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First Try 20g Nano


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#1
Pakrat

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Setting up my new tank and my first reef setup, wanted to get a few opinions/suggestions.

Here is the gear some of it I have bought some of it is theory.

Stats:

Tank ~20g
- 24 x 13 x 16
- External Overflow

Sump ~10g (Rubbermaid)

Remora Skimmer

Aqua Medic Ocean Light 1X150W DE 20000K

(2) PanWorld 40PX-MD20R External Water Pump - 480gph
- Sump Return and Closed Loop

Flow Setup and Tank Design
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I was thinking about using one of the bulk heads in the external overflow as an intake for the Closed Loop, figured it'd be safer then an intake inside the tank, just might be a little more noisy.

Not sure about having only two outputs for the CL one on each side with a MBV or OM squirt (leaning towards the OM because of price).

Sump return flow comes to ~200 - 250 gph when accounting for bends and head pressure.

Closed Loop flow comes to ~350 gph when accounting for friction and bends.

27.5 X Turnover seems a little high but most tanks this small tend to run a little high from what I've seen.

I'm buying all this stuff now, ahead of the tank. I just ordered it ~4 weeks is the word so far; don't know how long for shipping from the mainland to Hawaii. Havenít decided on all the flow stuff / plumbing so far so I'd appreciate some help on that. Any equipment / lighting info would be helpful. I'm not sure if I need to get anything else.

Help :oops:

~Brandon

Edited by Pakrat, 15 October 2005 - 12:51 AM.


#2
TheCoralReef731

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Wow that looks like a very thoroughly planned out setup. Are you planning to do SPS, LPS, or Softies? That info will help to decide lights and equipment.

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#3
Pakrat

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I was planning on a mixed tank more lps and softies maybe a high few high placed sps. 1 maybe 2 fish thinking a false perc something like that.

#4
Pakrat

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Today I went out to Makapuíu and gathered the live rock for my new tank. Remind me never to do that again, it was bad. Imagine a little Asian guy hacking away at the breakers with a chisel in one hand and a big rock in the other for two hours in the mid day sun. People were starting to look at me weird. I saw some really nice encrusted stuff that I had to have, the waves crashing around me and everything. If yaíll wonder why live rock costs so much at the LFS that is why! Tough as heck work, but I got some nice stuff, lots of holes, good shape, some coralline, and stuff all over.

I ended up carrying about 40 lbs of rock a half mile up the ATV trails to my car, I even had to give up my shirt to protect one nice piece that I didnít want to get damaged. Fun Fun, but I have some Hawaiian Live Rock now :D

I took some pictures of the rock; it was three large pieces, a couple I might break up. Only got two shots though, my fingers hurt and I didnít want to have to dig it out of the bucket. Iím not sure if I have to cure them or anything but I have them in buckets with an air stone or powerhead. I wonít have my tank till the middle of next month anyway so I figured this would be just about a perfect time to go get the rock and make sure it is ready.

The chisel is for reference (about 8Ē)
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Decided to make this a mainly SPS tank high energy.
Lighting going with a 24" Single 175 Watt Metal Halide.
Flow going with two Poseidon PS1 formerly known as Blueline Velocity T1

Everything else is same as before. What does everyone think?

~Brandon

#5
SunsetApisto

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if your going for sps than you might want to go with a 250 MH, but then plan for an iceprobe. My 150 runs hot on my twenty gallon.

#6
Travis

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Looking good, do you mind if I coppy your plans?

#7
distantfire

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Hi pakrat nice tank drawing. I have a 3/4" double threaded bulkhead in my external overflow box. I made mine out of single strength window glass, it is on the back of a 2 1/2 gal. aga tank. It is 4" wide, 5" high and 5" long, If I had to do it again I would make it wider, and taller. I did not like the noise it made draining, so I screwed a 3/4" 90 deg. threaded hose line elbow to the top of the bulkhead. I try to keep the water above the elbow so when it drain's there isn't any noise. But every so often some air still get's sucked into the elbow and I hear a glug glug but's that's all. I set a square piece of some extra plexi glass on the top of the box, and that helped cut down on the noise to. On my next tank I'm going to use 2 of the 3/4" slipfit bulkheads and run 2 pvc pipe's straight up about 4" and connect my elbows to the top of them.

#8
Pakrat

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Travis,
Of course not, copy away. Mind you this is a "first try" setup and I don't even have my tank yet >< If your not in a rush I suggest waiting till I get it up and running first, who knows it might end up being a disaster...

distantfire,
I'm limited on the depth of the overflow because of my cabinet. It is flush against the wall, and I want to keep it that way so 4" is my max. I'm hoping that 16" long and 6" tall will be enough to handle 1000 gph without driving me out of my bedroom. I might have to cut it back a notch.

SunsetApisto,
I was thinking 250w MH too, but I think I'll already be pushing it with the 175w. The temps in my ~10g tank area already pushing 82 in the day with PC lighting. I'm hoping the sump will help on the temps and the day/night swings in temp but I think I will fry or have to get a chiller if I go any higher. An ice probe while pretty cheap is still not going to cut it I think because the amb temp in my room is about 85 in the day (damn thermoelectric) and they are only designed for tanks of about 20 gallons to do anything (my total is about 30g).

~Brandon

#9
Katara

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go for the 250W,you can always us eit when you upgrade and
it's worked fantastic on my 29H

#10
Katara

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oops meant 20H,for some reason,I can't edit my posts.

#11
distantfire

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Ok I didn't know that your cabinet won't let you make it any wider than 4". That's to bad, because it is tough working in there when you need to make adjustments. The last thing I see from your drawing, that you may want to change. Is the postion of your top 2 holes for your sump return. I'd Bring them up a little so that the water level in the tank can reach your slot's.

#12
Pakrat

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Ya, if the overflow is 4" and the tank is 13" that will give me just short of an inch of clearance for both sides of my tank (18" front to back)

Here I'll post a link to the little stand I made.

My DIY Stand Attempt

Same clearance goes for the sides. I'm trying to keep everything as self contained as possible.

I think 4" for an external overflow is enough too, my hand is small enough so that it would pretty easily slip into it, even at 6" deep.

The height of the returns
I have the bulkheads 2 inches from the surface. I have calculated that even if the pumps shut off and the tank drained a complete two inches it would be a little less then 3 gallons. I have a 10 gallon sump that I'm working with and it will only be about 1/2 at any given time. That gives me a leeway of about 2 gallons. That's a tolerance that I can live with. I've epoxyed the bottom of the stand that my sump is in as well so that can hold some water.

Hopefully all of these things will prevent "the great flood" from being too bad if it ever comes. Thanks for the input everyone, I'll try and update as I go along.

~Brandon

#13
distantfire

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You did a nice job on your stand Pakrat. The drawer will come in real handy to. I will be looking forward to seeing your updates. Good luck

#14
Pakrat

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Live rock is still curing. Been about 2 weeks now, looking good. I put most of it in my old display tank and returned all the fish to the ocean. Only have a few critters like a zebra hermit left in there. I'm hoping this will shorten my cycle once my new tank arrives

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They gave me a few pics of the construction of my new tank, hopefully it will be done soon.

10/11/05
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10/13/05
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I'm hoping I'll get the tank by some time at the end of next week. Started the big plumbing hunt, and headed to home depot where I spent a few hours figuring it out. Ended up with 3 bags of fittings in a nice big jumbled mess. Made a durso and a stockman stand pipe (not sure which one I'm going to use) but I posted a "help me figure this out" in the general forum so I'm hoping I'll get some ideas there.

Learned one good lesson in all this. Plumb PVC in a well ventilated area that you really don't care about. I tried gluing at first in the bathroom with just a fan going, and nearly passed out from the fumes. Looked on the marble table I was working on and realized that primer/glue and marble Really should never even see each other let alone touch. Spent the rest of the night trying to clean my now permanently stained marble counter top. :mad: I did however end up with a couple of decent stand pipes though.

~Brandon

#15
Pakrat

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Got my new tank delivered by SoCal Creations. Good Packing, tank arrived safe and sound.

All Boxed Up
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Unpacked
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I Quickly Put the Tank Up
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And started on the Plumbing
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Got the Bottom done too
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But Not without having to mod the sump bulkhead
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I cut a slipper in half and thinned it out with a random orbital sander. This braced the bulkhead better to the thin Rubbermaid sump wall and helped it seal with some good olí silicon.

After that I mounted my new 250w PFO Mini Pendent 14k phoenix to some aluminum poles that I had in storage with some wire and a couple of butt connectors (yes I know its crooked.) I will use some chain as soon as I can get down to home depot.
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And tested it
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WOW thatís BRIGHT!

I managed to crack one of the return bulkheads :angry: and no one sells them here in Hawaii, so I had to get a new one by mail order. It should arrive in a few days. I started to fill my new tank and test for leaks. Besides the small sump problem no leaks so far.

I don't have the funds to pay for my closed loop yet... but soon as I get the funds I'll add it on. Until then I have plugs in my closed loop :(

Another note I have no skimmer yet and so I'm going "all natural" ie. live rock only filtration until I can afford that purchase too.

Hopefully after I get my new bulkhead I'll be able to get everything circulating and my cycle going. Then the real fun begins SPS Here I Come!

~Brandon

#16
bogart

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Nice setup!

#17
NepTuNe-UsD

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Pakrat,

Nice job with the plumbing and all that. As I was reading through this thread I was hoping you would go with the 250w so Im glad to see that you did. I also have a newly set-up 20g mixed reef in the process of being stocked. My tank has been fully cycled for about 2 months now.

Heres a photo:
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Plumbing:
I cant see from your photo, but it looks like you dont have a check valve on your returns. If there is one thing I can advise you on for your tank its to definately definately get a check valve on your returns. Otherwise if you ever suffer a power outtage the water will drain out of your returns from your main tank and possibly overflow the sump (depending on how much water is already in the sump). If you already cemented your PVC piping then just make sure you dont fill-up your sump with too much water and you might want to test it before stocking the tank.

Skimming:
If you plan on going mainly SPS I would recommend getting a bigger skimmer. I was about to get a remora as well but decided on an ASM G1X instead. A lot of SPS keepers recommend overskimming for an SPS tank, especially if you pan to add LPS and softies in there.

Flow:
For my return I decided on a Panworld 40PX (your first choice I believe). It turned out to be not enough for SPS so I added a SEIO620 in there as well. If I didnt have softies and LPS, and I didnt have sand, I would have gone with even more flow. Although I dont like the look of bare-bottom tanks, the sand is really starting to annoy me since its always getting kicked up from the flow. I would recommend either go bare-bottom or have no more than 1.5" of sand. Definately do not go with a deep sand bed.

Sump:
The only problem I see with your sump is that it could have been bigger. The reason why this is a problem is because it limits the size of what protein skimmer you can fit in it and it also makes it easier for micro-bubbles to enter your main tank. The fact that your overflow pipe is so close to the inlet of your external pump (and there is no filter sock or baffles) I guarantee you there will major bubbles in the tank. I have a eurofil60 sump with filter sock AND baffles and I still get micro-bubbles in my main tank. Irritates the hell out of me.

Lights:
Good job on the lights. I went with a 14k as well and probably wont switch it out to a 20k until my tank is fully stocked and grown-out in a few years.

I hope Im not sounding too critical. Im actually just speaking from my own bad experiences and the lessons I learned along the way. Hope this is of any help to you. Good luck and post more pics along the way.

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Edited by NepTuNe-UsD, 24 October 2005 - 01:14 AM.


#18
Pakrat

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Neptune & Bogart, Thanks for the kind comments.


Plumbing, I purposely designed the plumbing and the returns to be check valve less the returns sit at the height of the overflow and would drain the tank about 2" of display volume or less then 3 gallons of water. My sump can handle a further 5 gallons if the power goes out :D It's a pretty reasonable margin for error. Check valves are somewhat prone to failure if you don't keep them clean, I didn't want to have a flood on my hands if I forgot to clean it.

Skimmer, Still a work in progress, I'm not sure with which one to go with but I'll take any suggestions out there.

Flow, I only have a Poseidon PS1 right now it seemed like a better pump for my tank, I have the holes drilled for my closed loop already but not plumbed. Once I can afford another pump I'll add the closed loop.

Sump, Ya... I wish I could have made it bigger but I can only afford Rubbermaid which is limited in selection. The one I ended up with was as big as would fit under my stand. A custom sump was a little out of my price range because of shipping. I'll add a baffle and a filter or something to keep out the micro bubbles.

Lights, I'm happy with them, we'll see how the corals I get in a few weeks will respond to them. More then that I'm hoping I'll be able to keep the temperatures down.

I'll try and keep this thread updated, again thanks for your comments.

#19
Maeda

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How in the world are you getting the corals to hawaii?
My dad is in a fit because he cant 'legally' get any?

PM me please!

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SCNRS


#20
Cesar

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WOW very nice 20 man. SoCal gets down with their work.

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#21
Babycakes

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rofl, omgosh that story about you hacking away at the rocks on the breakers was funny, imo but good job! you got some beautiful pieces of LR! there are a lot of nanoreefers getting socal tanks, thanks to dennis! your tank is beautiful! keep up the good work!

#22
Pakrat

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Maeda,
From what I've heard so far, the only place where corals can legally be removed and used for private or commercial use is from makapu'u. You have to report what ever you take, although I'd have to check on the details.

I have also heard that there are commercial permits available or will be in the near future, but it is only limited types and only for aqua culturing (except again with makapuíu where there is commercial harvesting of coral). Other then that you must be attached to a university doing research monitored by the state to gather corals from elsewhere. I'm not entirely sure, but thatís what I've heard so far.

I'm pretty sure most of these rules are to prevent people from blasting for coral like those people who were doing it in Kaneohe Bay, and for other extremely destructive activities like that. Private collecting of fish, inverts, and corals I know are only actively enforced within protected areas like Waikiki, and Hanauma bay although once I start collecting things other then fish I'll head out and get a permit.

Hereís a web site that I skimmed through and detail some info about how you could legally collect corals in Hawaii. Even with that though I think you'd have a hard time exporting anything from the state, if that is what you were thinking of.

Collecting Marine Life

Edited by Pakrat, 28 October 2005 - 02:33 PM.


#23
Pakrat

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Thanks for the kind comments :D I should be getting my bulkhead in the mail today to replace the one I cracked... :angry: ... Hopefully I'll get everything finalised today and have everything running.

#24
PinsandNeedles

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Looks great so far. Good job!

#25
Pakrat

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Update here!
Have everything in the tank and started cycling. All the live rock is in the tank and the sump below. Decided to use different sand then the old tank because it was too fine in the old one and kicked up a storm with the increased flow.

Iíve been having some temperature issues so I added a few fans, two to the sump (in/out) and one to help cool the motor.

The one for the pump was a little interesting. I had to fit a flat heat-sink on the round surface of the motor, so I used a dremel tool to carve a rounded edge into the aluminum to increase the contact area and covered it with heat-sink compound.

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I'm hoping this will work so that I don't have to buy a chiller as I'm pretty broke atm. :(

Got a new RO/DI too!

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Few Shots of the tank, Hopefully the cycle will be quick :)

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~Brandon