The Re-Plumbing of a Reef Tank


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Inspired by a Disaster...
Designed by Bill (Reef Junkie) and Ray (onegreenray)...
Parts Purchased from Tony (acropora), Cindy (jcaquatics), Home Depot, and the Local Hardware Store...
Assembled by Bill and Ray...
Observed by Kathy (KathyC), and myself.

Here it is:






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All the equipment had to go somewhere, and that somewhere was the furnace room adjacent to the tank.





I always wanted a jacuzzi in the basement. But, Bill and Ray overruled and said it was to the sump.


Just some of the parts....


I never knew what a manifold was...



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Any new set up of course needs a stand or there will be no place to put the new refugium (20g), and a second 20g tank that will be either a coral propogation tank or a seahorse tank, or heck, perhaps an anemone / clownfish tank.












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And, what's a good photography, without a picture of the skimmate that was pulled out in just a few hours after being set up?


THE END (for now!)

Reef Junkie

Premium Member
That picture with the pump and the two unions was the one stuck in my head all night!
The top union in this picture was leaking, same with the fitting for the pump intake. My guess was the glue/tape lost it's seal when the final pieces were fit in. (It was tioght lioke a Tiger)

Ray and I tried in vain to get them to stop leaking, but it was no use. Thanks to Ray, he went out to HD to pickup the replacement parts and redid the connections.

Nice job, are these guys for hire? ;)

Awesome job on the wood Ray!:thumbsup:


New member
Hey nice job --- just curious about your waterflow--

You have overflow gravity feeding into the skimmer which is pumped and spit back into the sump? From there your pump is sucking out of the sump and mainly driving the big pipe (return) off the end of the manifold? I see you have 5 connections off the manifold- two are going somewhere (fuge, and maybe ca reactor??) - the other 3 are spare now?

Those are all guesses- just curious...

PS - Lonnie - I have a jacuzzi in my new laundry room / utility room - and everytime I go there I have to wonder who on earth would put a jacuzzi in a laundry room? And then carpet the whole thing?


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I do see one thing that worries me though. It appears that you have reduced the overflow from 1.5" to 1.25" or maybe even 1". Since there is only one overflow, I'd be really worried about 1) amount of flow possible 2) anything (snail, etc.) getting sucked up and then lodged. I never reduce my overflows or put in hard turns (90 degree elbow).

Also, slightly worried about low water condition. Since the sump is in another room, critical to watch/automate top off and low water alarm if possible. If the return pump goes dry, many bad things can happen (Pump dies. CHiller dies. oxygen, temp go out of whack in tank, etc.).

But that's just the worrier in me. I'm totally impressed with what you guys pulled off. Have a drink for a job well done!


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---> The skimmer is driven by a Sedra 5000 which is in the sump.

---> You are correct. Only two of the connections in the manifold are currently in use. One is for the refugium; the second is for the chiller (the calcium reactor tees off the chiller; A third is reserved for another tank that will be placed on the stand (for either a coral propogation tank, a seahorse tank, or an anemone/clownfish tank). The other two are reserved for future potential expansion.

---> The return pump is rated at 2400gph, and is nice and quiet (thank you Tony for the recommendation).


---> The overflow in the display tank is a 1" PVC which empties directly in to the sump; The outflow from the main pump is 1.5 inches and maintains that diameter through the manifold (Bill/Ray, please correct me if it's 2" and not 1.5"). It does get reduced down to 3/4" for return to the display tank.

---> An auto top off will be added shortly.

---> Please don't stop sharing your concerns... But, for now, I'm going to have a drink ;)


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the return is 1.5" but it reduce right at the bulkhead for the return.

the extras on the manifold can be if he wants to up grade his skimmer in the future etc.

i was sitting on the stand to prove to lonnie that it could hold the 20 gallon tanks. since i weigh 165 lbs like each tank.


thanks finally got all the leaks to stop to. its just cause you are a sissy and don't tighten the fittings enough. lamo. just playing.

thanks guys it was fun designing the stand to be strong and functional. there is also room in case some thing ever happens to his ac unit and you need to behind it.

Reef Junkie

Premium Member
Thats right, the overflow is 1" all the way from beginning to end.
The return is 1.5" then reduced right at the 3/4" bulkhead to 3/4".

Ray, bite me.;)


In Memoriam
Your one lucky SOB Lonnie to have friends like them!!
where did you find the tub used for your sump?

Reef Junkie

Premium Member
Trade Fair Hardware
147 Sunrise Hwy
Amityville, NY 11701
(631) 842-5020

Lonnie paid 60 bucks for an awesome sump.


Premium Member
What's wrong with the 'before' picture, it looks just like mine!! I am hoping to plumb mine into my basement as well, before I run into trouble too. I would have to put mine in my boiler room as well, are there any concerns obout having a sump in the same room as an oil burner, soot concerns or anything?? Thanks.

Reef Junkie

Premium Member
If you have a puff back, it would suck bad, but you shouldn't have a big issue with soot, if you do, call your oil company.

I would recommend a central station monitored alarm with Carbon Monoxide and Smoke detection in the boiler room. This way, if you do have a puff back, you will be notified immeadiately.

Lonnie, I recommend the same for you. Call me and I'll get you pricing for it. I promise to not treat you like a prom date.


New member
Looks great!
Use the extra lines on the manifold for some jets and that sump could be the jacuzzi you've been longing for....


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mathew (lonnies 3 yesr old) was eyeing the sump as a pool yesterday. was funny to hear lonnie go no its not to swimming pool.