New 75g Adventure

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
It's finally happening! It's going to happen! It has to happen! Okay, you get it. I'M EXCITED!

First and foremost, This is both my first saltwater and largest fish tank ever! So I've got plenty of questions! And I'm bound to make plenty of mistakes. Please don't be afraid to chime in if I'm doing something dumb. I'm more than willing to learn!

With that out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff...

Equipment
75g Marineland
40b sump w/ baffle kit
EMS 32" overflow
Varios-2 return pump
2x Kessil A9X

So, I am still in the market for a skimmer and a couple of powerheads. I was looking at a Reef Octopus Regal-150. One of the biggest things for me is going to be noise. I don't mind some, but I'd like the tank to be as quiet as possible.

I intend to use 2 powerheads coupled with 2 returns for my flow. Mp40s were my first choice, but Tunze 6055s were starting to look appealing too.

I plan on getting my skimmer and powerheads while I leak test the tank.

Livestock
uhhh...?

So first tank and I'm not very smart with comparing everything. I know I want to start with easier, hardier fish and corals, but I would like to upgrade to harder corals and fish. Wouldnt mind an Acro or two and even a Mandarin! I've been up and down with a Nem too, but I want a well-behaved one. HA!

That being said, I'm okay with easy stuff like clowns and what not, but when I look at my tank, I'd like to see swaying and movement! Torches, Hammers, Frogspawn, Leathers all have been appealing to me so far.

Really my only hard NO are palys/zoas. I don't want to risk palytoxin, plain and simple. I live alone and just don't want to risk it.

To-do List

My overflow still hasn't arrived. Tracking puts it here on Monday! So hopefully, with a bit of luck I can get my tank drilled and plumbed by the end of next week.

No risks for me! I've never plumbed an overflow nor ran a sump, so leak test after that!

Assuming all goes well, I hope to add the salty liquid and scape something up. I have some dry macro rock and a liferock arch I'm going to use. I'm not the best artistically but I do have a obsession with detail, so hopefully I can find something acceptable!

I think I'm going to buy a chunk of Live rock to seed my tank with, I'm not sure. With a mandarin on the distant wish list, I'd like to start copepods as soon as possible. Is it dumb to want to have some asap or do they need some sort of base first?

Assuming I make it this far, I'll probably start simple with a pair of clowns and a small CuC. I honestly don't have much planned after this point, simply because I am overwhelmed with the choices at this point! Also a lot of the fish I look at end up reccommend 120+ gallons. Lol

No pics yet simply because its just dry/empty equipment which you can look at on any online store. HA! Pics will come once I have something to show.
 
Last edited:
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Welcome to R2R! If I can plumb a tank, you defiantly can. There were three youtubers I found to be my teachers. Look forward to seeing your tank come together!
I think I have the skills, just lacking experience. Still trying to figure out bulkhead sizings in my head for the hole sizes, and then also where to put my gate valves vs unions, but I think I can figure it out. I wanna do the fancy colored PVC but I think I'm just gonna do plain white my first time around. Might splurge on Sch80 joints though for some variation. Idk.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Looking to buy my skimmer soon. I am starting to question my choices, so please let me know if I'm being dumb or overly cautious!

I was looking at a RO Regal 150int. BRS states it up to 100g for a heavy bioload. I'm not so sure what my bioload is going to be in the long run, but would this skimmer be too much?

I'm not stuck on this one by any means, somebody just mentioned DC skimmers somewhere and this was the first dart to hit the dartboard. My primary concern is sound and performance. As long as it does its job, and doesn't drown out the jet engine of my PS4, I'll be okay, I think.
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Running into planning jitters. So, just jotting my thoughts down!

Originally planned 1" drains and 3/4" returns. Return pump has 1" outlet (with 3/4" adapter). Should I just run 1" everywhere, or is 3/4" fine for the return?

My primary reason for waffling is simply equipment issues. Would it better to normalize everything across the board?

Equipment reminder return pump is Varios2 with a "normal" in stand sump. Planing on 2 return holes near each corner of tank. (4"x4" away from corner to be more detailed)
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Weekend Update!

I did a thing!

20210627_050752.jpg


1 tiny detail done! A million more to go! But I've got this week off and I hope to get it wet by the 4th!

Todo list
Run a GFCI outlet - my house is a fix-er-up rental and wiring is done badly. Going to dedicate a breaker to my tank just so I know A/C units won't kill it.
Drill and plumbing - local hardware stores don't have what I need. Last little bit should arrive wednesday, including hole saws.
Sump-need to silicone me some baffles! May wait until after shopping to test fit equipment as I go
Shopping - running to not-so-local fish store for powerheads and skimmer and some testing equipment. Hopefully I grab the last few bits needed.

I've decided to commit to 1" plumping throughout. Figured It would be easier while shopping and return pump already has 1" outlet.

Returns, I plan on drilling about 4" down and 4" in from both sides. Does this seem okay? My overflow is 36" long so it doesnt leave me a whole lot of real estate as it were.

In a total power failure scenario, thats some where around 18g to drain into a 40b. Will measure 3x and then some before I make my final decision I guess.
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Weekend update

A bit of bad news. Got the tank drilled. Got my overflow kit and bulkheads installed. Went to put sump in stand aaaand disaster.

Okay not like broken glass disaster but still bad. My sump won't fit in my stand. I've heard of other people with a 75g and 40b sump so I never thought to check my stand. I was really upset about it. Like bad.

But, I'm all better now. Sort of. So I have two obvious choices, new sump? Or new stand? Curious to hear opinions. Right now I'm looking at new sumps. Kind of heartbroken though because I think trigger systems are too expensive for my budget.. idk
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
20210718_062212.jpg

Overnight Leak test seems to be a resounding success! I poked at the gate valves and got the drains as quiet as I can. I still have some splashing water noise, but i attribute that to running without socks. So far very happy right now. Lots of nervous first time things all seem to be coming together.

There are so many happy thoughts going on right now, and I really do wanna give a huge shoutout to the community. I have only been a member for a few months, but I've been lurking for 5yrs or more just reading and researching. You salty people have made me a very happy person today. With all the love I can, thank you all!
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
FTS!

20210719_175450.jpg

Okay, not what you were expecting, I know. But I'm getting so close I can feel it...Something's happening! Also I apologize for dirty glass. I was just gonna wait till it had sw in it to clean.

Equipment is plugged up and good to go. Have a smallish birds nest of cords, but they are organized. They just don't wanna stay there because they still have that fresh out of the box bend in them.

ToDo List:

Hardscaping - tomorrow's primary goal! I got no clue what I'm doing so I think I'm just gonna wing it. I'm an artist at heart so I already know it's going to take all day.
RODI - i have a 50gpd ROBuddie setup already, but a few reviews scared me away, but my new 4stage BRS 75gpd came in today, so that will also be happening. Might get it mounted tonight, I don't know.
Saltwater - I've got water. I've got salt. Now if there were only a way to combine them....Looking at the weekend.

That does lead me to a few questions,

For my first batch of sw, can I mix it in tank? Just fill it with RODI and add salt to taste? ;)

Is there a 'perfect' salinity? I see 1.024 -1.026 is the norm, so do I just pick my favorite number and shoot for that? There aren't any fish planned for a month or so, so theoretically its not a huge concern at the moment? I would have ample time to correct it. Though does it inhibit the correct bacteria growing?
 

mrlavalamp

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
357
Reaction score
434
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
hiding under a rock, NV
Starting with dry rock and new sand, you can absolutely mix the salt and water together in the tank.

Salinity is a target. You want to be as close to that range as possible, it will drift higher as evaporation takes water out. An ATO will help keep it more consistent.

Bacteria are really hardy with regard to salinity shifts. Once you have your target salinity, you are ready to start the cycle. Have you planned your cycle process yet? Using a piece of shrimp? bottled ammonia? Bottled bacterias? Keep your ammonia test kits handy, you are going to use them alot the first few weeks.
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Starting with dry rock and new sand, you can absolutely mix the salt and water together in the tank.

Salinity is a target. You want to be as close to that range as possible, it will drift higher as evaporation takes water out. An ATO will help keep it more consistent.

Bacteria are really hardy with regard to salinity shifts. Once you have your target salinity, you are ready to start the cycle. Have you planned your cycle process yet? Using a piece of shrimp? bottled ammonia? Bottled bacterias? Keep your ammonia test kits handy, you are going to use them alot the first few weeks.

I will probably be ordering some Dr. Tim's. I had a few spider webs on my rock from where I had it stored, so that should help too. I have a few API testers from my freshwater tank. I'll use those if they're still good until I can get some salifert/hannah testers.
 
Zoanthids

mrlavalamp

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
357
Reaction score
434
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
hiding under a rock, NV
I used API freshwater without any issues. Same test chemical just a different color card. Its not perfect, but its good enough.

Personally, I wouldn't invest in salifert/hannah for ammonia or nitrite. On the other hand, nitrate, alk, cal, mg, phos you should for sure, but after the cycle you really shouldn't need to test ammo/nitrite. The exception to this would be if you setup a QT or other tank repeatedly, each time you break down and setup is its own cycle.

Also, go slow with the tims bottle ammo. Add half what the bottle says and then test, add more only if needed. Some folks have issues going over the ppm target following the bottle instructions.
 
OP
Jivatma

Jivatma

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
125
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Terre Haute
Tank is filling with water! Decided to mix salt in tank for first batch. So RODI system working slowly. Gonna be a few days.

Some thoughts on paper...

I didn't plan for water changes very well. While trying to drain my sump of tap water, i started having trouble with a siphon due to water levels. Is there a better way to do it without changing plumbing? Maybe a smaller submersible pump with a flexible hose? I am well aware that I won't have to drain my sump very often other than for maintenance/cleaning.

Livestock:

Figured I'd run it by the experts!

2x Clownfish (not sure about specific species exactly, would like something that would host a Nem or something)
4-5x Princess Anthias
1x Yellow Watchman Goby
1x Royal Gramma
1x Banded Coral Shrimp
1x Mandarin (added later after pods)

After that I have a few 'maybes'

?x Flasher Wrasse
1x Coral Beauty Angel (I know this is a reef-caution)
1x Tomini Tang.

After that, I'm open to suggestions, or require more research. Really wish websites would filter fish by tank size.
 

mrlavalamp

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
357
Reaction score
434
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
hiding under a rock, NV
A small submersible pump is exactly how I change water.

I use a python hose and hook the pump up to that to drain directly into a sink. I pump out the sump and then I use the python to clean the display. I never liked carrying buckets.

I mix up my water in a brute can on wheels, and use the pump again to fill everything back up.

I don't see any issues with your livestock list.

Regarding your mandarin. If you want to move along the pods process, look into culturing your own phyto and pods at home. It's REALLY easy and will save you a boatload. One thing I don't see mentioned often is that my home made phyto is more concentrated then Mercers/AlgaeBarn or any other commercial product I have bought. The only exception was the starter culture I used, I picked that up off a user here and it was very dense.
 
Last edited:

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
43,540
Reaction score
67,936
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Great start!!
 
Zoanthids
Top