Lost Of Questions. 1st Saltwater Build

Rcslade124

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Ok my gf is obsessed with saltwater. So we are thinking about building a tank. I will be reading up alot and alot more to understand how everything works.
1) it will be either a 55g or 75g. Fowlr I know it's small for some saltwater fish but it's a start. Now do corals add to bio load? We would def be more into fish than corals but would like some corals over time.
2) I was thinking about using 2 tidal 55 or 110 hob as filtration. Is this possible to avoid a sump. The more I read idk if it would be sensible. I have thought about making 2 20l sumps for underneath the display. Both for 20g more water and to help if there is any power outages. Could you have the hob in the skimmer section of the baffles? Or would it just make more sense to but 2 skimmers in the sumps? Would 2 dumps be over kill or is it like fw and more filtration the better?
3) rodi water is it a must or can you dechlorinate tap and mix the salt in the sumps.
I know I'll have lots more to ask over time. But just trying to cover the basics of equipment needed. So I can give her an idea of what we will need. I want to wait until we can get a 200g and have a one and done tank but shes impatient watching me get 3 fw tanks. And salt is so pretty I agree.
 

Jesterrace

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In that size range a 75 gallon would be best as it gives you more stocking options for fish. A 55 is too skinny for many. As for the HOB vs Sump? HOB can be done but in that size range a sump is really best for the long run and rather than running 2 20 gallons it would be best to just do a single 40 breeder for a sump. One of the things to keep in mind is that the additional water displacement and flow of a sump cannot be matched by other filtration methods. You can do an HOB Skimmer (ie Eshoppes or Reef Octopus) but in sump skimmers are far more efficient. As for tap vs RODI, IMHO it's simply not worth the risk to do tap. You have a significant investment in a marine tank and an RODI system runs as little as $60. Keep in mind that the salt you add (ie Instant Ocean, Red Sea) already has everything your tank needs for minerals, so when you use tapwater you are adding minerals on top of minerals and whatever random variables and solids your tap has and that more often than not creates the perfect storm for out of control algae growth and in worst case scenarios can have things that are deadly to marine life. RODI puts you in control of your water source.
 

Rcslade124

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Ok that's was my thoughts between sump and hob. I thought 2 20l would be good so I could have half the tank draining to each one theoretically. Then I could use refugiums a little different made one and alge and one some sort of cleaner invert. I have her reading up on some info so she understands how and what this will take to setup. She wants a bare minimum setup and build as we go I'm all about go big or go home lol. I wanted to wait for a 200g so we could do one and done. But dont see that happening
 

Jesterrace

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200 gallon salty would be a bit daunting for a first timer just because of the sheer size and the amount of time spent on maintenance. Larger tanks can go longer without maintenance but when you do have to do it it is VERY time consuming. You could do the setup you are talking about with 2 20 gallon sumps but it would add quite a bit of expense as you would need to do dual overflows (which you generally is difficult to find on a 75 gallon) and would require twice as much equipment (ie return pumps, protein skimmers). A single 40 breeder sump would be much more practical to setup and there is plenty of space for a refugium.
 

Rcslade124

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Yes I have read about this all day. Funny that I think I am more interested in the sump than the actual aquarium right now. The idea of a mini reef under the tank is amazingly exciting. I have read and watched atleast 20 different things on sumps. We were thinking about hob but I want a low maintenance tank to get the feel for things. So I'm just reaching out for info from people on what a successful beginner tank will take. So I have narrowed some of this down. What is a pump rate you would want from sump. And for intake is it an overflow box that connects to the sump or do you run the lines straistr to the sump?
 

Jesterrace

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The Jebao DC series return pumps are good bang for buck models. I run the DCT-8000T model on my 90 gallon (same as a standard 75 gallon just 3 inches taller) with a 29 gallon sump. Now for the tank itself, it's best to go with a pre-drilled reef ready setup as it will save you hassle in the long run. Overflow boxes are prone to having the siphons clog and they will overflow when you don't want and not overflow when you do want. A drilled tank eliminates this issue and of course no separate overflow box to purchase. You could get a regular tank and drill it yourself and install an overflow partition but you would want to make absolutely sure the tank doesn't have tempered glass (which many of the mass manufactured tanks in that size range are) or you will have a shattered tank.

Here is a link to the Jebao DC pumps:

 

Jesterrace

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Incidentally here is how mine is setup if you want a better understanding of how it all interconnects:
 

Rcslade124

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Yes I have read that alot of tanks are tempered glass would be checking that out before purchasing. I'm not afraid to drill ut myself. Kinda think it makes things a little more personal. I'm gaining alot of understanding about sumps and their use. I will definitely be adding one. I like the idea of a refugium inside of the sump. Added filtration and breeding ground for food and micro organisms and food. Thanks for the pump suggestion. I will def keep that on the list. For a skimmer. How many gallons per hour should you aim for? Does it need to match the return pump? Atleast by my knowledge if I'm returning x and the skimmer cannot keep up I will overflow in the display or just not get the proper skimming done?
 

Jesterrace

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For the skimmer it's less specific. Generally you go with what is rated for your size of tank. Reef Octopus, Bubble Magus and Nyos are all excellent choices for in sump skimmers.
 




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