My first 54 gallon corner saltwater tank - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 59 Old 09-22-2013, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
I've read a different suggestion on a hundred different links so I'll ask instead. Every answer seems vague. What size of a return pump should I get ? I

I will have a 54 gallon corner reef tank. With a Coralife protein skimmer in a Berlin sump system. The skimmer is a 125 gallon with a flow rate of 500 gph.
I am considering either a maxi jet 600 or two of the next step down in different locations.

What setup would you suggest? Which power heads and which return pump?

Multiple replies would be great!
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post #22 of 59 Old 09-22-2013, 07:26 PM
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Do you mean the maxi jets as your circulation pumps and a different pump as far as a return? If you are using a maxi jet as the return then I recommend a 1200 as they have the oomph you will need for the head height.

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post #23 of 59 Old 09-22-2013, 11:47 PM
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You may want a larger return pump but that may depend on a few factors. I personaly don't run too powerful of a return pump as it diminishes the dwell time of the water and the skimmer. It would be nice to know more about your overflow and return system. Do you have any elbows? Whats the diameter of the return, Is it a classic drilled in the corner overflow? Do you have multiple return lines to feed into?
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post #24 of 59 Old 09-23-2013, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
The maxi jets are for the flow in the display area.

Last edited by VerdantGrotto; 09-23-2013 at 01:29 AM.
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post #25 of 59 Old 09-23-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
According to the schematics I've drawn there will be two 90 degree elbows on the inlet. Which would be a 1" ID pipe and there will be two 90 degree elbow on the return line plus the bend at the discharge location. I have no idea what the ID is or should be for this line.

The overflow system is a drilled tank / reef ready portioned tank.

20 gallon DIY Berlin style sump

The head height will be approximately 3 to 4 feet
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post #26 of 59 Old 09-23-2013, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
In retrospect, this system isn't built yet and the equipment hasn't even been ordered. This is an attempt to acquire information from experienced fellow aquarist as to what to get and how to build this system. If anyone has any input please don't hesitate to do so. Thank you ahead of time and btw... There will be a lot of pictures
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post #27 of 59 Old 09-25-2013, 08:48 AM
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I wish I had input, but I'm a freshie just following along for the ride and to learn what I can along the way. . . and, eventually, for drooling over the promised pictures when things start to pull together - and beyond!!! Best of luck to you - this project is going to be a fun one, I think!!!
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post #28 of 59 Old 10-09-2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
20 Gallon Sump Build

After endless late nights searching the Internet for Pre-made Sumps, I decided to build my own. The cheapest I could find for a decent Sump was $200. I need two of them (Twin 54 Gallon Reef Tanks) so this was a minimum of $400 buck and that's with out Skimmers , Socks , return pump , heaters , etc... Some of the Items I will be purchasing and not skimping on but the Sump seems like an easy way to "Save" several hundred bucks. On that note, I started combing the internet for DIY videos , articles , threads and anything that would help me understand the layout of and exactly how a Sump tank works. A nice hidden gem I discovered was on the Aqueon website. When you look at the pictures of there pre-made sump tanks you get a nice 3-D image of what a typical sump looks like. I personally am going with the Berlin Style setup but I'm sure the General Idea of the following steps would apply to any setup.

Please Refrain from commenting or interjecting any posts until the DIY steps are all posted. Thanks , VerdantGrotto
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post #29 of 59 Old 10-09-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
Step 1

Obviously you'll need to acquire a tank from somewhere. Choose a tank size that's appropriate for the size of your DT (Display Tank). I'm not sure which sizes are adequate but I am going with a 20 Gallon for my 54 Corner. When these are full they should be at or slightly less than Half the capacity of the Sump tank. Meaning, If you have a 20 Gallon sump, you should have approximately 10 gallons in the sump or less. This is so if there is a power or equipment failure the overflow shouldn't cause the Sump to over fill before you can get to it and hopefully prevent a flood...

As far as acquiring the tanks there are several options :

(A) One could spend a weekend visiting Garage Sales within a 50 mile radius and maybe come across a tank setup for very cheap... Good Luck

(B) Build a tank. I personally don't have much experience with this but I'm sure there are numerous articles and videos on it. This also seems like an inexpensive way to do it if you have the ability to do so. It would add the additional time and effort to the build though.

(C) Wait for a Sale at a local fish store. Several of my local fish stores frequently have tanks on sale but they're usually the odd ones that don't sell well. They also randomly have a $1 per Gallon sale , which I believe is an effort to keep up with the cheaper PETCO/PETSMART places. Petco and Petsmart frequently have a $1 per Gallon sale on tanks and it always seems to be around some holiday... Labor Day , Thanksgiving , etc... The tanks at Petco/Petsmart are usually the generic 10G , 20G , 30G , 55G and so on... This is the option I selected. (I bought two 20 Gallon tanks, one for each of my 54G Reef tanks).

Tip: Verify that the sump will fit in the space desired. Under the cabinet , closet , etc...
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post #30 of 59 Old 10-09-2013, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
Step 2

The next step is to acquire all the tools necessary and setup an area to work.

Items I will be using:

(A) Several Dry Clean Hand Towels (I suggest washing these without using laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets)

(B) Coarse Grit Sandpaper (Sponges are Nice)

(C) Quick Grip Clamps (I prefer Irwin soft grip style)

(D) Straight Edge Ruler and Sharpie (Remove all ink prior to tank setup)

(E) Acrylic Sheets (I purchase 1' square pieces from Home Depot $5 each)

(F) Small Piece of plywood or OSB (A little bigger than 1' square)

(G) Hand-held Plunge Router (A sawhorse table will help also)

(H) Easy Peel Blue Painters masking tape (Width of tape at your discretion)

(I) Seamstress Tape and/or Tape Measure (Measure and plan everything)

(J) Nitrile Gloves (Keeps the silicone off of your fingers)

(K) Razor Blade and Alcohol lens cleaning wipes (Use caution with Razors)

(L) Aquarium Sealant (I purchased the aquarium specific stuff from Petco $8)

Note: I've heard that one could also purchase Clear silicone from a Hardware store for much less as long as it's the kind that doesn't have Mildew preventers in it. However, most of these state they aren't designed for below water levels and some even specifically state that they aren't for Aquarium Use. I'm not sure about that but I personally like the piece of mind that the stuff I'm using won't wipe out my livestock down the road. Something about losing 150$ in fish and inverts to save $5 doesn't seem like a wise decision... Which is why I went with Aquarium sealant.
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