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Cultivated Reef

Starting 21.97G Nano


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Hey there all your reefheads! I have just started getting into SW and Im hoping to attain a little information about how to go about creating the best tank for the littlest amount of cash. I am a university student so Im low on cash, haha.


Here a few concerns about my set up at the moment:


1) List of parts:

Moded AC 110 HOB 550 Gph - Refugium

Koralia Power head Nano 240 Gph

24" Odyssea MH T5 Led 346W lighting system.

Tank - 23.6" L x 13.7" W x 15.7" H = 21.97 Us Gallons

(on the way) Finnex 100W heater & Hanging light kit ( was told lights might burn coral if too close)


2) The Questions:


I am curious if this at the moment would be enough for me to start my cycle? and also my tank is only 1/4" thick glass is this too thin for salt water seeing as how I will be messing with SG ( specific gravity)?


I am thinking about Creating a PVC DIY overflow into a 20 gallon sump or a 10 Gallon sump, with some sort of moded refugium thats a bit bigger than the AC 110, if I do this what other parts would I need? and will it cause to much stress on my 1/4" thick glass?


Thanks for your input if you are able, I have been researching for a few months on what to do and how to cycle but I am worried my tank might not stand up to the challenge.


This may be dumb but do I really need a skimmer to be able to keep corals?? If so where is the best place to get em cheap and those that are efficient.

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1/4" is fine. You could start the cycle with it but you'll still need the sand and rock (sand is cheap, check Craigslist for rock)


For the sump you'll need the overflow, outer box, hard of soft drain and return tubing, another tank, baffles, silicone, a light for the fuge, return pump, skimmer, live sand, or mud for refuge, macro algae, LR rubble, and the return nozzle.


Is the tank rimless? If not than you don't have to worry about the stress on it.


You don't NEED a skimmer but it does help 100000000x over and it's tough to get by without.

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Awesome thank you very much!!! and yah the tank is rimless so i need to figure out how to make some sort of stand or something to reduce the pressure off the glass. Do you know of any good DIY sump videos to make my refugium bettrer than using the ac110 cause i may use that as just xtra flow in the tank or extra filteration for the sump

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Use the sump for a fuge, and run the ac110 as the mechanical and chemical area.


As for building the sump look around the forums for good sump designs you want. It's not too difficult, just a few glass peices siliconed in.


As for reducing the stress, get a pad for under the tank when it sits on the stand.

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I have a 20 tall, i do not have a skimmer, I do weekly 20% wc's and my perams are right on, I use a ph buffer for 8.0ph. I have two hob filters a whisp 20 and a tetra ex45, both for flow and mech filtration, but my tank is not rimless. i do not have much coral tho, i'm a fowlr at the moment.

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Thanks for the input :D

This will help alot seeing as how I already have a pad for underneath. I am just a bit concerned with the edge and side of my glass cause it is thin, (chipped a piece the other day moving lights and HOB) so it there any suggestions to what I could use to brace the PVC on the sides and back of my aquarium.


Jec When mine is up and running Ill put pics, I hope to see your progress as well :)

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