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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 40b and a 20l at Petco. I've had reef tanks for a couple years now, but they've always been AIO or sump less. Now I've decided to go all in..downside being I realized I have little to no idea how to set it up. I understand the basics (overflow to sump/refugium>Return line back to tank) but have no idea where to start planning returns.

I know I want to drill the back of the tank (the bottom is tempered) and I also know that if I flood the house my wife will murder me.

What I've gathered so far I was looking for feedback on is:

I was going to do a 1in overflow with a ½in return powered by a Mag 3 pump.

Does that sound right? I would love any feedback.

Also I don't plan on keeping SPS, mostly LPS and softies.
 

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ok, I am sure loads of folks on here will be happy to help...

First up, flow in your main tank.

For softies and lps I'd suggest a turnover rate of 30x. That means 1200gph.

Let's say the distance from your sump to display tank is four feet. The mag 3 will give you around 300 gph. So you are looking for supplementary water movement. You want turbulent water so that the coral is getting fed from all sides. This could mean two or more smaller powerheads. Personally I'd go for a jebao wp25. If you feel like one is not enough, you could get another one pretty cheaply and place it at the other end of the tank.


The flow rate through your sump should not exceed your skimmer (if you are going to have one). 300gph through the sump would be fine.

A 1/2 inch return , and one inch drain both sound good. You could go with pvc, or flexible tubing. Tubing means less vibration.

In front of your drain hole you'll want an overflow box. This will help remove surface scum, and keep the drain line noise down. I'd suggest a glass-holes nano-con diente overflow. There is a calculator on reefcentral which will tell you how much water to expect to drain into the sump when the power goes out. This will determine how dry your floor will be!

hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! That's exactly what I was looking for, I saw the glass-holes have a kit with return and overflow ands that's what I was going off of.

I used the calculator on reef central, it looks like of my overflow is 2in below the surface my 20 gal sump will be fine at 60%full. Which leads to a couple more questions:
Is 2 in a good height to drill the glass or is their some issue with the glass strength I do t know about?
How do I keep the sump at 60%... Just fill it that full before I start the system?
 

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If you are going to put a skimmer in the sump find out what the depth of the water needs to be before building it. My 40B I used this skimmer. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CML49CK...TF8&colid=2LXPZNFZY6Q0Q&coliid=I272TPLE3MNXUT I have 4 chambers. It is a pretty simple set up my friend built it for me. We got the glass cut at lowes and with a little 100% silicon and a weekend it was done,


My son drilled the bottom of the tank mine didn't have tempered glass. I wished he would have waited to let me tell him where to drill it but he had glass to drill and he just had to do it. It all worked out fine in the end, He did the plumbing as well.
 

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Go with at least one 1.5" overflow since it will be less likely to clog from something like a snail getting into it and a 1.5" can overflow almost 3x the amount a 1" can. You can't overflow more then you return so that way you won't have to worry about it overflowing unless you get way too strong of a return pump. Glass-holes.com has some nice overflow boxes (40b would be 700 gps one i think) if you don't want just a bulkhead for it to drain out of
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, I had planned on doing a refugium, but wasn't sure about a skimmer. It's not quite in the budget yet. I was going to leave a section open in the sump for adding one in the future (most likely a 12by8 in area).
I saw the glass holes con dentes overflow has a lid, is that to keep the snails out?
 

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Yep, go with the 700 gph overflow. That is a better choice than the nano con-dientes. Also it never hurts to go larger with pipes. Fluid dynamics and all that.

Here is how I would determine the hole placement. Put the overflow box against the glass. The top of the overflow box should be about an inch from the top of the tank. Then using a sharpie you can mark your drill hole.

You can set the water level in your sump to whatever you like. As long as your drain line is bigger than the return, all will balance out. Use an ato unit to keep everything at the level you want. There is another calculator which will work out how much will drain into the sump in the case of a power outage.

You can have as much or as little water in your sump as you like. As long as it covers your return pump everything will be ok. If you choose a skimmer that likes to sit in five inches of water, and you want to have a nine inch water level then you can use egg crate to build a little platform.

As for drilling holes, I think the general rule of thumb is at least one hole diameter away from any other edge or hole.
 

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John covered most of it. Whenever you get it running, put the least amount of water you can in the system to keep it running. The water level should only raise and lower in the last section of the sump where the return pump is. Mark the water level with a marker at its lowest point and then cut the return pump off. Then you will be able to tell how much the water level will rise after the power goes out. If you do get a at, make sure the hose that pumps water into the sump is secure and stays above the water level. It could reverse siphon back into the ato container or spray all over the place causing a death by wife. :)
 

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Thanks, I had planned on doing a refugium, but wasn't sure about a skimmer. It's not quite in the budget yet. I was going to leave a section open in the sump for adding one in the future (most likely a 12by8 in area).
I saw the glass holes con dentes overflow has a lid, is that to keep the snails out?
Fish as well I have had to get more than one fish out of the overflow or sump area. One clown goby takes the magic tube ride down to the sump and gets in the skimmer. I think the teeth on the overflow box is just the right size for him to get into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of your help, next payday I shall be ordering the 700gph overflow and return kit. As for a pump- I'm on a reasonably small budget (less than 75 for a pump if possible) what would be a good option for the return pump(3/4 in with about 4 ft of head)?
 

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If you go over a mag 7 you may have issues with heat. I have to keep a fan on my 30g because of the mag9.5 and asm g3. Sometimes going big has its disadvantages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you go over a mag 7 you may have issues with heat. I have to keep a fan on my 30g because of the mag9.5 and asm g3. Sometimes going big has its disadvantages.
Thanks, I'm trying to keep as much extra heat out of my tank as possible, don't wanna have to get a chiller too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was definitely going to get the wp25.

Does anyone have any good lighting suggestions?
I've looked at radions, the hydra, and the 16in reef breeders leds- but I don't think they have enough spread to get away with just one of them.
 
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