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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am starting a 37 gallon Glass Aqueon - 30L x 12W x 22H

I Grew up in Middle GA and spent a lot of time at family in Daytona and South of Tampa as a Kid. I knew a shopkeeper that had a tank in the only Surf Shop in WI, when I was older and was able to gain some experiance. We had a 150 Gallon Ciclid Tank with Oscars about 10 years ago that had a good 5 year run. Marage and Kids have taken up the last 10 years.

So I have wanted a marine tank for over 30 years. After looking at how reef tanks have changed the landscape, I now am taking the plunge with the assitance of a young pet lover, so this is where it all begins.

Having found multiple good podcasts that have helped so far, and a good book by Moe plus 10 trips so far to 4 of the FLStores.

I have made a few equipment choices after upgrading from a 29 to the 37 (Same foot Print just 5" taller)
Keeping the 29 as a backup tank and 2x 5 gallon buckets for prepairing salt water, ect

I have room to mirror the setup below on the other side. So here we go....

While awaiting UPS and Fedex Shipment
I am just collecting base rock and a little lace at this point

I am looking to get my starter Coralline Algae ( red ) from : ipsf dot com
Using 2" deep from Carib Live Sand (10 Lbs) and Carib Live Crushed Corral (15 lbs)

I was looking at this company - marinedepotlive dot com and found reefs2go dot com tonight for sources after cycling the tank 3-5 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Specs

Tank
Aqueon Glass 37 Gallon
30 1/4 Long by 12 1/2 Wide x 22 3/4 Tall
Aqueon Versa-Top Hinged Aquarium Cover

Lighting
Coralife Lunar Aqualight Quad T5 HO Aquarium Light Fixture, 30" L X 9.5" W X 2.5" H

Equipment
(3x) Hydor Koralia Nano Circulation Pump/Powerhead 425gph
(1x) Aqueon QuietFlow Aquarium Power Filters, QuietFlow 55/75
(1x) Aqueon Pro 150 Submersible Aquarium Heater

Timer - Zoo Med AquaSun Aquarium Controller Timer & Power Strip


Reef
Base Rock 16 Lbs so far (4 Rocks) and 2.5 lbs of Lace Rock (2 Rocks)
Carib Live Sand (10 Lbs) and Carib Live Crushed Corral (15 lbs)

Salt
Instant Ocean Sea Salt

Water
(Well? or RO - Well is filtered by a Iron Curtain and a Softener)
(Have a GE RO but need to get it fixed)

(Future)
(+1 = x2) Aqueon Pro 150 Submersible Aquarium Heater This will be a backup heater
(x1) Protein Skimmer Aqua Euro USA Hang On Back


Chemicals
Brightwell Aquatics Alkalin8.3 - Liquid pH Buffer & Alkalinity (KH) - Builder 500ml / 17oz
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit

Glues
D-D AquaScape Aquarium Epoxy 4oz
Bob Smith Industries BSI Cyanoacrylate IC-Gel Aquarium Frag Glue - 20 gram

Misc
(2x) 5 Gallon Buckets
50 Feet 3/8 Hose
 

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I would recommend a shallower sand bed of 3/4 of and inch it will be easier to siphon and keep clean.

Ideally you want ro/di for sure... but ro is probably better then your well water.

Also your cycle will likely take longer then 3 to 5 weeks because of the base rock just feed your tank and the bacteria will grow like it needs to.

I think closer to 30 to 35 lbs of total rock would be better... more rock more filter

2 biggest things in this hobby I have learned good quality water and patience( which is hard for me lol ) have these and all will work out.

Good luck and have fun
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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welcome to TRT! As Monkey mentioned, the best option for water is to go with RO/DI water. I used the Spectrapure 90gpd refurb that many people on here recommend. I think I have about $180 in to it including shipping, tax, and a TDS meter. http://spectrapure.com/FACTORY-REFURBISHED/Refurbished-90-GPD-RODI-System
The problem with tap water is that the chemistry of it can change from day to day, probably less likely on well water than with city water, but you are going to be putting a LOT of money in to this tank, so it would be terrible if something did happen and crash your tank, so going with RO/DI water is just another investment to make your tank successful. Tap water could have things like copper that will kill inverts (shrimps, snails etc) in your tank, and can have nitrates and phosphates which are food for algae, so it will be tougher to get rid of the ugly algae in your tank. It is possible to use tap water and be successful, but its easier to use RO/DI than to battle algae.

For your lighting is that a 1-bulb or 2-bulb fixture? You will need at least a 2-bulb fixture for that tall of a tank.

Sounds like you should be good for flow, you'll be about 34x circulation with the powerheads + probably 200gph out of the 55/75 filter.

As far as the filter goes, you really do not need mechanical filtration in the manner that freshwater tanks use. For saltwater tanks filtration is accomplished by having adequate liverock (recommended 1-2 lbs of liverock for every gallon of water) combined with adequate flow (recommended 30-50x flow rate per hour). So if you add more rock (which you'll probably want anyways, just to have room to house corals and build a nice rockscape). It is recommended that you either run the filter empty (just for extra flow rate), or if you are going to use filter media in the filter you really need to clean it daily or it gets clogged with gunk and becomes a nitrate factory because the detritus breaks down faster in high flow when its caught by the filter media which then causes higher nitrates. Personally I only use filter media for a day after water changes to capture anything that is suspended in the water column after I stir it up doing my water changes, then I remove the media and wash it then store it until the next time.

If you haven't bought your skimmer yet I would do some reading on them before you do... from what I've read the HOB skimmers are less efficient than in-sump skimmers, so if you are going to have a sump, or are open to having a sump it would be better to go with an in sump unit. Plus having a sump adds additional water capacity for buffering, which makes the tank more stable and makes it more forgiving if you make mistakes...

The only other thing I would say is that you don't need to dose buffers to try and get your pH up/down as long as you are between 7.8-8.6 you should be fine. It is better to have a stable pH than a perfect pH, and by dosing buffers it will cause your pH to be constantly changing, you dose and it goes up, then slowly it goes back down, then you dose again and it goes up, then slowly goes back down etc. etc. its better to just let it be, using a good salt mix your pH will end up stabilizing in time and won't need to be dosed. Part of the "young tank syndrome" is that pH swings a lot in the first few months, once it gets a little older and some of the stuff going on in the background stablizes it will be good.

Looking forward to following along as you start your build. Theres a lot of good information on this forum so don't be afraid to ask questions if you can't find an answer for something. Also if you haven't found it yet, check out the "Reefkeeping made easy" thread by Geoff, there is a lot of scientific discussion of what is going on in the tank to help understand the basics that will help you as you go. Don't trust everything that you hear/see/are told especially by the LFS. A lot of LFS will tell you something just to make a sale and they are really selling you something you don't need, or a lot of times they give bad advice about when to start adding fish etc. because they really don't care if your fish dies then they just get to sell you another fish. Make sure you fully cycle your tank by getting it all hooked up and running and then "feed" the tank (I tossed 2 frozen shrimp in the tank and let them rot, that gave the bacteria something to eat to make sure there was a large enough bacteria population before I added anything to my tank). You will see an ammonia spike and fall, nitrite spike and fall, and then when you are finally at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrates it is still best to wait another week while tossing in some fish food or something to feed the tank to make sure its safe before adding anything in... this whole thing should take about a month, but could be a little longer if you aren't using any live rock (because you have to wait for new bacteria growth rather than starting off with liverock that already has bacteria growing that just needs to spread).

Oh, also the coraline algae - never heard of buying a coraline algae culture, but if you haven't ordered it yet - don't do it! Your tank can't support coraline algae in the initial stages, so it will all die. You'll probably have to wait until your tank is 3-6months old to sustain coraline algae. My tank just hit 5 months and its finally starting to grow on its own from snails and liverock that I added that had it on it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Found a Large Fish store with a very interesting and varied selection.

Decided to replace the Live Carib Crushed Coral with Sand Went with Carib Live Sand Figi Pink (20 lbs)
Gives 30lbs total sand with the Carib Live Sand (10 Lbs) and the 20 lbs above

Today:
Returned the Carib Live Crushed Corral (15 lbs) and went with:

Another 50 Gallon Bag of Instant Ocean Sea Salt
Picked up 3.2 lbs of Base Shelf Rock (2)
Picked up 16.8 lbs of Base Rock (1 + (1 Log = 2))

Brings me up to 35.9 lbs of Base Rock (7 + 2 Shelf) and 2.5 lbs of Lace Rock (2 Rocks)

(one was almost a log with a flat side on the bottom. Had not seen a shape like this. This will make a great bottom of the tank rock.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the info. I am excited as well.

Today I was introduced to ATO / & Refugiums. So Torn as I was looking upgrading to a Fluval canister filter.

And later today the Wet Dry became another option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was introduced to RKME (Reef Keeping Made Easy Thread)
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6...ping+made+easy

I have now done a 180.

A sump with a Skimmer and additional live rock seem to be the plan and Higher Volume in the sump as one bay will be an ATO.
I am also going to light the sump live rock with 10000K or a 50/50. I will have this be on 12 hours a day, and the main tank 10 hours with the quad light I purchased.

For the design, I have a space of 24" Wide x 18" Deep to work with in a closet adjacent to the tank. I have a max height of about 28" as well. Time to draw it up.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I would caution against the rock in the sump... all it does is trap detritus in it to rot and increase your nitrates. Sumps are designed to be a low flow area, the flow rate should match the output of your skimmer, live rock needs a high flow to keep it clean and functioning, so there really isn't a great reason to put live rock in your sump... it just makes it harder to clean. Keep it simple, just put your skimmer and heater in the sump, put a simple over/under/over baffle for a bubble trap and call it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How would you suggest I do an ATO in conjunction in this "water closet"?


I have to design where the ATO Fits and if the ATO can be added to the same tank or adjacent the sump.

Sump will be located in a closet adjacent the tank. 5' 6" of head on the pump back to the tank from the sump.
Workable dimensions in the closet on the basement floor are 18" deep and 24 Wide. I have 40" of head room by removing a shelf at 28"
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I just added an ATO for my tank that is gravity fed. I cut a hole in the shelf above my sump and built a PVC ATO that has a 3" PVC with a cap on the top of it, then a 3" to 2" reducer on the bottom, and then a 2" to 3/4" reducer and a 3/4" to 1/2" reducer, then a piece of 1/2" PVC down in to the sump with a shutoff valve at the surface level of the water in my return section. The shutoff allows me to remove the ATO and fill it with RO/DI water, shut it off then tip it upside down in to place, then open the valve without having a big gulp of air going up inside... it works fairly well, but with this set up I only have room for about 4-5 cups of RO/DI water, so it lasts less than 2 days... but its better than nothing... eventually once I buy a house I'll probably plumb a permanent ATO with two switches to turn an ATO pump on and off with that will be placed in my RO/DI container... its just a lot of work to do in a house that I don't expect to live in for too many more months... =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was thinking a tank with a pump for the ATO (ATO to pump to sump). I could do 20 gallons. But I am not sure what # is reasonable for an ATO. Is there an ATO to tank ratio 1:5 gallons?. But I just want to make sure the sump adds volume to the 37 gallon system.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I would guess that with a 37 gallon tank you could be 1/2 to 1 gallon of water per day that you need to top off. I have a 10 gallon tank with 5 gallon sump and I'm running about 1 gallon every 3 to 4 days... it does depend on your temperature, humidity, lighting etc. With a 20 gallon tank for top off water it would last you well over a week or two (its going to evaporate as well...)

ATO and sump are completely different though - you are talking about adding volume using the sump, thats salt water, your ATO is seperate from that... just to be clear... so there is a rough number for ATO to gallons of tank, but there are a lot of variables that play in to it... and as far as sump:tank size, the more volume you can add the better, just makes your tank more stable the more volume you are able to add. Just need to make sure your sump is big enough / you don't run it full enough that when your return pump is turned off and water drains out of the lines in to the sump that it doesn't overflow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Was looking at spliting the sump with an isolated ATO chamber. But I have decided I want the 10 Gal of salt to make it a 55+ Gal system (35 Gal on top 20+ Gal int he sump)

I would then add a 15 Gal covered as an ATO

Do you Heat an ATO Tank?
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I think it would depend on where your ATO reservoir is at... if I were keeping my ATO in my basement I would probably throw at least a small heater in it because it would likely be 40-50 degree water temp without it... if I were keeping it in a heated room next to my tank then I personally wouldn't worry about it since it should be adding just a little water at a time I don't think it should have a big impact on the overall temp with it being at room temp... I'm sure there probably are others that would disagree and might throw a heater in there too... probably just depends on what you want to do...

If you are planning on getting an RO or RO/DI filter you wouldn't really even need the additional tank if you didn't want it - I think a lot of people use plastic trash cans to store RO/DI water, and then they just run their ATO out of that to the tank... the only reason I haven't gone that route is because I'm renting a house and its not the easiest to work in my basement (cold, wet, dirty crawlspace for half the house) so trying to plumb an ATO the distance I need to go from where my RO/DI storage is at to where my tanks are at would be tough, then to turn around and move in a few months once we are able to buy a house... =(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Succesfully Drilled the inlet and outlet today, went 2" holes (1" fittings)
Drilled 3" on center from each side in the back and 1.5" down

Used my drill press, 600 RPM with the Diamond Core Saw.


But before #2 worke, I had Redrilled 1 1/4" Hole, Crack....
(1st Try went poorly this am with the Milwaukee Hand Drill - End Result Cost me $50 for a new 37 Gallon Tank)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ordered the Reef Octopus Ex 160 today, with the neck extension so I can make the in sump level higher. And a Danner 700 Mag Pump. Due in Thursday :)
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I'm considering adding another tank to my set up to use as a settling tank between my DT and my sump, and to also increase my overall water capacity (currently 10 gallon DT + 5 gallon sump - with about 4 gallons of water in the sump, so with the LR in the DT I'm probably only about 12 gallons right now...) I think I could probably fit a 10 gallon on my middle shelf (if not, at least another 5 gallon) and then I would drill that tank instead of trying to do a second overflow... might be making my first attempt at drilling a tank - luckily for a 5 or 10 gallon tank its only $12-15 if I mess it up... I don't have a drill press at home =(

Did the bit just want to walk too much and end up cracking it you think?
 
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