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Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh)

Discussion in 'Equipment discussion' started by CrazyDunk, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Hi All,

    I will be taking delivery of my new AquaOak tank in a few weeks time and have gone with the following spec but would value any opinions or changes you'd make.

    End goal is going to be a fairly basic reef setup with some of the usual suspect fish such as Clowns, sand sifting goby, pretty cleaner shrimp, anything else bright and pretty too that won't be a bully or outgrow the tank as I don't like the idea of rehoming fish when I can just stock correctly for my tank size to begin with. Corals will be fairly basic softies and anything with a nice swaying movement that is not too difficult to keep (not too sure on "feeding" corals as I always thought they h=just did their own thing and fed from bits floating by?)

    The tank has a central weir that is black and so my back glass will be painted black to match. I am aiming to have a return outlet in the two back corners of the tank and the rest of the plumbing is whatever it comes with as standard apart from I'm having a Durso fitted (can't make the room for any of the other options without the weir taking too much room up across the back.

    Lighting is a TMC V2 Luminaire 1200, which will be housed in the hood somehow (not an option to have an open top tank in my house). The tank has glass covers which will probably stay put so as to reduce condensation in the wood lid. LED is a must due to both running cost and also keeping heat in the lid to a minimum.

    Skimmer at the moment is a TMC Skim Pro 900 but the LFS also recommend an Aqua One EliteSkim 800 (they don't seem to stock much else?). I am looking into Tunze, Deltic and Bubble Magus though as these seem like popular options.

    Return pump is a TMC v2 3000, but again I'm looking at an alternative which I'm thinking may be an Eheim 3000.

    Circulation/wavemakers I thought the MP40 was a good option but found reviews that Tunze make a much quieter version and offer more control for less money, so a no brainer there I think!

    Ocean Free Hydra 50 Internal and Depurator (reduces ammonia and suchlike, I believe it may be through a process of witchcraft!! Joke, not quite sure how it works but apparently it just does).

    D&D Refractometer for testing. I will have to buy water from LFS ready mixed as an RO unit will make my water meter spin like a fairground ride! I've done the maths and it just works out better to buy water in.

    There will be 25kg of live rock and possibly some man made pieces if needed, 2 inches of sand bed roughly, DT is 320 litres with roughly 60 litre sump.

    The sump is a basic 3 section affair and I guess the skimmer will be in the first where the water comes in, then maybe some live rock and the heater(s) in the second and the return pump in the third?

    Any advice you can offer on how to setup (what equipment goes in and when), how to stock (again, what goes in and when), any changes to my ideas you'd make (bearing in mind I'm not a rich man, even less so after taking the initial tank price hit!), anything to particularly watch out for and of course the all important maintenance (i've been told that with my setup I should be doing fortnightly 10% water changes).
     
  2. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    Also would like to know how good Durso's on a single standpipe can be in reducing noise, not sure if I have the room for twin downpipes or not on the tank yet?
     
  3. PaulW

    PaulW Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    You seem to have done your homework and it's nice to see someone concidering the grown size of the fish to stock their tank acordingly :-D
    Wave maker wise the jebao range offer great value for money and lighting wise have a look at the evergrow it 2080. It's not the best looking unit but it's performance is far better than the tmc and if it hidden in your hood it matters not :).

    Ocen free hydra I can't comment on as I have no knowledge of it or what it does or doesn't do..
     
  4. powderbluetang

    powderbluetang Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    Hey crazy, reading through your list of equipment, it looks good to me. I can't really say much about Dursos. I'd run with the TMC skimmer for now but Deltec and Bubble Mag are brilliant and this is something you might upgrade to in the future. I'm also not sure how Ocean Free Hydra functions. Thing is, if you have a 3 compartment sump, you've got a good set-up.
    Live rock or other filtration media in the first compartment with skimmer and activated carbon in mesh bag, filter wool to polish the water or a filter sock on the end of your inlet pipe, is fine, you could put miracle mud in the middle with macro algae to eat up Nitrates and your heater then return pump at the end. Later you could run various reactors into the middle compartment. Whatever way you set thing up in the sump will work well.
    For your wave maker consider a Jaboe WP25 or two WP10's. I had MP 40 and it was fine but noisy as hell. I replaced it with one WP25 and it's brilliant - does everything the MP did but for half the price and absolutely no noise. Tunze are very good but just so pricey.
    You might want to rethink your water meter/RO water. The point is, your paying £5,6,7 for 25litres of premixed salt water from a shop. But you would soon recoup the initial outlay for the bits to set up your own RO water. As for your water meter, you wouldn't run your RO unit all the time so it wouldn't cost loads to run some RO water into a container to make your own salt water. The other thing is, YOU have control over the quality of your water. You can add buffers, trace elements, choose your own salt brand and also have a supply of water available at any time should you need to do a quick water change. You also get a supply of RO water to top up after evaporation.
    I used to own a salt water fish shop, So was fortunate to keep some high end equipment for my own tank at home. But if I was setting up from scratch, knowing what I do, I'd go for an RO unit, couple of buckets and a bucket of salt.
    You'll be fine with 25kg of rock, but ideally you need around 32 kg - the magic formula is 1kg for every 10 liters of water so a 300 little tank would need 30kg of rock. However, it all depends on how much stock, bio load etc you'll have and by the sounds of it, you won't really be stock heavy.
    I would also try to purchase a good test kit. I found Salifert were good and easy to use and more importantly, accurate.
    You would only really need a nitrate, ph, phosphate and maybe calcium for a simple reef tank. Any water test neede as your tank cycles from set up, get your LFS to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and salinity.
    Ask more or PM me if you have more questions. Also the fish list I mentioned on your other post still stands, you should be fine with some of what I mentioned :)
     
  5. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    I'm now also looking at an RODI setup to go outside from my garden water tap and into some kind of small cupboard to fill a 25 ltr container or two with the waste line going to a water butt to re-use on the flowerbeds. The thing is I'm not sure how far a waste line can go as the tap and the water butt are about 15ft apart? If you guys have any ideas on this I'd appreciate some advice?
     
  6. rabbut

    rabbut Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    Will you be using a booster pump on the RODI system? They do reduce waste, and will let you have longer pipe runs :smile:

    For pumps I'm a big fan of Tunze finding them solid, quiet and reliable. TMC V2 pumps on the otherhand I don't get on well with and would probably go AquaMedic if I were looking for return pumps at the moment. Eheim generally get good reviews. I've only (ab)used Eheim pumps in a shop scenario and found them a little flakey, but if you look after them they are apparently solid and reliable.

    TMC's skimmers are high maintenance. Don't get me wrong, if you look after them they do work, you just need to really keep up with cleaning the venturi injector if you want them to maintain skim performance. AquaOne skimmers I haven't really used over an extended period of time but have been OK short-term.

    For the weir, have you considered twin standpipe. Before leaving the aquatics business I "customized" a few of these for customers to use this system with a smaller weir by having the second hold drilled in the back of the tank towards the top rather than in the base. For a newby to sumps the Twin Standpipe is easier to get to grips with and get running quietly and this solution works very well IME. :smile:

    The "Ocean Free Hydra 50 Internal and Depurator" is basically just a 3 internal filter by the looks of it see here, with a chemical ammonia removing media, an anaerobic chamber (I'm intrigued as to how this is achieved without a biologically active first chamber, I'm skeptical unless Maidenhead can explain this bit). I would describe their claim that the mechanical media can go 12 months as highly likely to be misleading also.
    Unless I'm missing something the "Ocean Free Hydra 50 Internal and Depurator" is essentially an over-priced internal filter that will give a healthy system with enough water turn-over and LR minimal benefit perhaps from the mechanical media. You certainly don't need it, though I'll hold off completely dismissing it as not worthwhile as MH don't publish enough information about how it's working to make that statement without potentially being slanderous.

    I'd probably not put LR in the sump unless you're going for a larger return pump. You don't want detritus collecting in there which it will unless you have a decent water turn-over. If you want to use LR in the sump, I'd push you towards a 5000 return pump, or larger, depending on the head-height-loss graph of whatever brand you decide to go with.

    You asked about stocking order. I'd do clowns first, shrimp & corals second and the goby last after the tank has matured somewhat (6+ months in). Do you have your eyes on any others? Cleanup Crew I'd add as and when you see food for them building up in the system, though many advise adding them as the first addition.

    I'd echo PowderBlueTang's recommendation regarding a decent test kit of your own also.

    Always nice to see someone so well researched and on the right track asking the correct questions before getting up and running. I'm sure you'll enjoy a good few years of happy reefing with your approach :thumbup1:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  7. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    My water pressure is really quite powerful already and I wouldn't want to run outdoor power for extra pumps really. I hope the pressure will be good enough to run a long waste line from the unit to the water butt.
    I've gone with the TMC Pro Skim 900, D&D 3000lph return pump, 2 Tunze powerhead and controller, 1 Fluval powerhead (leftover from my old Mauna setup) for flow across the back of the rock, the Hydra I'm going to give it a try as my lfs have promised they'll exchange it for something else in the shop if it doesn't do what it says on the tin (i've paid for it all on my credit card too for extra back up if things don't perform as they should) and I'm going to avoid running lots of LR in the sump maybe just keeping a couple of pieces in there with the Hydra. At a later date I may turn the middle section into a fuge but this seems a bit daunting for a first timer like me so I'll wait a bit on this idea.
     
  8. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    Had to go with a single downpipe as the weir box is too small to accommodate twin downpipes, so going with a durso kind of setup but without the right angle piece as room doesn't allow. I know there's another name for this but it escapes me at the moment.
    Any advice on keeping this kind of setup quiet would be great, we don't mind the gentle sound of running water but don't want the sound of flushing, gurgling and equipment in general.
     
  9. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    I've got loads of photos of the build and fill now but don't know how to upload them? Any ideas as the attachment option just results in a spinning circle for ages and then gives up?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. CrazyDunk

    CrazyDunk Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    Not sure why they've loaded upside down either?!?
     
  11. rabbut

    rabbut Registered

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    Re: Newbie Setup Advice - AquaOak 120cm Systemised Tank (must be quiet as possible...ssshh

    I use Photobucket when I post photos. :thumbup1:

    Might be time to start a tank diary thread :wink:
     
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