55 gal sump questions


newbie reefer
I had a tank disaster here a few months back with our 5 yr old dumping handfuls of flake food into the 55 gal and killing all but 2 clowns :-l I have been cycling out everything, w/out fish and am going to rebuild.

I want to move the 55 gal into my wife's office, and build a new stand exposing the tank as well as a plant based refugium. I have a 29 gal refugium connected to the tank now that is not operational since the disaster.

But I was thinking to mimic our local fish store's tank in regards to having a large refugium to view as well. My plan was either going to use the existing 29 gal sump, plus attaching my wife's 30 tall tank for the sump/refugium, or just find another 55 gallon tank and convert that into a sump/refugium.

My question is, with having the large refugium, if I go the 55 gal route, would that be beneficial with various types of algae? I believe the tank at the LFS doesn't even have a skimmer. I will have one, but just curious.
55 gallon is a fairly large sump/refugium setup. The obvious benefits is that you can have more macroalgae growing in it (and hence more nitrate export). The other benefit is that it increases the overall water volume of your system so that any sudden introduction of "bad" stuff (toxins, chemicals) is buffered over a larger water volume. But, I don't think you really need a refugium that size for a 55 gallon tank - its a matter of choice.

Its a cool idea to run a display oriented refugium - bit of a planted/fauna tank. With the larger size you can organize it a bit so it looks more like a planted tank (vs. a bunch of chaeto/caulerpa floating on the top). Just keep in mind this adds to the maintenance of everything.

If you want ideas for the type of macroalgae see the link below

Browse Species in Macroalgae
Sounds like a great idea. Like noy said, not only are you creating a more stable environment by increasing your water volume, the large amount of macro will help keep nitrates down. Plus, display refugiums can be really gorgeous if done right!
Thanks guys. I debated this one, so I didn't have to drill the 2 smaller tanks I have now. But I will have to do some research on how to set it up.