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Old 06-02-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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75 gallon FOWLR

I'm going to look at a 75 gallon tank at someone's house today. Anyways, I was thinking that maybe i will build my own sump for the tank. What size sump should I get? How hard is it to build for a beginner? Is there somewhere I can get some plans or can someone help me out? Am I going to save money doing it this way? Please help me out.

Can anyone recommend any brands for protein skimmers, lighting, and power heads? I would appreciate any help.

This will have to be a process as I don't have the funds to do it all at once.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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I was really really scared to build my own sump to be honest. lol BUT it worked out fine.

I have a 16g tank under my 60g cube and I didnt' even use partitions. I have a filter sock mount on the far left, skimmer in the middle and return pump on the right.

Most people would recommend gluing in acrylic or glass dividers though, it can help with bubbles from the skimmer getting into the main tank. I'm using a skimmer that I;m familiar with so I knew there would be minimal bubbles which is why I left it without partitions.

Reef octopus makes a really good skimmer and for powerheads I use koralia's almost exclusively. I find the koralias to be good quality and they have a magnet so they cant fall down. lol

As far as lighting, since you are doing fish only with no corals you can get by with ANY light you want. The light is for you pretty much so whatever you find that you like will be fine. A single T8 bulb could be enough light or you might wanna get a 2 or 4 bulb fixture so you can get different bulbs and get a different color in the tank. I have a 4 bulb fixture over my 90g fowlr tank and it does just fine for my purposes.

Good luck!!!
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:56 PM   #3
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Thank you so much!! When more questions come up I will post.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
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How many GPH should the powerheads be? The return pump should be between 6-10x the volume of the tank, correct?
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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What I would do with a 75g tank would be:

2 powerheads, probably koralia 1050's or 1400's
a return pump of about 1000gph, maybe a mag 9.5

The return pump should match what your overflow will put into the sump as far as water volume. If you have a hang on back overflow and it can move 800gph then a 1000gph pump would be good. You will loose some of the pressure due to the height the pump has to push UP to the tank so you can get a return pump that flows a bit more than your overflow so it balances out.

Hope that makes sense lol. If not let me know. hehehe

As an example, on my 90g fish only tank i have
1 koralia 1400 powerhead
1 aqueon powerhead at 950 gph
return pump is a mag 9.5 ( i think lol, might be a 12)
I have a drilled tank that flows about 600-800 gph into the sump so the return pump has a ball valve on it so i can adjust the flow going back into the tank.

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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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Thanks Carey!! That is what I thought. I have a wish list started on BRS. I have a question about rock. I'm confused/undecided on if I should use Live rock, Dry live rock, or just rock and seed it? If I use the live or dry live rocks do I still have to seed it? If I do have to seed it, when do I do this, before I cycle or after it has cycled? If I have live rock in my tank, would I need a refugium in my sump? I plan on putting my heaters in my sump instead of in my DT, would that be ok to do? I don't turn the sump on until after it has cycled, right?
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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If I am using LR in my DT, do I need to have some live sand and LR in my sump or all I need is a filter sock, protein skimmer, and return pump in my sump? Please help!
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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OK, lemme see if I can answer all your questions. lol

Yep, the heater is fine in the sump, thats where most of us keep them if we have a sump that is. You would be running you sump from day one, right from tank fill up all the way through cycling.
As far as the rock it's up to you. You can start with all base rock, a mixture of both live and base or all live. The base rock will become "live" as you cycle the tank and the beneficial bacteria multiply which then will "infest" the base rock LOL. The base rock will look really good after a few months too, you wont be able to tell the difference between the live and base after a while. If you start with all base rock you won't have any hitch hikers like crabs or worms or anything like that. That can be a good or bad thing, some people like to find the life on their rocks, some not so much as you can also get bad or destructive hitchhikers.
Also base rock is ALOT cheaper than live and ca allow you to get all your rock at the get go instead of waiting if budget is a concern.

Using live rock and sand in the sump is also up to you. I have one setup., my 125g reef that has a refugium with sand, rock and macro algae. My 90g and 60g do not have that, just the equipment in there. I can't say for a fact if I have seen any difference between having a refugium or not having one. I can say I don't have any algae whatsoever in my 125g tank, but i also don't really have much in my other tanks either. Just a smidge here or there, hardly noticeable unless you really look. lol

The deciding factor may just come down to how much room you have for a sump and how big of one you get, there just may not be room for a refugium.

Hope that all makes sense, I tend to ramble on sometimes LOL .

Did you go see that 75g setup yet?
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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Thank you soooo much Carey! You seem to be the only one answering my questions. I went to see that tank, however it wasn't a 75 gallon tank and it was a reptile tank. So, I'm still looking for it. I might have more questions as time goes on. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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Not a problem, ask away and i can answer what i know and find out the answers or direct you to where to go for the ones i don't know. lol

yeah, i would wait for the perfect tank setup, don't settle, I've learned that lesson. lol A 75g is a perfect size in my opinion, much better than a 55g and its about the same size.
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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