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Hi, i currently have tropical fish but have been always wanted to have marine aquarium and now i have my own apartment i want to start a saltwater aquarium. I have been researching what i need and have gained alot of information but i have been to a local saltwater fish shop and ask them for advice, they have told me something different to what i have read online. I have bought a 500 litre aquarium it is 5ft x 2ft x 2ft i want to have lots of fish and coral. When i bought the tank it was advised that i couldnt drill to build a sump, what is the best filteration system to use other than a sump? Also can you give me any other advice on first setting a tank up please? Thanks alot!

ajm83

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Reply #1

Hi @BeginnerSalt What's the reason for not being able to drill it?

If at all possible I would add a sump,  it's so much nicer being able to keep equipment out of the main tank, plus you can add refugiums, reactors etc.

I use an external filter and don't get me wrong - it works okay - but it's a bugger to clean.  The bigger issue for you might be the skimmer.  You can get them in the states big enough for your tank (e.g. coralife super skimmer 125), but i've never seen them for sale here. 

One other possibility for adding a sump is to use an overflow like this:

Eshopps PF-1000 Overflow Box 125-150 Gallon, Dual Intake All Water Types

It uses a clever design to prevent the syphon breaking if the power goes out.  Cheap ones don't always have this capability and hence can cause floods, beware!!
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2017 1:00:09 am by ajm83

Gav

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Reply #2

A Deltec MCE 600 skimmer would be big enough for it but you do need clearance above to adjust the collection cup . For that size of tank I'd really be more inclined to go for a sump . I wouldn't have normally thought a tank of that size would be toughened glass , it normally used to be smaller tanks or ones with curved fronts etc sometimes some bigger bases were also toughened .
I looked into a lot of the Syphon options for my own conversion but wasn't convinced , I ended up drilling the back of the tank .

BeginnerSalt

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Reply #3

Ok, so i have spoken to the people who sold me the tank they said they would recommend a external filter but if i want i can use a sump, which is different to what they said when first bought it.
If i was to use a sump what is the size i would need and can you build your own, i am trying to do this as cheaply as possible.
Also is a protein skimmer a must when having a saltwater tank?

ajm83

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Reply #4

There are a million ways to skin this cat but personally i think on that size of tank it's a must really because otherwise you'll have to do large water changes to remove organic waste from the water. A problem with large water changes is that it can make parameters fluctuate too much, plus you'll get through a lot of salt and it ain't cheap either!!

Skimmers have another benefit apart from removing waste and that is oxygenating the water.

If I had to skimp on equipment, id rather forgo the external than the skimmer.

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BeginnerSalt

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Reply #5

Ok, so you have convinced me! I am going to use a sump system, instead of drilling the tank i am going to use a hob overflow box and work from there! Would you be able to tell me how big sump i would need and everything else i would need please?! Thanks a lot

ajm83

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Reply #6

Ok, so you have convinced me! I am going to use a sump system, instead of drilling the tank i am going to use a hob overflow box and work from there! Would you be able to tell me how big sump i would need and everything else i would need please?! Thanks a lot
Look into getting the tank drilled first, it's a lot safer option than the overflows!

AFAIK the lifereef and eshopps pf series are very reliable if set up right, but (nothing personal) there's always a good chance of cocking things up in this hobby and the last thing you want is to come back to a flood after you've been on holiday...

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Mike

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Reply #7

Welcome @BeginnerSalt What end of Manchester?

Who said you couldn't drill it? I guess they mean it's tempered then. The base might be tempered, but the back might not be, could still be a possibility of drilling. Who made the tank, do you know?
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BeginnerSalt

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Reply #8

Hi @Mike, am in salford. I bought the tank off a company who sell various different tanks but it didnt say who made it. I think i am going to use a hob overflow box which leads to a refugium sump. Do you think this would be ok to use?

Mike

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Reply #9

Yeah, not ideal, but if drilling the tank is a no go, then an overflow box will work. Make sure the one you get has self start abilities. Some have a tube that goes to the return pump with a venturi, so if the pump stops, the siphon breaks, but when the pump starts again it draws out the air from the top of the overflow box and starts the siphon again.
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BeginnerSalt

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Reply #10

Yeah thats the type i'm going to get to make sure my apartment doesnt flood haha! Do you know any diy ways to make a protein skimmer or any cheap but good protein skimmers? Thanks

Paddone

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Reply #11

I'm new to reefing and bought an aquaone bundle which came with an aquaone protein skimmer. It is working well for me on my 120L tank.

I saw this DIY option when looking for a diy reactor. I haven't tried it but might be worth a go if you are on a really tight budget.



I'm not sure it is advisable though as the protein skimmer is viewed by most as the primary tool for nutrient (waste) export out of the tank which reduces the reliance on frequent large water changes.

ajm83

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Reply #12

If you're using an overflow box, I'd really suggest getting the type I recommended earlier, lifereef or eshopps pf series.  The type with the pump are a liability imho because if that pump line gets blocked with algae or the pump fails to restart or the line gets kinked it will fail to start/keep the syphon going.

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ajm83

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Reply #13

Here's an explanation http://www.lifereef.com/siphon.html

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BeginnerSalt

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Reply #14

@ajm83 i am going to use the one you sent the link for in your first reply, the lifereef one is way to expensive with delivery and everything included.

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