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Old 06-25-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Logic of this setup?

Okay guys I am planning way ahead here for my eventual reef conversion from FOWLR

I was thinking this:

I currently have a 55gal setup and was thinking of keeping that as a center display tank with fish and LR. i wanted to place overflow boxes off to each side draining into a 20gal long (or high haven't decided) on each side, which would both then drain into a sump pumping back into the center tank. In each of the 20gal longs would be a reef setup with LR and requisite lighting. I am figuring this way the overall water system would be about 110 gal (55 gal center, 2 x 20 side tanks, 20 gal sump.

I figured this way, I could house some of the pretty non reef safe fish and inverts, but still have the nice looking colorful corals on either side.

What do you guys think?

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Old 06-25-2006, 11:27 PM   #2
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I asked Bob Fenner (author of several books on marine fish) about this a couple of years ago when I thought it was a good idea and he shot me down, hard.

If I remember correctly, the main point he had about why it would be a bad idea was allong the lines of if something gets sick or out of whack in one tank, then instantly all of them are messed up. For example, my 24 gallon nano has flatworms in it, in your system, ALL of your tanks would have flatworms.

He also pointed out that if any of the pumps ever fail, you will have a salt water mess on your floor due to siphoning issues. Water level will be lower in the other tanks and sump, and if they are not, and you lose power, you will have a mess.

I say if you can figure it out, quarintine everything that goes in there like it's your religion, and want to risk the mess, go for it. You gotta post a pic if you do this.

Good Luck,

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Old 06-27-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
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Anyone got a 110gal rubbermaid tub? LOL

Okay, gotta think this one through. Man, there is not easy way is there?

Shouldn't using overflow boxes prevent too much siphoning if the pwer goes out? Figure I can put the sump in a larger container to contain any spills due to siphoning if the pump goes out.

Won't be too good for the corals to sit in the same water for along time, but better than emptying the tank onto the floor.
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:20 PM   #4
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your sump will have to be able to handle all of the water that would syphon out of the main display, all of the water that would clear the plumbing between the display and the side tanks, all of the water that would drain out of the side tanks and then all of the water that would drain out of the plumbing between the sides and sump. Assuming a 2" drop in each tank, you're looking at catching like... 30 or so gallons of water in the even of a power outage. If you are serious about it, I would figure out exact measurements and get a but enough sump to catch all the water still sounds like a cool idea tho!
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:22 PM   #5
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I am thinking of the problems in two broad categories

1) Water (Quality/Chemistry/Contamination)
2) Equipment Issues

In Group 1, I like the idea of a total of over 100 gal water system to keep the chemistry more stable once fully established as opposed to having several smaller systems to keep acclimated.
I like the idea of setting up different zones for different inhabitants in the big system to keep incompatible species separately.

I realize that in order to keep from contaminating the entire system, I will have to set up a pretty strict QT regimen with all new introductions, but I should be doing that anyway to keep any system healthy.

The question is, what is less of a hassel; a) keeping a small system stable enough for corals, or b) keeping a strict QT'ing regimen to keep the larger system clean of disease and parasites.

In Group 2 are the Equipment issues. I figure I can keep a single sump with the necessary equipment to service the larger water system. The plan would be to keep a 20 gal sump inside a larger Rubbermaid tub to contain any spills b/c of power outages.

I figure for this setup, the additional equipment I need is 4 x overflow boxes (2 off the 55 gal to feed each tank, and one from each side tank to the sump) 3 x 20gal aquariums, 1 x Large Rubbermaid tub, 1 pump to go in the sump, and the necessary lighting for the side tanks depending if I go with a 2 x reef system or 1x reef and 1x fuge.

Anything I seem to be missing in thinking about this?
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