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Hennessy

My 1st Marine (Journal)

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My first attempt at marine and Im trying to keep maintenance down so the system ain't huge. It will be a 4ft tank, 50cm wide and 65cm tall, and will be built by Dennison (@ Maryannes) as soon as his thumb heals. Stocking with heaps of cool soft and hard corals...... and not too many fish.

LED lighting is on the cards but I'm going to try some chinese made cheapies first which apparently still cover the right spectrum and create decent wattage - we'll see though. These arrive Wednesday - pics to follow.

The sump in the pic is an old 3ft tank (Freebie) which I have basically covered in silicone and added some baffles. It's my first time building a sump, or even working with Silicone on glass so its a bit messy and Im not particularly proud of it, but at least it will be hidden. I'm sure you can all provide some feedback about my sump design - and hope you do. My main 2 complaints are:

1) I should have made the chamber A (prefilter) smaller to allow more room for chamber B (Bio).

2) The floor baffle between chamber A & B is tall enough for the planned miracle mud in chamber B - but if I wanted to try a DSB filter in there instead, it wont be tall enough so Ive limited my options a bit here.

My favourite part about it is the platform there will be between chamber B & C for Chemical media. Enough room for 2 small bags of whatever and easily interchangeable.

As can be seen Ive already got an Eden 5000lph pump, although I'm not sure if this will be big enough for the planned 450l load (including sump water). There will be at least one more powerhead in the DT, more likely two. The dodgy skimmer in the pic was a freebie as well, but no matter what sort of pump I plug into it, I cant get it to function well (bubbles don't look anywhere near fine enough) - so I will probably fork out for a new one. I also bought a Hailea HC1000 for $150 the other day (!!!!), but haven't picked it up yet.

Anyway that's it for now, I will post more pics of the sump as I add egg crate and media. I may even try cycle the sump by itself first with a few tiny fish in the return chamber © - but I need to have it in position to do that which means building the stand ASAP (with help from 'Smellsfishy2me').

Stay tuned - more for my benefit of your feedback than for your entertainment.

post-3158-14711625349091_thumb.jpg

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Carnt really help I have never turned to the darkside but I would love a sps tank , good choice of pump my Eden has been great silent as my 4200 powers water through my 4 foot sa tank , also a mate and I researched the 5000 lph pumps and the Eden came out on top for power consumption / price / build quality

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all looks good so far mate, good luck with it all.

Sump looks good, i'd be proud of that for your first effort!

With the stand, I'd recommend adding some more vertical uprights as you've got all the pressure relying on the 4 stand posts at the moment so your base and top plates aren't really doing much. If you put 4 more uprights between the top plate and bottom plate you'll have a lot more rigidity. Hopefully i've explained that right, if not, send me your sketchup file and i can add in what i mean.

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Fishguy: Wow most blogs I read said 10 - 20 times turnover, lol I thought I was being fairly extreme aiming for 20x..... I was going to add 2 x 3000lph p/heads in tank but maybe I should go for 2 x 5000 at least then. I dont want my soft corals looking like they're in a hurricane though - I guess that comes down to aiming the p/heads correctly. Be interesting to see the range of opinions I get here. Anyone else with a reef tank wanna mention what their turnover is?

dditt: Thanx man.... Let me see if I understand you - I'm pretty sure your not talking about sheer vertical strength at all (coz 4 hardwood posts could carry a hummer), your simply referring to the amount of connections between the top and bottom "plate" creating rigidity between the 2 levels? Could very well be a valid point. I thought all those cross-members I added would assist here, so I might try my way first (only to save on cost and ensure maximum accessibility to the sump), and if it doesn't seem extremely rigid I will certainly take your advice. Maybe even an X brace across the back? Thanx for the tip mate.

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I don't know a great deal in regards to reefing and flow rates, but i'd say the 5000lph pump would be sufficient, flow isn't that important in the sump, its flow IN TANK that you need, so as you said, make sure the wave makers/power heads are strong enough and positioned correctly and you should be fine.

.......................

Yep that's exactly what i mean, sounds like you've got it under control. I would definitely be adding some sort of cross member, I can almost guarantee the stand will rock back and forth once you put the tank on it and give it a bit of a push.

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Looking good so far man. That sump looks good, you should see mine lol. So what size wave makers you going to with? I ended up getting 2 5000lph wave makers for my 2ft cube and I fear it might be to much lol, but I'll be doing a fresh water test tomorrow so I'll see how it gos lol.

Pick out a skimmer yet mate?

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Really appreciate all your help everyone.....

Syndicate & dditt: No ply sheeting being attached, but Im glad you mentioned that because perhaps that is why the last one I made felt strong - it was braced with a sheet of ply at the front.... infact because of my method of attaching the 3 laminate walls in this stand (just cupboard stoppers so I can remove them completely and easily), you both may well be right. And now that I see in your diagram this can be done without losing any accessibility to my sump I'll probably heed your advice. One question though - I'm presuming to add rigidity between top and bottom framing, those extra purple bits you've added would need to be firmly attached to the top and bottom framing (and not just the legs themselves)?

Skinnyman: Im definitely leaning towards 2 x 5000 p/heads - this equates to over 20x turnover in tank (not including sump return) - worried about going over as swaying is good but I dont want the soft corals constantly leaning to one side. I like the sound of those marine source skimmers but I refuse to deal with that bloke from Guppys due to more than one bad experience..... Therefore mainly due to price, I'm thinking of the Octopus Vortex 800 from reefshop?

Edited by Hennessy
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My turn over is 30X in my nano (130L)...Have done a few marine tanks in the past...all the advice I can give is patience, patience, patience......your tank will not fully mature for about 12months. Don't go cheap on the skimmer, its essential to your water quality. slowly add livestock, piece by piece, dont over do it. If you are going sps keep the calcium levels up and stable. Live rock is your best friend, put as much in your sump as possible. Good luck and enjoy the roller coaster! keep us updated with pics

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You can just screw them to the inside legs as these are only gonna have downwards pressure, I screwed mine from the inside off the stand to hide the screws, it also takes the pressure off the screws, once it's built like that you could park a car on top off it .. Some would call it over kill others like the peace of mind

Edited by Syndicate
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