Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 03-22-2006, 01:49 PM   #51
Posts: n/a
ok just to make sure i know everything i need i wil make a list
tank, lr, sand(mix live with stuff you get from store),light fixture, refractometer, protien skimmer, sump(mayb)

yea the book i saw that filter in is pretty old
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 07:50 PM   #52
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver island
Posts: 526
Here's the list that I recommend for SW startup. Some may disagree, but I think that aside from a couple items such as the gloves, its the essentials. Most LFS will sell a "complete setup" to get you up and running but the fact is there ARE more things that will be needed to get you started and headed for success.
I added the RO on here cause as I said earlier, if one is serious about getting into this hobby and willing to buy everything else, why not spend another $100 and purify your water. Again, this is only my opinion, but I stand behind it and its reasoning.


-powerheads x 3 (2 for main tank circulation, 1 for SW mixing)
-return pump (only if you go with a sump/fuge)
-plumbing supplies for sump
-powerstrips (hardware store)
-gfci (recommended for your safety)
-gounding probe (recommended for the safety of your tanks inhabitants)
-inexpensive mechanical light timers (from hardware store)
-tank and stand
-overflow (only if you go with a sump and don't have a drilled tank)
-rubbermaid containers for mixing salt water x 2 (1 for old water, 1 for new water)
-refractometer or hydrometer (refractometer is much more accurate)
-misc./cleaning supplies: - algae magnet (great for daily glass maintenance)
- algae scraper with handle (good for back of the tank)
- aquagloves (good for avoiding contamination and for handling corals)
- gravel/sand cleaner siphon
- turkey baster (for clearing detritus of LR)
- fish net
-heaters x 3 (2 in main system incase one breaks unexpectedly, and 1 for heating new SW)
-thermometers x 2 (one for main tank and cheap one for SW mixing)
-tests kits (NH3, NO2, NO3, pH needed and Calcium and Alkalinity eventually for reef tank)
-skimmer w/ pump

Cheers Marty,
It will be well worth your hard earned dollars as long as the passion is there!!


ryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 09:13 PM   #53
Posts: n/a
should i buy a backround for the tank because theres gonna b ALOT of cords going back. and if i get a sump how can i make the water coming into the tank and the water leaving perfectly equal? and overflows do i put them on both tanks? if i did get a sump could i put the heaters, protien skimmer in there

2 power heads for 1 on each end of the tank do i have them on the sides (facing each other) or on the back.

would it be wise to put 1" gravel then 2" sand on the bottom?

do i need an air pump in there? and what does gfci mean? for the gloves do i just use regular plastic gloveslive teh ones in hospitols

for everything im getting what would b the grand total(with ro/di unit)?

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 09:50 PM   #54
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver island
Posts: 526
I would use an acrylic paint and paint your background on instead of sticking a bought background on which will eventually drive you crazy once water gets between it and the tank. Plus, you can choose ANY color that you like, although deep purples, blues and blacks would look the best. In retrospect, I wish I painted my tank black instead of the dark purplish blue, My stand and hood is black and I think everything in the tank would have just "popped" a little more with black.

Your sump will give you the luxury of hiding all the gear. The only thing that you'll need in the main tank is the prefilter box for your overflow, return plumbing from the sump and a couple of powerheads opposite from each other for circulation. Everything else goes in the sump.

Your return pump needs to be rated around the same as the overflow you buy, then having a ball valve after the pump will allow you to tweak the return flow (decrease it) to match the actual flowrate of the overflow. Your overflow will never be faster than your pump. (just the physics of it).

I would use ALL sand (aragonite) as your substrate.

No air pump is needed.

GFCI is ground fault circuit interupter. It shuts of the power if the elecrtricity starts to flow outside the intended path (ie: YOU).

Coralife aquagloves are the ones I was talking about.

Shop around for the best deals you can. It's very hard to give you a price.

ryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 10:40 PM   #55
Posts: n/a
im planning on making my own sump and im still really lost with the overflow, when the pump stops then the syphoning stopps? so if the motor stops you have to recreate the syphoning? is it possible for syphoning to stop by itself that would make a biiig mess.

i understand the returning process. just gives me a headache thinking of how the water will have a constant flow down there

with out an air pump how does O2 get dissolved back into the water?

im going to have alooot more guestions
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 10:54 PM   #56
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver island
Posts: 526
an overflow is designed with a box that hangs in the tank, usually clear and a box outside the tank. There is a U tube that connects both boxes. The U tube then sits in its own compartment on the outer box. When water is siphoned from the inner box to the outer box, it fills the compartment on the outer box until it overflows into the other section with the drain pipe. If your return pump breaks down or there is a power outage, the level of water drops from the main tank because a back-siphon is created in the RETURN plumbing. This back-siphon is only stopped when the water drops just below the return pipes top lip and introduces air. At that point, the rest of the water in the return line will also fall back into the sump. The siphon on the overflow box is stopped because the display tanks level drops from the return lines back-siphon and the water no longer is high enough to overspill into the inner/prefilter box of the overflow. So...the siphon only continues until the level in the inner prefilter box and the level in the siphon chamber of the outer box is equal. Everything is good and no flooding occurs unless you run your sump level too high and it cannot handle the excess water from the overflow box until its siphon breaks and the amount of water from the back-siphon from the return line. Most people will run there sump just over half full, but the best is just to run your system in the garage or outside and cut the power and see where it gets you. measure the sump level with the power off and add more water until you start to feel uncomfortable watching the plumbing drain when you shut it all off. I run my return nozzles, (2, 90 degree 3/4" pvc fittings) just so that the fittings outlets are completely submerged, that way you minimize the back-siphon and allow good surface motion which promotes gas exchange and that is why you don't need an airstone and pump. lots of circulation and agitation, plus as water drains out of the overflow, it sucks in air.

When the siphon in your overflow stops, its only just balanced between both compartments on either side of the tank. It hasn't been BROKEN in reality. Once everything starts back up, so does your overflow.

Now you may be wondering what if the siphon breaks and not the pump. Well, this is why you have your return pump located in its own chamber within the sump. If the overflow stops, no more water will be entering the sump and the pump will soon pump all the water out of the last compartment and no more water will flow into the last compartment once the sumps system volume drops lower than the last baffle that separates the last chamber. So you will have a small flood (and a burned out pump from running dry) unless you leave enough room in your main tank to accomodate this. Personally, I don't, nor do I think many do. It doesn't look good to have the display water level lower than the plastic molding on the tank. Also, if you get a reliable product like the lifereef overflow, the siphon should never break, so don't worry about that. Just avoid powerhead driven overflows which are worrysome because they utilize the powerhead to keep the siphon from breaking.

hope that helps,
ryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2006, 08:25 AM   #57
AA Team Emeritus
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 3,391
Send a message via Yahoo to tecwzrd
Great advise ryguy I love the detailed analysis you give to each question asked.

Personally I use the “powerhead driven overflows” without any problems.
The one I use is the CPR CS102 overflow hooked up to a Maxi-Jet 1200 venturi to recreate the siphon in case of power outages. It’s a very quite overflow and has worked flawlessly for the last 9 months.

Of course lifereef makes excellent overflows as well

If you are worried about flooding then you can get an auto top of switch to turn the pump off. www.autotopoff.com sells them cheap or you could get a Tsunami AT1 unit for just a little more.
tecwzrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2006, 05:20 PM   #58
Posts: n/a
ok ive been looking on ebay for an overflow box and this looks like the best thing i could find(cheap too) its number 7753503549 so if you could tell me what you think i would appreciate it so with that i need to buy pvc pipes(1"?)and what kind of return pump would you reccommend??

could i also get the ground fault circuit interupter on ebay too?

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2006, 06:27 PM   #59
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Buckeye, AZ
Posts: 177
I like your enthusiasum about getting started, I know my self I am a little confused about the sump and all. Good luck with your tank.
SassyAngel111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2006, 07:35 PM   #60
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver island
Posts: 526
Great advise ryguy I love the detailed analysis you give to each question asked.
Thanks tecwzrd. Explaining thigs in detail gives me a chance to just think about it and really solidify my growing knowledge in this hobby.


That overflow looks like it may be a good deal at that price. The one thing I don't agree with that they said was that if you go to a bigger tank you'll get a higher flowrate. In my opinion the limiting factors that control the potential flowrate are the teeth in the prefilter, the height of the prefilter box compared to the tanks surface water level, and finally the U tube. Size of the tanks surface area, I can't buy as a factor that will determine flowrate. You can only get so much water through the 3 variables I mentioned, it doesn't matter how much surface area you got.

I would recommend trying the mag 7 and throttle it back if needed with a ballvalve. (sidenote: I recommend tru-union ballvalves or placing a union right after the pump and before the standard ball valve.... makes for much easier pump maintenance).

Looks like that overflow comes with a flexible hose for drain it into the sump. You'll need pvc pipe for the return though. Check to see what the outlets diameter measurement is of the return pump you decide on. I would use 1" to decrease the backpressure, which will allow your pump to maximize its potential (minus the head height). I chose to then reduce my outlet size and reduce my 1" plumbing to 3/4" fittings to give more of a jet stream than the 1" fitting would have.

I would definetely look on ebay for a GFCI. Just to give you a little more info on these, bathrooms typically have GFCI power outlets. They are discernable by their 2 buttons(red and black usually) that are the test and reset buttons.

You could either install one of these outlets to replace an existing power outlet, (cheapest option), or buy a plug in one that will just plug into an existing outlet. (I got mine for $25)


ryguy is offline   Reply With Quote


Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
starting a new aquarium AnimalXXman Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 10 06-02-2009 01:32 PM
Starting out - Which aquarium should I get? impulse83 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 17 07-14-2007 05:23 AM
Help starting a new aquarium sjkelly817 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 06-26-2006 01:54 PM
Starting a new aquarium kciolek Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 2 01-16-2005 01:38 PM
Cleaning out Aquarium and starting over takelly Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 10-04-2002 08:34 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.