Ben's "gettin back Into the hobby" build.


I got nothin'
Well, here is the log ladies and gents.

First things first:


Here is where she is going:

I'm going to buy a 36x24 sink base from lowes and plum everything inside the cabinet and put it behind the aquarium stand. That way all I'll have is a hose going to the cabinet and a return hose coming out of the cabinet.

Here is all the equipment I salvaged:



So it looks like i have
1 36" outer orbit power compact = 96w
1 28" outer orbit PC = 250w
1 36" straight pin PC = 128w
1 30g tank
1 55g tank
1 decently large skimmer and pump of unknown brand
2 big overflows

Unfortunately I lost my big mag drive pump, so I'll have to find another.

Here's the stand:

It's hand built solid cherry.

So my plan is:
Overflow to large plastic old wet/dry
Drill the bottom of the plastic wet/dry and put an overflow in it going down to the smaller acrylic wet/dry and run my return pump from there. This way I can use the big plastic sump as a fuge and not have to worry about drilling Into the 30g and busting it. Since I dunno if it's tempered or not.

Sooooo. Stay tuned.
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I got nothin'
Alright. I figured out that my small acrylic sump will fit under my 55g stand.

I also figured that I would be able to plumb the second tank into the main tank and both use the same sump. So! Here's my diagram:


The refugium will be the 30g tank in the kids room...

Unless I want a FOWLR setup in the 30g and screw the fuge all together. Would be fun to keep some space for non-reef compatible meanies.

Decisions decisions.

Edit: I figured out that the skimmer is actually a sea clone 150. Not a bad skimmer.
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So further digging through storage today produced some items I was missing!

Assorted power heads, I need to clean them to figure out what they all are. One of them is enormous...
A mag drive 5
Ehiem 1100
Gamma 8w UV sterilizer
A 200w heater
Couple other odds and ends.

They are all soaking in vinegar, going clean and test and post pics!


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So here are the rest of my spoils.

It looks like I have:
A mag drive 5 (ordered new o-ring and impeller housing)
A gamma uv sterilizer. (Ordered two new bulbs and quartz sleeves)
A maxi jet 1000
Two regent 3 power heads (I had them circulating a mix container at one point)
Mag float cleaner (yessssss!!!)
Rio 1100
Aqua clear 110
Hagen 802
Rena cal 200w heater
Eco-therm 150w heater

Now that everything is out on the table, what would you put to use where?

I need to run a skimmer, a return pump to the fuge, a return pump to the reef, and a pump to circulate the UV.

Ready. Set. GO!


I got nothin'
Ok, I've now decided to drill both my tanks. The thought of having two overflow boxes and doubling the possibility of catastrophic failure is just too much for me. :eek:
It's a small price to pay for a small insurance policy.

I'm fairly handy and I don't think it will be all that difficult. I'm almost 99% sure that my bottoms on both tanks are tempered, so this is going to have to happen on the sides. Can anyone suggest a reputable kit?

Anyone want to buy a couple rockin overflow boxes?

Sigh. After reading, it appears as though the 55g I have and the 30g both have all tempered glass, all sides :...(

I hate to have to buy new tanks. I ran overflow boxes for years without problem....but I dunno if I want to risk ruining a perfectly good tank. Exactly what is the failure rate of an overflow box?
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Installed the RO today.


Now going to run the output to a large container with a float valve, then run that up to the tank for a ATO.


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More pics from the living room locale:



The best part about the living room location is that all I have to do to get to the basement is drill a hole in the wall and go down. Basement floor is 8 feet below.

I'll ask, but I don't think anyone actually reads this....

Can I put the 30g fuge in the basement? I would have to pump it 4-6 feet to the main sump.


New member
I hope the overflow boxes don't fail since I'm running one.

I love reading tank build threads but am still new and learning so I rarely reply on any.

My completely uneducated opinion on the fuge location... I don't see why not.


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Well, truthfully.

My last reef I ran this exact same setup for over 5 years with the exact same overflow without issue.


I have a plan for an emergency shutoff on the main pump that involves two wires and a fuse.


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K here is a new plan for the fuge and sump.

In going to go directly to the fuge from the reef so I don't have to use two sumps. Seems like a simpler plan:



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Got my solenoid installed and mounted.

Like my daddy always said: "if you can't do a job with zip ties... get more zip ties."




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For my next trick, I'm waiting on my float valve. Once that comes in, I'll plug up my resevoir. Then from there I can set up the auto top off in the sump and work my way up to the main tank.


New member
Hey Bent! What's up. You shouldn't connect you ATO Directly to the tank. Too many possibilities for a huge flood if something sticks in the on position. It also puts a lot of stress on the RODI system to constantly be cycling on and off. You could burn through your filter cartridges very fast that way. Read up on using the flush kit on your RO to get rid of the trapped particulates in the first stages of the unit, before they make it into the more expensive DI resin canister.
I like your ideas so far. Keep them coming. :spin1:


I got nothin'
I'm not going to hook it directly to the sump. My master plan is as follows:

R/o outlet to normally closed solenoid->solenoid outlet to float valve set at a high level in r/o resevoir.

The solenoid will be connected to a timer to turn on once per week to fill resevoir. Should the solenoid fail, then the water will be shut off by the float valve. There will be a float switch above the valve that will shut the r/o pump off should the valve fail. Above the switch will be a water alarm that will sound if the switch fails.

The ATO pump will be inside the resevoir controlled by a float switch in the sump. This pump will be connected to a switched outlet so it can be turned off. The return pump will also be connected to the same switched outlet. So, push button 1 on the panel and the return and ATO pumps will shut off, filling the sump.

There will be a drain pump in the sump that will be routed to the mop sink. Push button #2 and the water will be drained from the sump.

Below the r/o resevoir will be a salt mixing container that will be gravity fed by the r/o resevoir via a manual gate/ball valve. Within the salt mixing container will be a feed pump that will be routed to the sump. Push button #3 and the new water will be pumped into the sump.

Then you just switch back on the ATO and return pumps.


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Well today I installed the inline tds meter. Flip the switch and see the incoming tds. Flip it again and see the outgoing tds.

Also installed the surge strip and the solenoid timer.