I am posting this here because my questions are mostly about equipment. I am not new to salt, but I've only done fish only (80g) with decent success. I am setting up a 120 gallon FOWLR
setup (corner tank) that I bought from someone else and I need some help! I am now set up to use RO
water. I will be starting with about 50-60 lbs of lace reef rock and 50-60 lbs of live rock. My substrate will be crushed coral, but not live.
Here are my questions! If you can answer one or all, it will be appreciated. This forum is really really helpful for someone without a ton of experience!
1) It has a 1" drain with a 3/4" return, but he has installed another two 3/4" lines in the tower. The head is 4-5'. It came with a Rio 1700 (642gph) return pump, but I upgraded to a RIO HF20 (1290gph). I'm thinking I could use the extra tower plumping to increase the overflow and split the return - since the pump is likely faster than my overflow - but the sump is about 15-20 gallons and leads into a 5 gallon trickle filter. Do I have room to increase the flow? Is this a good idea?
2) I have 3 Sunpaq quad 96's giving me 288 watts (10K/actinic split). Is this sufficient lighting for a FOWLR
3) Assuming I stick with the sump/filter setup (I don't have much space to increase it), what should I do with the sump? The skimmer, bio-media and return pump are all in the filter resevoir. The picture below is the filter. Imagine the 15-20 gal
sump attached perpendicular by a bulkhead fitting.
4) Oddly enough, the tower is 4" short of the top of the tank. I don't know if he had it custom built or if this is normal. Will it be a problem to maintain the water level 4" above the overflow? I could cap the top of the tower off to prevent fish from getting pulled in.
5) I have a fluval 304 canister filter from my old setup. I have heard that it can be a nitrate breeder unless you clean it weekly. Would it be worth it to just install it, take out all the dividers, and fill it with carbon or something and run it out of the sump?
6) The skimmer (see picture above) is powered by a Rio 600 (200gph). This just seems small. With the skimmer/filter setup I have, can I just use my Rio 1700 (642gph) or with this skimmer not work with that much flow. I think the Rio 600 came from Tenecor, from whom he bought the setup.
7) For current, I have these powerheads: mag drive pump at 250 gph
, Rio 1700 at 642 gph
and Via Aqua 306 at 542 gph
. I have read that the best water flow is a random turbulence caused by having the powerheads generally pointing at each other. This would be difficult in a corner tank, but is it what I should aim for?
I know these are a lot of questions, but after two weeks of reading countless articles, I am now at a point where I need some specific help with my setup. I'm not worried about getting perfection because I'm not planning on tough corals, anemones or anthing like that, but I want my live rock to do well and my fish to be happy.