Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-07-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
jgranata13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 54
Joseph's 37gal FOWLR Tank Journal

It's Finally time!!! After five years of having a freshwater community and about three years of constant research, I'm finally setting up my saltwater tank. I went on a bunch of GTA forums last weekend and made a big list of the best aquarium stores in my area. This week after work, I've been visiting them all to scope them out and make a plan. I have a few more to visit (they're literally on opposite ends of the city) and I plan on starting to buy things on Friday night!! This post will be really long because it's going to be my entire plan for the setup. Here we go!

It'll be a 37gal + 10gal sump FOWLR. I haven't really nailed down a stocking list yet, but some of the fish I'm thinking of are blue-green reef chromis (I must have some of these - they're my favourites), a pair of Picasso clowns, a gramma basslet, a bicolour blenny. I can't keep anything too delicate because my tank is at my dad's house and I'm only there every other week.

The back of the tank will be painted, but I'm not sure on the colour yet. I really like blue because I think it looks more natural but I'm having a really hard time finding a shade. I hate that blue they use in fish stores, but I don't want to go too light either because I'm scared it might pull focus from the fish.

On to the plumbing. I'm still working on the design of the overflow, as I want my weir to run the full length of the tank to skim as much of the surface as possible, but the tradeoff for that is valuable space (my tank is only a foot from front to back). I'm going with a Herbie drain and all the plumbing will either be hard or soft PVC (and I'm drilling the tank, of course). My return pump will sit about 3ft below the return nozzle, so I'm thinking of getting a 800gph pump (the next lower size is 530gph; too low IMO after you factor in head loss). I may even drill two holes for the return and use the pump to power two nozzles to create more opposing currents.

I think my sump is going to have 3 compartments: the first for mechanical and chemical filtration, the second for a refugium (this will be the majority of the sump), and the third for equipment like heater and return pump (my pump has to be internal because a 10gal tank takes up the entire volume of my stand. Yes, you've read that correctly - I won't be having a skimmer. I plan on using Ecosystem Miracle Mud in my refugium as well as macroalgae and some live rock rubble. I probably won't be able to fit the recommended amount of mud, but a skimmer's too expensive for right now and I don't plan on keeping a high bioload anyways. As for the sump itself, I'm buying a plain 10gal tank and having glass cut for the baffles and such. The sump design is still being finalized. I plan on using a hood on the sump to minimize evaporation, and I'll install a Plexiglas window over the refugium to shine light in for my macroalgae. I'll probably just end up using a desk lamp for that.

Since I'm not keeping corals in the near future, the stock hood and light are staying on my tank, and I'll just use a regular 18,000K T8 bulb.

For added circulation, I think I'll get either two Koralia Nanos or one larger Koralia.

And finally, the inside! I'll be doing about 40lbs of live rock, and most of it will be Real Reef because I want to contribute to preservation of the natural reefs. However, some will come from the ocean because I plan on buying rock from multiple stores to get as much biodiversity in terms of hitchhikers as possible, and some of the good stores in my area don't carry Real Reef. I also plan on having sand on the bottom; probably about an inch and a half or so.

And there you have it! That's my plan. There will be a lot of updates and pictures to come as I start getting all my materials and setting everything up.
__________________

__________________
Joseph Granata
jgranata13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 04:06 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Cichlid-dude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,560
Im following along! Cant wait to see what you come up with!
__________________

__________________
Cichlid-dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 02:01 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
jgranata13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 54
Tonight I made a drawing of my planned layout. Here it is:


Here are some notes about the plan:
  • It's as viewed from the front
  • The design of the sump has not yet been finalized
  • I didn't include the size of the return tubing because that'll depend on the pump I go with
  • I'm not sure if I'll include the Secondary Return in the final design
  • The Return line will be soft PVC before the Check Valve and hard PVC after
  • If I include the Secondary Return in the final design, I'll pass it between the drain lines and the tank
Another option is to move the overflow box five inches to the right so that the drain lines can just go vertically into the sump. I would then put the Secondary Return Valve in the top left corner of the tank. However, I feel like this will be more of an eye sore and it'll create a dead spot between the overflow box and the left wall of the tank; also, having the Secondary Return Nozzle lower down makes sure that both the top and bottom sections of the tank have water flow.

Any comments/improvements are welcome!
__________________
Joseph Granata
jgranata13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 12:50 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
jgranata13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 54
I went shopping today! I only bought a few things, because I mostly wanted to take them home and test if the sump would fit before buying anything else. I bought a 10gal tank, a 100W Eheim Jaeger heater, and 500gph Supreme Classic pump.

When I put the sump in, I realized that I will have to take out everything in my stand except the load-bearing beams (I made it myself so I know that the parts I'll be taking out don't support any weight). Also, there's less than an inch of clearance between the top of the sump and the bottom of the top of my stand, so I'll have to re-build the shelf that the sump will sit on and make the sump stick out behind the stand (the back is already open) and have the pipes go vertically in and out instead of curving under the stand like I was originally thinking. I was originally planning to use a desk lamp for my refugium, but in light of (pun intended) the lack of space, I think I'll get an LED light strip (which will also be less of a load on the outlet that supports my tank) and stick it to the underside of the top of the stand.

I have a couple questions about the baffles in the sump. I think I'll make them out of Plexiglas because I can get it at Home Depot and cut it myself, so it'll end up costing me a lot less than getting glass cut at a glass shop. How much space should I leave between them, though?

The pump needs to be exchanged because the cord is partially damaged, but I think this is the one I'll end up sticking with. After considering head loss, I'll have about 375gph. The person I spoke to at my LFS said I should use a one inch pipe for my drain (I'm going with a Herbie drain, by the way) but I feel like that's unnecessary considering it won't even be 400gph. Any thoughts?

Also, I decided not to go with the Secondary Return because it'll make plumbing unnecessarily complicated. I'll just add an extra powerhead in the tank.

I'm very happy with my heater. I set it at 77F four hours ago and the temperature of the tank hasn't changed AT ALL since then.
__________________
Joseph Granata
jgranata13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
jgranata13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 54
Ok, so today the plan changed again; the sump is out. I recently found a new LFS that specializes in custom installations and I've been there a few times. After speaking to the owner - who really knows what he's doing - we decided that the sump is unnecessarily complicated considering it contains nothing that can't be kept in two HOB AquaClears (which will also be a lot easier and cheaper to set up). Basically, we're back to where we started (this was my original plan because I didn't realize there was enough room in my stand for a sump).

If I go with the AC plan, I'll either get two AC110s or one AC110 and use my AC50 that I already have. Since it's going to be fish only and I don't need to worry about nutrients for corals, I'll use a BioCube skimmer rather than setting up a refugium with macro algae (which will require its own lights and a whole bunch of maintenance). However, because of the size of the AC110, my tank and stand need to move about an inch forward. Alas; this is not so easily done - two of the legs of my stand are 8.5in shorter than the others because they rest on my fireplace mantle rather than on the floor. So moving it forward would require me to take off one of the front legs and replace it with a longer one that can rest on the floor.

I got to thinking, and now I'm considering getting a BioCube 29. My major problem with doing that is that I'm going eight gallons smaller. However, it has better lights than the light I would otherwise be using, the proportions are better IMO (I hate the fact that my 37gal is only 12in deep but 30in wide and 22in tall), all the equipment is included and hidden away in the back, it has a surface skimmer, and it'll be a lot easier to set up than the other plan. Also, I'll be able to sell my tank as an entire unit, so it's more likely that someone will buy it and I can get more for it than if I was selling just the fish and decor. While this looks like the obvious choice on paper, I'm having a really tough time getting past the fact that I'm losing eight gallons.

But then, because the tank is so awkwardly shaped, I feel like I never had those eight gallons to work with in the first place. Anyways, I'm going back to my new LFS as well as another LFS about half an hour away. I'll get opinions from both of them before I go to Big Al's to return the stuff I bought for the sump setup. I'll also look at the BioCube and see if I can make up my mind on which of these two setups to go with.

Which would you choose if you were in my place?
__________________
Joseph Granata
jgranata13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fowlr, journal, tan, tank

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What to do with my 37gal CL tank? marie74 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 0 02-09-2013 09:59 AM
Move my 37gal fish tank today... Miyavp Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 9 01-05-2013 11:08 PM
Tank Journal - 135 FOWLR Floyd R Turbo Saltwater Reef Aquaria 141 12-15-2010 06:13 PM
Tank Journal - 225 SW FOWLR, Possible future reef Floyd R Turbo Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 56 12-13-2010 01:49 PM
Old AGA 37gal tank effin General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 0 12-02-2004 08:31 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.