Dipping toes into salty water...

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by swk, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well ... there are many ways to get the waste out.
    With no skimmer or other filtration mentioned, you are pretty reliant on water changes.
    For a small tank, not an unreasonable tradeoff, if you are pretty good with regular maintenence.

    Note that skimmer has a side advantage of aerating the water. Help on O2 and PH.

    Me : I would drill, and I would get a skimmer.
  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Not sure I agree with that. All living things make 'poop'. Skimmer is a good way to export it. In a FW tank plants do a good job of nutrient uptake. Unless you use something like a algae turf scrubber (ATS) or have lots of clams (you know who you are! :) ), skimmers are pretty much standard.

    Added benefit of skimmer as you are setting up tank -- assuming you are DIYing the sump, having the skimmer on hand lets you make sure it fits!

    And finally, without a skimmer you would miss out on the fine odor of the skimmate! ;)
  3. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Oh yea. Become a supporting member and we can discuss, in PM, just what 'well respected LFS' you talked to!

    It's not really proper to mention here but PM is perfect.

    And as a supporting member, you have access to the buy/sell/trade forum. You might find a great deal on a skimmer there and easily save the cost of membership.

    Best $30 you'll ever spend on the salty side...
  4. swk

    swk Guest

    Oh yeah, I paint all mine black. No doubt!
  5. swk

    swk Guest

    Honestly I would have gotten a skimmer anyway cause I've been dying to screw around with one of those things :)

    I've narrowed it down to the following skimmers:
    RO NWB 110 or 150
    RO space saver 110
    Bubble magnus Curve 5
    Bubble magnus NAC 3.5
    bubble magnus NAC 5.5

    Any input on that?
  6. swk

    swk Guest

    Sweet! Just found a mag 3 I had forgotten about! Return pump handled!
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Glad to hear you are getting a skimmer. Best to keep it standard when starting out.

    I like my Reef Octopus, but it is a different size/model.

    Possibly controversial opinion : Do not go too big.
    The skimmers you mention are good quality, so they are not over-hyped on the tank they can handle.
    Over-sizing a bit is good. But you need to be careful of throat size.
    If your throat is too small for the tank/waste, you do not get enough head, and skimmer does not work all that well.
    For example, that NAC 5.5 seems like real overkill for a 40G tank.

    Note that some skimmers now have the new DC pumps. Something to consider if there is a similar model
    to what you want. Helps on power use.
  8. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    I am currently using NWB110 on a ~75 gallon total setup.

    Before my crash, I was pulling a lot of waste out and wondering if i should have gone with the NWB150 instead. My tank was heavily stocked.

    Definitely worth the buy even when you buy it used.
  9. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    I bought the RO Space Saver 110 for my tank a few months ago. It would be totally fine for a 40. See the last post here for my more thorough review: http://www.bareefers.org/forum/index.php?threads/skimmer-choice-aquamaxx-v-reef-octopus.16000/
  10. swk

    swk Guest

    So, with all the comments in mind, I think I've decided on the ro nwb-110. I have a 150 buck gift certificate for drs foster and smith, so it'll cost me 40 out of pocket.

    So, experienced folks, what say you?? Yea or no? Will order on Monday to make sure I'm not making a mistake by not going with the larger model. Thanks again!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    I say yes, go for it. BTW, I have a 10% off at drs foster and smith if you want it, expires next thursday. PM me for the code.

    i wish i went with the nwb150
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    The nwb-110 sounds great to me.
  13. swk

    swk Guest


    First test hole. Hella easy, even free hand!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    neuro likes this.
  14. swk

    swk Guest

    Ok, display tank is drilled! So my next step is to silicone in the overflow box and paint the back. I've settled on a wooden stand. Skimmer will be ordered and lights aren't too far behind.

    A couple questions:

    Sand - I see many people using reef flakes. Are they that much better than using special grade sand from carribsea?

    Rocks - we are all agreed that dry rock is the way to go, correct? I've been looking at the brs pukani and reef saver rock. I have to say that I like the look of the reef saver better. I'm going for a somewhat minimalist rock scape. No rock wall for this guy. About 20-30 lbs enough?

    I've decided to make a pvc return over the top of the tank. This way I can drill a siphon break and I feel much more comfortable. Drilled returns are sweet looking, but I prefer siphon breaks personally.

    Thanks again folks!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. swk

    swk Guest

    Is there an easy way to kill a back siphon with drilled returns? Can I just run loc-lines near the surface or something?

    Also - I could really use some input as to my sump build. I have a 20L that I purchased for this, but I also have a spare 29G lying around. Would the deeper 29 gallon make a better, more versatile sump?

    Also - one vote for the 110 and one for the 150. Any other opinions out there? I don't know why I struggling to make this decision, but I am......so.......HELP!
  16. swk

    swk Guest

    Here's some pics of the completed overflow box and 2 drain holes


    Pretty stoked to see some progress!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Make sure the sump has enough capacity to handle where the LL or any other return drains to. With LL and such, if you bump it and it's now deeper, you have to account for the drain down. I use a simple over the top return. It doesn't have the ability to be pushed too deep. I don't trust a siphon break hole. I know I will forget to maintain it and it will plug up just at the wrong time.

    And this brings us to the sump. The 29 would be good for the capacity as long as you can get the skimmer and such out for servicing. That extra 6" or so to get over could be a bear.
  18. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    1. Cure the dry rock if you haven't already. It took me months. I have lantham chloride (or whatever it is) if you want to use it. I can bring it to the frag swap.
    2. I think, don't quote me on this, but for the drilled return on back siphoning, I would use a "T" pvc piece instead of a 90 degree pvc elbow. You cap one end of the "T" and you drill a hole into it. Though, I've drilled a hole at the top of a 90 degree elbow on my previous tank that was a drilled return.

    3. oh and i didn't know this was just a 30 gallon tank with a <30 gallon sump. My vote would be for the nwb110 in this case...
  19. swk

    swk Guest

    Well, thanks to everyone's input and guidance I placed the order at dfs for a ro 110 skimmer and some loc line for my return for a grand total of 45 bucks, due in thanks to some Xmas gift certificates and a 10% coupon from neuro.

    The skimmer is back ordered until early February but that'll give me time to build a stand.

    I've got some cash in my paypal from selling fry that I'm planning on putting toward lighting. I'm almost there fellas!

    So I have water movement covered with an mp40, still need rocks and sand and then I'll be ready to fill up hopefully by the time the skimmer arrives.

    So I'll ask again, are reef flakes the go to substrate?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I had experience with something similar (flake type sand) but different brand.
    It was bad enough I removed it all.

    So the positive thing: It moves, but settles fast, so less deep holes and large drifts in high flow.

    The negatives:
    The flakes are big enough to actually grow algae pretty well.
    They keep the same side up and do not roll, so are a better substrate for algae.
    And it can clump and get really solid in spots.

    Read up on it. Opinions vary.

    FWIW: I switched to CaribSea Oolitic.

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