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Old 01-09-2010, 05:10 AM   #1
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75G filtration

I have a 75 gallon reef tank that has been up and running for about two years that I'm feeling is in need of a overhaul. Overall the tank has been doing well so far with very little in the way of losses of livestock. I have however been battling nitrates recently. I've cut feedings to every couple days and have been a little more aggressive about water changes. I'm also going to replenish my clean up crew that has diminished over the last couple years.

I think however that one of my tanks largest weaknesses is that I have a rather poor filtration system and it contributes to the problem. The tank came with an emperor 400 filter with bio wheels and carbon media along with a CPR Bakpak 2 protein skimmer (which is small for a 75 gallon aquarium)

There are no holes drilled in the aquarium and to be honest I'd prefer avoid tearing the entire tank down to do so. I have exactly four inches between the back of the tank and my wall so I'm limited to equipment that can fit in that space.

I am looking into setting up a sump/refugium under the aquarium. Does anyone know of any overflow boxes that can fit in a four inch gap behind the tank or are they all too large.

When it comes to the actual sump how large do you suggest for a 75 gallon? I have an old 12 gallon tank that I don't use anymore but I'm sure that is too small.

Also what is a good protein skimmer for a 75 gallon that could be hooked up to the sump?

If I were to get a more aggressive skimmer and get a sump set up what else would be advised for filtration?
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
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You didnt mention how much LR you have? LR is the most important piece to good biological filtration. LR and a skimmer is really all you need. As far as the sump added water volume is always a good thing as far as being more forgiving when mistakes or out of whack water parameters.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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I would guess probably around 65 pounds of live rock. I bought a lot of it from a friend who was selling their tank so I don't know the exact amount. I plan on adding more to the tank though. I figure if I set up a sump I won't have all of that stuff from my current filters hanging in the back of my tank so I'll be able to stack the live rock higher.

Thanks for emphasizing the importance of a protein skimmer, finding a more efficient one for my tank size will be my main focus. I'm going to continue with the sump plan as well since it will give me more space to work with underneath the aquarium so I can fit a larger protein skimmer down there as opposed to being limited in size by sticking to one that hangs on my aquarium.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #4
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Here are some good links on sumps

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part I by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part II by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part III by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:40 AM   #5
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You probably need better filtration.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:12 AM   #6
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If you do deside to to go with a sump, go for the biggest one that you can fit under your tank. I don't think a 12g will fit a very good size skimmer. Look into the skimmer that you think would work best for you, then look at it's footprint to see what the smallest sump you can have for it. You will be surprised.
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