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Old 11-21-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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Getting back in - 40 gallon

It's been about two years since i broke down my tank and sold everything. My stepson was telling me about his fish at his moms house and that was it, the bug bit me!
I'll be picking up my new craigslist find tomorrow morning, a 40 gallon - breeder i'm pretty sure. The tanks i've had in the past have all been 29 gallons or less, so i've never had a sump or anything, just hob filters. I've read tons of articles about them and watched about 50 youtube videos and I still just dont understand very well. Is it really necessary to have one for this tank? Could I simply run 2 hob filters?
I also really want to paint the back of the tank, but last tome i tried that it looked awful. Do you take the trim off and then paint or leave the trim on? I used a roller and krylon paint and it turned out very blotchy.
Any help is appreciated!
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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It's been about two years since i broke down my tank and sold everything. My stepson was telling me about his fish at his moms house and that was it, the bug bit me!
Welcome back!

I don't know a thing about saltwater tanks, but, regarding the painting, what I do is buy some painter's tape, a brush, and a can of Rustoleum matte black acrylic at my local hardware store. I use the tape to cover the edges and trim, and then paint the back glass. Usually takes a couple of coats to get a good even cover.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:27 PM   #3
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Thanks! Maybe it will work better with a brush.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:43 AM   #4
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Just a roller and an oil based paint should do the trick with painting the back. It could take more than one coat.
When it comes to HOBs, it can be done but you have to be careful with it. They splash and cause salt creep. I usually recommend a sump because it increases your water column. More water = less issues. The solution is dilution! It also assists with your equipment. Equipment is big and bulky, it simply needs a place to live. The easiest solution is in a tank of their own, in the simple way of looking at it.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:57 AM   #5
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I just went to pickup the tank, and nobody was there! So bummed. She did answer my texts and said they could meet tomorrow morning though. If they weren't so close to me I wouldn't bother.

I really do like the idea of a sump, I feel like it just makes everything look much better, and I like the extra water volume. But like I said, I have been trying to get as much info as I can about them and I just don't seem to get it. I'm much more of a hands on learner. I wish there was more of a salty community around where I live so maybe someone could help me, but there just isn't.

The whole drilling my tank makes me REALLY nervous, I would really hate to break it. And why are there two holes drilled to drain and one for the return? The overflow I don't get at all, does that go in the tank or in the sump? And where do I get a return pump? Whenever I google them it doesn't look like its anything for tanks...
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:41 PM   #6
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They make hob overflows. CPR are the best as they can have an aqua lifter hooked up to it t prevent siphon loss.
As for return pumps, you can get them easily off of websites like marinedepot or bulkreefsupply.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:15 PM   #7
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I've been looking online at some of the equipment that goes into the sump and man does that get pricey! I'm thinking maybe I will start with the hob filters and start building a sump as I learn more and can afford the things to go in it? Not 100% sure yet though. Also what are opinions on canister filters? I've heard that as long as it gets cleaned weekly then it is do-able? Which would be better, hob or canister?
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:35 PM   #8
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Just found a sump, skimmer, return pump and 2 powerheads for $160. This seems like a pretty good deal to me, opinions?

How do I figure out what size return pump i will need? (The sump is 20 gallons) the return pump that comes with is 423 gph. Will this work for my 40 gallon tank?

And if this all works out, how hard is it to drill the tank...without breaking it lol!
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:09 AM   #9
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That depends on the skimmer, they all aren't created equal. But for a sump, pump, and 2 powerheads it sounds pretty solid as long as it all works.
For tanks, you want to aim for between 10-50x turnover of the water column. Looks like you are well on your way with everything. When it comes to the return pump, you will be wanting to match up the GPH of the return pump and the overflow that you end up choosing. You want the return pump to be higher in gph than the overflow so that you can plumb a ball valve after the pump and dial it back so things match perfectly.
In terms of drilling, I've heard it is pretty easy. Never done it personally. Lots of youtube videos can help you out there.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies hank, but i feel like you are speaking a different language!
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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What can I help clarify?
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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I have been watching youtube all morning, it's starting to make more sense. My tank isn't reef ready, but I plan to drill it to make it reef ready. The things I have been reading say that with a drilled tank I don't want a hang on back overflow. So now I am looking into other options and DIY overflow ideas.
There is one specifically where a guy has a piece of pvc horizontally in his tank with holes drilled into it. I think I like this design the best because then there wont be an ugly overflow box taking up the whole corner. Just not sure what he did for an emergency overflow.
I don't really understand all the valves and stuff for the plumbing, I'm hoping the husband can deal with all that for me.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:41 PM   #13
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I don't really understand all the valves and stuff for the plumbing, I'm hoping the husband can deal with all that for me.
If you haven't already, have a look at videos by Joey on YouTube. Even though his tanks are freshwater, he has a lot on DIY plumbing, including overflows and sumps.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:50 PM   #14
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I'll be sure to check that out, do you know his youtube username,?
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:54 PM   #15
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I'll be sure to check that out, do you know his youtube username,?
"UaruJoey". There's also a direct link in my earlier post.
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Old 11-24-2016, 12:26 AM   #16
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Sorry! The link didnt show up on my phone app, but I will be sure to check it out
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Old 11-24-2016, 09:11 PM   #17
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If you haven't already, have a look at videos by Joey on YouTube. Even though his tanks are freshwater, he has a lot on DIY plumbing, including overflows and sumps.
Turns out that I've already been watching this guys channel and it was very helpful!

I am 95% sure that I will be going with the bean animal style overflow. It seems really reliable and the least likely to make a mess should something happen. This would mean 3 drain holes and 1 return hole, or maybe a return on each side of the tank, haven't really decided that part yet. I also saw one video that had another hole drilled and plumbed specifically for water changes, is this common? I was really starting to wonder how water changes are done when there is a sump. Was told previously that they make water changes easier but was never told how people go about this.

Anyway, I will be picking up my sump tomorrow and stopping at the nearest LFS on my way home. I called yesterday and they seemed really helpful. Thinking I will run this plan past them before I get a drill in my hands!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:37 PM   #18
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Anyway, I will be picking up my sump tomorrow and stopping at the nearest LFS on my way home. I called yesterday and they seemed really helpful. Thinking I will run this plan past them before I get a drill in my hands!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Sounds like a great plan! Let us know what happens after you recover from the Thanksgiving food coma.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:51 PM   #19
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Sounds like a great plan! Let us know what happens after you recover from the Thanksgiving food coma.
Lol food coma is over, how about you guys?

Got the sump today, it will fit in the stand, just wondering how I'm going to get it in there! The LFS wasn't much help, they basically just told me I should have gotten a reef ready tank, and then proceeded to sell me bulkheads that are way too big, ugh! Oh and they also didn't have internal overflow boxes like the guy on the phone said the other day.

Decided I am for sure going ahead with the bean animal overflow. Going to have to order an overflow box online I guess. Tried to drill the tank tonight but the drill we have is apparently bent and wouldn't work. Going to try again tomorrow with a different drill.
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Old 11-26-2016, 12:58 PM   #20
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What do you mean get the sump in there? Does it not fit through the door on the stand? Might have to do some redneck engineering to make a new door or something.
In terms of the bulkheads being too big, why are they too big? Do you already have PVC purchased? It might be that I haven't finished my morning coffee as to not grasping this one.
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