Equipment question for new build - pumps, sumps, and skimmers

AI Hydra


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Aug 11, 2020
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Cary, NC
Just put in an order for a custom acrylic tank - 36X24X18, accounting for the 1/2" acrylic will end up just under 60g volume when filled. This is to replace an existing 32g biocube (2 yrs old). I'd like to reuse some of my equipment, but will have new lights and new heater at least.

I'm debating between purchasing a Sapphire 26 Sump (Trigger Systems) or building my own using an acrylic kit in a glass tank. I'm feeling kind of lazy, so really thinking the Trigger systems is the way to go. Any issues with this sump? I plan to run a fuge for sure, and I have dosing pumps and an ApexEL, so the built in probe holder and dosing line holes are great. I also prefer to stick with floss instead of filter socks because I do not need more laundry LOL. Anything I haven't considered here?

I currently have a Mighty Jet 538 return pump in my biocube. Seems like this may be adequate for my tank. I do really like the pump so if I don't need something bigger, I'd probably stick with it. Would it work for this tank? Stand will be 30" high.

For flow in the tank, I currently have an Icecap 1K Gyre, dialed WAYYYYYY down which still provides crazy flow. I'm thinking this will be more than enough, at least initially. I may want to add something later but thinking this will provide enough flow for a mixed reef (no acro at this point, but some encrusting montis).

Finally, skimmer question. In my biocube, I pulled the skimmer out (it worked fairly well for the space I had) because I got much better results with my fuge. Do I need a skimmer with a larger tank, or could my fuge do well enough that I may not need one? Obviously I could always add one later, but if I'm definitely going to need it, may as well have it on hand at the beginning. If I do need one, or decide to add one later, brand recommendation?
I've run several tanks with large fuges and no skimmers, very possible but a PITA ime. Skimmer makes the hobby more enjoyable by simply making things a bit easier. One thing I wish I would have done and will likely do soon is change out my in sump skimmer for an external recirculating one that can sit several feet away from the tank.
Reef Chasers Aquaculture


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Sep 22, 2009
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I run this pump on mine:

Every day running I keep it at 40-50%
How long have you had this pump? Is it pretty quiet?

I'm looking at running the Coral Box DCA 3,000 on my red sea reefer xl 300. Which is almost the same dimensions as the OPs tank.
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