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!