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Old 09-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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20 long nano reef (sw newbie)

Hey all!

I decided to do a small sw build and I'm pretty excited about it. I would go bigger with my first reef if it was appropriate, either financially or space wise, but it isn't atm.

So yeah... I'll probably break my, beautifully painted, 20 long today as I attempt to drill it Where at on the back of the aquarium should I drill? What size plumbing should I use?

I am building the 10 gallon, diy sump that has been represented in the millions online. I have my heater, protein skimmer, and I assume that a dual t5ho with actinic and white will suffice???

So, pump and plumbing help, please? Much appreciated in advance!

(also, your feelings on 2 powerheads with wavemaker and how much flow on the powerheads? THANKS!)
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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I don't care for drilling my tanks, guess I'm just paranoid. What I did for plumbing on my big tank is I ran the overflow with a ball valve on it that I can adjust for flow rate. The return will depend on how much lower your sump is and how much u want to circulate the water, I have a 1200 gph pump for a return on my 220 which is just under 6' of hight from pump to return, I have a friend with a 150 tall that is the same hight and he is running a larger pump and getting a lot of flow out of his return. I dont know which is better, may just be preference.

As for the lighting it depends on what kind of corals you plan on having, they should be plenty for soft and most lps, I have had good luck with them when I had 4 on my 55 a couple years ago.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Thanks. I haven't drilled anything yet and I'm not sure that I will.

Do you run a skimmer in your return chamber or inlet? There are so many differing opinions on that. Will I need to run multiple drain lines into my sump?

I have seen a lot of 20 long reefs on youtube but so little specific info concerning plumbing.

return pump and overflow flow rate must be pretty similar across the board when doing a 20 long build.... right?
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:51 PM   #4
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I have my skimmer in a separate chamber in the center of the sump, I don't think I would want it in the return chamber because of the changing water level, but I doubt it would make much difference. And one over flow is all you need with this small of a tank.

Without knowing how much elevation your return pump has to compensate for will determine the size, you may only need a 500 or maybe as much as 1200. A pump will not put out the rated flow when you start to lift water, like I said, mine is 1200 but I'm pumping about 600 if I remember at the return. Your lfs should be able to set you up with the right pump when you decide how far it is from sump to tank.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #5
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My return will be under 3 feet.

I bought a 10 gal for my sump...it does seem kind of cramped to have skimmer, pump, and refugium but people apparently make it work.

my skimmer has a 6"x8" foot print. I have been thinking of putting it in the inlet chamber although I have read that it takes some of the good stuff out of the water that should be getting into the refugium.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:34 AM   #6
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I would go with a 20 tall if u have the room, it is the same foot print as the 10 but has double the hight. U won't gain anything in the sense of available room, but you get more capacity for the macro algae and water volume which will keep the tank more stable. I haven't heard anything about skimming before the fuge being bad though, u maybe able to run a box around your over flow in the corner and have it 2x2 inches, that could poor over to into the fuge which would take up 1/3-1/2 of the overflow, then dump into as small of a chamber as possible for the skimmer, then run the bubble trap into the return area, sounds good in my head but without laying it all out its hard to say if it would work lol.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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And also make sure that u have room for the water from the display tank to sit in the sump if power fails, I know it's kind of a no brainer, but I over looked it on my first build, lucked out and only spilled about half gallon, but could of been a lot worse
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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I have seen designs where the fuge is fed a small percentage of the flow directly from the display tank. Is that what you meant?

The 10 gallon is probably the best I can do with the space... unless I use something other than an aquarium for the sump. Or just purchase an acrylic deal that fits my stand.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankBoss
I have seen designs where the fuge is fed a small percentage of the flow directly from the display tank. Is that what you meant?

The 10 gallon is probably the best I can do with the space... unless I use something other than an aquarium for the sump. Or just purchase an acrylic deal that fits my stand.
You can do wonders with a 10 gallon trust me. It's no 200 gallon but it will give you that little piece of the reef and if your tight ok space IMO you will enjoy it.

Here's my friends 10 gallon



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Old 09-18-2012, 01:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for the pics. Very nice looking little tank.

Race37 was talking about the size of my sump though.
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