Susan's Grand Adventure--125 Reef Build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by Susan Edwards, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Welcome to my mad adventure. Can't believe I did this during holiday season of all times! Starting a new build so I don't clutter up my other build thread (RMS c250 66g).

    I think I got a good deal on craigslist. An Aqueon mega overflow. It came with a 4 foot stand, 40 gal sump and a bubble magus skimmer. For 450.00. Was hesitant with the stand as I'm only 5 foot and the tank adds another 2 feet. So after getting it home, we realized the cabinet was not in as good as shape as it looked. And I just can't see me on a ladder to do EVERYTHING to the tank. So we are dumping it.

    The sump is a mess. Had to cut the brace on back of stand to get it out. No way I could have cleaned it in the stand. Looking at it, it has to be redone. Only 3 sections and no triple bubble catcher before return. First section is huge, second for skimmer, and return also huge. Waste. So if I can remove pieces of glass, I'll see if I can order a new set. Found a set on ebay but I don't think the sump is a standard 40g breeder so I'll have to see if it will work or see if I can get custom cuts.

    Haven't tried the skimmer. Need to get a manual to take it apart to clean.a

    Hunt for a stand is frustrating plus I don't want to pay and arm and leg. Might talk hubby into helping me build one.

    So if I can keep the sump, even without the stand, I think it was not a bad deal. Maybe not as good as I'd hoped.

    Working on my time table and budget. I hope to start cycling by April, fish ready by June. I have tons of research to do just to do the sump, let alone all the equipment like lights. Sure hope I can get lots of advice, esp. with lighting!

    This will be a slow build. Going to order rocks by end of month to get them cooking in a brute can. Rest of month will be cleaning tank and sump, finding a stand to buy or build next month, and figuring out my sump and plumbing.

    Excited but also nervous as I venture into this adventure. I'll keep my other tank as it is in my office. Going to ditch the display refugium though. Never got it plumbed to DT so it is just more work. Have to figure out what to do with gold head sand sifting goby. I have corals on sandbed so don't want him back in there. Unless I put all rubble rock in front and corals on top of those so the sand he sifts is mostly in back of tank. Or I wait and put him in new tank along with damsel. Or I return him but I do like him very much. More to decide!

    Here are some pics. First one is on the trailer. You can see the size of that stand.
    20171203_132714.jpg 20171203_165722.jpg 20171203_174231.jpg 20171204_115102 (1).jpg 20171204_122855.jpg
     
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  2. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Good luck with the build. Signing up to follow along.
     
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  3. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks like a project! Tagging along.
     
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  4. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  5. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Time for an update. Today I hosed out the tank. Man, it was gunky! And even worse, after hubby struggled to get the plumbing out, the overflows were disgusting. Inches deep in cr**. Esp. the inner one--not sure why there is a inner one that doesn't connect to the main. Must have had a good 5 inches of ick that came poring out the holes in the overflow box. Still need to spray and soak with vinegar and use razor to get glass clean and overflows as clean as I can. I'll save that for another day. I think I'm going to toss the dursa standpipe and get new ones, unless I can clean them. But might be easier to go with new. Plumbing comes later--Jan/Feb.

    Decided not to use the sump that it came with. I don't think it is a standard 40 gal or 40 gal breeder and I figured I'd put in as large as I can so will be using a 55 gal. This week I worked on my sump design. I have tons of questions but at least I have a starting point. I have no idea how tall to make the baffles. The image below is my first try. Would love feedback. There is no real plumbing at this point as the focus is deciding what baffles I need and where to get what I need.

    Sump drawing equals 48" but isn't totally to scale, and might need tweaking here and there for exact measurements

    So my Dec. priorities are:
    -clean tank as good as it will get
    -plan the sump
    -figure out where to order baffles
    -order the cabinet--R& J at Petco
    -purchase the 55 gal sump
    -order rock at end of month

    Have a good start

    Not ready but better. See the inner overflow, water enters through the cutouts. Why? What is the purpose? You can see it on the full length photo
    20171210_171117.jpg 20171210_171134.jpg
    Sump Plans
    125 tank.jpg
     
  6. Fin

    Fin Is it wet yet? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club

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    Those are the same overflows I had in my old Oceanic 140. That inner weir allows the overflow to also draw water from lower in the tank (the lower set of holes in the overflow) while maintaining the same water level (as the upper outer weir) inside the tank.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  7. Will Milberger

    Will Milberger Aggie Aquarist R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'd be interested in the sump. Probably difficult to ship to Texas though.
     
  8. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    @Fin how did you have it plumbed? With 2 drains each side and 1 return or 2 drains total and 2 returns? Trying to decide how to plumb it. Leaning toward 2 drains on each side.

    Getting ready to order my stand from petco. The R&J in black. Will also pick up the 55 gal aquarium for my sump. Ordering rocks at end of month. In the meantime, still tweaking sump design and starting in on plumbing design. If all goes well, water will go into tank by march.
    1507354-assorted-right-1.jpg
     
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  9. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    lol's. I'll share my drawing! I'm purchasing a 55 gal from Petco and looking on ebay for baffles. I'll share where I finally get them and a final design and pic. I may take out the bubble baffle and use more live rock in the return area. One of my goals is to have a sump easy to clean, one where I can use a shop vac or water transfer pump to suck out all debris from each section and get a scrub brush in to clean algae. So two plates close together seems impossible to get too, not to mention if a snail gets in there.
     
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  10. Fin

    Fin Is it wet yet? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club

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    No, not necessary to have two drains on each side. The holes are probably different sizes also, if it is like my old Oceanic. It had a 1” drain and a 3/4” return in each overflow. Each overflow is meant to have one drain and one hidden return (well, hidden until it has to go over the top, or if you remove the cutout that should be on the side of the overflow). Your tank may be different though, because it doesn’t look like an Oceanic.
     
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  11. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    @Fin that would mean 2 return pumps. The guy I bought it from said one pump wasn't enough for both sides.
     
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  12. dieselkeeper

    dieselkeeper Active Member

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    I had the same over flows on a 120 gal. I ran each drain separately to filter socks. Two drain pipes. You can use only one pump, going to both returns. You can not combine the 2 drains to one pipe unless you go to bigger size pipe.
     
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  13. Fin

    Fin Is it wet yet? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club

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    He is wrong. Many people split their returns. My 140 ran for 11 years with only one return pump and two of those overflows. I used a PVC Y fitting to split mine. I try to avoid Ts. The pump in the picture had a 1" output. I used a 1" Y fitting and ran the two 1" pipes to each one of the 3/4" returns and used reducers to adjust to the size of the return.

    I also combined both of the drains, but into one 1½" return. Worked fine for many years.

    LifeReefSump-002.jpg
     
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  14. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    hmmm, back to doing some changes.
     
  15. Fin

    Fin Is it wet yet? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club

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    The sump I was using there had the return section in the front of the sump. You can probably do yours a little less complicated. You can use a T to split it. I think most people do. I just like Ys when I can use them.

    Having said all of that, I am using two return pumps on my new build, but for redundancy, should one of the pumps get stopped up or fail. :)
     
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  16. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes I also recommend combing your drains into one line. 1.5" should do just fine. This would make your sump more simple, IE a flow pattern from right to left or from left to right instead of left to center and right to center. Having them separate like that means each drain needs to be draining about the same amount, would could get tricksy. Should also let you achieve more with your sump, should you desire to.

    One return pump will work for both. One pump not being able to "keep up" just means that pump wasn't strong enough. You can call around to your local glass/window shops and get quotes for your baffles. After i did this looking for glass to build a tank, i found my best prices by far for the glass panels to be from glasscages.com. They have all the glass or acyclic you would want for your sump.
     
  17. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    thanks @yungreefer2410 What is your opinion in having one drain going to the refugium? I have it to the right with return section in center? And then the refugium drains to the return pump to add pods back to tank. Looking at dc pumps with controllers

    @Fin am planning to purchase 2 pumps so if one fails, there is one on hand. Or I could use one for one return, and a stronger one for the other in order to run off manifold in future.

    Are water changes done through the sump instead of tank? Via a manifold that is supplied by the return pump? I also plan to get a transfer pump to clean out chambers as needed as part of the wc program. I'm tempted to find someone local to help with all the plumbing but there are no lfs in my area. closest ones are 1-1.5 hrs away
     
  18. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I would change the sump plan you currently have to one with the return on the right or left side. Nearly all of the pre-made sumps follow this methodology. For sumps I have built, I like to go as follows:

    Drain>>skimmer>>refuge>>bubble trap>>return. In the skimmer section is where I would also run any other equipment, so typically the largest section, followed by the fuge and then the return. The water evaporation will show at the lowest height in the sump, which is the return. So you don't want this to be less than 5g at least. Prob more since your tank is larger and will have more evaporation. Having an ATO is very important imo.

    In the drain section is also where you would have filter socks if such is desired. I like to KISS so I prefer and promote simple sumps with those main sections. It allows for you to run a manifold back to the skimmer section to power more devices via the return pump. You can also add dosing line holders if desired, and have them dumping into whichever section you prefer.

    I would not have the water dumping over liverock then to the skimmer. This liverock would become very gross and a detritus trap I'm thinking since it would not be submerged.

    As far as pods go, I don't think skimmers would get all of them. Seems like if they can survive the return pump they could survive the skimmer if they made it back down into the sump.
     
  19. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I would just have one return pump, large enough to feed the DT and enough to feed a manifold. I designed my system to do just that.

    Having a back up return pump is ideal and recommend.

    I agree on having the drains dump on one side of the sump. Skimmer section taller than the others in case of a power outage. That way the skimmer sections water level stays consistent and keeps the skimmer from overflowing.
     
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  20. Susan Edwards

    Susan Edwards Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Okay, redid design. See what you all think. My hubby is good with final plumbing but not with the design needed for a tank. I'm using unions where I can so if I need to replace ball valves that stick, it's easy to remove whichever section I need. 125 tank 2a.jpg
     
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