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Old 05-22-2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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new to saltwater aquarium, looking for advice

I bought a used aquarium last fall and have had some success (and some failures). I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank with a 50-55 gallon sump underneath. The sump is segmented into three areas one with the skimmer, one with the return pump. the lighting is suffient for corals but right now I just want to be able to raise healthy fish. there is no hood.

several months ago I got an urgent call from my wife that the room was flooded. I used this as good time to break down the tank and redo a few things. in my hast to clean up the water I absent mindedly did not find the cause of the leak. I believe there was a problem with the return system which I wasn't crazy about anyway. This is my reason for joining this forum. The system I have has a box hanging over the back of the tank with a pipe going down to the sump. The front of the box is just below the waterline and there is a small pump that keeps the air out of the top to keep the water flowing. I believe my problem may be with this noisy little pump. I need advice on the best way to move water from out of my main tank to the sump. Should I replace the pump in the overflow or simply replace the return system?
My second question is concerning the hood. I have to add about a gallon of water a day which seems like a lot. could I simply add plexiglass over the top of my main tank or will that have bad repercussions?

Thanks for your big help. Thanks for letting me be a part.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!!

it's a great site and any minute I'm sure you will get some input.

I'm in the process of starting up my very first sump so I can't be of much help.
Sorry...
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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 05-22-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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If everything is down at the moment, you might see if you can find someone locally to help you drill the tank and put in a proper overflow, which should help prevent future overflow issues. There is some risk of breaking the aquarium, but it usually turns out well, and saves you a lot of future trouble. Around here I'd ask the local saltwater club, there are plenty of guys that will take a token fee to get you set up. Failing that, call around the local saltwater specialty shop or glass shop. If the bottom glass is tempered, you'll have to drill the side, but you can still get a nice internal box that way.

As for the pump, do you know the specs? Sump pumps do tend to be noisy, but if you're downgrading from a reef setup to a Fish Only With Live Rock setup, you might be able to use a less powerful one that will be less noisy.

Plexiglass over the top of the tank will reduce evaporation, but may cause heat issues. Evaporation provides natural cooling in the summer months. As well as the aquarium water temp, consider the hood temp. The bulbs last much longer if not overheated. Some of the hood heat escapes to the water and is released as evaporation.

What are the specs on your hood? You might downgrade the whole hood if moving down from a coral setup, to reduce heat issues and excess algae growth.

Any time you are downgrading parts, you'll get your best deals at a local aquarium club swap meet. Second best would be to post in the trade forum here and pay shipping to make a swap out.
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