Designing tank, any advice welcome!

slambulance

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So I’ve made the choice to build a 75 gallon tank out from scratch when we move to our next house at the start of the year. I currently have a 40 gallon breeder that I’m going to source live rock sand, and half the water from. Going to use the 40 gallon as a quarantine tank or frag tank. Essentially besides seeding the new 75, it will be a brand new tank (to me.)

I have no problem with sourcing used equipment or tanks based on recommendations. So the first question is, what equipment is “safe” to buy 2nd hand? I plan to get a used 75 gallon aquarium. Build a custom stand+cabinet, and do a 20 long sump.

So second question, what compartments are an absolute must, and which compartments are optional or even contradicting?

Other than that, the final question, if you could do everything over from scratch, what’s one thing you’d have changed about your current process? And why?
 

Jekyl

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No reason to keep the water or sand. If keeping the sand, make sure to rinse thoroughly.

If starting a new tank myself, I wouldn't use any dry rock and would never allow GSP in it.
 

billyocean

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I've bought a bunch of 2nd hand equipment and it's been fine. Just remember it's at your risk and there's probably no warranty. I wouldn't buy second and heaters though.

Agreed on the dry rock. I started with dry rock and wouldn't do it again..its fine now but it's a long road. Pests are going to happen even with the most seasoned reefers most likely. Equipment is up to you. Aside from the obvious of lighting, heaters, pumps its a matter of choice and need. I firmly believe an auto top off is a must. Skimmer, refugium, scrubbers, reactors are all optional IMO unless you really need one. Water changes and good husbandry are the foundation, especially for newer reefers, that will carry you a long ways. The sump usually has at least 3 compartments...drain with filter socks or roller mat (or no socks for some), middle compartment for refugium or internal skimmer, return chamber..for return pump..lol. These are just the basics really and you can get your feet wet and go as complicated as you want past there.
 
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slambulance

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No reason to keep the water or sand. If keeping the sand, make sure to rinse thoroughly.

If starting a new tank myself, I wouldn't use any dry rock and would never allow GSP in it.
Yeah it seems gsp is either loved or hated and I don’t see myself loving it, so I’m staying away from it. I’m thinking a Zoa garden because I love them and they are one of the reasons I got into reefing, but otherwise I’m looking at lps and sps mixed.
 

bushdoc

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billyocean pretty much summed it up.
The only think I do not quite agree-I regard skimmer as an essential equipment especially in 75 gal tank.
 

Jekyl

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For my next tank to add on the live rock idea, will be ocean sourced from kp or Tampa.

As mentioned above pests aren't really a concern to me. Minor issues to deal with and in return I get biodiversity. Easy choice imo.
 
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slambulance

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For my next tank to add on the live rock idea, will be ocean sourced from kp or Tampa.

As mentioned above pests aren't really a concern to me. Minor issues to deal with and in return I get biodiversity. Easy choice imo.
I also enjoy the diversity, I’ve also added fish that are otherwise hard to fish based on the pests and they tend to sustain.
 

DanTheReefer

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agree with all who said do not start dry rock bare bottom, it was 18 months of unexplained coral deaths and pest of the week. Somewhere in there the biology stabilized and tank thrived even during a year of “careful neglect” with no water changes.

Also be careful with the lighting, kill corals a lot faster with too much light than too little.

Power heads and lighting are things I’d consider getting used.

After year of no water changes
IMG_6210.jpeg

Currently (new 120g)
IMG_6496.jpeg
 

DanTheReefer

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agree with all who said do not start dry rock bare bottom, it was 18 months of unexplained coral deaths and pest of the week. Somewhere in there the biology stabilized and tank thrived even during a year of “careful neglect” with no water changes.

Also be careful with the lighting, kill corals a lot faster with too much light than too little.

Power heads and lighting are things I’d consider getting used.

After year of no water changes
IMG_6210.jpeg

Currently (new 120g)
IMG_6496.jpeg

Case and point on the lighting, just moved the tank last week. There’s a little bump in this favia that is exposed to direct lighting now - it’s bleaching only in the direct lighting area

IMG_6455.jpeg
 
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slambulance

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agree with all who said do not start dry rock bare bottom, it was 18 months of unexplained coral deaths and pest of the week. Somewhere in there the biology stabilized and tank thrived even during a year of “careful neglect” with no water changes.

Also be careful with the lighting, kill corals a lot faster with too much light than too little.

Power heads and lighting are things I’d consider getting used.

After year of no water changes
IMG_6210.jpeg

Currently (new 120g)
IMG_6496.jpeg
I use a Phlizon 165w 20” light on my 40 breeder with whites at 10% and blues at 100%
 

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