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Old 08-18-2008, 05:22 PM   #1
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My 55g Reef Buildout

This is going to be for my 55 gallon reef build. Mainly a question and log area.

My plan:
  • Wet/Dry Filtration via HOB Overflow to a Self built Sump / Refuge
  • Closed Loop System for Current (with a SWCD)
  • Build a Sump out of Acrylic (or out of a 10-20g if I can fine one cheap enough)
  • Buy a RO/DI system
  • Use 60-75% base rock and 25-40% LR
  • Use MH lights (dont have these spec'ed out yet)
  • Use a Skimmer in the Sump.
Yesterday, I bought the 55 gallon tank I am going to use. It is not RR, so I need to test if it is tempered glass or not. I just got the information on how to do that today from a co-worker, so that will be tested tonight (the nickel/quarter trick).

As for the brands/models I am going to use for my equipment, I do not have that information yet. I am looking at this project taking a month atleast, before I get water in the tank (in a non-leaktest way).

Comments? Suggestions?

Oh, and here is the "first" picture of the build log:

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Old 08-18-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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Congratulations! It's a good idea to keep a log, it also gives the rest of us fun stuff to read up on.

Can you clue me in on the nickel/quarter trick? I'm not familiar with that one.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
Can you clue me in on the nickel/quarter trick? I'm not familiar with that one.
Me too...lol. I never heard that one. I heard about using polarized sunglasses tho.
Generally, and I mean GENERALLY, only the bottom of most tanks are tempered. ReefReady tank are drilled then the bottom is tempered. I would not drill the bottom of any glass tank, if that was your plan. I drilled the side of my 55g sump and had no problems.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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Looking forward to seeing how this progresses as I hope to turn my 55g into SW in the next year or so.

To my eye, though, that almost looks like a 60g tank. They have the same footprint as a 55g but are a little taller. What are the dimensions of your tank?
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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For the couple that asked the nickel/quarter test, this comes directly from a co-worker which worked in a glass shop that his father owns for years.

If you set the aquarium so you can place a nickel on it, then tap it, it will make a sound. A dull thud type sound will be non-tempered glass. A higher pitched sound is a tempered glass sound. If you have any pyrex in your kitchen (glassware for the oven is usually what it is), then that is tempered, and you can test it with that to get the sound.

My plan for drilling the back (if I can) is so I can put a closed loop system with 3 holes (1 intake, 2 outputs), and have a 4th for the return from the sump/refuge.

I have other ways for the closed loop, but I would want it this way for the cleanest look.

As for the size of the tank, I will measure it when I get home (I am still at the office for another hour or more).
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:30 PM   #6
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Measurements: 48" wide x 13" deep x 21" Tall.

The Width/Length are outside edge to outside edge. The Tall is from bottom to where the top lip is on the top frame.

As for the test, it sounds completely different than the 2 pyrex dishes I just tested with.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:27 PM   #7
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Thats a 55G, here are common sizes:
http://alysta.com/books/fishtank.htm

If you just looking for a 10G tank, Walmart has them everyday for $10. Otherwise in some areas Petco may be doing the $1 per gallon only for 20G and 29G tanks from what I've read, but there is no add flyer in my area for this week so I cant confirm that. Last year they did this sale but it was $1 per gallon for up to 55G tanks(all tanks)
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:18 PM   #8
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Thats a 55G, here are common sizes:
Fish Aquarium and Tank* Sizes and Characteristics, starting an aquarium, buying equipment, choosing tanks

If you just looking for a 10G tank, Walmart has them everyday for $10. Otherwise in some areas Petco may be doing the $1 per gallon only for 20G and 29G tanks from what I've read, but there is no add flyer in my area for this week so I cant confirm that. Last year they did this sale but it was $1 per gallon for up to 55G tanks(all tanks)
The stand only has 9 inches between the support posts. I wouldn't be able to fit a normal 10gallon underneath it, however I can build my own "long" sump from acrylic to fit under there as needed.
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:41 AM   #9
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I have been doing some research (The Stock list and tips post is AWESOME) the last couple days, and I have figured out a few of the things I am going to do / use on my setup.

Overflow Box: PF800 Eshopps (This has been purchased)
Skimmer: Coralife Super Skimmer 65
Sump return pump: Mag Drive MD9.5 (should produce about 800gph @ 4ft)
Closed Loop pump: Mag Drive MD5

Substrate: 2 inches deep of Caribsea Aragonite Sand (about 65lbs)
Rock Amount: 1.75lbs per gallon. 25% LR, 75% Base.

Now, for my questions... Are those pumps good pumps? Is that Skimmer worth it, or should I upgrade to something else? Any suggestions on the bulkheads I should buy for the aquarium? I was thinking 3/4th inch Schedule 80 bulkheads for the 4 holes I need.

Anything else that is needed besides:
  • Sump (I am going to attempt build it this or next weekend)
  • Lighting (Going with MH)
  • Salt
  • RO/DI Unit (probably get one off ebay around the 1st)
  • Heaters (I know I am going titanium, just not picked yet).
Thank you for the help!
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:02 AM   #10
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The Mags are known to be great pumps. I donb't have a skimmer, but I hear you get what you pay for. I believe the coralife is a good skimmer.
I love my Finnex titanium heaters:
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...ode=Finnexheat
I use two in each tank for redundancy.
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