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Old 10-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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150 gallon tank that i want to be saltwater

Hey everyone, so I found a 150 gallon oceanic tank on Craigslist for cheep And picked it up the other day and after some consideration I think I have decide I want to try my hand at saltwater and eventually a reef tank. I am going to take my time and drill the back for a coast to coast overflow into a sump while potentially in the future adding a 40b for a refugeium plumbed in series on the side of it. I guess to start I would like a list of things I will need immediately in order to start my cycle, I plan on a shallow sand bed with a bit of base rock and some live and letting it cycle with the tank while adding as I gain more funds. I have joined a brs group buy to get a 5 stage rodi filter in the next week.

So I guess my goal is to drill, buy a sump(not sure what size I have seen get as big as you can go) and start working on filling it with rodi.

Is there anything g else I will need within the cycling period?
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Also I guess one of my biggest questions at this moment is what size bulkheads should I use on my tank? Does that depend on the size of the sump or is there a way to know just by the size of the tank?
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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This is where extensive planning starts coming into play.....

First, you need to plan your DT turnover rate based on the skimmer you want to use. As far as your skimmer, you will typically want to go +1 on your tank size, so for a 150, you'll optimally want a skimmer rated for about 180-200g...... this is going to be a pretty large skimmer, footprint & expense wise (don't skimp $$ on your skimmer). If you're dead set on using the 40b as a sump, your probably going to want to go with an external recirculating skimmer to leave enough room for your refugium. A skimmer in this range is going to process about 750gph, so your looking at about a 5x turnover rate on your DT.... no point in circulating more water than your skimmer can process.
Now, to the return pump size that can handle that flow rate..... a mag 9.5 will move about 800gph with 4' of head pressure if your sump is directly below the tank. Again, I'd go +1 on the pump with a gate valve for tunability, which means a mag 12...... both use 3/4" plumbing, so that will be the bulkhead size for your return line(s).
As far as drain lines, I've found that a single 1" durso standpipe can handle about 350gph. If you're going with a pair of drains, I'd probably go with 1 1/2" lines.

Again, these measurements are based on an example of presumptions....you'll need to make your equipment decisions before moving forward.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information! I will look into skimmers and pumps right now, my plan was to have a seperate refugeium off to the left side of my display tank, so as for sump I am not sure what I will be using yet As for skimmers I have heArd a lot of good reviews about reef octopus so I was thinking of going with something from that line Perhaps the diablo dcs200? Would that work on my setup I'm thinking of either a 33 or 40 long for my sump depending on what I can find
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:26 PM   #5
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You're talking about a remote refugium, which is what I run..... That gives you a lot more room in your "mechanical" tank. I've got a 55 split into two chambers and a 29 as a remote 'fuge. With a 36" 40b split in half, that should give you plenty of room for a filter sock & internal skimmer like a Diablo DCS170 (13" x 9" footprint) in the return chamber for a few hundred $$ less. It's rated plenty for what you're looking at, and having it in the sump will save a lot of room as well as headache. If an external skimmer decides to go nuts & overfills the cup, you have a mess everywhere.... If an internal skimmer happens to overfill the cup, it'll just flow back into the sump.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Will that skimmer become an issue (too small) when this tank eventually becomes a reef? I would have around 210 gallons of water if my math is correct 150 display, 40, grow out/ refugium and 20 gallons or so of water in my sump?
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
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No, unless you plan on a really heavy fish stock. Base your +1 skimmer size on your DT, since that is where the bioload is produced..... Your sump tanks are not producing a bioload. Some will say there is no such thing as "over skimming", but I tend to disagree. If you have an overly large skimmer, it's harder to keep dialed in as well as one that is producing a continuous skimmate.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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That sounds like a good skimmer for me then, Is a skimmer something that I will need right away or is that something that I can wait until a few weeks before I start adding fish My list so far of things to get right away are 5 stage rodi filter Refractometer Salt ( does this need to be quality salt for cycling or should I get cheep stuff)? 30 lbs of base rock ( slowly add as I get more money) 10 lbs of live rock Sand for the sand bed ( what kind is appropriate for this)
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:07 PM   #9
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You can put off the skimmer for a little while, but I'd get it as soon as possible to get it broke in..... usually takes 2 to 4 weeks of break in to get it operating properly.

You can go cheap salt for cycling..... you're going to be going through quite a bit. Between the initial fill, and the water change after cycle, you're talking over 400g right there. You can stick with the cheapest salt even for a FOWLR, but once you decide to start adding corals, that's when I'd recommend you start pwc's with higher quality.

I take it you realize you're going to need a lot more rock than 40lbs.... For reef, you're looking at wanting about 1.5lbs per gallon.

As far as sand, a couple/few inches of aragonite. Some people prefer bare-bottom, myself included..... IMO, much easier to keep clean and fewer nitrate issues.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Yea I will need a lot more but that isn't really in the budget right now so I will be adding as I go. I'm going to have to look into the bare bottom idea, I haven't really seen much about it

Is there a minimum amount of sand that you can put in? Like would I be able to put in about 1/4 inch in the bottom? I see potential problems with it blowing but that way I am able to take it out as well if I don't like it and I am hesitant of not putting egg crate in the bottom with that much rock in it
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