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New 29g Build Plans


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Ok I'm planning my fancy new 29g AGA drilled reef tank!


The 29g will drain to a 20g AGA sump. The sump will have 2 baffles probably, with room for a skimmer and heater, as well as 15 or so pounds of LR rubble. Considering I'll have 30lbs in the display, I may as well just grab 50lbs and see what kind of deal my LFS can cut me. As for a return pump, I'm leaning towards the Rio Hyper Flow models. I have a Rio HF32 in my 125g tank and have never had any problems with it, nor has it increased my tank temperature significantly even though it pumps 1920gph. For the 29g, you think 1290gph model will do the trick, or should I get the 1590gph model? I'm just not sure how much the flow rate will be reduced at 3'-4'.


Also, how big of a drain should I drill, and how far from the top should I drill it? Will 1 1/2" be too big? Will half way down be too far? I was thinking of one drain located either on in the back left for right corner, as opposed to the center. I also definitly want a closed loop system. The return from the sump via the Rio HF would have a check valve as well as a Y split to diverge the flow to either side of the tank via 1" or 3/4" soft tubing.


As far as skimmers go I've been looking at them all, but can't seem to find a general consensus on the best. I'm hearing Coral Life SS, Deltec, EuroReef, and although money is an issue in my build, I wouldn't mind splurging for a little better quality skimmer.


I'll be running a 250w MH mogul base PFO pendant with an ARO electronic ballast, courtesey of jdp, mounted inside a custom built canopy with plenty of ventilation. Probably throw in some LEDs and maybe some actinics later on.



What do you guys think?

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Sounds good. I would go w/ the 1200 gph pump. I have a Mag 12 on my 29 and it's pretty powerful. I have 2 1" drains on mine, and they can keep up with my 1200 gph. My returns a 2x3/4". I have internal overflows, so it doesn't matter where the drain holes are drilled, just leave enough space (I like 1.5") on every side for drilling.


If you are running a CLS, I would cut back on the gph of the pump, so you can have maybe 2x600gph, not 1200 + another 600gph of flow. Skimmers I can't help you with, I haven't really decided on one either. I am leaning towards the CSS needlewheel.


Your lighting sounds good, I'm glad someone did their homework on this project, good start, keep us updated. Check out my thread, I did a bunch of stuff to my 29 and you can learn from my ideas/mistakes.

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Thx for the input Flatlander. I've actually checked out your 29 before and have used it for my data collection :)

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Anyone got any input on skimmers? That's my main question mark at the moment. Also trying to decide if I should order LR online as opposed to at my LFS. It's like 5.99/lb and it's the only store with SW fish in town so I don't really see them coming down too much in price, maybe 4.99 at best.


I know it's always smart to support your LFS, but I can obviously get some better deals online, and that's relatively important as a poor college student.

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I think as far as a protein skimmer is concerned, I'm gonna go with a Euro-Reef RS80. Everything I read about them is good, and one wouldn't bankrupt me if I can find it gently used.

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