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Old 11/06/2007, 07:40 PM   #1
Schwe
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Question Taking the Plunge

I have been reading, researching, raising and dashing my hopes of starting a reef aquarium for a few years now. I think I'm ready, have enough knowledge to make the plunge, then chicken out. I currently have a 20 gallon freshwater aquarium that has been up for a few years, but it is just a baby easy tank.

An opportunity has been presented to acquire a 90 gallon aquarium at a real bargain. This will be my first large aquarium, let alone a SW. Is this too large of a tank to start off with? The original owner gave it to their friend, who used it for 2 months for tree frogs.

Wait! Don't yell. That is another question of mine. Does this disqualify the tank from being used for fish, even if they were only there for 2 months? Would I have to replace all the silicone seals in the tank?

I am interested in many future DIY projects... I guess I inherited my father's knack for handy(wo)man skills. I would like to put an overflow into the corner where it is drilled. I have enough income to (hopefully) support this hobby. I would like to start off slow... Seeding Aragonite and base rock with a few pieces of LR and LS, and starting out with fish only... then as things progress add easy corals.

I live in an apartment, on the 2nd floor above our garages. It's kind of like a townhouse setup. The location I have surveyed for the tank is above two steel support beams.

I've been trying to scout out a place for a RO/DI unit, but have no idea where I would hook it up, and the whole process still mystifies me a bit. (not the premise of superfine filtration, the whole hooking it up and collecting the water bit)

I guess I'm just looking for some advice and direction. Any personal experience to share with a young grasshopper? Please don't divert me to the search function. I've tried. It doesn't like me or most of my questions. It is either overloaded or tells me there's something wrong with the search criteria (ie: I want to look up 90 gallon tanks, and the "90" is too short of an entry).

Thanks in advance.

ps: I am located in upstate NY.


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Old 11/06/2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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Here are pictures of the tank:















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Old 11/06/2007, 08:06 PM   #3
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Dont know about the frogs, should be ok IMO. unless they were one of the poison varity. I would think any left over frog waste would only cause a cycle and you will have that any way.
The tank looks good as for the silicone, looked ok as well.


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Old 11/06/2007, 09:17 PM   #4
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I'm certainly no expert, but installing an RO/DI is no big deal.

You can put it anywhere you have space and a sink. You don't even need to permenantly mount it if space is an issue, just drag it out when needed.

If you have a laundry room that might be a good spot. I connected mine to the cold water supply of the washing machine with a Y adaptor. The waste water line either gets put into the washing machine or the laundry tub depending on wether we are doing laundry that day and can use some "free" water or not.

You can also buy a vampire tap (for supply-easy to install) and mount the unit under your kitchen sink. Waste line can just be stuffed down the sink drain when in use and hidden other times.

Can be really easy...

BTW an auto shut off is a good investment, but you'll figure that out on your own

Cheers,

Owen


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Old 11/07/2007, 07:45 AM   #5
Schwe
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Thank you Owen and meco65 for your replies.

Is anyone else willing to contribute their wisdom? I'd really love to hear any and all of it.

Thanks.


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[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
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Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/07/2007, 09:59 AM   #6
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i would use bleach and clean this tank inside and out, throughly rinse the tank when clean, and then let dry in the sun or just let it dry on its own......then rinse it agani before using....the bleach should kill anything leftover form the frogs


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Old 11/07/2007, 11:22 AM   #7
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agreed, and after you let the tank dry from the bleaching add in some dechlorinator to the rinse water just to get rid of all the chlorine. I use the same stuff that freshwater people use for treating their water.


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Old 11/07/2007, 11:57 AM   #8
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I second the bleach wash and rinse with dechlorinator. As for the setup, it looks good. What kind of filtration did it come with, if any?


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Old 11/07/2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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You also might want to get a couple pieces of glass to make an overflow tower over that drain. Silicone a lil gutter guard to the top so things dont get sucked in. GE Silicone 1 for windows and doors (clear), or all glass silicone for aquariums if u wana spend a lil more. They are exactly the same thing. Also Ro/di is easy. You can even get a faucet adapter to go on your sink, although I think the cold water line to your washer is the best place. Thats where I have mine. Just get a good quality unit, not a cheap ebay one. Any of the sponsors that specialize in ro/di have great units, and if you give them a call or an email they will guide you to exactly what you need.


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Old 11/07/2007, 01:06 PM   #10
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Oh and IMO, a 90g is a great size for a first reef! Large enough to keep a small tang, and definitely large enough to allow some room for error. While your at the glass shop, might as well get some baffles cut, and make your own sump out of a 20 long or something similar.


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Old 11/07/2007, 02:36 PM   #11
Schwe
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thank you everyone for your input.

Scuba_Steve,
Would it be OK to use acryclic/plexi to make the overflow, or is glass a better option? How about for the sump/fuge baffles? Is it possible to fit a sump and fuge into a 20 gallon under the 90?

The cold water tap for my washer is a perfect spot, thank you!

Would it be advised to also set up a closed loop, or would a few powerheads suffice for flow? Man, that's another worry... how do I manage to balance out flow to prevent flooding our apt.? What about power outages, is there a way to setup an emergency switch / system to prevent floods during power outage? eek!

Again, thank you everyone for your help. I think that blanket of panic/impending doom is starting to subside.


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[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/07/2007, 09:52 PM   #12
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Ok, yes acrylic is possible, but much harder and not recommended. The reason is it doesnt bond well to silicone and glass. Now if your aquarium was acrylic then you would have much better options with it. I would stick with glass, especially for the overflow tower.
20g under a 90, more than enough room. Like i said, I would go 20l, not high. A 38 would be even better, but harder to find. Basically anything that can fit your stand, and hopefully leave room for other equipment.
Ok closed loop...... Do you have another drain? If not you can plumb one over the back. Look on melevsreef.com, and look at his 29g reef for a great example, and plans. You dont have to worry about balancing anything with them, they are sucking up, and spitting out the exact same amount of water. Even if the power goes out there is no where for the water to go.
While your at the plumbing dept, might as well look up plans for a durso standpipe first. Youll need one for your overflow unless u want it to sound like a toilet......
Powerheads would also work, especially if your not going reef right away. Streams such as tunzes and maximods would give you plenty of flow even for an sps reef.
Ok floods, if your power goes out your return line will back siphon and overflow your sump. This can be prevented by doing 2 things. First drill anti syphon holes in your return line to allow air to enter shortly after the water drops. Second, ensure that your sump can hold whatever water does drain back. So in other words a bigger sump is better, and never run it filled close to the top. The only way to find out how much it will drain is to test it.


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Old 11/07/2007, 10:07 PM   #13
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Time to get your feet wet
Good luck


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Old 11/08/2007, 07:49 AM   #14
Schwe
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Steve,

Thank you once again!! So as long as I leave enough "head room" for whatever water drains from the overflow tower, I should be safe in the flood dept., correct (Barring unforeseen blockages and fishy escapists a la nemo)?

And glass it is! Time to make some phone calls.


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/10/2007, 10:17 AM   #15
Schwe
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I finally got some new pictures from the seller of the tank, after a water test. Looks like it is indeed drilled for a return, which is awesome. One of the pictures shows a scratch, but I believe that it is inconsequential. Also, corraline algae should cover the scratches in the paint. For $150 for the setup, I shouldn't complain.

Oh, and someone asked about filters, etc. None are included. He sold all of the equipment when he got the tank from his buddy because he used it for those silly frogs.








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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
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[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/18/2007, 06:03 PM   #16
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Picked up the tank, repainted the back, cleaned it with diluted bleach, and replaced the bulkheads:



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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
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[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/18/2007, 06:04 PM   #17
Schwe
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I am trying to find a 20L to make a sump.. what is the recommended glass thickness for baffles and/or the overflow??


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 11/19/2007, 05:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Schwe
I am trying to find a 20L to make a sump.. what is the recommended glass thickness for baffles and/or the overflow??
1/4 in glass


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Old 11/19/2007, 08:12 AM   #19
Schwe
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Thank you, jefnalyssa!


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 01/01/2008, 03:10 PM   #20
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I haven't updated my progress in a while, so here it is!

Refinished the stand and canopy:






I also went to a local glass shop and got some glass cut, DIY'd an overflow.


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 01/01/2008, 03:15 PM   #21
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I purchased a quiet1 3000 on the selling section here at RC from bookpile. EXCELLENT transaction, the pump was packaged better than the manufacturer would have. The ER skimmer was purchased new on ebay, and much to my chagrin, I had to buy a brand new 20L from the local store because I couldn't find on used.



I also bought 55lbs. of LR from a local getting out of the hobby that I "cycled" for a few weeks in the spare bedroom. It really didn't cycle and it looks like I didn't have any die-off in transit. I also got my first marine inhabitant, an astrea that hitchhiked!
The rock looks to have some good color on it



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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 01/01/2008, 03:49 PM   #22
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Looking good.
Are you going to do a sandbed or BB?


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Old 01/01/2008, 04:25 PM   #23
Schwe
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still catching up...

S-L-O-W-L-Y filling with RO/DI...


I used 80lbs. of CaribSea Aragonite "seaflor sepcial" and 80 lbs. of superfine Ocean Direct "live sand" to create a deep sand bed.

Water started in the tank Dec. 9th 2007. By Dec. 16th I started to spot bristleworms in the sandbed and rocks!

I never really had much of a cycle. Nitrates spiked to 15 at most, Nitrites remain zero. Nitrites are at zero now.

The current tank inhabitants are
-10 Nassarius snails
-1 Astrea snail
-2 blue/green chromis
-2 Ocellaris clowns

I know, the clowns were perhaps added to soon. The boyfriend was crying about staring at rocks, snails that look like rocks and worms so I let him pick out a fish. Everyone is doing well, eating like pigs.

The chromis are so shameless! I can't get the mysis shrimp in the tank and they're already swarming the water. They've tried to eat my fingers on several occasions.

I purchased formula 2 pellets, New Life Spectrum pellets, and the fish just bite them and spit them out. Snails high-tail it to the overlooked pellet food, but I don't want excess "pollution" in the tank if I could avoid it!

Does anyone have input on this, experience, advice?


I would post pictures, but my computer doesn't want to work with my camera lately and I can't.


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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Old 01/01/2008, 06:22 PM   #24
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G'day Schwe,

I just linked to your thread from nanogurl's. Looks like your well under way well done. I answered a question on feeding in the other thread, so you'll see it over there and provided you a link to a great site.
This site will show you how to build the closed loop your were enquiring about as well.

Your DSB, how deep is it? 4 inches should be your minimum. I have a DSB in my tank and love it. Great for keeping Nitrates in check.

As for the pellet's, I'm getting away from feeding processed foods, as they will easily pollute your tank. Ok in small amounts, but making your own is better. As I said earlier, I put a link to a site to show you how to make your own food, on Ng's thread.

Good luck and enjoy.

Cheers

Chris


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Old 01/01/2008, 07:54 PM   #25
Schwe
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Chris,
Thank you!

My DSB is about 5" deep, maybe a little bit more.


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"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
-John Powell

[i]Because the archenemy of "Good Enough" is "Better."
Patrick12 of Okinawa, Japan[/i]

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon- 20G Sump, DSB, 50x turnover, Icecap T5 Retrofit
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