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On Pumps and Copepods


Zarathustra2

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Allright. So I have the go ahead from the significant other to start parting together my 90G dragonet build out.

I plan on a 90G (or larger 48" W tank.) I am putting it where the back wall of the tank is flush to a closet so I can put the fuge/sump in the closet. Since I want to have multpile copepod eating species my plan is to go with a 150G rubbermade feeding trough as a giant fuge. I plan on using algae scrubbers and fluidized sandbed filters as my primary filtration along with an 8"DSB in the fuge and a 5"DSB in the tank. Multiple species of macro in the fuge along with a good amount of live rock supplementing the Rock wall and live rock in the tank.

So, my question... Is all of this for nothing if I am feeding my water from the fuge into my tank through a pump? My current fuge setup is gravity fed back to the tank so I haven't been able to see this first hand. Will lots of copepods die in the rush into the tank? Is there anyway I could set it up (without gravity feed) to help the die off rate if it is excessive?

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Gravity feed is your best option.

You can use an inline pump, like an iwaki, to cut down on the losses due to your pump shredding copepods. They use a vaned pump to push the motor and allow much more 'trash' through in one piece. Powerheads and in sump pumps use impellers that tend to chop everything up.

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OK. Unfortuneatly the space I has does not allow for a gravity feed.

So, Would it make sense to go with 2 lower GPH pumps? I'm thinking about 2 ~500GPH pumps feeding back into the tank (Little Giant 2 gives me 650 GPH at 3'Head) into pockets of the live rock wall that are protected from fish as kind of a "staging area" for copepods.

Is there some other device I could use? Airlift? Archimedian screw? I'd just hate going through all this trouble to creat pods and then have them all die in the return.

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I've read, I think on wetwebmedia that copepods start off nearly microscopic so they can travel through pumps no problem... only the adults are at risk. This makes sense to me as impellers don't actually make contact with the housing of the pump. I'm sure you may lose some but with that much room to grow I wouldn't worry. I'm curious about your algae scrubber, I'v been thinking of ways to fit one in a 20g sump.

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Just a thought may sound a little crazy or maybe not...You could put the sump/fuge higher than the tank. Then have your pump pull water from your tank to the sump and let gravity send water from your sump back in the tank. There would be no pumps to kill pods on there way back to the main tank. I can think of a couple ways to hide the pump in this scenario.

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What about using a trash pump? its a submersible pump that lets bigger particals flow through the pump. i had one for my swimming pool when i would drain it so leaves wouldnt create clogs. i know little giant makes one.. and i know they have bigger ones for like 2000-3500gph...oops sorry i basicly copied Prof.. sry

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Just a thought may sound a little crazy or maybe not...You could put the sump/fuge higher than the tank. Then have your pump pull water from your tank to the sump and let gravity send water from your sump back in the tank. There would be no pumps to kill pods on there way back to the main tank. I can think of a couple ways to hide the pump in this scenario.

This is what I have on my 24G right now. It works very well with the exception of an issue with micro-bubbles that is just unavaoidable with a gravity fed system. I am mitigating this with the use of a sponge filter. I would like to do this on my new setup but it just won't work with the space I have. There would also be the issue of keeping 150G tub with lots of sand and live rock 6' up in the air.

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I don't think you want that much flow. <500gph would be much better for the growth of copepods. If your flow is too high than you will be blowing all of the pods out of the sump and not getting the breeding that you are after. I think you wouldn't want but 200-300gph flowing through your fuge area. That is 2-3x turnover in a 90g tank. As much as you don't want to shred the pods going to the tank you don't want so much flow that they all just cycle back to your skimmer/filtration.

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I've read, I think on wetwebmedia that copepods start off nearly microscopic so they can travel through pumps no problem... only the adults are at risk. This makes sense to me as impellers don't actually make contact with the housing of the pump. I'm sure you may lose some but with that much room to grow I wouldn't worry. I'm curious about your algae scrubber, I'v been thinking of ways to fit one in a 20g sump.

There is another thread that gave me all the links that is active right now. Nice links to a bucket version of the algae scrubber that has been driving a very large tank for 2 years, 1 of those without a skimmer.

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I don't think you want that much flow. <500gph would be much better for the growth of copepods. If your flow is too high than you will be blowing all of the pods out of the sump and not getting the breeding that you are after. I think you wouldn't want but 200-300gph flowing through your fuge area. That is 2-3x turnover in a 90g tank. As much as you don't want to shred the pods going to the tank you don't want so much flow that they all just cycle back to your skimmer/filtration.

Do you have an appropriate pump still Prof? :wacko:

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This is what I have on my 24G right now. It works very well with the exception of an issue with micro-bubbles that is just unavaoidable with a gravity fed system. I am mitigating this with the use of a sponge filter. I would like to do this on my new setup but it just won't work with the space I have. There would also be the issue of keeping 150G tub with lots of sand and live rock 6' up in the air.

Yeah, the 150G tub that high up in the air was the crazy part :D.

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I don't think I have a small enough pump that I would recommend. I do have some Iwaki pumps that would do the trick but the flow would be higher than I would like.

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The smaller pumps are usually not pressure rated, meaning you can't throttle them back. I know that I have 2 Iwaki 40RLT pumps that are pressure rated.

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So, i wanted to draw it out and i might later just to get feedback. But wanted to see what you would think of using one of those Iwaki pumps. Rated at about 1000 GPH.

Put it in as a return pump then in series put in a 4 way T. The feed back to the tank would have a ball valve to restrict flow. The two other sides of the T off would go back and feed two algae scrubbers which would drip back into the sump. I would then have another T at the back of the algae scrubbers to drop additional water flow back into the sump.

Assuming 1000 GPH i can throttle the return to the tank to around 400 feeding the two algae scrubbers with about 300GPH each which should be more than enough.

So my thought is that the one Iwaki pump will kill fewer pods than the two submersable pumps I was going to need to run the algae scrubbers in the first place.

Would this setup work or am I missing something on it?

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I couldn't think of a better way to show the idea of the (Now Trademarked) Sumpfugium. :D Hope this gives you the idea. The Length of the algae scrubbers I am guessing by how the rubbermaid tubs look in the pictures. I would need to measure once I got them. I wanted to keep the depth of them fairly short so I could light the whole thing from a shop striplight flourescent from above. At 48"x12"x2 i would have 912sq" of double sided algae scrubbing which should give me more than enough filtration with the overall refugium and DSB (also, 5" DSB in tank to handle food in the sand bed in the display tank.)

I am also planning on a layer of Live rock just about as high as the water line on the side of the tank that has the outflow to stop Macro Algae from reaching the entrance to the pump. Also providing a last chance for critters to not go in the pump if they are big enough to hold on. Along with a strainer box and a strainer fixture on the bulkhead I think I'm safe from large pieces of macro fouling the pump.

I put the return on the algae scrubber return pipes above the water line to avoid a back siphon from the tank in event of a power outtage.

If I find that running skimmerless with algae scrubbers is not working over time I could easily alter the design by putting in a small (20G-Long) tank on the return from the tank and add Filter sock and skimmer features and just let the water overflow into the tub. I might add the tank anyways just to make waterchanges easier and keep the floating macro (chaeto) in that tank where it can get a high turbulent flow.

sumpfugium design 2.bmp

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wow thats some serious thought.. it sounds really good.. id like to be in on this build! it would be awesome to watch it come together. not to mention the experience alone count me in if you need help..

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Thanks. I just might take you up on it.

I'm actually a project manager by trade, usually working in planning and initial implementation, so this is my kind of fun to figure these things out on paper.

If this still seems to check out just need to plan out the CLM and the rock wall for the display tank and start purchasing pieces. Then I can plumb in everything while the rock wall is curing. Add live rock and sand after 6 weeks and weee... get to wait for copepods to start developing. :D Still waiting on a good 90g drilled setup to come up used for a good price.

And now that i'm thinking about it I can put the returns from the algae scrubbers under water, say 1" above the sandbed, to get better mixing of water and avoid a situation where only the top layer of water is flowing. The holes drilled for the algae scrubber will stop any siphoning so I don't need to sweat that.

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