Help me start over!

Dr. Beer

New member
I have not had a reef in about 3 years (or has it been 4?). I am now stable enough in my residence and in my finances that I can afford to start another one. I may still have to move, so unfortunately I cannot set up the tank I had been saving for, but I'm also not as transient as I was either.

I'm thinking about going with a tank made by Acrylics. Even though it isn't as large a tank as he's probably accustomed to building, and it isn't as large as most would consider worthy of custom work, I feel he builds such a high quality product that custom built is the way to go. Not 100% sure on this, but I've always felt it's better to downsize just a bit to be able to get the best quality. Quality over quantity any day!

So, what I am considering is either a 3'x2'x2' tank, external overflows (up to about 4000 gph capacity) or a 2' or 3' cube. I don't know what to do. Either of the options should be easy enough to light with MH+T5 (too bad LED lighting isn't yet a possibility), and the filtration I am not so concerned about. I just don't know which to choose. :) My biggest concern with a cube is the overflow set up. I HATE clutter in my tanks (a big reason I want a custom built tank), and a 4-side viewable cube necessarily is going to have a center overflow, unless there is something I'm missing. Which brings me to my question - is there a way to set up a cube that hides the overflow and most of the equipment? I've seen an acrylic tank with the overflows built into the four corners, but I'm guessing this will neither have the drain capacity I require nor will it be an economical way to do things.

I intend for a 20-30 gallon sump and the associated skimmer and plumbing for all of that jazz. No DSB for me. Skimmer and possibly a carbon section in the sump is what I'll use. Maybe an inline, slowflow refugium in the sump. Dunno about that yet though.

So, I've got maybe upfront $2k to spend on initial products, and since I have been out of the hobby for quite some time, I was wondering if any of the fine folk here (especially those who remember me; melev comes to immediate mind as being particularly resourceful) could help me to spend it. :D I've got more than enough coming in on a monthly basis to buy the livestock over the 6 - 9 month cycle period I will use (no livestock except rock until 4-6 months at the earliest!).