Places to buy acrylic and suggestions on protein skimmers
I am thinking about starting a 75 gallon FOWLR tank with a 30 gallon custom build sump. I want to use a 30 gallon tank and custom fit it with pieces of acrylic to make the chambers. I done some research on the design and I would have a chamber for the water from the overflow to enter the sump followed by a section for the skimmer, followed by a refugium (4-5 inches sand and some macro algae), a bubble trap, and then the return pump. I was wondering where the best place to buy the acrylic sheets to custom fit the sump would be. Does anyone know an online retailer that has reasonable prices on acrylic sheets?
Also, I am looking for a skimmer that would be good to fit into my system and sump. I am having a hard time weeding through all the options on the net and thought someone would have some suggestions. The budget for the build is somewhere between 1,000-1,500. I will be taking my time but I want to get all the equipment together piece by piece before I start setting things up or making final choices on stocking.
Thanks in advance for the help,
In terms of recommending a skimmer, what is your goal with the tank? What sort of livestock? Do you have experience in the marine side of the hobby already?
Personally I think you would be better off using glass. Your local hardware store should have it and be able to cut it for you. If your going to be making the sump from a glass aquarium then this is what I would do. Acrylic and silicone doesnt adhere the best. Price wise I believe it would be cheaper as well.
The possible stocking list I have so far is:
3 to 5 Yellowtail Damselfish (Chrysiptera Parasema)
1 Flame Angelfish (Centopyge loricula)
1 Midas Blenny (Ecsenius midas)
1 Foxface Rabbitfish (Zebrasoa flavescens)
This is just an idea and is subject to change if there are compatibility issues. I plan to keep the system FOWLR for the foreseeable future. I do not plan on keeping any corals etc in the tank. I want to use the live rock and refugium as the main filtration. I have not kept salt water fishes before and I am currently spending a large amount of time reading (5 book so far and most threads on this forum) to make sure I get it right the first time. I was originally thinking about a hang on skimmer but I would like to have a shallow sand bed in the main tank and i think a sump with refugium is the best option along with lots of live rock in the main display. Any suggestions on the stocking list would also help (including the order in which the fishes should be added).
I hadn't thought about using glass for the dividers but that would be a good option. I was going to get a glass tank for the sump anyway. Thanks for the input!
A few skimmer suggestions for a sump system, keeping your total project budget in mind.
I have given you a few choices that will all work equally well. It is really a just a matter of the footprint you have to place the skimmer, which will depend on your final sump design. For a tank of your size, the 1st option above, the Berlin X2, will really do a great job at a great price.
Thanks for the suggestions and kind words. I narrowed it down to the Berlin X2 or the Marineland Pro. The only thing that is scaring me about the Berlin is some negative reviews I am reading about the pump. I believe the Marineland Pro has a larger footprint but I can make it work with the sump design I have in mind. I think I am leaning toward the Marineland. Does anyone have first hand experience with the Berlin X2 and had good results?
Any thoughts on the tentative stocking list? From what I have read the Yellowtail Damsels are okay in a community tank but I wanted to make sure that this fit with everyone's real experience.
I am keeping an eye out for any deals on a 75 gallon for the main tank and a 29 or 30 gallon for the sump. Thanks for all the help so far!
Wake49 uses the Berlin on his 150 and from what I have discussed with him has been happy with it. I think a 150 is pushing the limits of that skimmer, but on a 75 it should be great. In its day it had an outstanding reputation.
I am going to go with the Berlin and finalize my final sump design based on its footprint. Once I get the main tank and the tank for the sump I will start a build thread to keep everyone updated on my progress.
I will keep researching fishes and posting my ideas for a stocking list. Thanks for the feedback.
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