Felicia's 40B Predator Reef

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by FeliciaLynn, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Marine Depot Feature Video!

    Mentioned in Reef Threads Podcast #281!

    FTS 3/12/16

    Fu Manchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) - Mushu

    Dwarf Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra) - Draco

    Antennata Lionfish (Pterois antennata) - Seraphina

    Snowflake Eel (Echidna nebulosa) - Falkor


    • 40g Breeder Tetra glass aquarium (36"W x 18"D x 17"H)
    • Drilled 700 gph Glass Holes overflow kit and 3/4" return kit
    • Aqueon black pine stand
    Rock and Sand
    • 28 lbs of KPA cured live rock
    • 10 lbs Real Reef rock
    • 40 lbs of CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink sand
    • Maxspect R420R (Razor) 27" 160 watt 16k
    • 2 Vortech MP10's
    • Sump - 20g long Tetra aquarium (30"W x 12"D x 12"H); Jebao DC-3000 return pump
    • 4" Felt Filter Sock
    • Phosban 150 Media Reactor with TLF NPX Biopellets
    • Reef Octopus NWB110 skimmer
    • Refugium with chaetomorphia, rubble rock, and Maxspect Razor Nano 10K light
    • Finnex Deluxe Titanium Heating Tube, 300 Watts
    • Finnex Max-300 Digital Aquarium Heater Controller
    Auto Top-Off
    • JBJ ATO Water Level Controller
    • Tom Aqua Lifter Vacuum Pump
    • Jebao DP-4
      • Channel 1: Acropower
      • Channel 2: B-Ionic Mg
      • Channel 3: B-Ionic Ca
      • Channel 4: B-Ionic Alk
    RO/DI System
    • BRS 5 Stage RO/DI System
    • Purtrex 5 micron sediment filter
    • Catalytic carbon
    • ChlorPlus 10 carbon block
    • 75 GPD Dow Filmtec membrane
    • DI resin (color-changing)


    • Fu Manchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) - Mushu
    • Dwarf Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra) - Draco
    • Antennata Lionfish (Pterois antennata) - Seraphina
    • Snowflake Eel (Echidna nebulosa) - Falkor
    • Darwin Ocellaris Clownfish (male) (Amphiprion ocellaris)
    • Standard Ocellaris Clownfish (female) (Amphiprion ocellaris)
    • Tomini Tang (Ctenochaetus tominiensis)
    • Melanurus Wrasse (Halichoeres melanurus)
    • 2 Fighting Conchs
    • Squamosa Clam (from Gena May 27, 2015)
    • Squamosa Clam (purchased Oct. 2013)
    • Tiger Derasa Clam (purchased March 2014)
    • Turbo snails
    • Ruby red mithrax crab
    • Serpent starfish
    • Scarlet and blue leg hermit crabs

    Sump Design

















    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
    neuro and jonmos75 like this.
  2. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Motivation Behind the Upgrade
    First off, I'm back! Sorry for being MIA for so long. I've missed you all! Research/school and some family stuff has really gotten crazy lately, and I have been slacking on taking care of the tanks. I just haven't had the time/energy to devote to the hobby, but I don't want to leave, so I'm trying to get back into it. That means some changes!

    Ok, so like I said, I've been neglecting my tanks. I need to figure out a way to make maintenance take less time so that I can keep up with the tanks and still have time to enjoy them, photograph them, etc.

    First thing I decided was that I really can't have multiple tanks. The seahorse tank has to go. I have it halfway taken down. The remaining seahorse went to Erin and is living in a big fuge filled with tons of macro algae and two bangaii cardinals. I sold off the coral and moved a few things into my other tank. I just need to rehome the coris wrasse and then take everything down and clean it up.

    Ok, so now I'll just have the main 30 gallon tank, but I've had some issues with that tank. I've been very slowly losing corals over the last couple months and I'm not sure what was going on. Probably partially due to me neglecting the tank. Then I had a crash just a couple weeks ago. I decided to move a bunch of stuff from the seahorse tank over into the main tank. I dipped everything in flatworm exit (due to the flatworms in the seahorse tank), which apparently stressed out the gorgs. During the night after the transfer, the gorgs started melting and apparently the tank just couldn't handle all the excess nutrients and it crashed. I have a few nice corals left, but I mostly just need to start over again.

    With the 30 gallon I've just kind of added on equipment over time and never did it right from the beginning. I didn't know what I was doing when I originally started that tank since I'd only been in the hobby a few months. I've never taken the time to really just start over from scratch. The HOB overflow is a pain that gets clogged/loses siphon all the time. The return and overflow tubing are growing algae everywhere. The sump is only a 5 gallon, so the equipment is soooo cramped and its like a puzzle getting things in and out for maintenance. Its just such a mess that I never want to mess with it. Unfortunately, my stand is so narrow (since the tank is only 13" deep), that I cant fit a bigger sump.

    So, I decided I need a deeper stand. If I'm going to start all over and get a new stand and everything, I figured I needed a new tank too! Gotta get a bit of an upgrade out of all this work! I didn't want to go much bigger because I'm on the second floor of an old apartment building, so weight worries me. After much debate, I decided a 40 breeder would be a perfect upgrade. It gives me an extra 5" of depth without being much bigger, so now I can get a normal sized sump in the stand.

    Whew! Sorry that was so long!
    Raidernation08 likes this.
  3. tr1gger

    tr1gger Keyboard Cowboy

    Interested in hearing about the Jebao DC Return. On my to get list.

    Welcome Back.
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  4. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Gitter done!
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Guest

    Definitely going to be following along on this one. Great job on drilling the tank. Pics looked like the holes came out really clean.

    Also interested in Jebao DC pump. Was thinking about that same pump for my build.

    Sent from my SM-T900 using Tapatalk
  6. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I too have been looking at the DC pump but wanting to find one that is compatible with my Neptune controller without having to do a DYI of a wire harness and that is also APEX Ready....
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  7. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Thanks, Dan! Yeah I'm excited to see it in person. It should be here soon. I'm hoping it works well because you can't beat like $56 for a DC return pump.
  8. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Thanks! Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how the holes turned out.

    I'll keep you all posted on how I like the Jebao DC pump. Just waiting on it to arrive.
  9. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I think the Jebao powerheads have a converter for Apex, so that probably works with the pump as well. Not sure about Neptune though.
  10. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I realized my sump design photos wasn't displaying, so here it is again.

  11. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    My stand got delivered today! Joe from Aquatic Collection was awesome and delivered it since it wouldn't fit in my car. Thanks to Erin for helping me carry it up the stairs to my apartment!

    Here it is in the box out front of my apartment after being delivered.

    Here are some photos after unboxing and getting it inside my apartment.



    I can't get the sump into the stand with that top center brace in the stand. I'm going to have to remove that, place the sump in the stand, and then nail it back into place.
    aqua-nut likes this.
  12. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    My biggest concern with your sump design is the size of the return section. I made mine too small. The problem is if the ATO goes wonky the return pump will suck air in almost no time. I'd remove the ATO res from the sump, give more room for the refug and return plus make it easier to add water to the ATO res.

    And a very minor correction from another post...
    Neptune makes the Apex.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Why such a large area for skimmer and filter sock?
    Are you sure you want a filter sock for that matter? Depends on how religious you are at cleaning it.
    I agree, needs larger return pump area.
    So perhaps move volume from skimmer area to pump area.

    You might want light-baffles as well on those lights over the cheato, to keep algae from growing in other parts.

    What about Carbon and GFO?
  14. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    The filter sock holder is about 4" wide and then the skimmer is like 5" wide, so 11" just gives a bit of leeway there so things aren't crammed. I do want a filter sock. I have one now and that's the one part of my sump design that I actually like. I really don't mind cleaning them and I feel like they help a lot. I have three that I just rotate out and throw two dirty ones at a time into the washer on hot.

    I do actually have a few extra inches left over after making that design with the bare minimum spacings, so I'll probably make the return chamber a bit bigger. I don't have too much space though. I can always just put another float switch in the return chamber to shut off the pump if the water level gets too low. That would prevent the air problem if the ATO ever goes on the fritz.

    Unfortunately, I can't remove the ATO section because there isn't space in the stand for a separate reservoir.

    GFO and carbon will be run in a BRS media reactor. I'm tee-ing the return just above the pump so that some of the flow will go to my reactor which sits outside the sump in the stand.

    And yes thank! Neptune makes Apex...I was thinking of Reef Keeper.
  15. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Oh and good point about the light baffles. I'll have to look into that.
  16. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I have the same stand and I talked to Aqueon tech support because I also want to get a larger sump in the bottom.

    They said I can remove the center vertical brace between the two cabinets back and then reattach the center vertical brace with screws and that way if you have to ever remove the sump you wouldn't have to tear down your tank.

    Tech also said that is NOT a main support and he just did that same procedure of removing the center brace on a 90g bow tanks and they drained the tank only half of the water out of the tank, then removed the brace swapped the sump and re installed the brace and filled up the tank.....

    That talk I had with Aqueon's tech was informing and gave me hope for one of my next adventures, with out tearing down my tanks to replace my current sump with a bigger sump;)
  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Glad you are back and you aren't usin the mj 1200. Teeing of the return is the way to go. I use two valves, one to shut off flow for servicing, and one to set the flow rate. That one I don't usually touch.
  18. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    This is a really good point! Thanks for sharing! I like the idea of removing the back brace instead. :)
  19. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    The MJ1200 was working just fine for my reactor, but no reason to have an extra pump in there now that I'm doing the plumbing correctly. Luckily the new return pump I'm getting is DC, so its fully controllable without needing a valve. It has a nice controller on it like an MP10 that has different speeds and a feed button to stop the pump for 10 min. Can't wait to get the new pump and try it out. Its supposed to be in the mail, but I don't have tracking info, so hopefully it shows up soon.
  20. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

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