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Old 03/14/2010, 08:33 PM   #2
Shane Hoffman
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: 45 mins from Chicago
Posts: 2,009
Originally Posted by Hightray View Post
Hello, I am new to marine aquariums and am doing my research. I have a rectangle Sea Clear acrylic aquarium that I got as a gift (35 gallon). I have been reading as much as I can. I have decided to try to keep it simple for my first foray into marine aquaria. My goal is to have two clownfish and an anenome.

I plan on getting 25lbs of base rock and use 5-10lbs of live rock to seed. I would like to run this for some time to get used to working with a basic configuration. I would like to run this for about 2-3 months before I consider more life in the tank besides perhaps a cleaning crew for the beginning.

I have been reading about sumps. With the stand that I have, I can fit a 10 gallon aquarium inside. I have a hang on the back protein skimmer that has the label AquaC on it (got this as a hand me down) with a pump.

In reading on making sumps it does not seem to be too difficult. But I have questions about preparation, equipment and construction. I plan on drilling holes in the tank to handle input and output of water.

1) Is a 10gal tank sufficient for a sump? I plan on putting the heater, skimmer, and misc materials in there to keep the display tank as clutter free as possible.

10 gallons is fine for a 35g DT, 25% of your DT is a good number to shoot for, but of course bigger is better.

2) Drilling the tank, I know that you use diamond bits for glass but I have hole bits for plastic. I am thinking to use 1" bulkheads for input and output of water. Would this bit be proper for drilling? Is 1" sufficient? I read you can use flexible piping. Is this preferable to solid PVC?

You must by a glass bit, these can be found fairly cheap on the interwebz. IMO spaflex or the clear aquarium tubing is preferred over rigid PVC. You almost always have more 90s invloved with PVC. I try at all costs to avoid 90s in my plumbing.

3) I have been reading about flow rates for gravity feed and found that a 1" pipe in ideal conditions would flow up to 960 gph. I was thinking of putting a Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Aquarium Pump 4000, it is rated at 1017 gph but I have read there is loss with height and bends. Would this be suitable? I am not savvy with pumps and do not know the reputation of this pump but it fit my budget. I was thinking of putting a valve on the outflow to control the amount of return into the display tank.

Having an overflow capable of handeling 960gph is fine but I wouldnt actually pump anywhere near that through your sump. I CTUALLY USE THAT SAME PUMP YOU MENTIONED ON MY 150 with 3 feet of head height. I would try to only flow 300 to 400 gph at most through your sump. If you need additional flow for your corals supplement with powerheads. Some people myself included try to match their sump flow volume to the amount of water their skimmer pump can handle. My skimmer pushes about 450gpm so I have my sump flow at about 400 gpm. This helps insure all the water that passes through your sump gets processed by the skimmer. you can have a valve on the outflow of your pump but why waste power, just try to match your desired flow with a pump that is exactly what you want, this will save energy and wear and tear on the pumps life

Good luck!!!!

My main concerns are around the pluming, pump, and sump size and use. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. This is a very confusing aspect for me and I want to understand to the best of my ability before beginning this venture. I am sure that I am missing something but will address any questions to the best of my ability and probably as more!

Thank you all for your help.

A wise man once said "Never play leap frog with a unicorn"

Current Tank Info: 150 gallon glass with 20 gallon sump, 175lbs of coraline covered live rock, EuroReef skimmer rated for 250gal, 25watt Aqua UV sterilizer, Fluval FX5, Hamilton 3x250watt MH, 160 watt Blue actinic....Mixed reef
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