Planning an Aquarium – Tentative Plan for My Next Tank


Written by Rob

I have a tentative plan for my reef tank, for when I set it up.  I know where I want to put it and everything, but here is my plan so far.

The tank is 120 gallons, reef ready.  It has a corner overflow thing and you can attach different pipes to the return to direct flow. I will have a few power heads placed around the tank as needed to prevent dead spots and give a good current.  I am going to use maxi jet power heads and attach them to a wave maker.

I intend to have a 40 gallon long be the sump.  I will have a skimmer, a heater and some foam pads set in the sump for mechanical filtration.  I will not have chemical filtration.  The skimmer I am looking at is called the Octopus NW-150.  The reviews on it seem to be good and its not super expensive.   I will get a mag drive pump to run the sump.  I need to do more reading of reviews to pick out a good one.  I also need to do more reading about how fast the water should turn over.

I also want to have a refugium, I am thinking of using 20 gallon for a small refugium.  Is this possible?  Can I divert the water from the overflow into 2 tanks in the bottom, or connect the sump and refugium?  Can I just use part of the 40 gallon as the refugium?

In the tank, I have read good and bad things about having a substrate, I decided against it.  It seems like it would be easier not to have one.  I am going to smear silicone on the bottom and then put sand on it.  After a few days, you brush away the extra sand.  This gives the look of having a sand bottom, but without the problems.

For live rock, here i can get well cured live rock with the purple algae on it for $6.99 a pound.  Base rock is $2.99 a pound.  I plan on getting about 80 pounds of base rock and 40 pounds of the cured live rock.  I know the base rock will need to be cured.  Since this tank is new, I am going to let it cure in the tank.  This should cycle it at the same time I believe.  Once it is cured I will do a few big water changes and then buy the nice purple live rock.  A few weeks after i buy the live rock with the purple algae, i will start adding corals and inverts.  I plan on waiting at least a few months before adding any fish.

So thats the tentative plan so far.  There will probably be some changes as I read more though!

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