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Hey guys as its of you know I'm a diehard African man but recent time and financial heddles has for Ed my hand and have had so sell some impresive breeding rake so m going to go to one tank instead of 20

I have decided to try my hand at a reef tank and have chosen a aqua one 400 with weir and sump

I've never had salt or had anything to do with it so its going to be a learning curve that I'm looking forward to as I can devote my time to this one project with the wife as a posed to breeding haps

This is going to start off basic with a good bace of live rock that I will build on slowly over the next few months till everything stabilizes than add a small amount of a animists and a few small clown

Than once I get the hang of keeping the salinity and water quality right build on

Is there any trick hints or pointers that I need to know

As I am starting from scratch

Live rock will be added in bounces of 5 kg at a Time in one to 2 week periods

Starting at 5 kg

I have some corral pieces dead that I will start with also as it at least is something to look at

Have aprox 30 go of corral rubble in the sump with a wet dry bio wall chamber and skimmer will this doo for a 400l tank or should I be going a different way also going to pop 500ml of purigen in the sump to polish the water also and am running a 30 mm base of corral sand

Going to collect water from the sea to start off as it will be cheaper than buying $150 worth of salt

This is what I've got at the moment



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And chance of pictures of how you have setup the sump?

$150 for 400L ???

Dude where are you buying your salt from!

Are you going to get a better skimmer?

Because thats my first suggestion.

These are not a bad tank to start with,

quite nice looking

but I am expecting to see you slowly mod the heck out of the equipment side of it :D

Welcome to the salt side of the hobby!

You are gonna love it.

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Hey Donny yeh mate

The weir drops through the sponge at the back than comes up through the corral bed than drops onto a drip tray through the bio all than back to the tank

Yeh mate just looking to have a nice display in side and thought what the heck y not if it dose not work out ill try again if fail twice ill convert to a Malawi display again but I have a good feeling about this I hope haha

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No doubt ill tinker fine tune to what I need with this tank but that's halogen the fun ill end up adding a chiller but just won't to feel it out first and get an idea of what the hell to do haga


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First chance you get, i reccomend getting rid of the bioballs and putting something better in.

This is easier to do at the start rather than once tank is heavily stocked.

It aint essential, as you have a vast amount of coral bones in there......... but it will improve your surface area available for microbe colonisation even more

and thats a good thing!

As you say, absolute worst case scenario

it will make a very nice african display!

bloody hell I hate that skimmer

just seeing it in the pictures makes me angry.

see how you go with it

after a few hours I lost my temper with it

and I am no stranger to fiddly skimmers

part of the problem I think is its placement in the sump

the rest is likely the fact the designer thought he was making an "ehanced interrogation" device, rather than a foam fractioner!

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Nice looking stand, tank and hood mate.

Bio balls pretty much only carry out the nitrogen cycle to nitrate in the way that you have them!

That’s all that’s wrong with them more or less.

Your live rock is supposed to do most of that, not the bio balls, so they will be basically a waste of space!

Pretty much anything calcium based will be far better in your sump.

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Cool was wondering if I pull them than replace with sand or cc as a bed aprox 50-70 mm deep than block off the partition with foam so none spill into the pump chamber ? How dose that sound that way I can grow some algae and have some rock and use it as a recovery chamber if a fish gets picked on ????? What u guys think of that

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Well I modified tha sump this morning I removed the baffle next to the bio balls and drilled 4 holes in it 200mm above the base of the tank going to run a sand bed

I have 60 mm deep bed in there now and this will allow me to have 140 mm of water height in there to use as a corral grow or a hospital section if somthing get picked on

Going to grow some plant in there to help out also

Dose this look better guys ? post-2812-14711629186438_thumb.jpg


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Very nice, just set up a floor under your bed with egg crate with a 30 to 4o mill gap under it with mesh like mozi netting on top to stop the grit from getting through.

This will create a bio sink that will remain clean, prevent hydrogen sulphide producing obligate anaerobes from getting set up and convert metals that come in the food and anything else that was a live.

Make sure the water from your aquarium water is refiltered a great deal to stop anything from reaching that bed, or it’s potential for nitrate reduction will be compromised after a while.

Also the coral chunks internal nitrate reduction will suffer the same affects.

Clean your pre filters every day!

Add more to that bed to make it 5 or so inches deep, put in place a glass a barrier to project the water to the top of the bed then apply a heap of the same rubble you have in the other compartments on top of the bed to the top of that glass wall and that will help no end as well.

Don’t forget the pre filtering, it will enable your sump to keep getting stronger and not get weaker like others that let them get dirty and have to put up with that.

Looking good!

Edited by liquidg
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Prefiltering will be important, you dont want that much coral rubble building up with mulm debris, as that will slow the flowrate through it.

block off the partition with foam so none spill into the pump chamber

Yea you dont want little bits of coral making it to the pump, as worst case, if they get into impellor well they can do damage to the impellor. SO either the foam or a layer of more coarse coral over it.

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Ok so less corral rubble in the first chamber and I'm going to run a filter sock on the end of the drain as well

Also I'm going to put 5 kg of live rock in next weekend will this be ok than add another 5 every weekend till I've scaled to what I won't

Than leave as is for a few weeks till everything cycles and struts to test correct levels

Will be looking to put 2 fish in at this stage and every one to two weeks add a small coral dose this sound right or should I space things out a bit longer between adjustments ??

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Don’t remove any of what will be your biological media.

Try to imagine a length of storm water pipe a little higher then your sump wall with the base sealed that is of a slightly larger internal diameter then the filter sock.

Cut a hole in it 50 mill down from the top and put in an over flow pipe to the first chamber of you sump having a small part of it protruding into the pipe as well.

Glue on a small piece of pipe onto the other side of the pipe to the over flow, sit the filter sock on those two and you have a pre filter chamber that works very well.

The water goes from your aquarium into the filter sock that its rim is above the exit, the water goes through its mesh and out of the exit and is pre filtered and it is very easy to take out and clean.

Each time you go to clean it, turn off return pump and wait till there is no flow through the over flow pipe, then clean the sock by reversing the sock in side out and use the garden hose spray and your sump will always be protected, it is so very functional and simple to make.

That is sort of my settling chamber design! Ask if you want to know more, it is more complex then that if you want to bother,

I make my own socks though, that’s easy as well.

Edited by liquidg
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Tanks coming along nicely. There are some good external skimmers on the market if that ones not up to scratch. Your gonna have a bit of ammonia from the die off on the lr so I wouldn't worry about fish yet personally.

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Ok well I'm going to changbthe sump layout

I'm going to take coral out and put a filtersock and skimmer in the first section with some fine sponge between the baffles to stop the micro bikes from entering the next chamber

Than was thinking about adding a 30-40 mm bed of mirical mud to the middle chamber instead of the live sand what's peoes thoughts on this as I have read and been told that a deep sand bed should be around 80-100 mm deep otherwise it's unless

Will still like to grow weed over the mud to help out

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Well troupe I've gone through my first cycle had my spikes and have added a second lot of live rock

Now up to 17 kg and going to go through a nother mini cycle hoping to add another 15 kg on the weekend depending on the test results but we will see

In the last batch I had some sto always

A bright red crab the size of a pin head that looks to be doing well and 2 starfish that have not done so well through the amonia spike but you get that

There are a lot of critters fanning the water from the rocks and tubes protruding so looks to be starting to create a little habitat in my tank

Will do a before and after shot when I add the next lot of rock

Had a small amount of die off with the last batch but not to much so very happy

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Ok well added the last oh the rock today

Looking good I think lots of holes between the rock for flow and have built the structure off the back glass to help with flow also

Have a heap of hitch hikers

2 types of stars shrimp worms four crabs of what species not sure but one as a bunch of weed on his head

Whatsoever u guys think post-2812-14711629301309_thumb.jpg

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Sounds like the pot head is a decorator crab.

Must admit I like those guys a lot........ but in general I am not a fan of most crabs in marine tanks.

They tend to be destructive and have expensive tastes!

I'd consider having those 3 more recent bits of coral that you have placed high......... placed.......... well lower.

They look good like that yes...... and if this was 1980 I would say keep it that way.

but its hard to place corals onto them........ and long term you will want to place real corals I imagine.

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