New setup Recommendations

pblogic

New member
Hi there!

Let me preface this by saying I have done a great deal of reading both online as well as two salt water and reef books. I have a pretty good understanding of most of what I need to do and I"m experienced at keeping a nice fresh water planted tank. I understand things like filtration and bioload and cycling just fine. I'm just looking for some equipment advice because this is my first salt water build.

So,

My setup is a 1/2 acrylic 72G with a 1 inch center overflow which I have built a 1 inch durso stand pipe for. It will drain into a 32x16x16 sump with baffles and bubble trap etc and return on a 3/4 inch return up about 4 feet to a return a few inches from the top of the tank. two 90 degrees at max. 2 unions. Through schedule 80

I'm looking for a good return pump that that is energy efficient. I would really prefer submersible. I live in Michigan, and the tank is on the lower level and I will light with t5's. Heat with almost never, ever be an issue FYI. It stays very cool where I live for almost all of the year and the tank will only experienced very muted sunlight for a small part of the day.

I've looked at mag 9.5 and mag 12... I know I would have to decrease flow from the 12 but would rather do that than have too little flow. I'm looking for any other submersible pump suggestions, as well as powerhead suggestions for creating proper flow inside. I will be going FOWLR for 6 months or so before I add any corals fyi. I don't care for eheim products, though I know everyone seems to love them. I had an ecco cannister that broke and on top of it being faulty Eheim's customer support would not even send me a small plastic piece to repair it, though it broke due to no fault of my own. Hence I don't care for the company and won't be supporting their products, just an fyi to avoid any eheim recommendations.

Thanks for any feedback, I appreciate it.
 

insane

New member
Check out Rio HF pumps. The HF20 is around the same flow (1,290@1') as the Magdrive 12 but less expensive ($70.00) and lower wattage(60watts). I like Rio but I also like Magdrives. Parts for both are easy to get.
http://riopump.net/products_pumps/hyperflow_models.html

Many people are going with the Koralias for inner flow but if price is no object a Vortech MP20 or MP40w is the in thing. The corals you plan on having should determine the amount of flow you have in the tank. Softies and LPS need low to moderate flow while SPS need high flow.

Many people on here love and swear by Eheim and would have recommended one of their pumps as a great many people use them.

Be careful what fish you add to the FOWLR as most marine fish are not reef safe, so you might want to just stick with reef safe fish and inverts that can make the transition with you. On the filtration thing, mechanical filtration is frowned upon unless you always keep it clean. Canister filters are best used as chemical filtration otherwise the mechanical filter is a breeding ground for nitrates. Same is said about using bioballs. They trap debris.
 

pblogic

New member
Yep, I was thinking of using a small cannister in the sump for chemical filtration. Perhaps a mix of mechanical and chemical if necessary. I like to tinker so I'm the kind of person that doesn't mind maintenance one bit. I know people love Eheim :) and I would have given their products another chance but their customer service was terrible for me personally.

Thanks very much for the Rio suggestion, I'll check it out for sure. Also, I was thinking of one pair of clowns and anemone. That is really my goal so I'd like to build the reef around that. I want to keep the reef level lower in the tank, and not build a super dense reef, just for aesthetic reasons :) I like the feeling of a more open tank towards the top. Any suggestions for this type of setup are very welcome. Also, do you think it is worthwhile splitting my return once it enters the tank? Say have one towards surface level while another pipe branches down and then hugs the bottom back maybe drilled as a spray bar for bottom circulation?

The vortec are unfortunately out of my price rage, and I think they are only good up to 3/4 inch thick and my acrylic tank is 1 inch thick acrylic (Got a great deal on a tank that someone else ordered but didn't pay for, that's why I have 1 inch.)

So, I'll probably go with the Koralia. Any more suggestions including for lighting are appreciate. I think I want to stick to t5's with lunar LED, and I may supplement with some white LED for that ripple effect. MH I'm scared of for expense and power consumption.
 

lin0501

New member
I think the mag 9.5 will be more than enough for your setup. You don't want too much flow going through your sump if you're using a skimmer or refugium. As for powerhead, I also like the koralias so I would recommend like two koralia 3's.
 

pblogic

New member
Thanks for the RIO suggestion, alot cheaper than the MAGs I see. Yeah, I might get away with a 9.5 but I might try the RIO version close to that as well as they are much more affodable it seems. Anyone have any problems with the RIO's? I'm sure I can do 2 Koralia 3's. Where would you position them? the tank is 48x18x22 approximatley
 

lin0501

New member
Thanks for the RIO suggestion, alot cheaper than the MAGs I see. Yeah, I might get away with a 9.5 but I might try the RIO version close to that as well as they are much more affodable it seems. Anyone have any problems with the RIO's? I'm sure I can do 2 Koralia 3's. Where would you position them? the tank is 48x18x22 approximatley

I position my koralia's facing each other on the two sides of my tank. One pointing slightly up to agitate the surface of the water and one slightly down to blow on my live rocks.
 

pblogic

New member
cool ill get some koralias for sure. And either the mag 9.5 or the rio. I may end up getting both because I'll need a pump for mixing and then filling the tank anyway. Now a couple of questions:

1. Where to buy quality live rock that will not cost me a fortune. I will be cycling with the rock, no need to cure it.

2. Protein skimmer for this setup in the reasonable range. I don't want junky stuff but I can't afford top of the line stuff
 

insane

New member
For LR, check craigslist and you also might ask in a local to you reef club forum. You can sometimes find it for $1.00 to $3.00 per pound from someone that either has extra or is just selling off their tank.

Reef Octopus are quite popular protein skimmers. I have the Extreme 250 and really like it. The smallest version is the 160 but that might be a bit much for your size tank. I have seen a lot of people on here using the Reef Octopus NWB 110 needle wheel skimmer but don't know much about it myself.
 

lin0501

New member
You can check craigslist for live rocks like the above poster said or you can start with mostly dry rocks with some live rocks to seed them. Use either eco rox from bulkreefsupply.com or marco rocks. As for skimmer, I also like the Octopus Extreme 160.
 

Jersey Bounce

New member
I prefer Ocean Runner pumps over Mag Drives. Some Mag Drives (including the one on my 250 gallon in-wall DT) can make incredibly annoying vibration/grinding noises. I've never had any noise issues with my Ocean Runner pumps.
 

N-dog

New member
+1 on the rio, i would go with a refugium and a protien skimmer over a canister filter just my two cents
 

pblogic

New member
I think I'm pretty well set on the RIO now. So at this point I have to look into the LR a little more.

First off, where should I buy the RIO from ? They dont carry them at b r s .

LR:

If I want to be economical and seed my live rock onto other rock and live sand to inert sand how much should I get of both LR and sand. Should I do a DSB? Should I do a DSB and or LR in my sump?
 

insane

New member
I think I'm pretty well set on the RIO now. So at this point I have to look into the LR a little more.

First off, where should I buy the RIO from ? They dont carry them at b r s .

LR:

If I want to be economical and seed my live rock onto other rock and live sand to inert sand how much should I get of both LR and sand. Should I do a DSB? Should I do a DSB and or LR in my sump?

http://www.aquacave.com/rio-hyperflow-20hf-br-water-pump-2046.html

http://www.marineandreef.com/20HF_HyperFlow_Powerhead_Rio_p/rti00767.htm

http://www.marinedepot.com/Taam_Rio...ter_Pumps-TAAM-TA3551-FIWPSBTO-TA3555-vi.html

IMO I think intank DSBs are ugly and they take up a lot of room. In a sump you are not supposed to grow anything in a RDSB as it defeats the purpose. There is much to running a DSB correctly and one wrong move with one can poison a tank and kill everything if you disturb the hydrogen sulfide gas that a DSB can produce.

A sand bed can be seeded with just a couple of cups of sand from a mature reef tank. Same goes for rock and live rock. Dead rock will take awhile to become live and look nice like live rock but doing half and half can save on the cost of it.

A 6" DSB in a 180g that was about 10 years old.
dsb.jpg
 

insane

New member
Many say that LR in a sump is a nitrate factory because it traps particles. Same is said for bio balls in a sump or filter.
 

pblogic

New member
thanks, yeah I'm not sure I like the look of the DSB and I don't want the hazard of releasing the gas. As far as nitrates go I have heard that about bioballs, cannisters, etc many times for salt and fresh and I'm not sure that I totally buy it (especially with freshwater) However, if I don't do sand or live rock in the refugium, how should I set my refugium up? What should go in there exactly? Because of the way my sump is baffled my fuge can be either in the return pump chamber or it can be in a small center chamber after the skimmer before the bubble trap
 

pblogic

New member
Another question:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php

The above thread talks about quarantine, which is great but when I'm adding live rock to cycle with to a system it's not going into a quarantine because I'm starting a new system right? What I'd prefer to do is buy mostly non-live rock with a few pieces of very high quality live rock for seeding. Then I'll probably get inert sand and add just a couple of bags of live sand for seeding. This seems like a good plan I just want to make sure that I buy really nice live rock without pests... any recommendations for this plan?
 

insane

New member
Sand in a fuge is a good thing. Just make it a SSB or a good mud with some sand over it to hold it down. Growing algae in it is good for nutrient export as long as you harvest it and throw it away or trade/give it away.

You need to keep a fuge away from any pumps. If a pump sucks up sand it can mess it up. You don't want a skimmer sucking up the pods or algae and don't want a return pump sucking up algae or you will be doing constant pump cleaning to unclog them.

I am a bit tired right now and rambling on incoherently... Been working on my 180 since early this morning and have 276lbs of the LR moved into it with maybe a hundred to go. Rebuilt a 7 way over the top return manifold into a wider 8 way and fired up the sump for the first time today. I still have to pop a bunch of rics, shrooms and zoos off of a bunch of rock to finish since I won't be having any softies in the DT.
 

insane

New member
Another question:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php

The above thread talks about quarantine, which is great but when I'm adding live rock to cycle with to a system it's not going into a quarantine because I'm starting a new system right? What I'd prefer to do is buy mostly non-live rock with a few pieces of very high quality live rock for seeding. Then I'll probably get inert sand and add just a couple of bags of live sand for seeding. This seems like a good plan I just want to make sure that I buy really nice live rock without pests... any recommendations for this plan?

QT is for fish. You can QT rock if there is a risk for something like mantis shrimp hitching a ride or you want to treat for some aiptasia to keep them out of your DT.

What I did to start my first sand bed years ago was bought all dead sand then bought a few pounds of grunge out of a live rock display at a LFS and used that to seed my sand. LR will also convert dry sand into live sand. Since you are just going to be starting the tank up you can go with mail order uncured rock. It will be cheaper and you can cycle it yourself in the tank with the dead sand. Be prepared for all of the wonderful blooms that come with a new tank! Or you can buy nice looking dry rock then buy smaller and cheaper live rock that you can use to make the dry rock live. I like saving money.
 
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