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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Sep 10, 2007
Just joined this forum this morning and have been reading it on and off all day (not a real productive day at the office!). As a very new salt water hobbyist, I have more than a few questions.

Recently I bought a used non-drilled 130 gallon tank (72L x 18W x 24 H) and stand for a good price and have spent a lot of time scrapping all the old algae and lime off. I have scrubbed the inside twice with a 4/1 water/vinegar solution and filled it to check for leaks.

I am planning this to be a reef tank for soft coral mainly and some “reef-safe” fish (the exact fish and corals are TBD at this time). I will have live rock and an inch or so of live sand in the display tank.

I have purchased a AquaC EV-180 protein skimmer with a Mag-Drive 7 (flowrate 700GPH) pump and am awaiting delivery. I am planning a sump under the tank but have a limited area to work with. The sump will be 3 chambers: chamber 1 containing the skimmer, chamber 2 containing a DSB, and chamber 3 containing heaters and the return pump (and anything else that might be required in the future). The total volume of the sump will be about 60 gallons as currently planned.

OK, now the questions. What volume of overflow should I look for? I have heard everything from 10 to 20 times tank volume per hour. That would mean 1300 – 2600 gallons per hour. Seem like an awful lot of water to move in and out of the tank every hour.

Am I correct that the return pump needs to be rated greater than the overflow?

The plan is to accumulate all the equipment, plumbing, etc. before purchasing anything "alive". Once I am satisfied all the pieces fit together with no leaks or other issues I will start spending more $$ on sand and rock and, eventually, live stock. I would rather take my time and do it right the first time then rush and end up wasting time and money.

What have I missed or done incorrectly? Any suggestions for equipment would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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