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CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
Hello All!

Glad to have gotten to this site! Hope you will be willing to help me with my problems!

First, I have several reef tanks but I thought I talked my hubby into building me a 220 galllon. Well, he didn't (because it got really involved) so we settled on a 135 gallon all glass tank in the family room with a walled off fish room.

My 75 gallon has a berlin system, one 55 has a plenum, the other 55 has modified Berlin, and the two 30's have a canister and a hang on filter. So, I wonder if I should make a 55 into a sump, or my 75 into a sump, or a 30 into a sump. That is the first of my questions.

I'd like to change the placement of my refugium to above my tank and make a small surge from the refugum into the tank. Anyone do that and how'd it turn out?

I am thinking about bagging the uv sterilizer for this new tank and would like feed back on that. How's that for starters?? LOL! See, I am stuck!! Read on.....

My new tank will be a mixed reef, maybe a clam too, never tried them. I do have some small hitchers that have done well so maybe I'll get lucky with a clam.

Lighting will not be fancy, just 400WattMH (three of them) and VHO or PC combo. On timers of course.

OK, so here goes! Laugh any time you want to and shoot the plan out of the water so to speak, but this is what I had in mind for the skimmer first system I have been trying to design. Overflow into a small tank that has a fluidized sand bed filter and the skimmer (thinking of a percision marine or turbo floater) from there down to the sump. (standard kind with bio balls, etc..) add heater and more live rock, then return. Almost like a two step sump but not really. Water will flow down to the sump via a system similar to a Bio Rocker. Does that make any kind of sense?? To anyone watching this??

All opinions welcome. I want my foxface and my clown tang to be happy in their new home, not dead.

Thanks!

Carey
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
Thanks! Charlie! It is nice! I have drained a 55 gallon and put it in the big one! I also put 55 gallons of new water and all the sand, my huge show piece of Tonga Rock and 2 green chromis and the snails. The star and my favorite wrasse now live in the 75 gallon (I better run carbon since the bio load is so high).
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Carey, WELCOME TO REEF FRONTIERS!!!

Since you already drained the 55 I assume that will be your sump? It should serve it's purpose of holding your equipment and providing you with some extra water volume.

I plan on having my refugium gravity fed into my main tank. It will have a powerhead pump water into the refugium, then a hole with pipe returning the water via gravity to the tank. I'm not sure about a surge device though. Anyone DIY a surge device?

Personally, I'm fond of UV Sterilizers. I think they are a nice addition to a system. However, I would spend money on a great skimmer first, then a UV later if cost is an issue. Be sure to have a UV Sterilizer that is suffient for your system.

You may want to reconsider the bio balls as they can leach nitrates back to the system.

Hope this helps?
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
Nikki,
That's a good thought about the bio-balls. I missed that. I do agree that a good skimmer is an essential part. Do you think that she should add the UV only if she begins to have problems?:confused:
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
What in place of bio balls? I did think of that, but wonder what to use in place? Actually Nikki, I am giving the 55 to my friend in trade for her ugly 55, mine has a great stand and a mirrored back so it is way to pretty to use as a sump. But, I really think 75 would be perfect for the sump, but I don't want to take it down. Besides, what would my Mandarin eat in that new tank??? :) Cost is always an issue for me, but now I will have only 2 tanks to deal with. Thanks for the welcome! Carey
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
Here's your idea that I think you had in your original post. Use the 30 for the fuge and the 55 for your sump. Then your mandarin can stay happy and hopefully fat.
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
Charlie, I am trying to figure out how to get pics to you since they are all on the other computer, it may take a few days! Your tank looks great!! I take it you like Willis? LOL!
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
CareyMarie said:
Hello All!


OK, so here goes! Laugh any time you want to and shoot the plan out of the water so to speak, but this is what I had in mind for the skimmer first system I have been trying to design. Overflow into a small tank that has a fluidized sand bed filter and the skimmer (thinking of a percision marine or turbo floater) from there down to the sump. (standard kind with bio balls, etc..) add heater and more live rock, then return. Almost like a two step sump but not really. Water will flow down to the sump via a system similar to a Bio Rocker. Does that make any kind of sense?? To anyone watching this??

All opinions welcome. I want my foxface and my clown tang to be happy in their new home, not dead.

Thanks!

Carey
OK let me make sure I have this straight, this is the new 135g tank , right? Are you using live rock in this tank? If so, why overcomplicate it? For a LR reef you won't need the fluidized bed filter or the bioballs. If its primarily a swim tank, then I can see it, but even then I would lose the FB , keep the bio balls and get a serious skimmer, the ones you listed I feel are marginal on a system that size. Adequate flow in the tank with minimal substrate to trap crap, and a big skimmer run wet should keep the nasties down. I like closed loops versus high sump flow thru rates, ideally you want the flow thru rate just a tad slower than the skimmer will actually process. Is this helping or confusing?
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
FB is because I never used one and thought I'd give it a try :) I know it is bordering overkill, but they are cheap and seem to enhance. Yes, LR, lots of it and a DSB. I thought I picked good skimmers, lead me to better ones! I'm open. I have a Berlin system on the 75 and have no nasty problems. I only run carbon when I add new stuff. Sometimes I polish the water, but usually it is just, DSB, LR, lights and skimmer. That's it. Never had an aglae problem or chemistry problem. I love to try new systems so that is why I am trying to complicate things (and that is why I've ended up with multiple tanks)
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
I would suggest a bare or minimal bottom along with a good Beckett type skimmer, as well as adequate circulation to keep detritous in suspension so that the skimmer can remove it. There are threads on here re: the thinking behind bare bottom tanks, I can send you links to others if you like. If it sounds like the new fangled version of a true berlin style :D , berlins are now retro chic :D
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
$.02

Leave the 75 up for the SPS's. Use the 55 for a sump, and one of the 30's for the refugium and the other 30 for a surge into the fuge. Skip all the rest and just put the best skimmer (i.e. downdraft) and the heater in the sump. For the sandbed go all the way with four inches or use less than an inch-no in between. The wrasse should be fine in an inch of sand. In a bare-bottom place a small box of sand for the wrasses.
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
Well, I am loving all the input. I think I am getting cold feet about trying a different system on this tank. I suppose I will do the deep sand bed, tons of live rock, and an awesome skimmer. And get another littler tank to "play with." :) Now, how does one build a surge into a fuge? Won't that be getting a bit tall?
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
surge>fuge

Make the overflow for the fuge oversized so it can handle the max flow from the surger and wash the critters into the tank
 

acropora

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
100
Location
West Hempstead, N.Y.
charlie said:
Here's your idea that I think you had in your original post. Use the 30 for the fuge and the 55 for your sump. Then your mandarin can stay happy and hopefully fat.
Good idea. I would not use the bio balls or the F.B. filter.Plenty of L.R. and good protein skimming will do the trick. If you decide to go with a sand bed,then the above recommendation is right on the money. Either a true DSB of 4+ inches with sand critters for de-nitrification or a very shallow >1" bed for aesthethics only. Either way, I would recomend waiting at least 3+ months before adding the sand bed. During the initial break in period,you will have tons of detritus which can be siphoned out .This will be alot easier with no sand in the tank.the fuge should be lit and water movement does not have to be strong. A surge device would be used to add water movement in to your main display.There are other options that I would consider first. A closed loop, power heads or tunze stream are a few.
 

acropora

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
100
Location
West Hempstead, N.Y.
On your lighting scheme,I think that you will do just fine on a 135 with 250 watt Mh bulbs with VHo's or T-5's; versus the 400's. The tank will have plenty of light and will be much cooler to run....
 

CareyMarie

Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
14
Location
Montana
Anthony,
Thanks for your comments. Live rock and sand is my favorite filtering method too I just wanted to try other methods for extra assurance, but I guess I won't be doing that on this tank. :). I already have sand in the tank (since I emptied a 55 and a 30 and put it in the bigger tank), also have live rock too and some critters that were hiding in the live rock. I will be getting some more aquacultured rock and lots of live sand as well. I am having an awfully hard time keeping myself from rushing on this! I am dying to get corals in there! LOL! I had to promise myself not to buy livestock until August! I am used to having lots of tanks up so I can get new animals af often as other women get shoes! Now I only have a 30 and my 75 up, they are maxed out with the contents from the other tanks. On to lighting. I don't really have to worry about to much heat, I live in Monatana and the tank is in the basement family room, so knowing that, would you still recommend 250?
 
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