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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have assembled the majority of the equipment for my next tank build, the 40 gallon breeder.

Tank
I obtained the tank from Matt @ Olde Towne Pets pre-drilled and setup with an Aqueon Mega-Flow Sump system. For now, I am not using any sort of background as in the future it may be moved to create a 'peninsula' tank.

Sump
For the sump, I am using a 20L that I had previously used on another system. The sump consists of the intake/skimmer chamber, fuge/equipment chamber, and the return pump chamber.

I am using a Maxi-jet Utility 3000 pump that puts out about 500 GPH at 4 feet head-loss. For the beginning of the build I will be using flexible tubing with a control valve in-line to help tune the right amount of flow through the system. If I decide I can use the excess flow elsewhere, I will plum in accordingly.

The protein skimmer is a PSK-100 that I also have from a previous build. I know some of you will joke about its abilities, but as long as you tune it right, it provides some disgusting skim. For this build I am planning on doing more frequent water changes and therefore I will be depending on that along with a healthy amount of live sand/rock to do the majority of the filtering. I do not plan to use many additives unless it is absolutely called for as I feel the water I change should supply most of what is needed.

Lighting
Lighting was one of the biggest struggles I had with the 90 gallon because of its depth. For this build, I have decided to stick with a AquaticLife 4x39 watt system with built in timer. This unit has some decent reflectors in it that I hope will help make up for the lack of wattage. Here again, I know some of you may chirp in and say I should go with a single MH with some T5 assist, or go with a 6 tube fixture but both would not work for the area the tank is currently in. The 6 tube fixture basically makes itself its own hood as they are usually about 18in wide which is the same width as the tank. This would make for difficult access as I cannot suspend the fixture due to the agreements made within my apartment lease.

For this fixture I plan on running these tubes in the this order:
Front
39W - 36IN ATI Blue Plus T5
39W - KZ Fiji Purple
39W - 36IN Super Actinic
39W - 36IN ATI Blue Plus T5
Back

To achieve this look:

Photo courtesy of Travis at nano-reef.com

Substrate/Decor
For this build I am planning on using live sand from CaribSea or Natures Ocean. I have been thinking about choosing a darker shade sand to help contrast against the corals/fish. I do not plan on using the all-black versions as there is still some debate as to how saf those are for our systems. I plan on only using substrat to about a 1/2in to 3/4in depth. I feel in a DT anything deeper is a wast of space, especially in a tank that is only 16in tall.

I am unsure if I want to pull any of the live rock out of the 90 gallon for this project. Much of it is encrusted with various softies and LPS, and for this build, I'd like to attempt some different LPS and SPS species (Have any frags let me know!) I may try and talk Matt at OTP into maybe exchanging the large amount in the 90 for a smaller amount of more usable pieces...

So thats it for now, pictures will come plater when the camera is charged and I'm not exhausted from teaching 7th graders all day....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I already have it situated and basically ready to fill with substrate and water... Only issue is I need to figure out how I'm going to get said water...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeh, that I know about... Partially why the 90gallon is getting decommissioned.... Has anyone tested the water out of the filling stations say at Festie's or Wal-Mart?? Always been curious about that...
 

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Ive heard there is pros and cons about using distilled but I havent ever personally check the TDS. However that water is not DI so keep that in mind as well. I would just pick up an RODI unit even if you get the mighty mite for 125$ shipped, it is the single most important and best purchase I have ever made towards keeping a healthy tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd love to get an RO unit, but my apartment lacks the space to mount anything other than like 'The Enterprise' from BRS... And I'm not sure how good/efficient that system would be for me especially with a 40 gallon tank...
 

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Well as far as I am concerned RODI is a must. Have you ever checked out the mighty mite? It is fairly small and I mean it would be a fairly cheap purchase for what its worth in the long run. Otherwise I mean youll be storing 4-5 buckets to take them to OTP to get free water from him which is just a hassle in the end, been there done that lol. I would just try to find a place to mount it under the sink and then run it to persay a rubbermaid tub or brute trash can and let er fill and once its full just shut it off until next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been doing the 'bucket routine' with the 90 gallon and am pretty much fed up on that... Looks like a revisit to the RO/DI placement discussion is due when I get home...
 

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I did festival for a year...pita...and had some hair algae issues that were in part due to not great water quality...a good RODI will make your reefing life so much easier in the long run. An ATO of some sort (with proper safeguards to ensure you don't kill your tank) should be on the list of essentials too.
 

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http://thefilterguys.biz/ro_di_systems.htm

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store...systems/reverses-osmosis-deionization-systems

I've got the 5 stage Ocean Reef from Filter Guys and I love it. TDS meter and pressure gauge built in are amazingly useful features I've found. There's a lot of guys out there using the BRS versions too though so I can't say which is better. I will say though having your own RODI is better then hauling buckets back and forth all the time.

As far as your topoff issue, I've got the Tunze Ozmolator on both my tanks and can't say enough good things about it. I won't do another tank without it. I had a aqua lifter pump on my tank at one time, I had problems with it overflowing and back siphoning multiple times. I also topped off by hand for a while, that was equally annoying.
 

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Do you have to keep a minimum amount of water in for those to work Zach?
 

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Umm.. no. its done by float switches. Theres one primary (that senses the water when it lowers), then 1 secondary, that is kind of a fail safe (senses water rising). So you place the primary in the sump and the level you want to maintain. Then you have your pump activated to draw water from your RODI holding tank into your sump, shuts off when switch lifts. Only bad thing would be that your RODI tank always needs water in it, or you wouldnt have anything to fill the sump with lol, but easily solved by plumbing the RODI system w/ a float valve into your RODI holding tank. Too confusing? lol tried to use lamen terms!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Zach, how reliable has it been? Has the system ever failed and required the backup? Just asking cause I'm not sure I have the room for the double setup but don't want to get the single if it will fail... Also what pump do you use? I am wondering if just a mj1200 would be sufficient for my system...
 

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Well I used it on 2 different systems. Never had an issue with it. There very nicly designed. only takes apx 2" of room in your sump for each switch. Check the site out. should be some nice pics. I couldnt imagine doing it any other way. Not low blowing anyone that uses a timer and a pump, or a dosing machine, but seems way to hard to figure out and seems would take some time to get it "perfect". The system I was using was plug and play.. I belive I paid something like less than $50 including shipping for the dual switch system and pump. I actually think I may still have the system at the house. Ill look tonight.
 

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No i ment for the pump not the floats. Like my Tunze will pull water till its 1/4" deep.
 
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