125G Aqueon Dual-overflow build - The Reef Tank

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Old 09-03-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Hello Everyone,

I have been trolling for a month or so now here and on other reef forums. I recently purchased a 125G Aqueon dual-megaflow tank (model 12608) new from the LFS. I plan on tracking the progress on this thread, and asking lots of questions!

I am sort-of new to salt-water tanks, having purchased a used Current-USA Cardiff 25gal with Ecoxotic LED fixture about 6 weeks ago that was already set-up (live rock, fish, etc). It was easy as I paid the LFS to deliver and set it up. Naturally, only a few weeks into that tank, which is beautiful, my girls and I decided we wanted more fish...and the 25G tank is too small.

So the learning process has already begun as I have been reading every night for 2 hours or so. I'll post some pics soon.

Here is what I have so far:

  • Aqueon 125G tank
  • 55G sump tank
  • DIY stand that came with a used 125G tank that I traded for the new tank. The stand needs some TLC and paint, as it is oak colored. It was built well though with Baltic birch ply and sealed. Also, the doors are huge and I'm going to convert it to 3 raised panel doors so it passes muster with the WIFE instead of 2 ply doors.

Plans so far:

Tank Designed for:

FOwLR - Primarily a swim tank with live rock; may try corals too in the future depending on which fish we go with. We have corals in our cardiff, and we like them.

  1. The tank setup must be as quiet as possible because it will be right behind my couch in the living room.
  2. Save money where reasonable not sacrificing quality and reliability... DIY!
  3. We live in Phoenix. It is @%#@$@ hot here. My cardiff runs at ~79d now this summer, but only if I keep the ceiling fan above it going on medium all the time. Before I put in the fan, it was running 80-81d.

  1. DIY Ecoxotic clone light fixture with (2) Current-USA True-lumen PRO LED 36" (3025) strip lights + (3) 12" TrueLumen Pro LED Strip Light, Marine Fusion 12K White/453nm Actinic Blue + (2) 12" TrueLumen Pro LED Strip Light, Deepwater Actinic Blue 453nm + lunar lights. All I will say now is that I will fab the fixture myself and it will look sort of like the Ecoxotic.
Plumbing, Overflows, Pumps, PH's:
  • *update* it seems that there are many, many "proven" options out there for dump pipes in overflows. There are so many parameters for each unique scenario that there is no single right answer. I have megaflows, so I'm going to use a durso design and test it to see how quiet I can get the overflows.. Still researching overflow standpipe options - bean animal / durso design is favorable...but in the megaflow it will be very challenging due to the size of 1 1/4" PVC. Not sure there is enough room and I still fear drilling a brand new $500 tank.
    • I would need to drill 1 bulkhead hole in the back of each megaflow to have:
      • a.) safety drain
      • b.) siphon drain
      • c.) durso air siphon drain, using the two stock holes as drains.
  • What do you guys think about the drains heads being so close together in the overflow box? With 1 1/4" elbows and pipe and 3 of them in there to meet BA specs, that is not going to leave much room in between the heads. On the BA design, the two siphon heads must be the same height, and the safety a little higher but still below flood over for the tank.
  • Still debating external pump vs. in-sump pump? Thoughts? *update* I have decided to use an in-sump pump. I am leaning towards a Lifegard Quiet One 5000 or an Enheim.
  • *update* I have decided to use Ecotech MP40W power heads. The mgr at the LFS showed me the MP40 on his tank and after researching I believe this will be easier to accomplish my goals. But not cheaper since they are $450 each!! WTF.
Sump, Protein skimmer:
  1. Protein-skimmer - I am leaning towards a Reef Octo, but my LFS recommends the ASM G3 (that he sells). *update* I have decided the ASM G3 is the way to go.

  1. DIY - use a plastic tub/box from wallyworld that is the largest that will fit next to the sump in the stand. I like the Aquahub deluxe kit and also the siphon design using a sealed tank.
  2. Sump will be an AGA 55G DIY. I'm going to have the glass cut for the baffles. I am leaning towards the Melev's Reef Model G with 2 separate intake areas (refuge and skimmer). I have read that slowing the flow down over the 'fuge will allow it more time to process waste. I have also read about miracle mud and will probably put 10 lbs or more of LR rubble too.
  3. Sump pump - depends on whether or not I decide to drill the tank and what kind of final design I use for the overflows.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:33 AM   #2
Quik Z06
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Tagging along for the build. In sump pumps are ok but if you're in a warmer area the more equipment you run the hotter the water can be. Unless you run a chiller. My 165 runs at 80-81* with no heater. Heat comes from the light and skimmer.

I'll answer more later when I get to a pc. Gl!

My 165g Not-so-FOwLR Build
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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Looks good! ^.^b
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:38 AM   #4
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Here are a few pictures of the current tank design that I have been working on. I realize that I set the return/pump water level area too high. I'll fix it later. Please tell me your (constructive) opinion of the design and suggest improvements. Also, please note that I haven't finished plumbing it yet. It is very time consuming using the 3D tool.

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Old 09-06-2011, 01:50 AM   #5
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Sump design will be based off of the Melevsreef.com Type F. The overflows will drain into two sections of the sump, with the refugium side drain throttled and tee-ed to the skimmer side LR drain area. The return pump will be in the middle. I will be able to control the flow of water through the refugium using this design.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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I purchased SCH 80 bulkheads for the tank (4) yesterday. I also spent an hour talking the LFS guys about all the research I've done on the interweb about how to design the tank. I really like the Ecotech MP40W power heads. I think I'm going to go with two of them to start, the only problem being that is $900 of gear for PH's! It is almost worth it to drill the tank and go with a reef-flo dart eh? Except for the lack of digital control with the MP40s. If I go the MP40 route, I will not need a fancy digital aquatics controller/timer. :-)
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:59 AM   #7
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Can anyone come up with any benefits to using two smaller return pumps instead of one large (QO5000) besides a bit of redundancy? The wattage is about the same (actually a little more with 2).
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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I think I'll move over to reef central with my questions.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
Little Fishy
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If you get 2 submersible pumps they are usually a lot quieter then on heavy duty pump. You also said another reason to use 2 pumps (redundancy). I am actually doing a 135 gallon with 55 gallon sump and I am using 2 return pumps just in case one goes out while I am gone it will keep going and not cause any problems. Hope this helped you choose.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #10
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While I have never owned a QO pump I dont really see a large benefit to double pumps ( if the pump fails how long will it really go before you notice the low water level in the display? unless out of town of course ). As you stated it will not save on electricity, with the right pump it should not be quieter and may unnecessarily complicate plumbing. I have the same tank as you and run a Sicce 4.0 and love it. It is near silent with your head next to sump. Your sump design looks nice and I wish I would have used a similar format. As for heat I have never seen a quiet chiller, I'm sure there are some but not that I have seen. I can drop the temp in mine 3-4 degrees with powerful clip on fan. Connect that and your lights to a reef controller and in my experience you should be good. Hope that helps a little.
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125g build , aqueon , durso , mega-flow , protein skimmer

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