You'll plumb both returns/drains into one side of the pump. The other side'll have the return pump, which will go into a T and split to both sides of the main tank.
Agree with Carey. A total dissolved solids (TDS
) meter to test your RO
water. I'd also check for phosphates to be sure.
I think the only advantage to building your own vs buying a sump will be cost. Think in terms of a refugium and sump combined. I put sand, rocks, and macroalgeas down there.
Look at Marcorocks.com for your base rock. I just rec'd an order from them and love the potential to construct my own formations with totally dry rocks outside of the tank first. You will have to seed with some real live rock in order to get the corraline algae from them to spread.
I only know about the Aqua C EV series skimmers. Used one on my 155g and loved it.
Agreed also about not using a glass top. I constructed a top for mine out of PVC
frame and polypropelene netting. Did not shield light and allowed the air movement properly.
Also consider a 29g (or larger) quarantine tank to use while you're stocking. One sick fish added to a tank w/300 lbs of rock in it, and you will NOT cath it. It'll infect the others in no time.
is fine for rinsing the sand.
Does the 55g drum come with wheels? If not, look at the 44g Brute trash can with a dolly. I used 2 on a dolly and one without. One was for the new made water which I added salt and a powerhead to to sit just in case or for regular water changes. I used the second one to make FW
for top-offs. The third, without wheels was for the waste water from the RO
since my wife/boss didn't like throing it away. Seems like for every gallon I made, it created 1 gallon or more of waste water. We watered plants and washed clothes with that. The wheels/dollies will allow you to make and store water in one room and move it to the tank.
In my tank, underneat and within the stand, I had (from left to right) my sump/refugium, my skimmer (external), and a 37 tank for my FW
reservoir. The reservoir was great to add FW
to and an auto top-off system and pump (Check JBJ auto top-off) to keep me from having to top off the tank every day. My 37 gallons of FW
lasted a couple of weeks.
I never heard of a foxface eating coral.