Stand alone fuge anyone?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by HiFidelity, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. grizfyrfyter

    grizfyrfyter Reef Geek 3D Printed

    I want the bigger tank so he has more room to love in.
  2. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I wanted to bring this thread back since I really want to do this in the near future and because now I have much much more space for this than I used to :D

    I almost forgot I had this thread going and was about to post a new one till I decided to search for it, I copy/pasted what I was getting ready to post earlier;

    I'm revisiting this idea because as of recently I decided that I want to have it all by running an iTech skimmer and a large fuge that I will probably end up incorporating an algae scrubber into as well.

    The aim here is to have more biodiversity as far as macro algae and pod population goes, for a while now I've been telling myself I can do all this inside the stand but it's getting a little ridiculous trying to squeeze a larger skimmer, fuge section and scrubber inside my 36"x18" footprint under the tank so I think soon I'm going to break & build a "tank wall" around my DT which will comprise of floor to ceiling shelving made of 2x4. I plan to use the wall to store everything related to the tank so that nearly everything that I need is within reach whenever I work on the tank. This is all in my garage by the way.

    Well guess what I plan to stick on these shelves? a stand alone fuge, remote sump and possibly a frag tank. I mean why the heck not right? having the sump inside the stand isn't for me, it drives me crazy and I like having access to EVERYTHING lol.

    How do you deal with plumbing when sump, fuge & frag tank are in different locations/elevations than DT? I've never done complicated plumbing like that, I have the skill to built it but I'd be a liar if I said I've actually done anything nearly as complicated....

    Mainly I need to figure out where a stand alone fuge should be? above DT perhaps so overflow to overflow & just pump water up from sump to fuge? then there is the issue of splitting flow between DT & fuge! plumbing sizes! etc... I haven't really seen functioning systems like this so I turn to you guys :)
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  3. Anhit

    Anhit Guest

    I'll be following this as well, i want to expand on my current setup and always wanted a nice litte fish room but currently where the tank is located right now doesnt allow for one.
  4. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    all my reading has led me to two options;

    A- Set the fuge slightly higher than DT, keep sump under DT which would house skimmer, probes, heaters, GFO (only till I build a scrubber) then the cycle would go as follow - fuge overflow drains into DT, DT overflow drains into sump, return pump pushes water up to DT & Fuge.


    B- Keep sump under DT, put fuge side by side w/ DT and just have it overflow into sump and get return from sump as well, this would be the easiest way to do it but I'm leaning towards the first method.

    Eventually I plan to move the tank inside the house and place it where a wet bar currently resides, which also happens to have a closet next to it. So very many bonus features with putting Reef Tank in a wet bar; water source & plumbing is right there, closet on the other side of the wall can house sump so that DT can sit a little lower w/ Display Fuge right on top of the tank (with clearance for lighting) so 2 DTs in a sense.

    In both cases I'll probably build a scrubber against the back of the fuge and since the sump will have an extra chamber for LR rubble it can act as a cryptic zone being in complete darkness 24/7.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  5. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    So I decided to build a small fuge to test out and figure out how plumbing will work etc.

    This is the first version, it's a small sump gone fuge and I just finished doing the overflow & feed lines;


    Feed is on the right side and herbie overflow on top, going to feed it with a mj1200 super slow flow. First chamber will be chaeto/LR second chamber is an algae scrubber in the making. The baffle is open on the bottom not top so in the second chamber the water will flow upwards, perfect for an upflow scrubber. I have 2 slim LED fixtures that hold 4 leds each, they happen to be close to the length of this fuge so I'm placing one on the front & one on the back, 2 white on each said for the fuge section & 2 reds on each side for the scrubber section.

    For now the MJ1200 is going in the sump pre-skimmer & return will take water back to the sump post-skimmer.
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    well this resulted in a disaster...

    PVC overflow snapped off and, well you can imagine water began draining from the fuge and out all over the garage, ATO kicked in till the bucket ran empty, tunze alarm set off & shut a couple of things off but the return pump kept running and this is where I walked in to see all hell had broken loose, I've got soaked electrical, not sure what the tank's salinity is right now after at least 2-3 gal of fresh water having been added.

    If I've learned anything from these experiences I've learned not to freak out & try to fix everything right away, going to spend the rest of the day adjusting salinity & repairing the joint on the fuge. But first since I am happy this happened during the day, and I happen to be on vacation I'm going to pour a nice glass of 8 yr old $100 whiskey & stand back while I form a recovery plan as I take a sip from the nectar of the gods :D
  7. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Be right over to share your pain :)
  8. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    fixed it, 1.024 salinity, luckily I had 5 gal I mixed last night so I shut off the fuge, moved the pump from ATO bucket to new saltwater & fired everything up, it topped off from the newly mixed water & took up nearly the entire bucket after fuge was back online too... Back to business as usual :)

    Only possible casualty is my kalk dosing pump, it sits under the fuge and it took a nice saltwater bath but it's a lab grade pump and this isn't the first time it's been soaked so I won't be surprised if it works, going to sit down & tear it apart and dry it if any water made it inside.

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