New reef/fish setup.. help please:) - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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New reef/fish setup.. help please:)

Hi Guys

Im in the process of buying everything for my 1st ever marine setup. Im a beginner in this hobby so I'm not an expert at all. I want the flow of the tank to be very good.

The dimensions of the main tank I'm looking to buy are:
41" Long x 22" Deep x 21" Tall.
64 US Gallon
53 UK Gallons
141 litres

The sump I'm looking to buy will be a diy sump and I'm thinking of the making it from a tank with the below dimensions.
36" Long x 16" Deep x 15" Tall.
32 US Gallon
27 UK Gallons
122 litres

First of all I'm not going to rush into setting it up. Im trying to make the system the best i can. The tank, sump and stand will all be custom made so the depth and height of the tank measurements can be adjusted if any of you think they should be?

Im planning on having a 4inch deep sand bed in the main display with 35kg of good quality live rock. The finished tank will be overstocked with corals and about 5 fish.

The sump will have a large skimmer and some live rock in the 1st section. In the 2nd section i want a large refugium with miracle mud. After the refugium i want the water to go through a sponge and bio balls. Then finally in the last section i want the heater and return sump pump.

I am ready to start making the main tank now and have a few questions.

I was going to do the tank with 12mm thick glass. Is this too thick or is it a case of the thicker the better?

The front panel will be Starfire glass. Has anyone ever had any problems using this glass? I've heard it scratches easy? :s

What would be the amount of water i should look to turn over per hour through the sump?

I was thinking of having 2 Drain pipes and 2 return pipes. Do you think this is a good idea? or is it too much?

What size should the bulkheads for the drain pipes and return pipes be?

Would really appreciate any advice or help you can give me as i don't know much on this subject.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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Re: New reef/fish setup.. help please:)

I am in the process of setting up my first tank as well. Here is a website to help you calculate the size of glass you will need. Calculate Aquarium Glass Thickness | Aquarium Tools You can choose different safety factors as well. It apears to me the website goes to the thicker side fore safety.
Some others will chime in on your other questions. Most will say you will want ~20X display tank volume turnover an hour for a reef set up.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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Re: New reef/fish setup.. help please:)

A 4 inch deep sand bed can lead to nitrate problems down the road. The first reef tank I ever set up 15 years ago featured a plenum (deep sand bed) it worked great for 3 years, then I had constant nitrate problems that never went away until I dispatched the deep sand bed.


The sump will have a large skimmer and some live rock in the 1st section. In the 2nd section i want a large refugium with miracle mud. After the refugium i want the water to go through a sponge and bio balls. Then finally in the last section i want the heater and return sump pump.

Dump the bio balls for the same reason above. Instead of a sponge I would use a filter sock on your outflow to the skimmer section.

Starfire glass DOES scratch easily! I have a few annoying one's on my starfire tank. Just be VERY careful when cleaning the glass ( I let my 10 year old do it, hence the scratches)

I have used 1" bulkheads on a 55 gallon with two overflows and 6 returns and used a 3,000 gph waterpump and that worked fantastic for my sps tank. There is a pic of that tank in my photo gallery. HTH!!!! Good luck and keep us posted with pics!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 07:42 PM
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Re: New reef/fish setup.. help please:)

#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.

#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.

#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.

#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.

#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.

#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.

#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one

#8-Rubber kitchen gloves

#9-Fish net

#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets

#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.

#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.

#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.

#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.

#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank

#16-Heater rated for your size tank.

#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.

#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.

#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)

#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New reef/fish setup.. help please:)

Thank you for all your help! I'm still looking for the ideal tank that will fit in the space i have. I will keep you all updated thanks again for your help
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