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New Member, New Blog, New Tank, Newbie!

Posted 01/05/2014 at 06:17 AM by zitra
Updated 01/05/2014 at 06:18 AM by zitra (fixing Hydor link)
Tags build, new tank

Hi Everyone!

It was inevitable! It had to happen! I could not resist anymore! I was bitten by the saltwater!

For a while now I am keeping african cichlids (Malawi Mbunas) and for months I have been reading about saltwater aquariums. And about month ago (December 2013) I have decided to build one smallish marine tank. And because I have been doing so much reading here on RC I decided to register and try to keep the track of my progress via this blog.

[I][INDENT][INDENT]As a sidenote I just wanted to point out that I am not living in US but in Europe. Actually in Prague, Czech Republic. Well not exactly in Prague but near by anyway (Prague officially ends about 1 mile from my house). I am saying that only because it is inevitable that at some point I will start talking liters, meters and other weird units. Consider yourself warned![/INDENT][/INDENT][/I]

So back to my first saltwater tank. Here is some basic info:

Tank size: 39 x 24 x 20 inch making it some 74 US gallons volume, overflow in the middle of the back wall into the sump

Sump size: 31 x 20 x 18 inch or some 45 gal

The tank is still being built and should arrive in the middle of January.

The sump is my own acrylic creation. I do like working with acrylic and even for my freshwater tank I have built my own sump. It is made of 1/4 inch acrylic and probably best is to put up a picture which I took during the leak test last week.


OK, please ignore the insane flow in the picture. The pump is 800 gph, but the flow will get cut to half when it has to pump water 5 ft high. I think the labels on the picture are clear enough. This is based on my FW experience but adjusted based on all I have read about SW sumps. I have couple of concerns:
[LIST][*]Is the chamber for the return pump large enough? That is where the ATO sensor will be.[*]Flow through the refugium, dead spots on the right side. But I think I will solve that a little by having the outflow from media reactors there.[/LIST]
The next picture was taken today (sorry about the quality, it is phone picture). It shows the plumbing of the sump.


Again self explanatory I guess. Some people always wonder what the heck is the horizontal pipe ... something from my FW tanks. I like to be able to isolate the display tank (hence the three vertical ball valves) while keeping the flow through the sump. And that is what the bypass pipe and ball valve is for.

The sump will have [URL=""]Deltec SC 1455[/URL] skimmer and two [URL=""]Deltec FR 509[/URL] media reactors. The current plan is to feed the media reactors by could of taps on the return pump plumbing and have the outflows into the refugium. There will be Eheim Jager 150W heater next to the skimmer. I plan couple of compact fluorescents on the refugium. Not sure about Watts there, but my main marine supplier here tells me not to worry about that too much. I plan just some life rock and macroalgae in there.

As you can see I have my sump well under way. The display tank is much more work in progress. Well I am waiting for it to be delivered. In terms of equipment I plan three [URL=""]Hydor Koralia[/URL] for the flow (1 x 1050 gph and 2 x 850 gph). Just because I have them sitting around doing nothing. I have at the moment no plans for controlling of the slow pumps. I am trying to stay away from controllers for as long as I can. I love to tinker with this kind of stuff but will not jump into it until I know I can manage the SW tank a know little bit what the tank needs.

For lights I plan 6 x 39 W T5 fluorescents. Nothing sophisticated. Just 3 x 2 tubes on timers. Again, something better can come much later.

And probably the last thing to mention is the livestock. In terms of fish, I get my fish kick out of my africans. So the plan is at least for first half a year or year only corals and some cleaning crew. Coral selection? No idea yet. But I think there is not that great selection available locally. Will start with something easy and see how it goes. Anyway ... livestock is probably two three months away. Plenty of time to read up on [URL=""]coral husbandry[/URL].

Well pretty long first entry, so I will wrap it here with a little wish: If any of you experienced reefers see here anything I am doing wrong, anything I am missing, please, please let me know. I am true newbie in SW, the only experience coming from these forums and couple of books.

Thanks for reading, Radek (my first name, BTW)
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  1. Old Comment
    worm5406's Avatar
    What are the things in the background recently painted white and on cardboard?

    I do like the way your sump is laid out. I have not gone acrylic... stayed with glass.
    Posted 01/05/2014 at 11:34 PM by worm5406 worm5406 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by worm5406 View Comment
    What are the things in the background recently painted white and on cardboard?
    :-) Those are cinder blocks (well, kind of). The aquariums will stand on those.
    Posted 01/05/2014 at 11:39 PM by zitra zitra is offline

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