LilReef's first 60g build

Discussion in 'Tank Showcase Comments' started by lilreefgirl, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Hello everyone!
    I am so new to this hobby, I have done some reading and a lot of net surfing to try and learn as much as I possibly can.
    I have wanted to own a reef tank for about 15 years, and I have decided to go for it.
    I am not rich, so I am going to work at this slowly and eventually obtain everything I need to begin my set up.
    I just dont know where to start. As soon as I walk into the "fish store", they want to sell me the most expensive models of everything!
    I am a DIY kind of girl...believe it or not! If it saves me $$ and works well, I am fine with that!
    I purchased a 60 gallon tank (on clearance for $62.00!!) just last week.
    I originally thought I would go with a canister filter, but have read so much about the sump systems, that I think that might be my best option.
    If anyone can tell me if this is the way to go, that would be greatly appreciated!
    I am going to do some second hand shopping for a sump tank for a DIY project, but what size do I need to have for a 60gal main tank?
    So many questions! I am so eager to hear what everyone has to say and what experiences you've had! :^:
    Thanks!!!
    lilreefgirl
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
    lilreefgirl, Mar 27, 2010
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  2. lilreefgirl

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    WooT!!! Welcome aboard!! We are going to save you zillions of headaches and dollars! YOu can build your own sump for cheap, don't buy one if you don't want to. Your main filter and expense will be on the live rock, but it doesn't all have to be live, some live rock will seed your whole tank, so you can use dry rock as well. Save money and don't get sucked into the "live sand". You can use dry sand and the live rock will seed that as well. As far as sump size it can be as big as you want, or care to. I think a 20 on the 60 would work nice. So to get started you need to get the water in there, salinity to 1.025, temp. at about 78, and one power head to move the water around. Purchase some live rock to get started, and you're off! You will need about 1-2 lbs. of rock for every gallon of water, so you will need about 100 lbs. in the end, but don't freak out, buy some as you go along.

    And take it slow and read, you will be so glad you found this site with all the cool peeps and good advice....
     
    SeaBee, Mar 27, 2010
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  3. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Wow, thanks so much SeaBee!!
    So my next step is to buy everything I need to build the sump.
    I watched this very interesting Youtube video from a guy who seemed to know what he was talking about! "Limpits Reef DIY Sump" [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxnugJGiT3o&feature=fvw"]YouTube - Reef Tank D.I.Y. Sump part 1[/ame]
    It looks pretty straight forward.
    I need to do a lot more reading on this to figure out all the pumps/plumbing/heaters/filter media etc that needs to go in it! (I saw some awesome refugium set ups with LS & LR - very cool!) It certainly makes a newbie's head spin!

    My local fish store appears to only have live rock. Where do I get dry rock and is it cheaper? I'm looking at about $8.00 (canadian) per lb of LR if its not on sale.

    The tank I bought does not have lights...however, I am under the impression that I dont need to purchase a lighting system until I have corals or fish, correct? I am estimating it will be a while before I will be adding livestock to my tank. I want to make sure I can handle the chemical levels and the filtration before I subject any living things to my set up.

    Keep the posts coming - I appreciate all the info you experienced reefers can offer!!
     
    lilreefgirl, Mar 27, 2010
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  4. lilreefgirl

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    A good light will set you back some, but you dont need one right away like you said. Fish only need a light so you can see them. Ask the LFS for dry rock, or to sell you a lot at a cheaper price.

    There are digrams on sumps in the diy section here at in the forums. You need to use RO water, you know that right?
     
    SeaBee, Mar 27, 2010
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  5. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    remind me again on your short forms?
    Newbie......talk slow..... :)

    RO: Reef Only? - I didnt know there was a difference in the salt mix.... I have not gotten to that point yet (chemical levels and mixing water etc)

    Do you suggest any reading materials? My "Saltwater Aquariums for DUMMIES" book only takes me so far... LOL :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
    lilreefgirl, Mar 27, 2010
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  6. lilreefgirl

    RIJohn

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Dry rock can be purchased online from various suppliers. Since it is dry rock you get away with ground shipping to save your self some money. With no harm coming of the rock.

    RO water is water that basically has been filtered through an RO system removing heavy metals and toxins etc. They are really affordable now a days and can installed into your home water system. Price wise for $140-and up us dollars.

    Before you start on your sump you should look into what you are going to put into it, such as protein skimmer, fuge section, heaters, and return pump. This way here you will know what size to make your sump sections so every thing fits.

    Also if your tank is not predrilled with an overflow you need to look into getting a hang on back (HOB) overflow box to get the water to the sump. When you pick your overflow you can check the gallons per hour (gph) rating so you can get a return pump that will work properly.

    All return pumps begin to lose there gph as they rise up into the air called head. My pump is rated at 950gph, with a 4ft head it only ends up pushing 700gph. Which works out well because thats all my overflow can handle.

    You should also look into getting test kits, for starters amonia, nitrites, and nitrates, PH. Make sure they are for Saltwater.

    Welcome to the forum

    Hope this helps
     
    RIJohn, Mar 27, 2010
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  7. lilreefgirl

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    When he says RO water he means Reverse Osmosis water, that or Distilled water. Tap water can have a ton of contaminants even if treated and is almost always a bad choice for your aquarium. You can either buy distilled water from your LFS or a grocery store but, in the end it will save you LOTS of money if you buy an RO/DI filter and make the water yourself at home.
    And, dry rock will be cheaper than live rock.
     
    BL1, Mar 27, 2010
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  8. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    OH....my head is spinning!
    I think I better do some more reading up on sumps...
    I think it is time to pack it up for the night though. More tomorrow...
    I cant thank you guys enough for all the advice!

    duh...RO - reverse osmosis, thanks BL1. Oh my, it's late.... I buy that all the time from local EcoWater store in town. Yes, I agree, could get expensive...but can't tap water be treated and work just as well?

    I will look for the dry rock locally or online, thanks!

    RIJohn, I am planning on drilling the main tank, but not there just yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
    lilreefgirl, Mar 27, 2010
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  9. lilreefgirl

    Smitty

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Hello and welcome to the site...glad to have you. :)
     
    Smitty, Mar 27, 2010
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  10. lilreefgirl

    dcantucson

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Welcome to Living Reefs!
     
    dcantucson, Mar 27, 2010
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  11. lilreefgirl

    Cathic Fish Wrangler

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Don't drill into tempered glass....
     
    Cathic, Mar 27, 2010
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  12. lilreefgirl

    tankedchemist

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    a good book to read is "The conscientious marine aquarist" which you can find old editions of on amazon for el-cheapo.

    yes, you can treat tap water to make it into RO water-- just have to buy the proper kind of filter and install it.

    welcome!
     
    tankedchemist, Mar 27, 2010
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  13. lilreefgirl

    RIJohn

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Im sorry I did not see your question on RO water and what it was. Also did not mean to overwhelm you.
     
    RIJohn, Mar 28, 2010
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  14. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    No problem RIJohn! I expect to be overwhelmed from time to time! :)
    I am doing a leak test as we speak on my 60 gallon - so far so good! I only bought it just over a week ago, and it was on clearance, so I need to make sure I didnt buy a dud!
    I am starting on my sump project first.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what kind of skimmer & pump to use?
    The local fish store suggested Marineland in-sump protein skimmer 100 ($211.99+taxes), and Supreme Mag Drive 7 water pump ($119.99+taxes) I need to figure out what I will be using so I can figure out dimensions for the sump panels. Im using a 20gal for the sump.
     
    lilreefgirl, Mar 28, 2010
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  15. lilreefgirl

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Instead of the Marineland skimmer, I'd recommend an Octopus skimmer. They are in the same price range (may even be cheaper) and are much better performers, IMO. The MagDrives are good pumps. That's what I use on my tank. That's a good choice.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 28, 2010
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  16. lilreefgirl

    VAreef

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Thats not to bad of a price on a mag 7 pump. I'm running an off brand version of that same thing on my 65. With only a 20 gal tank for a sump make sure your gonna have room for a fuge, baffles, etc, and still have room to put that skimmer and pump in the sump. Usually the pump and the skimmer go in the last compartment.
     
    VAreef, Mar 28, 2010
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  17. lilreefgirl

    motorcyclereefer I am Graffiti Petey

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Welcome aboard. And yes if you have any questions we will do our best to save you much mula.
     
    motorcyclereefer, Mar 28, 2010
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  18. lilreefgirl

    lilreefgirl

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    I think I may take the 20g (H) back and get the 20g (L). I'm now worried that I wont have enough room for equipment.

    Should I maybe go for the 30g....?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
    lilreefgirl, Mar 28, 2010
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  19. lilreefgirl

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Long would allow you more room to customize your sump. There are many different deisgns and concepts to choose from. Many of us have built our own and are happy to help. Welcome!
     
    andysgirl8800, Mar 28, 2010
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  20. lilreefgirl

    VAreef

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    Re: Newbie on board!

    Here is a quick down and dirty sump design. This is essentially what I am running. I don't have the room for a complete in sump protien skimmer in the final chamber. My skimmer hangs on the sump with only the pump inside the final chamber.
     

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    VAreef, Mar 28, 2010
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