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  1. #1
    Senior Member Blakes's Avatar
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    Upgrading to larger tank, any suggestions?

    I have decided to sell off my Cichlids from my 160 gallon tank and start the transformation over to a semi-reef set-up. I presently have a 60 gallon semi-reef set-up (in operation for over 1.5 years) which I will be using to seed the new tank. I will be moving all of its inhabitants over in approx. a months time (pending full cyle time). Here is my plan:

    1/new crushed coral (0.5" to 1" deep).
    2/live sand placed at the back section of the tank hidden behind the live rock piles.
    3/fully cured liverock purchased from Ottawa Inverts (cured Walt Smith Premuim Live Rock). Has anyone used this Live Rock? Suggestions would be appreciated.
    4/Change & add lighting to meet Reef requirements (T8 & T5).
    5/Transfer live sand from 60 gallon tank to 160 gallon tank to speed up cycle process.
    6/Transfer Fluval Bio-Max Ceramic Rings from Fluval 305 to Fluval 404 presently filtering Cichlid tank.
    7/Install new Bio-Max Ceramic Rings into Fluval 305 (allow seeding by mature 60 gallon tank)
    8/Allow system to operate for a month with frequent water sampling until fully cycled.
    9/Move all tank inhabitants, (remaining)liverock, powerheads (fixed & directional rated at 300gph each), newly seeded Fluval 305, fish (1/Regal Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), paired standard Clownfish, 1/Sebae Clownfish with Long Tentacle Anemone host, 1/Strawberry Dottyback, many blue legged hermit crabs, Brittle starfish (green), snails, 3 types of Mushroom Coral, Green Star Polyps, Hammer Coral frag, green Lobophlia (Lobo Brain Coral) & Gonipora Coral.
    10/Allow system to stabilize for 4-6 months prior to any additions.

    I know most of you will not approve of the Fluval cannister filters. They have great output and are used only to house additional bacterial colonization. I will be placing both inlet/outlets of each (305 & 404) at opposite ends of the tank, allowing inlet pull at bottom of tank and outlet exhaust at top of tank to allow water surface ripple. The powerheads will also be located at opposite ends but mounted at the bottom sides of the tank to ensure elimination of any stagnet area's. I will be adding an Eheim wet/dry canister filter to the centre area of the tank (has anyone used this unit?). Presently I run a modified Prizm Pro Skimmer with good success. What skimmer would be suggested for this size of tank (no external refugium).

    Since I have not started this process yet I would appreciate any suggestions. Presently selling 60 gallon tank, see classifieds.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Have you thought about getting your 160 gallon tank drilled, so you can have a refugium?
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  3. #3
    Senior Member Blakes's Avatar
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    I would rather not drill the tank. So far with my present set-up, I have had no issues. I know the benifits of having a refugium are great but the added expence is the main issue along with possible water spill issues. We only have two local Saltwater supply stores which are not fully commited to this field. They do not offer such services. I may add a hang-on style down the road.

    Beyond the refugium what do you think?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    A 160 reef is a very nice size. Set it up properly and enjoy it for years to come. Do it wrong and hate it forever. If it were mine, I would drill the tank and use the 60 for your sump. Get rid of all the filters you currently have. Buy the best skimmer you can afford, and a properly rated return pump.
    If you do it right from the start, you'll benefit from a greater degree of success.

    Good luck, just my 2 cents.

  5. #5
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    Drill the tank! Turn your 65 into a refugium!Talk to Pat about a fellow we know who drills tanks. He has the right equipment.

    If you don't drill, make sure you do plenty of water changes - At least 30 gallons monthly.

    Take a few weeks after the 1 month(ish) to transfer your corals and critters from your current tank to the new one. Go slow and put your "less desireable" corals into the tank and watch them closely. I agree with buying the best skimmer you can find. Be careful when you're taking sand out of your established tank. You don't want to go too deep in the substrate as you'll disturb the lower (anaerobic) areas of your sand and could kill the critters in your nicely established tank. I'd seed your new gravel with a few cupfuls of your established tank. As for hiding the seeded sand... not necessary. The established fauna in your current tank is good for the sand and it will spread throughout the tank regardless of where you start it.

    What do you have for lighting? MH? Make sure it has the right intensity to penetrate the depth of your tank.

    Oh, and I'd drill the tank... but that's just me.

    B

  6. #6
    Sponsor - Wicked Frags 220G's Avatar
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    IMO - if you are going to take the time to do the transformation, get the tank drilled for a sump. Way to many possitives to mention.

  7. #7
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    Oh and consider increasing your flow. More flow = happy tank. Wouldn't you agree 220?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Blakes's Avatar
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    In my present system I perform a 10 gallon water change every week, which I was planning on continuing with the larger tank but increasing the volume to 15-20 gallons. I may add a weir set-up down the road to allow a proper refugium. Money is tight and I need the money from the 60 gallon set-up to pay for more live rock/lighting.

    What is the going rate to have a tank drilled? I live in Sarnia, Ontario (3hrs from Toronto, 1hr from London). Since I want to sell the smaller 60 gallon set-up would a 20-30 gallon suffice?

    I will also be upgrading the lighting with Triple Tube Fluorescent light strips (T8) & Actinic lighting (total of 8 tubes). With moon lights being added down the road.

    I will admit and agree that starting fresh, it should be done right. If the tank is drilled can these bulkhead fittings be temporarily plugged off until additional funds are located?

  9. #9
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blakes View Post
    If the tank is drilled can these bulkhead fittings be temporarily plugged off until additional funds are located?
    sure, just glue in a ball valve or even a piece of longer pipe with a cap glues on the end. then just partially drain the tank and cut the cap off and glue in the new plumbing. i have to agree with the rest, sump / fuge is the way to go if at all possible.

    for the drilling, you can order a bit online or call a glass supply place, they may do a service call for $$$$. if it were me and i had no other choice i would throw it in the truck and make the drive to ( London ?? ), you won't regret it.



    oh yeah and lose the crushed coral for substrate, to coarse :b15:
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  10. #10
    Senior Member Blakes's Avatar
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    I have many questions:
    1. What size holes 1.5" inlet & outlet?
    2. Two holes only?
    3. What location center top area best?
    4. To keep the system quite, what is the best plumbing design?
    5. What pump make would you suggest?
    6. Does someone make a complete plumbing kit or just use pvc from a hardware store?
    7. What safety items can be added to eliminate overflow when power fails?
    What design are you using now? Pictures?

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