First build thread! 70 gallon tall

dirtyxducks19

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Hello everyone! This will be my very first build thread. I finally acquired the tank I’ve been wanting. Previously I always had a small system (30 gallon) with canister filter and HOB skimmer. I was working at a job site and asked about an empty tank in the house. Sold me the 70 gallon tall with stand, canopy, and sump all for $150!! The stand and canopy need some TLC and refinishing. Today I got the tank setup in the garage to perform a leak test. Purchased a Sine DC pump DCP-8000. The pump is overkill for the tank but I rather be able to add more flow if needed. Currently it’s running at about 30%. So far so good!! I began refinishing the canopy today. Planning on doing a slate gray with white trim as it will match the inside of our home. Here are some current pictures.
Advise/suggestions/criticism is all welcome and encouraged. I want to set this tank up the proper way and not rush through anything.

I have some questions if anyone has recommendations is really appreciate it.

1.Sump. As I am new to sumps I’ll have plenty of questions. First. Should I upgrade to a new sump system? If so what is recommended? I was told this is a wet/dry sump that is dated. I’d like to have a refuge in my sump if possible.

2. Lighting. Since my tank is tall I know I’ll need some more powerful lighting. I don’t plan on keeping any coral that require very intense light such as acros or sps. I don’t want to break the bank and spend 1k on just lights either. What a been working for everyone else? 2827FE23-655A-4B2C-BA8E-90260D76A997.jpeg filter floss chamber removed C0652B64-ADF1-4929-860B-BB7B91F22B1A.jpeg sump running B3E35799-0325-4B1C-AA7B-C66E75282E19.jpeg

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jgirardnrg

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I would upgrade the sump to something more applicable. I like Fijicube sumps personally. You could also save some money and buy a sump baffle kit and grab a tank from Petco if you're handy.

Sumps:

Sump Baffle kits:
 
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dirtyxducks19

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I would upgrade the sump to something more applicable. I like Fijicube sumps personally. You could also save some money and buy a sump baffle kit and grab a tank from Petco if you're handy.

Sumps:

Sump Baffle kits:
Thanks for the info. I think I’ve decided to go ahead and make a sump out of a 20 gallon. I want to incorporate a refuge since I already own a mandarin goby(currently running multiple pod cultures to keep her fed). Do you think a 20 gallon long will be enough room for the skimmer and a refuge? Any recommendations on a good skimmer for this type of setup?
 

jgirardnrg

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Thanks for the info. I think I’ve decided to go ahead and make a sump out of a 20 gallon. I want to incorporate a refuge since I already own a mandarin goby(currently running multiple pod cultures to keep her fed). Do you think a 20 gallon long will be enough room for the skimmer and a refuge? Any recommendations on a good skimmer for this type of setup?
For the sump, I'd go as big as you can fit in your stand. There is NEVER enough room in the sump as far as I'm concerned. If you can fit a bigger sump, go bigger. Currently I'm using a Coralbox DC skimmer from Reefbreeders which has been flawless since I put it into service last August. Just talked to Logan from Reefbreeders and he's listing them on the website shortly.
 
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dirtyxducks19

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For the sump, I'd go as big as you can fit in your stand. There is NEVER enough room in the sump as far as I'm concerned. If you can fit a bigger sump, go bigger. Currently I'm using a Coralbox DC skimmer from Reefbreeders which has been flawless since I put it into service last August. Just talked to Logan from Reefbreeders and he's listing them on the website shortly.
I measured the stand and it looks like a 20 long will take up almost all the room. I’ll probably install a shelf for some extra storage. I went ahead a got a 20 gallon long from petco.com for only $25. Pending pick up. I really liked the Fuji baffle kit for it. Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I ordered it today and will post an update on it once I receive it.
 
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dirtyxducks19

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!!!!!!!!!!!TANK UPDATE!!!!!!!!!
Fill test and leak test passed. Ran the system for 48 hrs with tap water in the garage. Drained the tank today so I can begin refinishing the stand. I will post progression photos of the stand/canopy refinish in one post to make it easier to find updates on the tank vs sifting through replies.

SUMP: Decided upgrade the sump. Due to budget I decided to use a 20 gallon diy baffle kit from fujicube as suggested by jgirardnrg. Thanks!!! I will post the sump build once everything comes in. Looking for skimmer suggestions that don’t break the bank. I plan on spending more money on lights so I would like to save money were possible I plan on having a medium bioload

AQUASCAPE: so I ordered

MarcoRocks Reef Saver Premium Rock (50 lb)

MarcoRocks Reef Saver Premium Rock (50 lb)

From saltwateraquarium.com. It had great reviews and very porous rock. I also love the fact that it wasn’t harvested from a live reef. The rock is sourced from and ancient reef that was buried durning the formation of Florida. Now have my cardboard cut out of the tank to plan and design and aquascape. Once I receive my dry rock I will post a poll on various aquascapes to see what everyone likes.
Things are coming along.
 

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dirtyxducks19

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For the sump, I'd go as big as you can fit in your stand. There is NEVER enough room in the sump as far as I'm concerned. If you can fit a bigger sump, go bigger. Currently I'm using a Coralbox DC skimmer from Reefbreeders which has been flawless since I put it into service last August. Just talked to Logan from Reefbreeders and he's listing them on the website shortly.
Do you have a link to the skimmer? The one I pulled up on google was like $500. Too much for me
 

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dirtyxducks19

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Yup... this is the one I have:

3 days skim:
IMG_3261.jpeg
Looks like it works really well. My wife is gonna kill me spending that much. I know that this hobby isn’t cheap. Do you have any suggestions on something cheap to get me by for let’s say 6 months with a light bioload until I can recoup start up cost and upgrade? I was hoping for something $150 or less. If it’s under a hundred I’d probably keep it for back up but if it’s more I would resell
 

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Looks like it works really well. My wife is gonna kill me spending that much. I know that this hobby isn’t cheap. Do you have any suggestions on something cheap to get me by for let’s say 6 months with a light bioload until I can recoup start up cost and upgrade? I was hoping for something $150 or less. If it’s under a hundred I’d probably keep it for back up but if it’s more I would resell
For $150 or less I'd check the used market in my area...Facebook marketplace and all that. For a little cheaper the Curve 5's are highly regarded. I see them on Amazon for $180. I also had an Icecap skimmer that was under $200 that performed ok. I like having the adjustability of the DC pump on mine though.
 
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dirtyxducks19

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For $150 or less I'd check the used market in my area...Facebook marketplace and all that. For a little cheaper the Curve 5's are highly regarded. I see them on Amazon for $180. I also had an Icecap skimmer that was under $200 that performed ok. I like having the adjustability of the DC pump on mine though.
I’ve been keeping an eye on it everyday. Thought I had an Eshopps 120 for $100 in the Charlotte area but after messaging and trying to arrange a local pick up I discovered the seller was in Jersey. That was the low point of my day. I’m waiting to see if they are willing to ship
 
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jgirardnrg

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The Eshopps 120 is a decent skimmer. I had an Eshopps S-150 I sold to a buddy that's been performing well for him. Those do take a little bit to break in though. So, if you do end up with that one have patience with it and give it a week or so to break in.
 
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dirtyxducks19

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The Eshopps 120 is a decent skimmer. I had an Eshopps S-150 I sold to a buddy that's been performing well for him. Those do take a little bit to break in though. So, if you do end up with that one have patience with it and give it a week or so to break in
Sound advise. Next question... probably a dumb one... should I run the skimmer durning cycling? I’m planning on selling my current set up. I have plans to transfer the Coral into a 10 or 20 gallon with my current orbit light until I can purchase adequate lighting and place the fish in a separate tote with my live rock and sand. My tank as some cyano in it. Poor maintenance on my part. Mainly because of poor planning and hard to reach areas. I started that tank from dry rock so I confirm there are no pest like bristle worm or aspatia Would you recommend I dry the rock or is it okay to use it to ‘seed’ or ‘cycle’ my tank. I plan on using new sand(maybe a handle full of old sand to help seed).
 

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Cyano isn't a big deal, there's Chemi Clean for that. If you're starting from scratch I would leave the skimmer off for at least the first 48-72 hours after adding the bacteria & ammonia. After that you can run whatever you like. Mind you, you don't HAVE to run lights or a skimmer during cycling and I'm not sure if it makes a difference one way or the other.

 
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dirtyxducks19

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!!!!!!!TANK UPDATE!!!!!!!

so I’ve made a lot of progress since my last post. The stand is refinished and the tank is full. I decided to go with carbisea pink Fiji sand and absolutely love the look. The aquascape was by far the most frustrating part. I made a post in the aquascape section about different ideas and found one that I liked. I cemented the rocks and zip tied them to help hold while I transferred to the tank.
About 30% of it came loose . After fiddling with it for hours I decided I like the set up I have now with maybe a little more tweaking.
My LFS delivered my ro/di saltwater today. The tank is in its final spot and cycling. Super excited.
I had some old metal halide grow lights my cash crop growing friend was gonna throw away. I took them and they have been in a box for years. I set one of two up so I can see the aquascape I think I may keep them for now until I can pay down start up cost and buLEDs Any advice on finding out the brand and new bulbs(what kind) would be appreciated

Water is still a little cloudy. and I have not finished the glass doors yet(may replace with regular cabinet doors

now what everyone wants
PICTURES!!!

I don’t know anything about metal halides. Is one or two 150watt enough power? Are there different color spectrum bulbs?
FD098DA9-4846-44EC-8B2B-2C302E0129E3.jpeg Light ballast tags

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