Re-Setting up 75 gal aquarium


New member
First off a little update-
got out of reefing due to mega problem keeping nitrates down causing lots of corals and $$$$ lost. I decided to shut down and give it a break then regroup and apply what I learned and setup a new system.

So what I want to do-
I still have my live rock in a 50 gal drum filtered and heated no light.
i want to set up a fish only tank (until I know I have the nitrate problem under control) with rock only on the sides.The tank is visible on both front and back. I want the look of you looking through a valley with the sides the sides of the valley <--bad wording I know:).

What I think the problems where-
1.The sump->some live rock and DSB but very small DSB and very little live rock(20 lbs).

2.Filtration-I was using a canister filter and finally took it down a few months before I shut the tank down. I also had just bought a octopus skimmer and about 40 mangroves. I am wanting to just use carbon and phos guard in a reactor instead along with bio-balls. Will this be enough with a sock filter in the sump.

2.b- I think the rock layout in the main tank had a lot of dead spots. That is why I picked a layout with no rock in the middle tho I have considered some stacked low in the middle for a more realistic view.

3. I had a lot of sand in the display and had used some play sand. I think this contributed to a rise in phos. fueling alga.

Can you guys help me with figuring out the project layout and maybe bettering my ideas?

Here is my layout so far-->

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An old pick of the tank to help you get an idea of what I see.

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New member
Quick note. I want to take my time and do things right. I am adding a 30gal pressure tank to store RO/DI water just for the tank and a 30 gal container to keep salt water ready at all times.
Also I forgot to mention I think the sand was holding nitrates in the old system and I believe I didnt have enough of a clean up crew to take care of it.

I also want to know about ideas for the sump as mine were not sufficient.

1st timer

New member
Have you been doing water changes on your stored live rock? How about testing their water? I would say no to using bio balls at all, unless you are going to clean them often.
General consensus on sand depth seems to be less than 2" or more than 4",definitely have ample clean up crew, Maybe 20-30 nasarius (sp) snails and as many astrea/cerith snails, and some crabs maybe emeralds and hermits.
Is your closed loop already laid out that way? If not I would lower the return from it as you should get plenty of flow up high from your return, and lower in tank is generally where the lack of flow occurs in my experience. Just my opinion, hope it give you some ideas.


New member
I changed the water about once a month. My clean up crew was very small for a 75 gal and now I know. When I first set up the old aquarium I didnt know anything. Now I know how important filtration, clean up crews and a good skimmer are. As well as good flow in the tank. I just got done putting in the new baffles in the sump. Decided to go with 2 baffles but am undecided if I want to add sand to the sump. The reason for 2 baffles instead of adding bubble traps is because my Octo skimmer is external and I thinking of also running the 2 little fishies reactors external. This leaves a lot of room in the middle section of the sump. The first section has enough room for the reactor and skimmer pumps and also my 300 watt heater.
My idea is to make a shelf out of egg crate and put lots of live rock in the middle section as my layout for the display will not allow much room for rock. I plan on buying fresh live rock and all new live sand. I will get the sand first and let the tank run while I get the reactors. This will give me a chance to get my ro/di ran to the tank instead of having a 50 gal container setting in the kitchen :). I want to set up an easy way to do a water change before I really get things running.
(I am planning on putting a pump running out and a pump running pre-mixed water in all on a switch with levels marked on sump.)
Only once all is in place will I buy the Rock then a month or so after the clean up crew.

BTW- My old sump had 5" of sand in it but only like a 10" x 6" space. I dont think that counts for a 75g. I rushed into things last time and had disasters so I am slowing down and getting things the way I like this time. Got everything cleaned out today and started on the layout for the display but I am just using egg crate for now. Still very open to suggestions before I go any further. I will check back tomorrow and thanks
1st Timer.

BTW-BTW-the drawing is not perfectly accurate.the closed loop will only be on the overflow side(I think for now) pointing down at the sand. On the return side the return and a modded maxi-jet will be pointing at the overflow. I am hoping to make a circular motion toward the overflow. I will also have timers on the pumps to very the current though out the day. I have lights set up for corals so I have more light than I will use at first.

Will these reactors be enough filtration with a sock filter for my set up?
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