Monday, July 15, 2013

The (updated) sump system

While I wait for all of the components of the lighting system to arrive (I had to cancel my order for the MakersLED heat sinks from, when they demanded an extra $50 worth of shipping after I had placed my order, and re-order them from, I've been spending some time trying to nail down the final details of the filtration system that will be concealed within the stand of the tank. I've come up with a few modifications.

The updated sump layout
The first modification is to the partitioning of the sump. Rather than an L-shaped return section (which would be hard to implement), I've decided to extend the refugium all the way to the bubble trap. This will require that the skimmer section be much deeper (otherwise the height of the tank would be largely wasted), but if I use a recirculating skimmer, then the depth of the skimmer section won't be an issue. The flow going through the refugium could be controlled with an adjustable panel that would raise or lower the height of the overflow from the bubble trap to the refugium. This would allow me to eliminate the feed line for the refugium that was teed off of one of the drain lines, and controlled by a gate valve (tees and additional gate valves on the Bean Animal drain didn't seem like a great idea). The front-to-back dimension of the refugium has been reduced to ensure that enough volume remains in the return section to handle drainage and back-flow from the tank in the event the return pumps lose power.

The filtration system layout
The filtration system
The next modification was to the number, kind, and layout of the media filters and other associated hardware. Some online window shopping has illustrated the enormous cost of granular ferric oxide (GFO) filtration media, and renewed my interest in bio-pellet reactors for the control of phosphates (and nitrates). In keeping with my enthusiasm for a uniform aesthetic and the challenge of DIY, I'd like to use another AVAST Marine media reactor (the self-assembled kind) for the bio-pellets, hopefully modified to incorporate a small recirculation pump. The current plan is to use a GFO reactor at first, until the tank is well stabilized, then to add a bio-pellet reactor, and eventually to re-purpose the GFO reactor as an air dryer (filled with desiccant beads, and plumbed between the air pump and the ozone generator). The first image to the right illustrates a complete layout of all the reactors, if I ran them all at the same time, and didn't re-purpose one into another (from left to right, the external hardware includes an air dryer, an ozone reactor, a carbon reactor, a GFO reactor, a kalk stirrer, a bio-pellet reactor, and a skimmate locker). The second image shows the movement of water through the sump system, since illustrating the manifold and airline connections in SketchUp seemed a bit excessive, even for me.

I wonder if the folks at AVAST Marine Works offer bulk discounts?