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Sup reefers? I have been hanging around with a few buds from the "fish crowd" and i've decided to finally cave in and start my own build. Like many of you probably, ive been stalking this site for some time now and have decided to take the leap and join to start doing some base level research and planning.

I want to do a 50 gallon reef tank. Lots of rock and softies with a few to several fishies as well. I have done extensive reading on the subject of filtration and the only common theme i can find is, everyone does it differently. I want my display tank to be as clean and clear of obstructions (eg. heaters, pumps, filters, etc) as possible. I want to give the berlin method a go and let my live rock with ample circulation do most of the heavy lifting on the biological filtration. For chemical filtration i want to use an in-sump skimmer.

From most of the reading i've done so far, this setup in tandem with regular water changes will account for all filtration i need. I have read that canister and other forms of mechanical filtration are more trouble than their worth and many times cause more problems than they solve. I have a buddy who said he will let me use his HOB unit in the beginning just to help clear the water initially. I guess im wondering if the berlin method i mentioned before will afford all the filtration necessary for healthy living conditions. Also will be building stand and light canopy myself to help cut back the cost.

As for the sump, this is where i could really use some help. The whole concept seems foreign to me. I have read that for a 50 gallon tank, a sump of 10-20 gallons will suffice. Is this true? For the skimmer, I've been looking into reef octopus in-sump models. I'm not exactly sure how all the ratings for skimmers work although i've heard you want your water to be processed 3-5 times hourly. That being said, which size sump should i use along with which size skimmer? Not exactly sure how much volume the skimmer needs to work properly or if thats even relevent.

As i mentioned before, this is my first saltwater build so i am trying to carefully calculate things beforehand in hopes the "measure twice, cut once" adage still holds true. As a beginner, i know i will hit many bumps in the road along the way just hoping to minimize rookie mistakes whereever possible. I know im a newbie so try not to mock me too bad, any advice or ideas are more than welcome. Currently working on some draft drawings. Once finished, i will post them here along with all the other build photos and progress.
 
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