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2,046 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

28g Bow Front -> 45 gallon Tall
10g Sump -> upgraded to 20g High Sump -> 30 gallon Long Sump
MaxiJet NJ900 Utility Pump -> upgraded to Aqueon AQ1700 -> Aqueon AQ3000
3/4" diy Herbie Overflow Box -> upgraded to 2x1" Drilled Herbie overflow
diy tube holders -> no need after drilling tank
3/4" Return
AquaLife 115 Skimmer -> upgraded to Instant Ocean SeaClone 100 -> upgrade again to Marineland Advanced In-Sump Protein Skimmer -> Vertex In-100
2x Tetra 100w non adjustable heaters -> Rena 200w
Maxi Jet 600 -> upgraded to 800GPH Wavemaker -> Added another 800GPH Wavemaker
Some other smaller Powerhead -> see above
2x Coralife 24" Dual T5HO 10k + 2xActinic + Fuji Purple -> DIY GU10 LED ->
26w 6500k CFL in Refugium
DIY air Driven ATO - WIP dual Float switches that's pump driven
Reinforce cheap stand -> upgraded to bigger iKea stand to fit 20g sump -> Steel Stand


2x Ocellaris Clownfish -> R.I.P April 2014 (died), bought another one R.I.P May 2014 (jumped maybe?), only have 1 left
Clarki Clownfish -> Moved to Frag tank
Tomato Clownfish -> R.I.P May 2014 (jumped)
Red FireFish -> R.I.P May 2014 (disappeared), bought another one
Red Formia Starfish -> R.I.P April 2014 (Melted)
Green Mandarin Goby -> R.I.P May 2014 (jumped), bought another one
Blue Tang Small
5x Trochus Snails
5x Cerith Snails
5x Zebra Hermit Crabs
5x Margarita Snails
5x Orange Spotted Nassarius snail


Green Star Polyps
White Star Polyps
Kenyta Tree
Gold Hammer - Died
Green Branching Hammer
2x Torches - 1 Died
3x Zoa
Frog Spawn
People Eater Polyp
Acan Favia
MicroMussa - Died
Red Mushroom
ricordea florida
3x SPS
Green Bubble Tip Anemone - Died

So it all started with this 2g fluval spec, what can I say I fell in love with salt. It's so interesting and so much to learn. Soon i wanted something bigger and I love diy. I been contemplating about sumps for a while now for my planted tanks just to try it out.

Here is where it all got started, as you can see 2g fills up fast, having a kenya tree coral doesn't help either :) I actually can't fit my hydrometer in there without hitting the corals.

I decided on a decent size tank, I didn't want anything too huge because I already have 11 tanks running and I do maintenance on most of them on a daily basis. I want to enjoy this new aspect of the hobby and treated it like something enjoyable and not a chore. Nick was selling a 28g bowfront, 2x coralife 24" T5HO (one new, one used), eheim 2213, Full New Huge and heavy bucket of salt, and a Magnet cleaner lol. Of Course I jumped on this deal, I felt that this was the perfect size for me.

First things first I needed a stand that would match my living room funiture. I decided on this, however the stated size on the box and what the bookcase actually was is over stated. It should of been 2 feet long to match my 28g bowfront but it wasn't, it was like 22.5"..... and of course I don't fully trust cheap funiture, I did some weight test on it and it seems fine. but to feel secure and not having to think about it crashing down while I'm not home or sleeping, I'm going to reinforce this stand like crazy.

This is what I decided on

Of course I'm not going to put it together like the picture, this is what I ended up with. Reinforced with 4 L brackets on the front and two braces for the Top wood, also made some shelving that's not really even :(

The back is reinforced with another piece of wood for support, another 4 L brackets, 4 straight brackets, and 2 braces for the back top.

Next thing is the 10 sump, I pretty much copied how Joe had his sump setup. I made the baffles as tall as I could for more water volume. I'm terrible as siliconing, I had to repatch 4 times due to parts of the baffles leaking and I had to scrape off the paint on the back so I can align the baffles better.

Sump completed and repainted back and touched up some paint on both sides and bottom

I was deciding on how to approach the overflow without drilling, I did an emense amount of reading. I decided on a diy pvc overflow, there is a lot of different version and the version I wanted to do in my testing did not work the way I wanted to, so I decided on the regular version. Let me tell you, it seems easy to make but to perfect it wow, the amount of times I been to home depot in a week is the amount of times in a year I would normaly visit them. At one Point I drove to 4 Home depots and a lowes in a day, I told my gf not to come but she wanted to get something to eat, boy was she pissed that I dragged her to these places. The only reason I decided to shop at home depot is that for pvc parts the prices are like half of lowes, but all the home depots I been too didn't have all the parts I need in one place... You should see the amount of Home depot receipts I have on my desk.

cemented and painted black, I acutally made the overflow adjustable(very hard to do) so that I can control a) water line b) flow

I cleaned up the tank (got hives for 3 days :mad: due to bristle worms present in the substrate it came in, apparently I'm really allergic to them) painted black on the back and bottom like I normally would do on all my tanks.

equipment installed on sump, 2x 100w non adjustable heaters always at 78f, Aqualife skimmer 115, Maxi-Jet 900 utility pump(both these 2 items, thanks Sourgummy), and a clip on light I had on hand from ai with a 13w 6500k cfl on the fuge part. The skimmer was an extremely tight fit had to take off the suction cups, I even decided to take one baffle out but it's hard to removed so I squeezed it in.

Happy Valentines day to everyone, I spent quite a bit of money buying Pandora for my GF, she asked me what I wanted for valentines I told her Marco Rock, she said WTF.

UPDATE February 15th 2014

So there is been some obstacles lately, First and forth most how am I suppose to fill the tank? I get my R/O water from walmart's culligen machine and I spoke to one of the cashiers and I told her I only have 1 5 gallon culligen jug, may I please use other non culligen jugs to fill the water and pay you whatever is the closest size, she said no... so I need 38 gallons of water and I need to make about 8 trips... no way. I was going to give Dave a call and see if I can get water from him but I still probably need to make 3-4 trips. SourGummy was at my house and he said when he had a reef tank and use tap water he had lots of problems, but he bought one of those brita sink attachments and his problems went away and his corals were beautiful after. so I went to Walmart not once but twice since the first Brita I got, I though was broken since it doesn't light up the green signal so you know your filter is good? but the second one was the same, it only shows the green when the filter is removed?? ok...

Next problem is the baffles, in my first post I mentioned that my Protein Skimmer was an extremely tight fit because I had 4 baffles instead of three, when I was adjusting the skimmer level I smacked the glass and it broke. I had to break it many times in water and scrape off the silicone, so now I'm left with the regular 3 baffles, however later on I decided to do a popular mod on the skimmer and I smacked the baffle again @%$& this time it broke in the middle, I was going to take it out and get new glass but I decided just to drain the sump and align the broken glass and just silicone it. I let it dry and it worked.

Sump in action

I didn't want any rocks close to the edges for future algae cleaning so everything is positioned in the middle. I made this "Island" from too many Live Rock Rubble

Got this a Canada Coral today, I picked the biggest one they had 10lbs

The Overflow is almost invisible except for the Skimmer section, I had to do some mods on it and I scrape off some of the paint coating, I might in the future repaint.

FTS and Full Setup Shot


2,046 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
March 2nd 2014

No FTS nothing special so no pics, added 3 fish, 4 snails and 2 corals. Names of them are at top.Tank pretty much cycled in 2-3 days since I added about 15-20lbs of Live Rock Rubble. Brown Diaphragms are here, millions of pods in the Display tank and fuge.

I decided to make my own DIY Battery automated ATO.

Soldered the Wiring to the On button.

I didn't take any pics of the ATO holder being made but here is the side shot of the completed ATO unit

another Angle

The Top up Jug a 10L Distilled water from Walmart, I drilled two holes and used 1/8" acrylic tubing from big als.

ATO installed in return part of the sump

March 15th 2014

Lots of changes lately, first and foremost I decided to add another piece of Marco Rock, and I built a mountain out of Live Rock Rumble. Added many new corals.

Decided to change out the diy pvc overflow, it worked great but I don't like the noise factor and the siphon flow. Here is "version 1" of my overflow box with 3/4' fittings, now I fell that I have more flow and less noise but I still feel I can do better, I even made the "hofer gurgle buster stand pipe" but it was still not as quiet as I want a living room showtank to be

Here is my "version two" this time after a lot of googling I decide on the herbie method, when I was making the teeth for the overflow I broke some and decided to google on how to cut it properly however I can across a lot of post regarding going toothless for better flow and less noise. So I decided on a toothless overflow. What I can say it was better then I though it would be, it's completely silent and I'm getting full siphon. I could not find a gate valve anywhere that was not open from mon-fridays and closes by 5pm :( so I decided just to use a ball valve. IT TOOK A GOOD 3 HOURS TO FIND THE RIGHT SETTING FOR A BALANCE OVERFLOW!!!!!!!!. Then I had a leak.................. :( from not using pipe dope on one of the threaded fittings. After fixing that I had a crack..............:( from over threading. It has been hell. But it's all good now.

I been doing a lot of acrylic/plexiglass work lately so I made a tube holder.


March 31st

Did a Equipment change, swapped out the Maxi Jet NJ900 for an Aqueon AQ1700, What can I say lots of power and my overflow cannot keep up. I had mod my overflow by moving the external part more down. Also changed out the Aqualife 115 for a SeaCrap I mean SeaClone 100 sign... [email protected]#@, I'll give a good month before I decide what I want to do, It won't fit in my sump!! have to run it hang on sump in the front.. Kind of stupid, also made a silencer to kill the waterfall effect and microbubbles. Used some cpvc to connect the maxijet 1200 pump.

Decided to play around with the bulbs combo, I think I'm happy with the colours right now. 1x Current Actinic, 1x Odyssea Actinic, 1x Coral Life Fiji Purple, 1x Coral Life 10k. Also added the sea star I always wanted and 4x Margarita Snails.

Actinic Only

All Lights

In closing I would like to thank everyone here who helped me pursue this journey into salt. Dave, Joe, Allan for all your advice and tips. Especially Dave I think I been to his house like 3-4 times in a 2 week period. I still owe you your bucket back.

Coral Porn Connoiseur
1,618 Posts
28g bow + 10g sump
Nice little setup. Here's a money saving advice - GO GET an RODI unit. I go through lots of water not just from changing but also from acclimatizing new fish, corals, cleaning them, dipping them, etc. and you DEFINITELY want to quarantine everything (yeah PIA) but worth the trouble. go and check out my double tank thread.

Not a mod!
7,167 Posts
very nice overflow idea dude! Just make sure you have enough room in the sump to handle the amount that the overflow will take in.

Keep the updates coming

2,046 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
very nice overflow idea dude! Just make sure you have enough room in the sump to handle the amount that the overflow will take in.

Keep the updates coming
Let's just say I flooded more then once before I smarten up and drill an anti siphon hole on the return lol

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