FINALLY Jarobs 20g Prop Tank


New member
I moved to Corpus Christi, TX last August from StLouis in order to study marine bio. Well since I've been down here I have been itching to start another saltwater tank but decided best to wait until 2nd semester. In order to hold me over until now I set up a nice freshwater tank using the 20L I am now using.

The setup:
My main reason for even living here is because of my love for Coral Reefs and corals, so I decided my system will be devoted to growing and fragging corals, thus the 20L prop tank. I will have two levels in the tank, the lower devoted to Zoas, Rics and Yumas with the top section SPS. Since I will be growing SPS I knew flow would be a big issue, so to solve this I will be using an undrilled closed loop system kinda like Melv used on his 29g. The pump is a mag 9.5 with a SCWD and two outlets on each side. This, along with one mj400 and a HOB fuge the flow is pretty much crazy. I am still unsure of the lighting... I have one 24" T5 fixture currently from my old freshwater setup(planted).

My old Freshwater tank:

and now build pictures:
The basics



Starting to fit the plumbing



New member
Working on the egg crate shelves

About where they will be

Keep in mind this sequence of pictures and events took place over 3 long days and a night, with 6 trips to Lowes. Well inbetween one trip to Lowes I stoped at the beach and took some water straight out of the gulf to fill the tank with for now, just to test it out, while I was collecting water I found a few very large and cool Rock Anenomes which I places into the tank while the testing takes place.

The water and a picture of the Anenomes, the far one is about the size of my fist and is bright orange and red.



Plumbing fitted but not glued, also a good view of the first level and the return outlets.



Left side glued!

Right side glued!


New member
With the system pretty much done the worst that could have happened, happened... while screwing on the intake plumbing to the pump the intake cracked. I pieced it all together still and taped the living heck out of it with some electrical tape until I order a new piece. In the mean time, it seems the tape will hold. Im running it overnight for a leak test with the old water and tomorrow will go get new fresh water and place the anenomes back where I found them.

Let me just say, this flow is SICK and the SPS will be in love with me between that and the natural sea water, coming from a clean location.






The right side even disturbing the top of the water with the outlets 7in below.

What held me over, started in Corpus

Now, I am still looking into lighting, I need the cheapest route possible since I am a college student. I was thinking about looking into different floressent bulb types and using reflectors from lowes. If someone can think of something, please post or pm! I will keep posting pictures of progress.

P.S. If anyone is from the Corpus area, get in touch with me, I dont know anyone down here!


New member
i would have used larger plumbing on the intake side, and make sure you hose clamp those SCWD fittings or the salt creep will be everywhere...

other wise looks good....i assume you will be collecting various corals from local shops/ reefers, and not collecting wild pieces...


New member
as soon as I find other reefers around here I hope they can help! other wise I ill be ordering frags from others on here.

The plumbing on the intake is 3/4" which is what is recommended

and yes everything is clamped real good, dont worry! but that WAS my last trip to lowes


If I lived down by you I would be super fat from all the whatasburgers... cool rocks.


New member
is that a mag3 or 5? i still would have went larger with the pipe especially with all those bends in it...the required size is a minimum i am sure...

i am also sure you will find local reefers in no time...hit up a couple shops and see if there are any clubs in town..


New member
I have the right sized inlets and the outlets are made small to decrease the flow as it is a mag 9.5 on there, on a 20g