Will my design work?

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
I am 5 yrs. removed from my last experience in Reef Keeeping. I had a 90 gl. Reef tank in my home in Colorado and have since retired, traveled and moved to Texas. Now I am settleing down again and I am ready to go ahead with my next project, Twin 190 gl., in wall tanks. When I built this place I framed openings in the south living room wall for these 5'x2'x30" tanks. Because I am interested in both Marine fish and Reef inhabitants I decided that two tanks was a must. They will incorporate a 30gl. overflow sump, 50gl. refugium, and 50 gl. pump/change sump. Both tanks will overflow to the first sump where I will plumb and pump to an external skimmer, as well as flow to the "fuge", then flow to the pump/change sump where the skimmer return will enter, and with two pumps will pump back to the display tanks.

This design and set-up is based on what I learned the first time around so there may be some "holes" in my thinking. I could use some in-put as to this design, as well as ideas on how to cut costs on the large amount of live rock and sand I will rquire not to mention all the equipment. I am about ready to order the tanks so any ideas would be appreciated
 

Ron Reefman

New member
You can cut costs by only doing one tank.

You are planing 2 big tanks and you are concerned about the cost of LR... are you already getting in over your head? Just asking. Reefs aren't cheap so you need to be prepared.
 

JCareyETexas

New member
Awesome idea!! I'm right down the road from you in Tyler so let me know if there is anything you need help with.
My "dream" down the road is to do something similar, have one FOWLR and one reef tank, maybe connected by the sump/fuge.
One way I saved a little with my build was by getting in on a "group buy" with bulk reef supply and ordering dry pukani rock. The pukani is a little higher cost up front but looks great, seems to lock together for aquascaping, and is so porous and light that the volume/pound is significantly higher (IMO).
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
You can cut costs by only doing one tank.

You are planing 2 big tanks and you are concerned about the cost of LR... are you already getting in over your head? Just asking. Reefs aren't cheap so you need to be prepared.

Thanks for the reply but I think you mis-understood the question. I am fully aware of the costs, I am prepared to spend what I need to, to get it done. My post was a question about reducing costs where I pould, not a statement that "I am concerned about the cost of LR".
 

rogermccray

New member
Yeah, getting dry rock will help you to save some money. It will add time to setting up the tank but it does save money.
 

reefjunkie42

Wrasse junkie
Thanks for the reply but I think you mis-understood the question. I am fully aware of the costs, I am prepared to spend what I need to, to get it done. My post was a question about reducing costs where I pould, not a statement that "I am concerned about the cost of LR".

I dont think ron was trying to be rude, just stating that reefs are expensive. 8$ lbs LR, 2 dollar a lb "live sand" 800+ skimmer for system that size...Hm or LED..the costs upfront are astronomical, but well worth the price. You can always look at making LR. use the search option here on RC to find some threads. the down side to cutting cost with dry LR/dead sand is a longer cycle. Also if you take into account the amount of water changes needed to be done on dead limestone to get the sulfur smell out it can take months and months. Id personally use some dry LR, and premium LR to seed it. as for sand, I have had good results with the bimini pink sand from carbi sea. GL with build and dont give up. why not just do a 300 gal DD standard tank? that way it will be standard and more affordable. also think about the width of the tank..18 inches just isnt a good width like it was years ago. I personally lke 24 or more inchs wide. for aquascaping options.
 

Agu

Premium Member
I wouldn't put the skimmer drain in the return chamber. You want any bubbles from the skimmer to dissipate before hitting the return pumps.

Base/dry rock mixed with select live rock is now a common practice, uses a lot less live rock. If you can get gulf aquacultured live rock you'll get a lot more life and seed the dry rock faster.

DSBs were the rage 5 years ago. Now there are a lot of shallow sand beds and bare bottom tanks.

<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>
 

Ron Reefman

New member
Thanks for the reply but I think you mis-understood the question. I am fully aware of the costs, I am prepared to spend what I need to, to get it done. My post was a question about reducing costs where I pould, not a statement that "I am concerned about the cost of LR".

Got it. Well, the idea sounds really cool. I have a 180g reef and a 70g anemone tank on the same stand with a 130g frag tank/ refugium/sump under the stand. You'll have lots of water volume which should help alot with keeping stable water parameters. I'd love to see some pics as you go along.
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
I dont think ron was trying to be rude, just stating that reefs are expensive. 8$ lbs LR, 2 dollar a lb "live sand" 800+ skimmer for system that size...Hm or LED..the costs upfront are astronomical, but well worth the price. You can always look at making LR. use the search option here on RC to find some threads. the down side to cutting cost with dry LR/dead sand is a longer cycle. Also if you take into account the amount of water changes needed to be done on dead limestone to get the sulfur smell out it can take months and months. Id personally use some dry LR, and premium LR to seed it. as for sand, I have had good results with the bimini pink sand from carbi sea. GL with build and dont give up. why not just do a 300 gal DD standard tank? that way it will be standard and more affordable. also think about the width of the tank..18 inches just isnt a good width like it was years ago. I personally lke 24 or more inchs wide. for aquascaping options.

Tell me about a 300 gl. DD, is it two chambers? MY last tank illustrated the need for two tanks, everything I liked was not reef safe, and I loved the reef.
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
Got it. Well, the idea sounds really cool. I have a 180g reef and a 70g anemone tank on the same stand with a 130g frag tank/ refugium/sump under the stand. You'll have lots of water volume which should help alot with keeping stable water parameters. I'd love to see some pics as you go along.

I didn't mean to imply you were being rude, sorry for that. Your set-up sounds a little like what I'm doing. I'll keep it's progress posted.
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
Tell me about a 300 gl. DD, is it two chambers? MY last tank illustrated the need for two tanks, everything I liked was not reef safe, and I loved the reef.

That's interesting! I thought a deep sand bed was critical in keeping a natural enviornment healthy. Tell me more on this issue when you get a minute. Thanks
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
I wouldn't put the skimmer drain in the return chamber. You want any bubbles from the skimmer to dissipate before hitting the return pumps.

Base/dry rock mixed with select live rock is now a common practice, uses a lot less live rock. If you can get gulf aquacultured live rock you'll get a lot more life and seed the dry rock faster.

DSBs were the rage 5 years ago. Now there are a lot of shallow sand beds and bare bottom tanks.

<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>

OOps, wrong quote for reply. What has changed on the thinking about DSB's.? Thought that was critical.
 

cincyjim

New member
Got it. Well, the idea sounds really cool. I have a 180g reef and a 70g anemone tank on the same stand with a 130g frag tank/ refugium/sump under the stand. You'll have lots of water volume which should help alot with keeping stable water parameters. I'd love to see some pics as you go along.


Where do you find the time to manage three tanks? I have trouble getting enough time to manage my 75g.
 

Agu

Premium Member
OOps, wrong quote for reply. What has changed on the thinking about DSB's.? Thought that was critical.

A lot of people still use a DSB but it's not critical. There are a lot of aquarists going either bare bottom or using starboard on the tank bottoms. The idea is to remove waste rather than sequester it.

There's also a long thread in "Advanced" topics about using a remote DSB.

Personally with my smaller tanks there's less than 1/2" of substrate and I vac it to remove waste. I chose to go that route because at about the 6 year mark I began to have algae problems that good husbandry couldn't cure. When I decided to tear down and rebuild the oldest tank (and clean all the rock in the process) the stench from the disturbed sand was disgusting. Once I saw the transformation of that tank my other nanos were also torn down, sand dumped and replaced with a shallow sand bed, and the tanks rebuilt.

BTW, these weren't true DSBs because a DSB wasn't supposed to work in a nano tank. It was "live" sand with the worms and other critters that were supposed to keep it clean :rolleyes:.
 

budster.stig1

Broncoholic
Where do you find the time to manage three tanks? I have trouble getting enough time to manage my 75g.

Well cincyjim you see I'm an old fart, retired in 2007, traveled for a few years and that got old, so I've settled down in Texas where it is warm and I can breathe better (cause of the altitude). I was an Audio Nut for 40 yrs. and when I lost my hearing in 02 I needed a new hobby that I didn't have to 'HEAR". Got my first tank in 03 and have been hooked ever since.
 
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