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Old 11-15-2006, 11:56 PM   #21
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The pump itself gets warm but it doesn't heat the water much at all going through it. They shouldn't have any trouble hooking it outside the sump as long as the sump is acrylic and they can drill a hole on the side. The other advantage of having it outside the sump is it gives you more room in the sump for your equipment/fuge.
Okay so I asked the guy about installing the return pump outside the sump. He said the Mag 9.5 pump isn't a good one for installing outside the sump for various reasons (including apparantly the fact that its not recommended by the manufacturer). With the other pump I'd have to buy, extra plumbing pieces and install, it would add about $150 in costs. What I'm wondering is if I can save on the cash and go ahead and have it installed in the sump. My only real concern was the heat that it adds. I went ahead and upgraded to 4 48" TEK T5HOs, so I'm a little concerned about heat.
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:09 AM   #22
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1W per gal is fine if you just want to light the tank but you will need more for soft corals down the road. T5 lighting usually does perform as well as comparable PC even though they don't get quite as hot and use less power. Your lfs probably has different setups of T5/PC/MH lighting so you can compare the different options.

IMO if you can afford to get MH/PC which is quite expensive then I'd go that route so you won't have to upgrade in the future if you decide you want more then just soft corals. The cost is usually about $200-$300 more then what you are considering now.

I suspect they just don't want to deal with drilling the sump and with plumbing the pump outside of it because I've never heard or had issues with it not being in the sump. Both the intake and outtake are threaded which makes hooking it up very simple and the pump doesn't ever run dry so I'm confused why they won't do it.

Either way due to the amount of water running through it (about 800 gph with head preasure) hopefully it won't have time to heat your water too much. I think my pwc water stays at 79 degrees mostly because of the small water volume (30 gal) and that 120 gal (total with sump) would probably not heat up as much so you should be fine.

HOB overflows have a greater chance of loosing siphon which is how they get the water over the lip of the tank and if it did then you could flood your floor until your sump ran out of water. Then your pump could also be damaged running dry. There are switches you can by to cut the pump off if water drops below certain levels to keep from overflowing and running your pump dry.

In tank overflows don't use siphons since the water doesn't have to go over the lip of the tank. When excess water enters the tank from the water in the sump being pumped into it the water just drops down the hole which is much less likely to become clogged and doesn't run the risk of loosing siphon. Are they installing Megaflow overflows? Will there be more then one hole? Also you want to have them T the return to more then one outlet if possible.

Lastly have then plumb the return from your pump to the refugium as well so that you don't have 800 gph rushing through your fuge and you can control the flow. (see photo below, which also is a link to how sumps are set up)

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Old 11-16-2006, 01:18 PM   #23
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I am going to have to disagree with Tecwzrd on the MH/PC recommendation. Personally I think MH and PC lighting is the most unrealistic way to light a reef aquarium. In fact many tried and true experts feel that VHO Flo. lighting is far more efficient. What I do not like about MH lighting is this; first it gets very hot, second it uses a lot of electricity, and third it is a very pointed light source meaning that it focuses on a portion much like a direct beam of sun.

If soft corals (leathers, colts, star polyps, xenia) etc are what you aim to keep 1 watt of lighting per gallon is not enough, although 3 watts per gallon of T5 HO lighting is enough. Soft corals will often die from over illumination in the reef aquarium, and MH lighting can easily over illuminate soft corals.

In my opinion your best course of action is to stick with T5 lighting, it uses less electrical power, creates less heat and the lamps produce light with a higher Kelvin rating than PC lighting. Not only that soft corals should thrive under that type of light. Current USA makes a NOVA T-5 HO light fixture that has 8 54 watt T5 lamps. That is a total of 432 watts, more than enough for your scenario.

In my tank I am running that fixture but added a MH lamp. The reason I did this is because I keep Trinidicha clams and a few SPS corals. If you plan on keeping SPS corals, T. Clams and those type of light heavy animals then you will require MH light, otherwise stick with the T5.
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #24
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...and that 120 gal (total with sump) would probably not heat up as much so you should be fine.
Okay that makes me feel a bit better. I think I'm going to stick with the in sump pump.

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Are they installing Megaflow overflows? Will there be more then one hole? Also you want to have them T the return to more then one outlet if possible.

Lastly have then plumb the return from your pump to the refugium as well so that you don't have 800 gph rushing through your fuge and you can control the flow. (see photo below, which also is a link to how sumps are set up)
Wow. I have no idea. But it looks like I'm going to be having a conversation with the LFS tonight about this. LOL. I'm probably driving the guys nuts with all my questions.

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If soft corals (leathers, colts, star polyps, xenia) etc are what you aim to keep 1 watt of lighting per gallon is not enough, although 3 watts per gallon of T5 HO lighting is enough. Soft corals will often die from over illumination in the reef aquarium, and MH lighting can easily over illuminate soft corals.
Thos are exactly the types of corals I'd like to keep. I think I'm going to stick with 4 54 watt T5HOs. I'll see how that works out and if I have a problem I'll take it from there.

I can't thank you guys enough for all your responses. This website has been a great resource.

Oh! Oh! One more question. What are your guys' thoughts on UV Sterilizers? Necessary, not necessary? A significant help? How did the forefathers of saltwater aquaria get by without all this stuff...
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:48 AM   #25
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Okay so last Friday (12/1) the dudes from the LFS came over and installed all my stuff. They got to my place at 6:30 pm but had been working on the whole setup from like 10 in the morning. They were there until a little after 10 pm. Getting everything to a 3rd story apartment was a big part of the battle -- especially the tank itself.

I went with 120 lbs of live sand and 150 lbs of rock (100 lbs live and 50 lbs base). I also added a UV sterilizer.

YOU CAN SEE PICTURES OF MY TANK HERE

For like 5 days I thought my temperature was not getting about 65 F. I tried EVERYTHING. Then I realized that my digital thermometer was set to "AIR" and not "WATER". Now I've got it to between 78-79 F. I've got about a 1-1.5 degree variation throughout the day. Is this okay?

So far I'm very pleased. Just the rocks alone look spectacular. I'm finding all sorts of neat little creatures on the rocks. Hopefully none of it is bad.

Everything came out to just under $3,000. This included a refractometer, nice magnet and digital therm.

I can't WAIT to get fish.

Thanks for the help with this stuff guys.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:29 AM   #26
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Too bad I didn't follow this thread, but if you don't know about Fish 2000 in O.C. (Tustin), look them up. The owner sells all his acrylic tanks for under wholesale and his fish selection used to be very good at super cheap prices. I can't imagine he has strayed from this.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:17 PM   #27
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Tank looks great
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:56 PM   #28
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Thanks!

I've got a couple of questions at this point.

1) What is an acceptable daily temperature flucuation? I notice that I get about a 1-1.3 degree fluctuation throughout the day. Early morning it can get to about 77.8 and then maybe by 5 or 6 pm it'll get to 78.6-78.9 depending on how hot it is. I'm hoping this is within acceptable range.

2) The tank has been up and running for 13 days now. I've got quite a bit of brown (rust colored?) algea. It started slowly but now its on most of the rocks and on the sand in spots. How can I get rid of this? Is the general rule to wait for the cleanup crew to do its thing? Will they get rid of the algea on the rocks? Sorry if thats a dumb question but I'm not exactly sure how that works.

What about the stuff on the sand? I'd really like to keep the sandbed as clean as possible. At the LFS they had a sandsifter goby that looked REALLY cool. I think I'm going to get one of those but is that enough to keep the sandbed nice and tidy? What are the general rules about vacuuming the sand bed?

I don't have my lights on too much. At most, 6 hours a day right now.

3) If my water parameters are good, when I can I put in my clean up crew? I'm going to wait another week or two before I put in fish but I'd like to get snails and crabs and whatnot in there asap.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:05 PM   #29
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1. A 2 degree fluctuation is probably about the most you really want.
2. Can you get a pic? Is it only on the rock and not the glass? It could just be diatoms, which are a good sign and will go away almost overnight. I had them pop up three days ago, but didn't check this morning if they were gone.
I don't vacuum my sand. You can look into nassi snails, fighting/queen conchs, sand sifting stars, sand sifting gobys. I believe mel has a bullet goby, they he says is a sand sifting machine.
3. Wait till you have no nitrItes and your nitrAtes spike, do a PWC and then you should be good to start adding your clean up crew. I prefer to drip acclimate inverts for at least 2 hours, since they are highly sensitive to changes in water parameters. Make sure your nitrAtes are less than 10ppm.
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:55 AM   #30
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I've got CRAAAZY Pods!!! Hahaha.

Sorry, no point to this post, I was just really exicited that I've got tiny little white dudes crawlin ALL OVER my glass.

Alls I know is thats good.

BTW, got my cleaner crew - 40 hermit crabs, 40 snails and one red legged hermit crab leading them in their battle against algea. They're winning so far.
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