PDA

View Full Version : Advice For First Tank Build



cfisk
01-14-2014, 09:59 AM
So we currently have a 46g bowed tank. It'll work out okay for awhile, but we're aware getting a bigger tank will be easier to manage, you can do more with it, etc. Plus we just had an anenome get shredded in a power head and lost a few fish because of it... no fun! :banghead:

Instead of building a sump, stand, etc for our 46g tank, we've been kicking around jumping to a 125g instead. Since this will be our first real build, do all the experts out there have advice as to what to start looking into as to how to set up a good build? We've been chatting with Static Reef via PM about this as well, so thanks to him for all the advice and offering to help us with the setup!

We're aware this will take some time to gather the items to put it all together, and we're fine being patient and doing it RIGHT. But what I'm looking for is advice as to how to start, where to turn for ideas, etc. We're very new to the hobby, so don't have a lot of knowledge as to what is best. Just wanted to open a discussion on your best advice and things we should consider before pulling the trigger, things you wish you would have done differently for your first builds, where to find additional research, etc. What I've learned so far in this hobby is there's no true "right or wrong" way of doing things, so that makes it fun but also challenging as a rookie.

Thanks in advance!!

sweat044
01-14-2014, 10:09 AM
I would decide if you want acrylic or glass. What size sump you want. What type of lighting. What skimmer will be the best. What are you going to use for lighting. Do you have enough rock? What fish do you want (this will help determine the size). Do you want a reef tank or just fish? Once you have answered these questions, you can start looking for a whole setup or piece together a setup.

The biggest thing is this hobby is patience. Something I still haven't learned.

Levi
01-14-2014, 10:10 AM
6' tank is good, make sure you put your hands in some tanks to figure out how deep you want the tank and how tall you want the stand. Since my wife is never in the tank I have a 24" 90 on a 34" stand as it brings the lip of the tank right under my armpit. I can reach to the back wall corner with ease.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

Levi
01-14-2014, 10:11 AM
Let me also say there is not one day where my arms haven't been in my tanks for some reason or another.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

cfisk
01-14-2014, 10:16 AM
I would decide if you want acrylic or glass. What size sump you want. What type of lighting. What skimmer will be the best. What are you going to use for lighting. Do you have enough rock? What fish do you want (this will help determine the size). Do you want a reef tank or just fish? Once you have answered these questions, you can start looking for a whole setup or piece together a setup.

The biggest thing is this hobby is patience. Something I still haven't learned.



We do know we want it to be a reef tank for sure. And we have a few ideas for fish but not a ton yet. We'd like LEDs for lights.

After that... how do you determine the best skimmer, size sump, acrylic/glass, etc? Is it mostly trial and error, or is there some way we can look into those important questions? I'm a researcher, so the more I can learn about it before buying items, the better!

hooked
01-14-2014, 10:18 AM
All good advise so far. Take yourselves on a tank tour. Visit as many as you can around our group. Ask questions and take notes.
You are more than welcome to visit my systems. I'm available most any time.

Luke W.
01-14-2014, 11:21 AM
You can decide on a skimmer by how many fish you are planning to have. If you are planning to stock your tank up with a lot of fish and coral then go with a bigger skimmer. For the sump anywhere from a 55 gallon to a 70 will work. You may be able to go smaller than that though. The more filtration the better. Hope this tank works out well

Murfman
01-14-2014, 08:31 PM
Do you want powerheads and returns in your display? If not, then look into a closed loop system. Internal or external overflows? Sump/fuge combo or tank only? What kind of filtration system?

I love closed loop, keeps the tank clear of extra power heads and gives a lot of flow.

I recommend a sump/fuge combo. Place to put your skimmer and grow pods and keep macro algaes. Also a place for your return pumps.

I would go with an external overflow, gives you a complete rectangle, vs overflow taking up space inside the tank.

Acrylic or glass? Acrylic scratches but can be polished out. Glass scratches and it can not be polished out. Acrylic is lighter.

cfisk
01-15-2014, 09:01 AM
All good advise so far. Take yourselves on a tank tour. Visit as many as you can around our group. Ask questions and take notes.

You are more than welcome to visit my systems. I'm available most any time.

That is a great idea! Take a look at a bunch of tanks and see what we like best... sort of like a parade of tanks :)



Do you want powerheads and returns in your display? If not, then look into a closed loop system. Internal or external overflows? Sump/fuge combo or tank only? What kind of filtration system?

I love closed loop, keeps the tank clear of extra power heads and gives a lot of flow.

I recommend a sump/fuge combo. Place to put your skimmer and grow pods and keep macro algaes. Also a place for your return pumps.

I would go with an external overflow, gives you a complete rectangle, vs overflow taking up space inside the tank.

Acrylic or glass? Acrylic scratches but can be polished out. Glass scratches and it can not be polished out. Acrylic is lighter.


We definitely want a sump. We don't have one on our current tank and when our nem got shredded our tank took a huge hit. If we had the extra water I think it wouldn't have been so hard on the fish (right?).

As for the overflows and open/closed loop systems, I have a follow up question: The place we are currently looking at setting up the tank is in an area that will be seen on all sides (not against a wall). Will that affect our set up at all? It's pretty much the only area in our living room that a 6 foot tank would fit.

dannonlayne
01-15-2014, 10:07 AM
As for the overflows and open/closed loop systems, I have a follow up question: The place we are currently looking at setting up the tank is in an area that will be seen on all sides (not against a wall). Will that affect our set up at all? It's pretty much the only area in our living room that a 6 foot tank would fit.

My tank is also viewed from all sides. I did an internal overflow on the side on the tank so it is more hidden. I'm planning on building a hood to help store the cords better. (I didn't even think of where the cords would go when I did my build...)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Murfman
01-15-2014, 10:11 AM
That is a great idea! Take a look at a bunch of tanks and see what we like best... sort of like a parade of tanks :)





We definitely want a sump. We don't have one on our current tank and when our nem got shredded our tank took a huge hit. If we had the extra water I think it wouldn't have been so hard on the fish (right?).

As for the overflows and open/closed loop systems, I have a follow up question: The place we are currently looking at setting up the tank is in an area that will be seen on all sides (not against a wall). Will that affect our set up at all? It's pretty much the only area in our living room that a 6 foot tank would fit.

That is a peninsula set up and would require an internal overflow so you don't have pipes seen. If you could just put one short end against the wall, you could go external and black that part out so nothing is seen.

Joe
01-15-2014, 12:17 PM
Patience and research are the biggest tips I can think of, and you are hitting both of those already. I couldn't handle the patience part, but I did a lot of research. You can do a thread search and read a bunch stuff about tank builds here, on reef2reef, and MASC. Tons of neat ideas and lessons learned can be picked up from those. There are lot of youtube options too. Look for Mr. Saltwater Tank and Tidal Gardens for some good videos about all kinds of stuff - Tidal Gardens is more about corals and the other about the tank setup and maintenance.

cfisk
01-15-2014, 12:38 PM
Patience and research are the biggest tips I can think of, and you are hitting both of those already. I couldn't handle the patience part, but I did a lot of research. You can do a thread search and read a bunch stuff about tank builds here, on reef2reef, and MASC. Tons of neat ideas and lessons learned can be picked up from those. There are lot of youtube options too. Look for Mr. Saltwater Tank and Tidal Gardens for some good videos about all kinds of stuff - Tidal Gardens is more about corals and the other about the tank setup and maintenance.

Patience is definitely tough! We're having that problem with our current tank... thus upgrading to a bigger one ;)

Great advice on sites to check out, thank you!

Levi
01-15-2014, 11:36 PM
For choosing a skimmer it is best to have the sump and stand first as that will help you determine the skimmer that will fit in it. Also I do t use the ratings set by manufac. If it says large load at 125g tank then I would put it on a 75g tank. Always overkill as it cant hurt at all.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

static reef
01-16-2014, 05:58 AM
A ton of good advice in here. I'm very proud of the people that have commented on here with great info. Luke way to go buddy. I remember answering these questions for you, not to long ago and now look at you. Quite the reefer you have become.

Cfisk keep asking all those questions. A ton of experience in this club. Murfman will start sending you so many links, you wont know what to do with them all.

cfisk
01-16-2014, 10:12 AM
A ton of good advice in here. I'm very proud of the people that have commented on here with great info. Luke way to go buddy. I remember answering these questions for you, not to long ago and now look at you. Quite the reefer you have become.

Cfisk keep asking all those questions. A ton of experience in this club. Murfman will start sending you so many links, you wont know what to do with them all.


+1 for sure. This club has a wealth of knowledge in it, and I'm glad I found the forums. Everyone has been so nice, professional, and helpful so far. Makes new people like us feel welcomed. :)