360 Set up questions…


New member
Fist, I would like to say hi. I have been in and out of the hobby for a few years and I have been a member of RC for a while. My last tank was a 12 Nano Cube DX. Last week I decided I wanted to build another reef tank. I started looking and I found an acrylic 360gallon that is 96x36x24.

About the tank it will be a room divider with a bar on one side. It has an overflow in the center of one end. There is one whole in the overflow for the drain to the sump. On each side of the over flow it has two whole for a return loop with a drain at the bottom and a return at the top. The return from the sump is also drilled on the right side where the close loop return is. It has euro bracing around the top with a whole cut in each corner for a spray bar. The sump is a large Rubbermaid ® http://www.supplyhero.com/Rubbermaid-70-Gallon-Stock-Tank.1362.52020.3.htm … see link.

Now my questions…

Question 1) Flow…. What kind of flow do I need per hour for the sump? I’m thinking about using Eductors on each side of the over flow in the close loops. I’m thinking of doing one close loop on the top where the four whole are, or would two close loops be better there because of the length of the tank. I’m not sure what size pumps to buy because I don’t know how much flow I need. I was thinking the tank needs to turn over 10 times per hour. I plan on using an AquaC EV-240 skimmer with a Mag drive 1800.

Question 2) Lighting…. I was thinking of using four 400watt MH’s. Now since the tank is only 24 inches deep can I use 250watt MH’s. I don’t want to run a chiller. So I don’t want heat to be an issue. I’ve never had an acrylic tank so I’m not sure how the MH’s heat will affect them. I don’t want to melt the tank. The hood will be 12 or 14 inches tall BTW. So I can adjust the height of the light over the water. I will probably add two Ice Cap 660’s with eight 4’ VHO’s four 4’ on each side. It seems like I remember the MH’s giving off a 2’ span of light.

I’m sure it depend on what I will be keeping in the tank. So the plan is a 4” sand bed. Probably 400ish lbs of live rock, I’m not going to fill it full of rock. I want some open space for the fish to swim. I want to be able to keep SPS, LPS and Clams and Fish

I will try to post some pics today.

Thanks for any help. If you need any more info or have any question please ask.



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New member
I would agree bout the 10x but some would say as low as 6 for filtration purposes. To me flow creates the lack of dead spots.
And this is good. Witht the additional flow from the closed loop you could afford to drop down to a lower flow in the sump bit this will add another thing to clean, and more often.
As for the lights, Well some corals wont give the best color when lower than 400w. Like supermans need this intensity for the best color.From what I have seen anyway. Good spot for another opinion here.As for arc That depends on the height from target.
And heat WILL be an issue. Hey fans make noise too and enough of them is equal to a chiller in cost(electrical).
So give room for them to breath but unless the are in an open room you will need a chiller. Good luck and have fun


New member
^^ Thanks for the reply. It will be in an open room with a tall ceiling.

It looks like I will be going with the 400w MH... I had a 70g tall 24" tall (36x18x24)reef that was running 1 250w 6500 iwasaki MH and 4 36" VHO super actinic and the corals grew like crazy. I forget what the return pump was.

I may run a refugium in the sump and slow the retun rate down a little. I'm thinking that will give better contact time with the skimmer and refugium.


New member
Sounds like this is going to be an awesome build! I could go swimming in that thing! With a 24", I think 250W would be OK, with much less of a heat issue. Just my .02


New member
I sure would like to stay away from running a chiller. If the tank wasn’t 36 inches wide I wouldn’t think twice about running 250w MH’s. For some reason I keep thinking about watts per gallon and 250’s just don’t seem like enough.

... I'm trying to buy most of the equipment used. Hope to save a little money. Maybe I can find a good deal on some lights in the for sale section. I found an AquaC EV-240 skimmer, and a RO/DI unit. Right now my problem is finding someone to build the Cabinet (bar)/ hood. I hope to have a guy call me about it Monday or Tuesday.

I’m on 1st shift (10pm till 6am) this week, so it’s quiet at work. I will be able to sit down and figure out the flow and head pressure ratings on some different pumps. Maybe I’ll have time to come up with some plumbing designs.

On another though would there be a problem with running 2x 250watt MH and 2x400watt MH’s? My aquascape is going to be scattered with a few islands. Could I have the 400’s over the islands or would the light look unbalanced? Has any done this? If so how did it look.

This is one of my favorite reefscapes of all time... I don't know whos it is, but good job..



New member
Try to stay away from the watts per gallon if you can. Think of it more as "what type of coral do you want to keep, and where do you want to keep them." If the plan is SPS, LPS, and clams, I still think that you could do it with 250s, especially if you are adding some T5's to the mix. Most of the LPS would be fine near the bottom half and the SPS up near the top half, with several exceptions of course. It can't hurt to have 400s, but you will be dealing with a bigger heat issue.

As for flow, I would think having the return and the closed loop all on one end would greatly diminish the flow on the end away from the overflow (that's a LONG tank!). I would definately consider either another CL on the other end, or some big Vortech's to get some of the water on the far end back to the overflow. That would all depend on how/where you are planning on putting the tank. Will this be a peninsula display, an in-wall, or just free standing. The cabinet could be built in such a way that the extra closed loop or Vortech's could be hidden nicely.

As for the return pump, I also think 10x would be fine, maybe even a bit less. In the tank (accomplised by CLs and powerheads), however, some would say, especially for keeping SPS, that you want turnover anywhere from 30X to 60X the volume per hour. You have to find that sweet spot to get the SPS enough flow, but not destroy any LPS tissue. Maybe keep a majority of the high flow up top in the water column, and leave the bottom a little less disturbed, but still enough to keep detritus from settling.

I'm glad to see that you are really thinking/planning this thing through before you dive in (excuse the pun....). I'm excited to see where it goes!


New member
Stylolvr Thanks for the help. It is a peninsula I don't want any power heads in the tank I want to keep it clean. I plan on running at least three closed loops maybe even 4. There will be one on the far end coming from the top. There will be a few pieces of flex tube on the other end, but there is no way to get around that.

I picked up some of the equipment today. I found a local reefer getting out of the hobby. I picked up some good stuff from him. :)

Korallin C4002 Calcium Reactor with Eheim Pump with about 3 gallons of extra media.

Deluxe CO2 Regulator with 5 lbs CO2 Tank

Korallin BioDenitrator S-1502 w/ Eheim 1048 Pump with media

Two Little Fishies PhosBan Reactor 150 with media

Two of these retro kits…

2x48" IceCap T5 Retro W/430 Icecap 430 Electronic Ballast
IceCap Moisture Proof T5 Endcaps w/ Stand Offs
IceCap "SLR" Single Lamp Reflectors
IceCap Wiring Kit
With Bulbs

I also picked up a 35gallon trash can full of base rock. I would say there’s 250 lbs or more. This all came from the same guy.

I found a used Kent 60 GPD Hi-S Maxxima RO/DI. I had one before that I liked. I hope it will be large enough.

I found a used skimmer so I picked it up… AquaC EV-240.

I also went a head and bit the bullet on bought some lights. I picked up

4 IceCap Electronic metal halide ballast
4 Mini- Lumen Bright Reflector
4 12K 400watt ReefLux Bulb by CoralVue

I think these will look good with the T5 accent. If that’s not enough light, I don’t need to keep it.

Now I have to focus on the plumbing. I need a skimmer pump. I’m sure that will be a Mag-Drive 1800 although. The local guy has an Iwaki that will work real well. I just didn’t have the money today for it. I had to stop the Madness somewhere.

I also need to figure out what return pump and close loop pumps I want to use. I would like something on the close loops that I can use a wave maker or Ocean Motion with. I need to sit down and plan the plumbing out so I can count the fittings that I need. I think the Durso 1.5” standpipe will handle 1500gallons per hour. I sure don’t want to do this twice. That’s about it other than something to sit it on.

:idea: !!! LOL
I was at the tanning bed the other day. They have a bed called the “Matrix” it is real cool. It has some kind on MH’s or high pressure lighting that pivots while you lay there. The point is it hasthese 3” or 4” clear tubes/ pipes that run along the top with holes in them that shot air out to cool you off. I’m thinking this would work pretty good in my hood to help cool this down. Any ideas??? Here is a link it’s the best I can do. I’m at work and most tanning bed pics have girls in them not good on work computer.



New member
Sounds like you are getting things together very well! A lot of people here on RC, and other locals around this area, swear by the Dart pumps for closed loops. Instead of spending the $$$$ on a wavemaker/controller, get a SCWD or two and hook them up. I have always had good luck with them, and if you have to replace them in a few years, you are only out $40 or so. Here's a link to give you an idea - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4588+10668&pcatid=10668.


New member
Thanks once again stylolvr.........

I put a plan in action tonight on the plumbing. I'm going to run the Iwaki 40RLT on the skimmer. I'm sure I will have to valve it down a little, but I think it will be a good match.

I'm going to run a Mag-Drive 2400 on the sump return. It should give me around 1700 gph return. I know that’s only 4.7 times an hour for the sump return, but I think it will be good. If I decide to start keeping SPS I will upgrade and use the MD 2400 for another closed loop.

For the 2 closed loops I'm going to run a Mag-Drive 2400 on each one. I will also be using an Eductor, I found space saving one at Champion Lighting. EDUCTOR there will be one on each side of the overflow. If the MD 2400 proves to be to strong for it, I will use one pump for both closed loop returns. I will use the other closed loop drain to feed a loop return on the far end of the tank. I’ll have to test it out first. I guess it’s a good thing I bought the base rock. I can do a plumbing and water flow test with fresh water and still have some of the rocks in place. Maybe I’ll have all my equipment in next week sometime. I will be off until Tuesday after noon, I plan on getting the tank cleaned. I got the three Novus cleaners with the tank that should be fun.