Like many of us, I started off with FW fish. Me was about 45 years ago.
My wife had always ooed and awed about the colors of SW fish over FW, but I couldn't convince myself to spend the $$, and I thought some of my FW guys were pretty cool/nice looking.
Back in Fall of 2011 I thought about alleviating my filtration problems in a 125G with over 120" of fish by adding a sump and larger filters. I then decided if I'm going to punch a hole through the livingroom wall to my office and build a sump for FW, I may as well take the dive and go SW. So it began.
I took the next 5 months and researched/planned/spent/bought my brains out. All of us who have been through this know it's not a financial journey for the faint of heart !!
Anyway, I built a sump room. This is mine currently after many iterations.
I'll post more once I figure out how things work on this site.
Stay posted for more build shots and 1 of my current DT
Just SW. No FW since 2011.
What you see is the sump with drains coming from the DT in the Living Room, with a chiller vented outside, an AC unit, dosing pumps and electrical, NSW and ATO tanks, and a QT.
I'll explain more once I figure out pic posting.
This is my third tank build, so the excitement isn't there to share photos.
Back in Spring/Summer 2012 I started my first SW tank. It was a 75g Aqueon MegaFlow and I soon learned to hate the Internal Overflow box. I Hated the loss of real estate. I was considering replacing it with something else and then Murphy took over ...
Around Spring of 2016 the tank leaked. I transferred all corals to tubs, and then lost most to coral warfare. Over 5K in losses of 4 years of growth.
This was my tank back then before the leak in 2013
After a re-start, I ran the tank with an internal overflow box from a company who's online site I cannot find now. The box I use is very similar to what you can purchase from Synergy.
My second tank ran for 3 years until I grew tired of the coral colonies I had, and an outbreak of Vermatids.
My thoughts moving forward are to have the colonies I like to grow upwards, and I will keep pruning/replanting to make space for fish.
I really like the look of a Reef where fish swim through the corals.
I store RO in my office, and keep a WC drum handy.
I use a pump and 65' hose to transfer RO water from the bathroom drum to a drum in my office/sump room (pictured at left above). The drum pictured on the right (above) goes on the floor beside my sump. With a 4000HH pump I run 25g from the sump into it and when ready, I use the same pump and hose mentioned above to dump the old tank water down the toilet, and then flush the line with a few gallons of RO.
My hardware consists of a 75g display and a 60g sump I converted from a 90 tank. The 90g I cut apart and had a local glass company cut the pieces down, then I re-built it with the original frame pieces.
I decided on this tank size as I prefer to perform WCs without removing water from my DT. I am able to perform a 25% WC from the sump alone.
I run 4 x MP10wQDs and 1 Eheim 1262. I have 4 x spare wet sides for my mp10s and swap them as needed, usually 4-6 weeks.
I run an ATI Powermodule that I've modified. Each pair of bulbs is on their own timer.
I run the lights from 12noon to 10pm.
My pairs of bulbs run; 12-10pm, 1-8pm, 2-7pm, and 3-6pm
I should post something else.
I stopped using GFO and Carbon about 3 years ago.
I used liquid Nitrogen to bring my Po4 down back in 2013. It brought my PO4 down enough that my corals suffered.
I then used just enough liquid nitrogen to bring my PO4 down and was able to remove my GFO and I've also stopped using carbon.
I haven't used GFO or Carbon since spring of 2013
This tank is only 2-3 months old. I'm currently dealing with visible white/brown bacteria on the rock. I've tried adding Seachem Stability for a couple weeks. I've been turkey-basting the rock and 'gravel cleaning' the sand.
This next week I'm going to use some GAC in a bag suspended in the sock.
Not willing to try more than 1 thing per effort.
I used to run reactors but didn't need them anymore in my last setup, so I removed them.
Since I'm not ready to re-install them, I'll just run a bag of GAC in the sock for a week and see what happens.
OK, in the spirit of a true build thread, I'll do a walk-through posting info and pics up until now.
I had my first goldfish at age 7, was breeding bettas @ age 10, and got out of FW around age 12.
Fast-forward to age 25 I was breeding south american cichlids, mostly rainbows. This only lasted 1 year.
Another fast-forward brings us to 2010. My buddy had a 20g FW community tank and sparked my interest.
After my Wife agreed to me putting a 90g tank against that wall over there, I proceeded to bring home a brand new 125g with stand, PC lights, pumps etc etc.
After the discussion about the extra 2 feet died down, we covered the next few months spending thousands on fish, wood, cultured plants etc etc.
This was the FW tank in it's heyday. There were other iterations of plants etc completely covering the back wall and pretty much all the gravel, but this is the best one I can find for a FTS
After a year of collecting schools of common and very uncommon critters, we were up to over 120 inches of fish - in a 125g tank with 2 middle-of-the-road canister filters
Imagine seeing 20+ Head and Tail Light tetras shoaling, or 20 Cardinal tetras, or 5-6 Clown loaches. Or 12 different kinda rare plecos, breeding Japonica cats, breeding Angels, and the list was huge. We were addicted to say the least.
I had an under-gravel filter with 4 maxi-jets (including a 1200gph chiller circuit), but it wasn't enough to deal with the Nitrates. Probably had something to do with the pair of Rena XP3 filters that were only cleaned out every 2 weeks - 1 each every week. Good Nitrate factories those canister filters can be IMHO. Nevermind the massive fish load.
Weekly 50% WCs became the norm for many months.
After about a year of this, I started looking into a sump setup for filtration, but I'd need to punch a hole through the wall to my office behind the tank.
After a whole lot of research, I decided if I'm gonna do all this extra work, I may as well go Salty. After all, every time the wife and I went looking for new fish, I'd have to steer her away from the SW guys. "But they are so much prettier" was always the reply ....
Well, she got what she wanted.
I sold off all the Live critters, and every piece of equipment that wasn't relevant to SW.
Then I jumped on the research train and spent the next 5 months reading and planning.
BTW, I wish all of you who are interested in doing the same, jump on a forum and read your brains out for 3-6 months.
But, ce la vie, so now the rest of us read numerous "rescue me and my dying critters" posts.
The build began after the house was re-carpeted. My wife properly requested it be done "while it can"
Once the old carpet was removed, I proceeded to use over 4800 flooring screws to fix our squeaky flooring and stairs.
I toiled over tiling around the tank location, and in my sump room, but the locations and "look" just didn't jive
I bought a 75g Aqueon Megaflow and it's stand (for the lifetime warranty).
Good thing I did as a seam failed during it's 3rd year. A bubble in the silicone started sweating. I lost 4 years of coral due to this. More on that later in this thread.
Tank was placed in it's desired location, and then the hole in the wall to the sump room/my office was cut.
The ATI Powermodule is hung from a piece of 1/4" flatbar screwed to joists