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Unread 05/26/2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Resurrection of a 46 gallon tank

So....I have lots of questions. But first the situation.

I'm setting up a 46 gallon, 36x16x20 curved front glass tank as a (hopefully) reef tank. The tank is one I've had up in the attic for a decade now, and unfortunately there are no built in overflows or holes for bulkheads. I have no idea if any of the panels are tempered glass as we bought the tank secondhand. Also, the back is painted a very nice blue, but this makes it impossible to check for tempered glass using an LCD screen. So, I'm too scared to try to drill. I intend to have a sump in the cabinet under the tank so I need a drain. That leaves a siphon overflow, but since the tank will be in a classroom I will not have quick access if something happens and the siphon looses suction.

1) Thus my first question: Is there a siphon overflow that will not loose suction if the power goes off and the level drops and then flood my tank when the power and pump come back on? Or does anybody have another suggestion?

2) Second question regards the sump. I'm thinking about using a plastic tub for the sump but I would like to have different compartments within it. Any suggestions?

Another alternative for me is to set it up as a FOWLR tank using our old system: skimmer, and biowheel-type filter with just one or two pumps for flow (worked fine for 3 years). So...

3) I have old live rock, now all dead, obviously. If I only get a few pieces of live rock, how long would it take to colonize the base rock?

Thanks for any help!

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Unread 05/26/2010, 11:17 PM   #2
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Note for question #2: I figured a second plastic tub inside the big one for the sand bed and bio-filtration, it's the baffles or bubble tower or both that are giving me fits.

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Unread 05/27/2010, 12:17 AM   #3
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Location: Rowlett, TX
Posts: 56
Are you worried about the silicone or anything after storing it for that long without water?

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Unread 05/27/2010, 04:46 AM   #4
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Posts: 1,067
I have had a HOB overflow on and off for years without any problems. Even when the power is out, my tank back drains to a very safe level. I keep the berlin sump level low and maintain the water level. as for the tank I would suggest filling it with tap water and watch it for a few days to check for leaks.

80 gallon Blue Line rimless tank, 40 gallon breeder sump, DIY ATS, SWC 160 cone skimmer, ocean revive LED.

Current Tank Info: 80 gallon blue line rimless tank
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Unread 05/27/2010, 10:11 AM   #5
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for question number two, there are alot of ideas and pictures in another thread..

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Unread 05/27/2010, 10:08 PM   #6
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Hmmm... hadn't thought about the silicone. I'll have to check it. I think I can repair it easily enough if it leaks.

I have discovered that a good source of water may be an issue. I'm currently looking into it. Due to this I think I'm going to have to do a FOWLR system, although I intend to set it up the same way I would for a reef system (sump, refugium, etc) and maybe I can convert it later. I may end up buying distilled water from walmart for a while.

Thanks, everyone. I'll see what I come up with.

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Unread 05/28/2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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The tank is vacuumed out, rinsed, filled, and NOT leaking. Hooray!

I've been looking for a plastic container to use as a sump but have been unable to find one that will fit in the stand and still have a decent volume. So I'm going to get a small glass aquarium instead. I'm still thinking, however, about using some kind of plastic container to put the skimmer in. Which raises associated questions.

1) Is it okay to have the tank drain into the same area in which the skimmer is located?

2) Is there a special kind of plastic I should use or will anything work? Most of what I was looking at in Target was Sterilite and Rubbermaid.

Thanks for the help.

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live rock, new tank, overflow, sumps

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