Tank swap

Discussion in 'Middle Tennessee Reef Club' started by jaxteller007, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    Posted this in the general discussion forum but thought i would post here as well.
    Ok so we currently have a 75 FOWLR, non reef ready. Livestock consists of 1 sailfin tang, 1 firefish, 3 blue or green chromis, 2 clowns, 1 bicolor blenny, and a paired watchman goby and pistol shrimp (at least they were paired, haven't seen the pistol in a couple days). I know, I know probably not the best combination (especially the tang) for newbies but we trusted our LFS and learned a hard lesson. We also have various snails, hermits and a couple emerald crabs.
    However we received a free 75 reef ready tank. Original plan was to find a stand for it, and sort of swap, turn the existing tank into kind of a predator tank or something. We want to get coral eventually and know a reef ready tank is probably the better option. However we've decided to take a long time before setting up a 2nd tank so we want to just swap everyone over to the reef ready tank.

    I thought about a plan going something like this. Empty out our 10G backup/emergency tank and put some sand, live rock and water from the current set up in there. Take all the live stock and put them in there. Drain existing tank water into storage (buckets, new trash can, whatever), throw the power heads on there and a heater if needed. Move enough sand and live rock out of that tank and into the reef ready one to be able to life the existing tank off the stand without dropping the bottom out, at same time, not making new tank too heavy to lift. Put reef ready tank on stand, put the rest of live rock and sand in it from existing tank. Add some water to keep it wet and plumb our sump into to the new tank. Then put the water back in and move the livestock into the new tank (after testing to make sure the sump is plumbed correctly, etc).

    Is this a horrible idea? Should I go grab like a cheap 20 gallon tank from somewhere instead of trying to get everyone into this 10 gallon? We are trying to get the swap does quickly but can't dump a ton of money into paying someone to do it or anything like that.

    That also brings up, I did ok plumbing my sump (icecap 24 with one intake) to my HOB overflow box and the return but not a great job. I also didn't have any kind of check valve installed or manifolds and I understand that I probably want those installed (already have a check valve). Does anyone have any kind of layout drawings or something that would give me an idea of how to put it together?

    Of course if anyone is a sump plumbing expert and wants to help do it I'd gladly provide pizza and beer haha.
     
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  2. jonneyb

    jonneyb Active Member MTRCMember

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    Where are you located and when do you plan on the making the move? I will be doing something similar in the future and have the basics of the plumbing required.
     
  3. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    Antioch right on the LaVergne line. And looking to do it as quick as we can honestly. The faster we do it, the more stable the tank will be. I know basic plumbing but trying to draw up what I need when it comes to installing a check valve and manifolds (what do those even do?) is different. And that's why I'm worried about having the livestock in that 10 gallon tank while the swap is done. Cause if I screw up the plumbing and have to redo it, that's not big enough for them to be in very long.
     
  4. Tennsquire

    Tennsquire Active Member MTRCMember

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    Not sure I'd put any tang in a 10 gallon for any length of time....
     
  5. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    Someone else recommended getting a rubbermaid tub and putting extra powerheads and heaters in there.

    Still need to see a layout of how to plumb this with a check valve.
     
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  6. jonneyb

    jonneyb Active Member MTRCMember

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    A rubbermaid tub would be good that is what I may use when the time comes. A check valve is connected between your return pump and where it enters the DT so water will not back siphon into the sump, I don't use one and I always here that they will fail if not kept clean, I just make sure you have enough room in the sump for back flow when you turn off the pump. A manifold is a series of PVC fittings with outlets to run other equipment using just your return pump instead of individual pumps. I'm over by priest lake so probably less than 10 mi. I'm free this weekend if you'd like me to see what you've got a maybe work out a parts list.
     
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  7. MikeyTN

    MikeyTN Active Member MTRCMember

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    I would move everything over in one swoop. I moved everything from a temporary 29g into the 65 red sea reefer in one day. Bought live sand and used existing live rock into the new tank. I didn't save any water as I did all new water and heated up the tank to match the temperature and moved everyone right in.
     
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  8. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    We are having folks over for college football Saturday starting around 2:30 so if you wanted to swing by in the morning or sometime on sunday that would work.
     
  9. JOKER

    JOKER Valuable Member R2R Supporter MTRCMember Build Thread Contributor

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    I would also recommend just moving everything over as fast as possible. make sure temperature is the same, and done. I would also advise not to use check valves unless they are reversed in the return line to the tank to reduce siphon. I have moved everything over to a reef ready tank with water level below the overflow before I plumbed the tank, and just maintained the water level manually. Hope that helps.
     
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  10. Bugsy_Barboza

    Bugsy_Barboza Active Member

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    If you get rid of the old non reef ready 75. Please let me know!
     
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  11. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    So I'm think I'm ready to start prepping for this but one or two more questions I need to ask. On an internal overflow setup where the hole is at the bottom of the tank, I'm guessing I do not just stick a bulkhead in there and let it go lol. So I need to have a drain pipe in there right? How high up in the overflow do I build it and what would it look like? Like do you add a curve or try and put a "muffler" or anything on it? And is flex pipe or regular PVC better for the plumbing going into/out of the sump?
     
  12. Bugsy_Barboza

    Bugsy_Barboza Active Member

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    Flex for going out it will absorb the sound, hard for going into sump. You want the pipe up higher in the over flow because you don’t want to hear the water falling, also if you have to drains make one taller than the other Incase the lower one clogs.
     
  13. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    Only has one drain and I want to refrain from having any more holes drilled in.
     
  14. jaxteller007

    jaxteller007 Active Member MTRCMember

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    So after talking it over with the significant other, I think we are going to go with a Herbie design. She's ok with the return line staying where it is (on the outside of the tank) if a Herbie system will be safer, more stable and quieter.

    Now to find a good description of how high each drain is, parts needed, etc and start building lol.
     
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