the refugium. Something like this image below if you can imagine adding PVC with a ball valve at the bottom of the refugium connecting the entrance to and exit from the refugium (shown in the below digram from left to right). When the valve is off it would be at maximum flow through the refugium. The more the valve is opened, the lower the flow that actually enters the refugium.

I might just build it to see if it works as expected. But I'd rather see if its been done before and how it worked out. Anyone seen this out there?


If you dont like the idea of running PVC through the refugium area , you could always run it out one side of the tank before the refugium and then back in by the return....


Thanks for reading!


Edited by Mad Reefer
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Any of the setups you described should work fine.  Seems the deciding factor is what's going to be the easiest to plumb AND work on in the future.  Here's another option for you though.  I like redundancy and prefer to use multiple return pumps (as well as lower flow rates) and for the refugium I don't see the need for more than short sidewalls just tall enough to retain the sand, mud and rock (maybe 6' - 8" tall).   Egg crate will work well for keeping any cheato in place if you feel you need it.  So here's another option for you using two return pumps and keep in mind they don't both have to have the same flow rate, the one pulling water through the refugium can be slower if that's what you feel works better.:



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