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Old 11-22-2010, 02:17 AM   #1
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i need a little help please with tank upgrade

hi im satrting a 50 gallon fowlr with a 30 gal sump. i am upgrading from my running 30 gallon fowlr. the 50 gal will have a 3in sand bed

1 someone told me to put foam under my tank.. what will this do??
2 i got mixed answers on putting rock in first,or putting sand in first..
3 i have a reef octopuss skimmer with the needle wheel,what depth should it be sitting lfs said from 6-9 in
4 why do some people put egg crate under there rocks??should i??
5 if i add a 2nd u tube to my overflow box will it give me more gallons per hour?? cause the 750 gph pump is beating it a little.or should i just add a ball vaulve to the return line?
6 im using dry sand,and about 30-50 lbs live rock to start, after the cycle will the sand be live??
7 my sump as of now is setup like this... 3 sections, 1 is intake with skimmer,2 is fuge,3 is return. is it better to have the skimmer in first,or at the last part??
8 after the tank is well cycled,how do i go about transfering my fish?? lfs said all at once and fast. what do you think?
thank you for looking. and eny info on setting up this tank you can give me would be great.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:38 AM   #2
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congrats on the upgrade!

1. Foam is usually suggested for acrylic tanks if there is any warping in it. If it is glass it is probably not needed.

2. rock first, then sand. the sand will hold the rock from falling.

3. You can experiment, but that range is the usual.

4. same as 2, you can do that to help hold the rock in place, its a personal choice. You might want to if you are stacking rocks really high.

5. Not sure on overflow boxes, but I would imagine.

6. Yes, after awhile the bacteria will culture in the sand as well.

Let us know if you need anything else!
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:45 AM   #3
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thank you for the info.. and i just added more to my pile of questions. jump in everybody. thanks guys i am going to make a video about my setup and questions,i think it will be easier to explane, i just need to find out how to put it in the post
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:00 AM   #4
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7. Just how you have it is fine. You dont want your skimmer sucking up pods and stuff from your fuge.
8. Just make sure your tank is cycled to the same bio load as your current. When you can feed heavily and it is still processing, you are ready to go. I would do them all at once.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:35 AM   #5
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5. what type of overflow you are using..??IMO, if u are using flexible tube like mine, yes i would suggesting add another u tube as this will increase the flow....mine using 4 u tube to balance the return pump with the overflow but still need valve to control the return pump....
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:03 AM   #6
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the overflow box won't drain more than what can go through the bulkhead at the bottom. IMO, i wouldn't try and increase the gph too much, since they are designed for a certain gph and it's a bit of a horror to come home to an empty tank and a soaked floor.
it makes more sense to me to just buy the larger one for a few dollars extra and sleep at night.
it's not like in a power outage you are going to have redundancy since you have more J tubes.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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ok i think this will help
YouTube - tank upgrade...please help
YouTube - how do i transfer my fish into new tank????
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:17 PM   #8
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make the overflow quieter by putting a piece of airline tubing down the drain hole...you'll have to move it up and down until you find the sweet spot, then tape/glue/fasten it in place so it doesn't fall down the drain.

good deal with the partitions in the sump. i think that will help with the micro bubbles. you can also correct the micro bubble issue by installing an ATO (auto top off) to keep the water level towards the top of those partitions.

10" for the skimmer is fine, but i definitely wouldn't waste the rest of that tank. take a couple more inches off if it makes you feel better, but i think that tank is 17" tall, right? you are going to waste almost half of it for a buffer zone, when all you have to do is plan the plumbing correctly to minimize the back siphon.


you could leave the 1" pvc, and just put a ball valve at the exhaust port of the pump. this would allow you to dial it to whatever you need, exactly.

there is bacteria on all surface area in that tank. even on the granules of sand. a 3" sand bed is a bad idea, because it's not considered a "deep sand bed" because they need to be 4"+, so you are just wasting your money on extra sand. 1"-2" is plenty. it won't hurt the rock.

i have no idea about the moisture on the back pane...wipe it off and see if it comes back. this must be addressed asap!


the bio load on that rock and sand in the bowfront sustains those creatures in there now. if you transfer them over all at once it should be fine. you can also cycle the 50 then put them in. whichever you choose.
btw, are you going to add any more rock to the 50/ if so, that rock will need to be cycled.

btw, if i can explain anything here better on the phone, it would be no problem.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
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ok great.. thank you for the help.. if you can pm me your number ill give you a call... thanks..... mike
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:56 AM   #10
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ok here is a pic of the 50 gal set up and running.. i have not started the cycle yet. also i want to put a dsb in my fuge,how deep should it be?? i got the 60lbs of sand and sifted out all the chunks of shells,corals,and rocks. heres a pic of all the stuff that came out of it...for some reson i feel i shouldnt just throw it out,do i use all or some in the sump?? if not i plan on buying some live sand to put down there... hows this.. its a 30 gal sump the fuge is 14in long 12 1/2 in wide and water level is 13 in high.. what should i do with it? what would you do with it?? what do you have???
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