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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello TRT,

I am starting my first 55 gallon saltwater tank. I have done the freshwater for a few years now and want to move on. I hope to eventually be able to house corals and create a naturalistic reef tank with fish and corals alike. I currently have no water in my tanks and have 60 lbs of live rock curing. My tank is 48'' x 13'' (all glass).

TANK EQUIPMENT
Odyssea T5 54W 12000K daylight (2)
Odyssea T5 Tube 54W Actinic (2)
SKY 731 Skimmer w/ pump (from buy.com)
12'' x 6'' x 8'' refugium (in a 30gallon tank)
CA 4000 Super 1300 GPH
Odyssea Powerhead EX-250 (Plan on adding (2) MJ600 - Maxi-Jet 900)
heater, and other simple accessories.​

So the main idea for our set up is: water will flow down the outtake and into a sump where the skimmer sits and filters the water and returns it to the sump which overflows, with a bubble trap, into the refugium, then another bubble trap, and into the return chamber where it is returned to the tank by our pump.

My husband and I are drilling and setting up our holes for overflow and return however we are at a disagreement, I think the overflow pipe should be exactly that an overflow at the waterline and as the return pump fills it up the water will travel through the pipe to our sump/skimmer/refugium makeshift aquarium. But, my husband thinks it will be fine as an underwater pipe that can be lifted above the water level should anything happen and it needs to be stopped. I'm not sure at what rate our water will drain but our return pump is a CA4000 (my google search says it is 1300 gph) What is the recommended way is one better than the other? or how would we calculate the about of overflow/water drained? Or could we have two outtake pipes one my way and one his way lol. IDK you tell me.

Also if my return pipe (pvc) had small holes, ones smaller than any fish or snails, all the way up the pipe maybe stopped three inches from the top, would the water pump through them all the way up and make sort of an all around flow of water? Thought it would add to the water flow.

All in all, thanks for any comments. I have not yet set this up and this is why I am looking for advice before I set it up.
 

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For your return pipe i would not use a suction based return which is what i think you mean by underwater pipe. If it loses siphon you will overflow your tank. If you drill the tank for a return at the water line and use a street 90deg elbow it will keep overflow noise to a minimum, but with 1300gph return you will need a large return if you are only doing one.

Here is a link to sizing your return pipe.
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f114/

According to this chart, you would probably need a 2 1/2"return.

Water will only return to your sump as fast as your return pump can put it back in the tank, you may be better with two drain lines and one return.
Once you start getting into bigger pvc pipe the fitting start getting rather large.
 

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welcome to TRT! I have not used a sump before so I'll let the experts handle this question:) Look forward to seeing your tank when it's up and running!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So Small update, we drilled the bottom of our tank and not two seconds after we started it shattered so we had to buy a new tank. Thank goodness for our community site (lejeuneyardsales.com) we were able to get 55 gallons tank for 55 bucks. So we drilled the back side this time and have it all set up and cycling now. We went ahead and did the overflow as exactly that, and overflow and the pipe sits at the waterline. Our 60pounds of rock are set up in the tank and sand is a work in progress lol.

So anyone know if protein skimmers worth without organic material? and basically just purified saltwater. My skimmer seems to be just tornado-effecting right now. and the airline has water spilling out, not sure what brand but the pump for it says sky 731 and when I google it it brings up something from buy.com
 

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Welcome to TRT :wavey:. Go as slow as possible, have fun, and get a quarantine tank;)
 

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Eats Crayons
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Ewwwwwww yeah pretty much all tanks these days are tempered on the bottom pane. Glad to hear the 2nd drilling went smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can a quarantine tank be small with no rocks? maybe like a 10gallon that I set up only when I get a new fish? Or should it be always setup and running?
 

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Big Fishy little pond
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So Small update, we drilled the bottom of our tank and not two seconds after we started it shattered so we had to buy a new tank. Thank goodness for our community site (lejeuneyardsales.com) we were able to get 55 gallons tank for 55 bucks. So we drilled the back side this time and have it all set up and cycling now. We went ahead and did the overflow as exactly that, and overflow and the pipe sits at the waterline. Our 60pounds of rock are set up in the tank and sand is a work in progress lol.

So anyone know if protein skimmers worth without organic material? and basically just purified saltwater. My skimmer seems to be just tornado-effecting right now. and the airline has water spilling out, not sure what brand but the pump for it says sky 731 and when I google it it brings up something from buy.com
ah the ebay one well theres a break in time, that one i had to constant fine tune for ages. and theres nothing really to skim as you have no life in there yet. if ya do have life in there ya went to fast, spank you hand lol. but on the serious note the skimmer needs to break in takes a few weeks, gotta tune it in and it only skims when necessary not constantly. meaning throw some food in there and in an hour ya skimming.
 

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Big Fishy little pond
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Can a quarantine tank be small with no rocks? maybe like a 10gallon that I set up only when I get a new fish? Or should it be always setup and running?
always running and setup. and yes it can be that small since only one fish at a time during times of sickness or new additions to tank and ya wanna see what diseases pop up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all the welcomes!

The air tube is connected right before the water enters the cylinder not connected to the motor. But I do not have anything live in my tank so i'll just wait to make sure it works then I guess.

Now I have my rocks set-up in my tank (about 60lbs.) and I was wondering should I take them out and silicone them together they hold up with my powerhead (250gph) and my return pump (1300gph) going at the same time. Planning on adding one more powerful powerhead to the mix in the main tank, and want to make sure it will not knock all the rocks over and shatter the bottom of my tank, now that I know how easy it is to shatter >.< . I like the setup of rocks I have but is 60lbs enough rock for corals and I think I may need help to create the perfect Reef look. Try to get a photo up sooner rather than later. I tried to make sure I had a lot of holes. But worried about if my fish will outgrow the sizing of my holes.

Also, I had read somewhere that I need a fish (for ammonia) to start my cycling process. Is this true?

Thanks for all the help and replies!
 
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