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  1. #1
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    New reef, suggestions welcome

    Hi all,

    Seems like a friendly place to ask some ques and boy do I have a bunch
    Planning soft and hard coral 65gal reef tank

    Here is what I have already
    1-65gal tank 48Lx18Wx17H
    1- 2-1/2” corner hole, bottom of tank
    2- 1-1/2” holes 6” from the top on the back of tank

    1-55gal sump with 10gal fudge in the middle
    130lbs of live rock
    1-Mag 24 pump
    1-DIY Beckett injection skimmer
    1-422 PM calcium reactor/needle valve/medium/10lb Co2 tank.
    1-Neptune aqua 11 controller PH/ORP/TEMP probes and control modules included.

    Ques
    I was originally thinking the bottom hole would be the overflow and the 2 top back holes for additional circulation, what size pump for the main supply and what size for additional circulation, keeping in mined that I would like the bottom 2/3 of the reef for lower light and flow loving corals and the top 1/3 for higher light and higher flow SPS corals.

    Should I get a kalk reactor to help keep the PH in line? I am concerned that the CO2 injection from the PM reactor may be a problem. Lowering the PH.

    Lighting? I like the 10K Halides just not sure on wattage? How many?

    VHO actinic I can put together but does anyone know if the URI actinic lamps would fire fine on standard VHO ballast? Or should I just go ahead and buy complete VHO package.

    Lastly, for now anyhow LOL, What is the best way to feed the PM reactor and where should it go in relation to the skimmer and main pump, I hate bubbles!! I do not want to add sponge because they trap waste, and I would rather drain the sump when I have to do water changes to clean out detritus, I can add more baffles to the sump and make a stand alone fudge if you think it is better because like I say I hate bubbles!!

    Thanks for taking the time to read the post.
    I look forward to reading the suggestions.

    Louie

  2. #2
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Well, Louie, first:
    [welcome]
    nice set up, Btw.
    I assume the mag 24 was returning water through the two holes in the back- that's a lot of flow through the system, I'm not sure how well the 1,5 inch drain will deal with that. You may want to use a smaller return pump and use the mag 24 as a closed loop.
    If you want to keep sps, you should get a kalk reactor- it will help with lowered ph from the calcium reactor.
    Again if sps is your goal, I'd suggest 3x 250w 10k or maybe 400w if you are a littlle nuts, but not crazy
    Uri bulbs will run on normal output ballasts, but it is a waste of money and you'll get a much better look from vho.
    Now that I think about it the mag 24 could have been for the skimmer- also overkill as the becket valve really only needs a good 1000 gph to run well.
    Baffles are a good way to reduce bubbles- I'd recommend them if you have the space.
    you could feed the calcium reactor from the overflow and you may want to have it drain near the intake of the skimmer pump to help remove some co2. Obviously you want to keep the main circulation pump as far away from the skimmer output as possible
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  3. #3
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    Hi reefmutt,

    Thanks for the welcome

    The hole in the bottom is actually a 2-1/2 “ which I thought was a good idea at the time I had it drilled just not sure what to do with it now, I mean should I Reduce it because 2-1/2” is big compared to what I have been reading, I can’t seem to find any overflow kits for sale here on the site but maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

    Do you know where I could get one?

    The Mag 24 was purchased for the skimmer but I have been thinking of using it as the main pump because the tank distance from the sump/fudge/skimmer and reactor is 12’ Horizontal and 4’ vertical, would the Mag be ok or should I look at the Mak pumps? If I keep the Mag 24 for the skimmer and have a loop going into the fudge to throttle the flow back on the skimmer would that be ok?

    I think Old salty dog has a diagram of a remote fudge with a y configuration to divert flow to the fudge off the main pump mine would just use the flow to the skimmer instead from the Mag 24 still to much flow?

    The holes in the back were for a recirc setup because I was going to hook the main return to 2 reef rats I think they are called like the sea swirls only better from what I have read and they are Canadian made sound like a good plan?

    I have been reading that one member used a over the tank suction to feed the recirc pump and feed through holes in the back of the tank not sure who the member was but I like the idea maybe OSD or Vince or somebody else, I could use one of the 2 holes to push water along the bottom and the other hook up a loc line fitting for additional circulation behind the reef.

    I do tend to go on but I am very interested in reefs and feel I want to do it right so the more input the better.

    One last thing with this set up I would like to keep some soft corals like the beautiful ones in Flame angels and so many other members tanks but with the circulation set up for SPS would the flows be to high and lighting to bright be a problem, I just don’t know what to do

    Second last thing
    175watt or 250watt was my original thoughts, I have been called crazy but that has usually been on a Friday or Saturday night LOL so 400 I don’t think so not if I want to keep softies too but I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Louie

  4. #4
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    A couple of comments based on reading (as opposed to first hand experience).

    1) a 2 1/2" diameter hole wil be about the size for a bulkhead with a 1 1/2" diameter drain. Do you have the bulkhead yet?

    2) Your tank is only 17" deep. 400W MH sounds like an awful lot of light. 250W would likely be fine. Similarly, most people would use 2 MH bulbs for a 48" tank. You can do 3 but it wouldn't really be needed.

    3) Why will the sump, etc. be so far awy from the tank?

    4) There has been some recent discussion about keeping softies and SPS in the same tank. Some people felt strongly that this was not a good idea. Do a search and you should find the thread.

    BTW, if you really have 10g of fudge in the sump, I hope you fish have a sweet tooth :-) (as opposed to a 10G 'fuge).
    Nick

  5. #5
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    Hi Nick,

    No, I don’t have the fitting, I wasn’t sure what size I should get, so 1-1/2 “ then.

    Do you know where to get the fittings and overflow box assembly?

    400 watt MH seems to be recommended for deeper tanks, I think the fish would need sunglasses with 400+ the VHOs beaming down on them through 17” of water but for some one with more experience it may work.

    I did a search but no luck on combining softies and SPS, I did read however that most advise to start with softies and LPS before getting into SPS. I think this sounds like the best plan for me so with that in mind do you think I should go with the 175W and VHO combo? I mean the tank is only 17” deep and from what I have read softies like less light and less flow.

    If I go without SPS, seems to make the most sense starting out, what pump size should I use for the closed loop, I figure just enough flow to keep things moving around but what size? I would also like to avoid adding power heads down the road.

    The tank is far away from the sump so I can locate the equipment out of site in the basement so that is why I figured on using the Mag 24 but with out SPS what pump should I use?

    Maybe I am asking to many ques at once and you, reefmutt and me are the only ones in here LOL. Maybe I should have posted in the general reef section but then I thought I am new here and don’t know a lot about reefs so I better stick to the just starting out forum.

    Fudge, yes please can I have some LOL good catch Nick

    Louie

  6. #6
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    The thread I was talking about is this one:

    http://www.aquariacanada.com/forums/...&threadid=3829

    I don't know the London stores so can't suggest where to buy a bulkhead locally. However, Ivan's store here at AC sells bulkheads, as does J&L (http://www.jlaquatics.com/) and MOPS (http://www.mops.ca/). All of these places accept on-line orders. Generally, most people suggeset buying the bulkhead before getting the hole drilled (to make sure the hole is the right size). Since you already have the hole, you will need to find a bilkhead of the right size.

    If you add a closed loop, most people put more flow through it than through the sump. Something like 400-500GPH for the sump and perhaps 600-900 GPH for the closed loop might be in the ballpark.

    Reef Central's calculators suggest that the Mag24 will give something like 1800GPH in your set-up and that this would require a 1.75" drain and 27" of overflow. That sounds like a lot for your size tank.

    Posting in this forum is fine. I'm sure others will 'chime in', especially if we say anything wrong :-).
    Nick

  7. #7
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    Wow, I read the thread, I guess I was wrong on a couple of points good thing you jumped in here I would have made a bunch of mistakes.

    I also read that some think you should run at least a year with a stable set up before moving into the more difficult corals, as obvious as this may sound I didn’t get it until now it makes perfect sense.

    I think I should go with just softies till I get more experience so now I am back to square one on the lighting and pumps.

    MH maybe to bright.

    I read some where that someone used 2- 65w PCs if I put VHO lamps with them would this work for softies in a 65gal tank 48” long with 17” of water depth?

    It sounds like the Mag24 will be to big to use as the return pump, really not sure what to do here because of the distance and head loss.

    600-900GPH for the closed loop hmm I have to go look at the smaller Mags then.

    I will drop an e-mail off to Ivan and see if he can help with the bulkhead fittings.

    Funny thing was every where I read people say what is it you want to keep, this will dictate the system setup, I started off on what I wanted to keep but have since changed, better to figure that out now before getting in to deep.

    Louie

  8. #8
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    I didn't mean to dampen your enthusiasm. Your basic plans looked good. I think the suggestions are ways to fine-tune the system. There are many SPS corals which you can keep much earlier than one year into a tank. And MH lighting is always better for them. And some people would think a Mag24 didn't give enough flow for a 65G SPS tank.

    Opinions differ and there is no one solution which is 'right'. The best adivce is to read many suggestions and figure out which ones seem to be saving similar things (or come from people whose tanks you admire). I hope that some other folks will jump here with their advice.
    Nick

  9. #9
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    If you are totally new, I think it would be best to go with softies at first. Two 250w mh and some actinics won't be too much light for anything and at least you are on the way to having good lighting for sps down the road. You could just as easily use vho or pc, but once the sps bug gets you, you will want to get MH. Why not save yourself the hassle.
    Also, buy a couple of good books on reef keeping- they will be a constant resource for you even though you have A.C.
    You must have a dedicated pump for the skimmer, if you try diverting some water from a skimmer pump, to go elswhere, you'll never get it adjusted properly and it will always fluctuate a little.
    A 2.5 inch hole will take a 1.5 inch bulkhead and Ivan should have them in stock now or very soon. With the sump so far away from the tank I think a mag 9 or 12 would give you decent circulation between the tank and sump and the drain won't have a problem with that flow. I think the mag 24 may just not be right for your set up at the moment- it's too strong for either the skimmer, recirc. or closed loop.
    The two holes in the back could be either returns from the sump, returns from a closed loop drawing from over the top of the tank or they could be intakes for a closed loop which you could then run over the top of the tank to a couple of reef rats. decisions, decisions..
    There is no doubt that whatever you do, in one year's time EVERY plan you had made will be different as you get a more defined idea of what you want in a reef and as you get more experienced. You have a nicely drilled tank and room to expand so don't paralize yourself with indecision because the hobby is always changing as will your reef.
    A mag 12 on a closed loop through two rats will give you pretty good flow in the tank especially with another 600 or so gph coming from your return pump- which could also be on a rat if you want.....I don't know if I've made things simpler of more complicated for you!!??!
    you still have a bunch things to decide
    One thing, your skimmer will perform much better with a pressure rated pump like a little giant or an iwaki or mak etc- don't put a mag on it, the performance wont be as good- and aim for getting between 900 to 1100 gph through it. it'll skim like a dream on that set up. micro bubbles may an issue in that sump...tough to say at this point...
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  10. #10
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    THere's a guy over on RC who is pumping 18,000 GPH through multiple closed loops. PLus about 2,500 GPH through his sump. This is on a 280G tank but is still around 70 times tank volume turnover per hour! That would be around 4,500GPH on a 65G tank.

    I think reefmutt's suggestions are much more in-line with good plans for you.
    Nick

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