44 gallon bow front with 20 gallon custom sump


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The thought of documenting my first tank build feels exciting and scary at the same time. But here I go!

Since I'm still new, I think i will be going with a combination of softies and LPS since the parameters seem about the same for both. My oldest son wants a Nem, so I need to plan for that at a later time.

44 gallon bow front. Used to be a freshwater planted tank, but now i want to go saltwater!
I drilled the back and installed a Eclipse S Overflow Box
I painted the back with Rustoleum

I have a new 20 gallon high aquarium that I plan on using for a sump. Once I'm happy with the baffle arrangement, I'll be headed over to a local glass shop to have them cut out.
Design - 3 chambers. 1st Filter Sock/Protein skimmer, 2nd Refugium, 3rd Return

Currently in work. I'm working on the stand and plumbing at the same time. I will be adding more 2x4 for structural support.
I know i went excessive on using a 4x6 on the top, but i had the extra lumber, so better safe than sorry.
When I'm done with the basics, I plan on giving this a farmhouse feel and putting shiplap around the sides with a farmdoor to hide the sump.

Herbie overflow with 1" pipe into a FLIR filter sock holder with gate valve for flow control.
Return line is 3/4" pipe with a ball valve for shut off.
The return pump with connect to the hard plumbing via a flex hose to reduce vibration.
I also installed an extra union for expansion (I'm thinking carbon reactor).

I went with Tropic Marin Pro with the idea of mixing enough salt for a month's supply of water changes.

Overflow - eShopps Eclipse S
Return pump - Sicce 2.0
KLIR filter sock fixture with the idea of adding the KLIR fleece roller in the future
Protein Skimmer - On a hunt for a Reef Octopus 110-S because of my available footprint.
Heater - Eheim 250W
Lighting - I have my sights set on two AI Prime HDs when I'm ready for coral
RODI - 4 stage water saver from BRS

Need advice on:
Powerhead - Open to suggestions; I like the Nero 3, but i think a pair of them is overkill. Not sure how one will work in the tank by itself. Maybe a compliment it with an AC head?
Just for the startup (and budget), i may just go with 2 AC heads and call it a day.

I'm thinking about getting a Seneye for monitoring during my first cycle. Seems like a good investment for what it does.

Still deciding on which direction to go. Live Rock (LFS) vs Dry Rock (ARK website)
I'm leaning toward live rock at my LFS (Aquatic Warehouse)
- LFS says I should cure, but I'm I have to cycle my tank anyways, so can i accomplish both at the same time?
My saltwater parts (Brute/RODI) are coming in this week, so I'll have that setup up next weekend.

Anyways... That's it for now. I'll be sure to keep this page updated on my progress. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Back.jpg Front.jpg Stand.jpg Sump.jpg
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Update for 4/18/2021
More parts are coming in!

Progress, but I got my first (but certainly not last) setback today.

Just got my RODI unit from BRS and noticed that the bottom of the TDS meter was cracked. The meter didn’t turn on either, but it was a quick call to BRS and I have a new one being delivered.

I began to install the unit in my garage and when I turned on the water, surprisingly a leak came from one of the RO membranes. I opened it up to find that the gasket was kinked. I readjusted it and no more leak. I will still be contacting BRS again tomorrow for a new gasket.

Unfortunately it didn’t end there. Before I ordered the RODI unit, I tested my water pressure and was reading about 63psi. However according to the RODI pressure gauge, I dropped down to 30psi. I didn’t think I would have lost that much pressure through the first three stages. Nonetheless, Amazon to the rescue! My booster will be here tomorrow and hopefully I can start producing nice clean water.

Obviously, this was not a major setback in any way shape or form. It's a part of this hobby, so just taking it with stride.

More to come!



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