Opinions: Can A Standard 125 Be Success Long Term As A Mixed Reef?

HappiestCamper

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We have a 125 we have been considering converting to a saltwater tank. What would be the best way to go about this and what would be the must have equipment? All opinions welcome!

We have one already from petsmart and would ideally not spend 1000+ to buy a new tank/ stand
 

Jesterrace

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Here is the problem with a tank of that size that comes from Petsmart. When they come from there they rarely are pre-drilled and with a 125 gallon on a saltwater tank you really should be running a pre-drilled tank with a sump. There are HOB Overflow Boxes but they can be a royal pain with siphon systems that regularly clog. I suppose if you knew for 100% sure the glass wasn't tempered and you were a handyperson you could drill it yourself and add an overflow partition, but as mentioned that depends on how handy you are and making 100% sure the glass isn't tempered. The best way to do a tank of that size on a budget is to go to an LFS and buy a used saltwater specific setup as you get the predrilled tank, stand, sump, etc. for significantly less and it is already basically setup and configured for reef. You just have to sanitize it with a tapwater/vinegar mix and run the equipment with it for a few days. Not sure how familiar you are with a sump setup but here is how a basic sump works on a saltwater tank:

 

stella1979

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HI again Not to be the objector... and I do completely agree that drilled is best... but lots of people are successful with overflows. Do they carry a risk? Of course, like anything else, and so does my ATO... automatic top off, a 'risky method' that is really best on any tank. I have not put research into overflows, but I've definitely seen plenty of beautiful tanks with them. So, you'd have to look into this, but just like we've installed fail-safes on the ATO (so it doesn't nuke our tank with freshwater or flood our home), perhaps there are ways of mitigating the risks of an overflow. Anyway, I'm just trying to say that with this build and pretty much anything else marine related, you should always do lots of research and seek out multiple opinions.

I really don't intend for this to be an endorsement for overflows, because it's not, nor do I have any experience with them... just, don't give up on an idea without serious consideration.

And with that said, how about I call on my favorite young reefer who was been working hard on his new big build? Oh Culprit
 

Jesterrace

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I think we need to clarify here, Stella is referring to an HOB Overflow Box (as mentioned in my post above). The additional problem is that for the cost of the tank plus the overflow box and all required equipment it's often around the same price as simply buying a pre-drilled tank and if you buy a used setup it's really a moot point as there isn't much difference in price.
 

Culprit

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An HOB overflow box is not that much. However.... I would agree that jester that drilled is best. However, HOB overflows can work great, I work on lots of reefs that use HOB overflows and they are gorgeous. There is more risk involved, but if you take precautions and check it regularly, then you can render a lot of the risks moot.

I would call your LFS, and ask how much they charge to drill a tank. My work (LFS) drills tanks for about $50, which is about the price of an HOB overflow. You will have to double check if its tempered or not, there's ways to do this using sunglasses and mabye a computer but I can't remeber. Its really easy though, just look it up.

You can use either method but I would suggest trying to get it drilled first if possible. It's preferable to drill through the bottom but, if its tempered bottom you can drill through the side.
 

grump299

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Culprit said:
An HOB overflow box is not that much. However.... I would agree that jester that drilled is best. However, HOB overflows can work great, I work on lots of reefs that use HOB overflows and they are gorgeous. There is more risk involved, but if you take precautions and check it regularly, then you can render a lot of the risks moot.

I would call your LFS, and ask how much they charge to drill a tank. My work (LFS) drills tanks for about $50, which is about the price of an HOB overflow. You will have to double check if its tempered or not, there's ways to do this using sunglasses and mabye a computer but I can't remeber. Its really easy though, just look it up.

You can use either method but I would suggest trying to get it drilled first if possible. It's preferable to drill through the bottom but, if its tempered bottom you can drill through the side.
You can use polarized sunglasses to check for tempered glass if you look at it you can see dots in the glass just make sure to do it outside on a bright sunny day
 

Culprit

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grump299 said:
You can use polarized sunglasses to check for tempered glass if you look at it you can see dots in the glass just make sure to do it outside on a bright sunny day
Bingo. That's what I was talking about.
 

grump299

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I do know that most of the time any tank over 55 gallon will be tempered on the bottom for sure.
 

Jesterrace

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It's probably for the best. It's much better to save up and do it right with the right equipment/setup rather than trying to cut corners on something you really shouldn't.
 

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