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Old 07-18-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
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new to saltwater 55 gallon set up questions

hello all,

this is all very overwhelming. ive read so much with so many conflicting opinions. ive done searches with dead ends.

so this in now where im at... i will be moving my oscars into their new 125 gallon tank, which leaves me with an empty 55 gallon aquarium, sweety pie and i would like to start our first ever saltwater aquarium. probably a fowlr tank with the option to do the eminent reef down the road. (given that we dont find a 100 gallon tank before then) we have come to terms that this will take a while to get everything up and going and collecting all the necessary bits and pieces. but thats part of the problem... what are all the bits and pieces?

i know i want a sump of some sort but dont want to pay the lfs for the $300 wet/dry they have stacked in a corner. i am very handy and diy is very much an option. what is a good overflow box that everyone can recommend? then from the overflow to the sump... what kind of sump? how big? ive read a refugium is the way to go, any recommendations on that? ive read that wet/drys are not so much reef filters. how big of pump to return the water to the aquarium? recommendations on a protein skimmer? power heads to circulate the water for the live rock. recommendations on brands and models would be great. am i missing anything?

now a little tongue in cheek, one of our lfs guys suggested a canister filter with crushed live rock will do the job until we can put together some sort of sump system. thoughts on that?

thanks for reading and thank you to those who reply with direction and advice.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #2
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If you're a DIY guy, make your own overflow out of PVC pipes.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:53 AM   #3
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Protein skimmers are not necessary if you have a refugium since the chaeto algae would absorb the nitrates and phosphates.

As for a return pump, it depends on how much the overflow is overflowing and also how high it needs to carry water from the refugium to the tank.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:58 AM   #4
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good to know, i thought that protein skimmer was synonymous with saltwater. from bottom of stand to top of tank is about 4 feet. how much overflow would i need to properly filter this?
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:01 AM   #5
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It still depends on the overflow. Once you know how much the overflow pumps, you will get an idea on the return pump.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:15 AM   #6
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to add to slither...the tricky part is that lets say for instance you have a overflow rated at 1500gph... you are gonna want a return pump rated somewehre around 1800-2000gph because after pushing the waterup 4 ft, the return pumps actual flowrate will be somewhere in the 1500gph ballpark...and if you cant decide, always lean towards the slightly higher flowrate..you can throttle the return pump back some..when looking at powerheads..keep in mind that your liverock will be the majority of your natural filtration and it requires decent flow over the rocks...koralia seems to be a very popular and solid brand of powerheads...go as high as you want with the gph ratings, but not high enough that the will kick up sand and the likes.diy sumps/refugiums are very easy to design and make...but are also almost limitless in there design... for instance my 125g uses 2-15g rubbermaid containers attached by a 3"filtered pvc pipe...alot of people use another tank hidden in the stand...its really all up to you. people on this site can most def help you and guide you with amazing advice.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Ok so for a 55 gallon, how high of a rated overflow would i want? I can figure out the pump from there minus who makes a good pump and overflow. No need for a protien skimmer. Refugium is simply 3 chambers first is a through a sock/prefilter that over flows to a sand bed/ merrical mud with live rock, macro algie and a light that over flows to the last chamber with the return pump. Is that correct? Sorry for the spelling.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #8
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And thank you for all the info thus far
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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Life reef makes an overflow box rated at 600 gph. Is that enough on my 55 gallon?
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #10
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I personally don't know suggested gph ratings for different tank sizes.. And yes a sump would have 3 chambers..I'd try to stay away from miracle mud..go with either a dsb or crushed live rock...perhaps a combo of both.ill agree that protein skimmers can be eliminated out by a decent sump/refugium, I'd still suggest one....can't hurt
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ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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