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Upgrade from 20L to 40B


marcandre

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Hey everyone, ive started my first reef tank back in december. Its a beautiful (well for my standards) 20l with some zoas and lps and mushrooms. I am moving into a new condo in november and since i will have to go through the head ache of moving the tank, i thought i would take the chance to upgrade my tank from the 20l to maybe a 30-40-45 gallon... dont know yet...

 

Since i am in no rush, i thought i would start planning this early and get everything ready before november!!! Here are my plans so far:

- Will convert the actual 20l into a sump (No idea the layout of it yet but i will figure that out later and of course share here

- Will probably need to upgrade my skimmer from the tunze 9002 to something a bit bigger

- Will def change the lights and go with some leds (probably AI SOL)

-Havent decided on the actual tank size and dimensions but i will also have to think about a stand of some sort

-For flow i will keep my mp10wes and if need be, i will get a second

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MIght as well start with a first question.

 

SKIMMER : I currently have a tunze 9002. It works okay for my 20l but i suspect that it will be 2 small if i upgrade to a minimum tank size of 30g +20g (sump). What is the rule of thumb for a skimmer? Always go 2x? 3x? 10x? the rated max gallon to be sure the skimmer is right for your setup?

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MIght as well start with a first question.

 

SKIMMER : I currently have a tunze 9002. It works okay for my 20l but i suspect that it will be 2 small if i upgrade to a minimum tank size of 30g +20g (sump). What is the rule of thumb for a skimmer? Always go 2x? 3x? 10x? the rated max gallon to be sure the skimmer is right for your setup?

 

I would go 1.5x-2x max. Get the right size skimmer for your setup - depends on bioload. Too big causes problems. You could always try the tunze 9002 and switch if it's not enough.

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I agree use the skimmer you have and see how well it works for you. Sounds like your about to spend a hole bunch of money on other stuff. Do you plan on building the stand your self ? The 20l will make a nice sump. Good luck with the upgrade. ;)

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Hmm, i really did not consider keeping this skimmer. I def thought it would be way 2 small for anything bigger than 30 gallons. U are correct however i will wait and c. How do i know however if it is sufficient? If the Nitrates go sky high it needs to be replaced and if they are kept relatively low all is good?

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Also, for the display tank, i am thinking of going with something like a 30gallon (36x13x16) or go with the very popular 40B (36x18x16).

Im more of a fish guy than a coral guy. Well to tell the truth, my gf is more of a fish girl and has no interest in corals. The only way to keep this tank is to keep the misses happy and that means have nice fish!!!! Would there be any advantages in keeping a 40B rather than the 30gallon in fish selection? Im not talking about the number of fish but rather the selection? In my current 20l, a flame angel was out of the question but i think it would work in both the 30 and 40B? Is there any fish that would work in a 40B and not in a 30??

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Alright so i decided to go with a 40B, ive done lots of readings and ive never heard someone say that they regretted going with the bigger tank.

 

Yesterday i had some time and decided to start the project by building the skeleton of the stand. It came out to be much easier than thought as i am not the handyman type of guy... The dimensions of the stand is 36x18x35. The tank will primarly be seen when sitting so i didn't make it overly high!

 

I first cut off my wood (Took 5 strands of 2x4)

IMG_0663.jpg

 

Then i assembled the top and bottom piece

IMG_0664.jpg

 

Put my columns in place

IMG_0665.jpg

 

Then i need to reinforce the columns by adding 2 planks on each corner that will strengthen the stand (Just realized that u dont really c the supports... haha)

IMG_0668.jpg

 

Added some lateral supports in case the stand decided to deform lateraly

IMG_0669.jpg

 

Made sure that everything was straight and level and the first part of the stand is done!!! I was one happy camper!!!

IMG_0673.jpg

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Im not 2 sure how i want to finish it! Was thinking of going with basic stuff such as wrapping it with some plywood, staining it and then put 2 doors in the front but now im considering maybe putting some fake bricks or decorative stone finishing...

 

Whats next? Figuring it how to do a sump

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Deleted User 3
Im not 2 sure how i want to finish it! Was thinking of going with basic stuff such as wrapping it with some plywood, staining it and then put 2 doors in the front but now im considering maybe putting some fake bricks or decorative stone finishing...

 

Whats next? Figuring it how to do a sump

 

Do the rock thing or brick! That would be amazing to look at!

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I don't know much about building stuff or carpentry...but don't you need a lat top for the stand? Otherwise the middle glass pane will be receiving a lot of pressure. Or am I wrong?

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+1 on going for the brick look. take everything slow and youll end up with a gem. I wish i would have focused on a better stand myself. i had a custom stand and ended up buying a deep blue series 2 stand. I sold my old custom, bought a granite top and was happy for around a week. Then i realized what a poor decision i made.

 

gl!

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from what i understand, all the weight will go to the corners. The bottom of the stand acts as a beam which has the primary role of directing the weight to the columns (the corners). The only side effect of a beam is that it might bend which is why a thin sheet of plywood is all that is needed for the top... Actually nothing is needed! You can look at some steel stands that are up for sale, they dont have any top supports!

 

Anyways, yes i am taking my time with this, not only the stand but the complete tank. Wont be moving till mid november so lots of time.

 

I have another question! This might sound stupid but i thought of putting a scuba mask in the tank. Being a scuba instructor since the age of 19 (im 23 now), scuba has always been a big passion of mine and was wondering how i should dip or prepare the mask to prevent degradation and keep it from emitting bad chemicals in my water

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The more i think about, im pretty sure i dont need to do anything to the mask, after all its silicone and glass just like the materials of the aquarium... wonder if it ould look good tho...

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dammit!!!!!! JUst wrote a nice long reply thread with all my plans for plumbing and all my questions and once i clicked send... POUFF EVERYTHING GONE

 

Short and sweet post i guess...

 

Many uestions regarding plumbing. I am going with a herbie design overflwo

 

1) I will use 1" draining bulkheads and 3/4" return bulkheads. This seems to be the general consensus? Is this correct???

 

2a) The herbie system utilizes two draining holes offseted slightly in height, is there a minimum heigh diference or is about 2" right?

2b) Will the two drain pipes connect at one point before reaching the sump or does 2 drain pipes leak off in the sump?

 

3)For aesthetics, i will build the overflow box in the middle of the back glass. Any isses with that?

 

4) Again for aesthetics. i will put the return hole on the left side of the back glass. Any issues with that?

 

Thanks in advance for all your help

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  • 1 month later...

Alright , my tank build is slowly going forward.

First, my tank is finally done. Well 95% done. Still have to install handles on doors and silicone the edges in case of water splash. Im happy with the end product but im still surprised how hard the finishing is compared to the structural build. Good thing im an engineer and not a designer/architect

What do you all think?

IMG_1316.jpg

IMG_1315.jpg

 

2nd, im still a bit confused with plumbing. I decided to keep it relatively simple so i bought a glass-holes 700 over flow kit with a 3/4 inch return kit. I am still reading up on how to plumb it and make is as safe as possible. Definitely still need help in that regard...

 

3rd, i bought a used 40B from a guy that is an active member of a local reef forum. The tank looks great, no scratches and all. Im worried however because the tank does not have a top rim on it. I think he removed it. This scares me. When i picked up his tank, it was running and there was no leak at all. He said that he had it running for now 2 years. Once i brought it home, i filled it up and again no leaks or anything. I think im a bit paranoid that it will break at some point! Am i worrying for nothing? Should i just scrap the tank? Can i just buy a seperate top rim and glue it there?

Here are pics of the tank if it helps... The glass is about 6mm thick

IMG_1400.jpg

IMG_1398-1.jpg

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Great plan !! I love my 40b/ sump. So much bigger and more stable than the 15g.

 

Also good call on the glass-holes kit. I have the same. Running a 3/4" return with Rio 1400 pump.

 

That might be a little scary with no rim, that glass is so thin ! I'll wait for other to chime in on that.

Or - make a euro rim out of glass !

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3rd, i bought a used 40B from a guy that is an active member of a local reef forum. The tank looks great, no scratches and all. Im worried however because the tank does not have a top rim on it. I think he removed it. This scares me. When i picked up his tank, it was running and there was no leak at all. He said that he had it running for now 2 years. Once i brought it home, i filled it up and again no leaks or anything. I think im a bit paranoid that it will break at some point! Am i worrying for nothing? Should i just scrap the tank? Can i just buy a seperate top rim and glue it there?

Here are pics of the tank if it helps... The glass is about 6mm thick

IMG_1400.jpg

IMG_1398-1.jpg

 

A regular 40 breeder with the top rim removed is something to worry about.

You could silicone some glass strips to the top as a brace to prevent it from bowing

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I think the real question is when not will it ever break, there's a reason you don't see standard rimless 40's, with 6mm glass, which I'm assuming is close to .25", a 36" gap from side to side is pretty large and could be fine for short term but I think that the integrity would decline fast, if it were me I would consider doing a bracing option or just scraping the tank to make baffles or something for the sump and get a new solid 40B that will last, just my 2 cents

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So i just got back from my lfs.

First, i bought a maxspect razor 27" a my lighting source. I placed it temporarily on my 20l and it looks amazing! really happy with my first impression

 

Second, i told him i wanted to order a top from for the 40B and he strongly believes that they are useless. He says that since 40B's dont have a middle brace, the frame is useless. Im still not convinced about it tho. Will probably end up ordering it from glasscages or somewhere else!!

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