New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

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New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby darkone8484 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:02 am

Hi Everyone,

So, I have just got a great deal on a new 29 gallon Coralife Biocube to replace my old 14 gallon Oceanic. I'm a big fan of customization and modification and I'm full of all kinds of "ideas" about how I want to customize this new tank.... However, the purchase kind of wiped my budget for the time being. I do know I want to eventually have a sump on the new set up. I already know I can't drill the bottom of the tank for my sump, and I do NOT want to to an overflow box on the back. I plan to have the back of the tank drilled so that I can add one that way. Right now I am planning on having a glass shop here in town drill it for me and I will just seal the holes for now until I have a sump ready to install. I have all kinds of questions about how to setup/build my sump, but I'll save those for later. For now, my question to all of you who have experience with sumps is where exactly I should place the hole or holes for the sump on the back glass (which chamber, how high off the bottom, etc. I also am curious what diameter of drain and return lines I should use for the project. Anyone have some suggestions, or better yet, pictures of a similar project? Thanks in advance for the help! :)
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby acexotix » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:10 am

Are you set on a separate sump? I converted chamber 2 into a sump. I built a media basket and fuge light myself for less than 20 bucks total. I run chaeto chemipure elite and purigen with the fuge light on opposite cycle as main tank. Unless you're wanting the extra water volume?
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby mikembe » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:27 pm

Hopefully my bro-in-law Sodak can chime in on this with some more detail but he drilled a BC14 and added a sump W/out any problems. He did a Herbie style drain on it and it was silent and seemed to work well.

I on the other hand just put an overflow box on my NanoCube and it works great (hasn't flooded yet) but is a little bit louder than I'd like It sure helped my tank out by adding the extra volume and equipment (bigger skimmer & fuge) despite the noise. I just didn't want to drill it in case I'd sell it the future.

So if you are open to drilling it, go that route just for quietness-sake but keep in mind there are a lot of ways to skin a cat.
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby darkone8484 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:46 pm

"Hopefully my bro-in-law Sodak can chime in on this with some more detail"

I hope he does too. Pictures of what he did would be fantastic! Right now I am for sure going to be drilling it. The current idea is to drill into the 3rd chamber. It was suggested that the drain be 1/3 of the way up chamber 3 and the return be lined up with the factory return outlet at the top of chamber 3. The suggested return diameter was 3/4" and the return line being 1/2". I'd really like to get others input on this idea. The theory on having it in chamber 3 is to minimize the amount of water back flowing into the sump if the tank looses power.

I watched the refugium vs no refugium video and it did change my thoughts on what I want to do with my sump. My main purpose for the sump will be 3 things.
1. Increase water volume to add stability.
2. A place to put a skimmer. I know there are many available that will fit in the back but I want to not have the shape of the chamber dictate my choices
3. I want to use reactors with GFO and other products to assist with nutrient removal.
4. I want to use it with cheato and have a place to culture pods and other micro-inverts for the tank.

I know all of this can be done in the back of the tank. I have had a 14G Biocube for years so I am aware of the limitations I would be dealing with using the tank in a more stock fashion.

Does anyone have any other ideas for the locations of the holes in the back of the tank and the diameters?
Jason K
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby darkone8484 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:16 pm

I forgot to post the link for the debate i was talking about. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h39VK-tNK30
Jason K
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New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby SoDak » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:57 pm

I drilled my BC14 in the return area. I only had one spot to choose from so the decision was pretty easy. I'm not entirely familiar with how the chambers of the BC29 work so I would have let others chime in on that one but it was a pretty easy process drilling mine. I am going to put it up for sale soon so I should have some pictures after I get it all cleaned up. You could come check it out sometime too if you are in SF.
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby darkone8484 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:44 am

I did end up ordering a bit and 1" bulkheads this week. I decided to go with a "herbie" style of drain for the tank. My plan is to try to fit both pipes into chamber 3. For returns I'm planning on using two pumps actually with half inch lines. I plan to run those through the back of the hood. the combined gph for both pumps is around 500 but I expect the actual to be somewhat lower with losses from the plumbing. I did find "glueable" flexible PVC. I'm going to try to use that to get from the back of the tank into the sump underneath with as few fittings as possible. Any feedback from the more experienced reefers about my plan so far would be appreciated.
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New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby SoDak » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:53 am

What return pumps are you planning on using?

With the bulkheads, if it were me, I would make your lower drain (assuming there is not room for them to be side by side) the full syphon drain. The water pressure will help make it gain a syphon when the pumps are turned off then back on. Also, do yourself a favor and use a good gate valve, it is much easier to fine tune. I have used ball valves before and they stink for a Herbie set up. I love the Spears style from BRS (I think Matt has some at his store) because you can disassemble them to clean. They are more expensive but worth every penny in the long run. Use Tru-Unions as well to allow you to break down the plumbing for cleaning, or tank moving if need were to arise.

If you want to come check out how I did my BC14 you are welcome to. It's not exactly what you will be doing but pretty close.
Steve
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby XSlayerX » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:19 pm

i got a 3\4 bit and a 1in bit if any need to borrow them, and plumbers putty..or have me help. cambell supply on east 10th has almost any bulk head you could need at 10th the cost of any where else.
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Re: New 29 Coralife Biocube w/ Sump

Postby darkone8484 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:35 pm

The bit that I ordered if 45mm (1 3/4"). I'm happy to share mine as well if anyone is needing it in the future. I just ordered the bulkheads from BRS since I was getting the bit anyway. I'll have to go check out the campbells ones and if their better quality, I'll switch to those.
Jason K
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