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· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:freak: My tank is dead, and my sump room looks like a ghost town. It is a nasty, salty, rusty, mess. Over two years ago my aux pump that fed my skimmer and chiller died, then my main pump died. With the economy in a spiral I could not spend the $1,000 to replace them so I got rid of everything and let it set. The tank is an eye sore in the "fish" room so we don't go in there and the sump room is behind a hidden door so we avoide those areas of the home.

Now it is time to make baby steps to get it back running. Step 1, drain, clean, test, and inventory everything.

Does anyone have stainless steel tools? I can't stand using my tools in my fish room. They always rust.

Also, my rock is dead. I am going to need a lot of guidance as I think it is easier to start from scratch than where imam starting.
 

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Good to see ya back in action! Take your time and get it back where it needs to be for sure!

Got any pictures? Get some at the start now so you can look back and appreciate what you rebuilt!
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will take some photos before I start tearing it all down next weekend. It is really sad.

My setup is unique, I have a 10x10 room that houses a 4'x8'x2 sump (silly, I know) a 4'x4'x2 water mix/change tank. Water changes are done by turning valves and turning on pumps.

I am basically going to clean everything and start from ground 0. I will start with the fresh water tank and then to the salt/display. I want to rethink everything. There were a lot of issues with my old tank and I need to fix them before I move forward.

I am going to need new pumps, lights (led?), plumbing... This time, I am going to go slow and make sure everything works. I want this to be on auto pilot.
 

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Good deal. Ya planning how to clean and water change will work is a huge help. Also setting up work work is key for easy cleaning. I run my 150g I just setup BB with flow to make cleaning simple. Cleaning and water changes take about 25min but need to better setup my mixing tanks to get it under 15min. Cleaning takes less then 5 min now.

Do some reading collect rock ideas ect will get ya to what you want at startup.
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So cooking the rock is just letting it cycle for an extended amount of time? I could probably do that.

Question: I have two large sequence pumps, one is in bad shape rusted up... and the other seized up. Could I send them off the mfg and get them rebuilt for less money than new pumps?
 

· The Jack of Trades
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685 Posts
Some thoughts to get you mind running...

I might be new, but I do have insight.

Once you begin to tear everything apart

First I would separate everything and begin to desensitize everything. Clean all pumps in vinegar bath to remove the calcium build up. (This "may" solve some of the seized pumps)

With rock I would set it out to dry for 2 weeks and then give it a FW bath and scrub any unwanted stuff and dry again.
For the sand I think you can do the same as the rock let it dry and rinse and rinse it out. (I am just saying this in the intention of saving some money)

I would make the switch to DIY LEDs or go for the new AI Pros.

I would redesign everything like adding a settlement tank or area.

Since you have a big sump...Hmmm? :idea: You can actually run a nice refugium with turtle grass and sponges and you can use that old sand in this sump.

I will tagging along to see you progress and good luck.
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got rid of my sand, but would be open to getting more. I would love to have a cool refugium with critters, plants, and sponges. I will post the design of my sump this weekend. There are some flaws in it so I need to resolve them before I am up and running. One of the challenges of having a refugium in my sump will be the depth, it is 4' deep. Basically it is a VERY expensive water tank made from 1" acrylic

I have been thinking about my system and water changes... I have approximately 700 gal, 210 in the tank and 500 in the sump. (I know the sumo size is silly)

<O:p
The philosophy when I built it was to have a reef tank, with LOTS of fish so I would build a huge system with a small viewing space. Given these specs, how much water do you think I need to change each month?
 

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Trick is just getting all the detritus out each change. BB works well for that and no real need for a refug. Getting the waste detritus out in bulk lets you just change out as much water as it takes to get the waste for the most part. It's some options. My 150g is setup this way I just built. Basic idea is fast easy waste clean up so no food for algae to grow. Also means refug algae can't live either. Basically attack problems at the source.

Look around a bit and see what ya like.
 

· The Jack of Trades
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685 Posts
I love redoing projects, so more ideas....

I got rid of my sand, but would be open to getting more. I would love to have a cool refugium with critters, plants, and sponges. I will post the design of my sump this weekend. There are some flaws in it so I need to resolve them before I am up and running. One of the challenges of having a refugium in my sump will be the depth, it is 4' deep. Basically it is a VERY expensive water tank made from 1" acrylic

I have been thinking about my system and water changes... I have approximately 700 gal, 210 in the tank and 500 in the sump. (I know the sumo size is silly)

<O:p
The philosophy when I built it was to have a reef tank, with LOTS of fish so I would build a huge system with a small viewing space. Given these specs, how much water do you think I need to change each month?
I think, I know where you were going with the design of the sump. In reef keeping your sump is suppose to be at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the tanks water volume, but not everyone does that, but you went over that minimum :lol:
Really, was the intention of the big sump for doing less frequent water changes?

You been out of the reef keeping game since your tank's pumps seized.
I would take the time and research and redesign the whole setup. The main thing I would consider is simplicity and reduction in maintenance especially for a tank your size.

I had no idea how deep your sump...was, but I think a refugium with your sump setup will be effective, than your small ones that mostly everyone has.
Redesign the sump to your advantage as well I would make 2 split compartments to hold extra water. One will hold ATO water and the other fresh SW for water changes. Can only be drained into the sump via a pump like the ATO or manually via drain w/ a valve. This will reduce your overall systems water volume, but may benefit you in having to do massive water changes.
 

· Doc Holiday
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2,378 Posts
Good to hear your back at it.. Nice size tank also.. You may just wanna look into a larger single pump for the tank like a pool pump.. I agree with most peoples advice.. Wash the sand or loose it completely.. And cook the rock
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys for all your posts. I built my first tank with info from you and am looking forward to rebuilding my current system. I understand enough about this hobby to know that nothing happens fast, except failure, so I am in no hurry. Last time, after working for months, I wanted to run water in my tank and paid the price for it. I have a great foundation to start from and will take my time building on it. One day, it will be be a nice tank, but before that day comes I will be asking a million questions and looking to you for help.

Thank you Geoff for the thread. All that info looks like great reading for the airplane. It has been an interesting couple years and I am glad to be back. I cant wait to drink coffee with my wife in our Tank/Piano room and watch the critters.
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You may just wanna look into a larger single pump for the tank like a pool pump
I am going to be looking into a big pump. I have a long way to go from my sump to my Tank, and I also have to pump water to my Skimmer then outside to my chiller. I dont know if one pump can do it all. I was looking at the reeflo 'GOLD' pumps. They have a 1hp, 2hp, and 3hp version. You got any other Ideas?

One of the items I have been looking at too is the cost to run a big pump. OUCH :bawling: I don't want a 200 elec bill from my tank alone.
 

· Registered
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3,418 Posts
I am going to be looking into a big pump. I have a long way to go from my sump to my Tank, and I also have to pump water to my Skimmer then outside to my chiller. I dont know if one pump can do it all. I was looking at the reeflo 'GOLD' pumps. They have a 1hp, 2hp, and 3hp version. You got any other Ideas?

One of the items I have been looking at too is the cost to run a big pump. OUCH :bawling: I don't want a 200 elec bill from my tank alone.
I went back and read your original build thread, i actually think 3 pumps would be good, one for the sump, one for a closed loop for flow and another for your skimmer chiller, etc,

Worst case scenario is same electric bill with one big one, but you have backup pumps in case something goes wrong.

I dont know if this is over kill, but, from of the looks of what you did in the first build, i dont think so, haha
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pump Envy

I don't know if this is over kill, but, from of the looks of what you did in the first build, i don't think so, haha
:nuts: Overkill? No never!!! For Flow, I have (I think 4) large Tunzi pumps so my last system ran on two pumps, return and Skimmer/chiller. My last pumps were sequence 5000 and a sequence ?5800? I don't know it has been so long. In one of the photos there is a small iwaki pump and that did not work when I moved my skimmer outside.

What pump to get is a big question I will need to answer. If anyone has any Opinions shoot... here is the plumbing layout

I think is it 1.5" pipe (it's been a long time it may be 2")

It goes up 9' into a 90
then across 10' into another 90
then travels 33' to another 90
then travels 20' into 2 90's
then up 5' into a 45 (at this point I am inside my cabinet)
in the cabinet it splits into 2 3/4" pipes and is pushed another 3' into the tank.

I think that is somewhere around 23 - 30 head pressure.
 

· Professional Algae Grower
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873 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So tomorrow is Day 1 of the Rebuild. Here are some photos to let you see the mess I have on my hands. I hope tomorrow I can start with my first question. Water Top off and Tank Overflow issues.

This is the Hidden Door that leads to the sump room


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There are no handles so you have to act like the Fonz to open it. once opened I have an exterior door to keep the humidity out of the rest of the basement.


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When you open the door you have a MESS.... right in front is my Skimmer, UV. The calc reactor is just sitting in the middle of the floor.


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To the left is my sump and the Pump Area. I built a wing wall at the end of the sump so the pump area can not be seen when you open the door.

Not a good photo of the entire sump. Ill get those tomorrow.

picture sharing


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to the left when you walk in the door is the Water Change/Mix tank a Sink with hot water :agree: and the sump pump (the one that carries the water to the sewer)


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The cabinet that is raised houses the sump pump, it was buried in the ground, but has check valves... and sometimes I may need to work in there so I made it taller. Actually my first pump rusted out from all the salt water.


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