20 gallon Hex

Discussion in 'New Tank Builds' started by ReefingInCabot, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    20171010_120312.jpg I guess I'll start my build thread even though I'm still on hold trying to finalize decisions before I start. I'm in no rush to put water in, this isn't my first reef. Kept a 12 nano reef and a 150 FOLR for 5 years... trying to build from previous mistakes and experiences.

    Current Equipment...

    20g Glass Hex and custom stand
    Acrylic Top
    2 Coralife 18" Aqualight-s Led's
    Eshopps overflow
    Reef Octapus Skimmer
    Rio+ 2100 return pump
    Finnex Heater
    UV Sterilizer AS UV9W

    Still thinking about and researching...

    Filtration / Reactor needs (future bio load)
    Sand bed / Bare bottom
    Custom Sump
    Rock selection for aquascape
    Lifting rock off bottom
    Power heads/pumps for circulation and wave maker

    Soft coral bottom, LPS bottom to mid, and maybe low demand SPS up high
    1-3 fish - undecided but reef safe

    If I go with a bare bottom, thinking about zoa's / lime green gsp to cover the bottom.
    LJC6780 and fattytwobyfour like this.
  2. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    Going from a 10 gallon sump to 5 gallons is a challenge.

    Question about the substrate, should I add it to the new sump? 1509933135288614249299.jpg 1509933178509876033684.jpg 15099332345131286592013.jpg 1509933135288614249299.jpg 1509933178509876033684.jpg 15099332345131286592013.jpg
  3. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    20171105_210624.jpg Also painted the back 3 panel's

    If I go bare bottom should I paint the bottom and what color
  4. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    Mine is bare bottom and is not painted. The cabinet is black and a solid top though. It’s also starting to encrust with coralline algae too. I don’t think it’s necessary, personally.

    Also, my 20 long qt tank is bare bottom with an open top cabinet. Looking at the tank I can’t tell and can’t see into he cabinet but the light does shine into the cabinet, which I like because then I can see in there!

  5. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    I wouldn't , but that's just me. Are you wanting to increase surface area/biofiltration? If so I think there are better ways especially if you're cramped for space.
    SilentReefer likes this.
  6. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    What do you suggest, I was trying to add a little more water volume and have all the equipment out of the display tank. I really don' like the clutter of equipment in the display.
  7. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    What do you suggest about what? I thought you were asking about the substrate in the sump but here it sounds like you are asking about equipment?? Things like Matrix and Marine Pure have a very large surface area for housing bacteria. You can throw some of that in the sump if you want. I’d throw as much equipment in the sump as possible. You can mount your controller on the walls of the cabinet. Use Velcro tape to tie up cords. Easy to undo when needed.
  8. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

  9. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    Interesting about the marine pure. I haven’t heard that ... sources?
  10. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    There are threads about it both in R2R and Reef Central. I used it for a year of so and my Triton test showed elevated aluminum levels. Can't confirm there were any negative effects from it but my tank has been better since I switched to the Brightwell product.

    LJC6780 likes this.
  11. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    Interesting. I’m using some of the bio balls in my 85 along with a bag of matrix and a bag of matrix in the 29.

    Reading the info on the first link it says to replace 25% of the media every so often ... why would you need to replace it? Isn’t it only surface area for bacteria to colonize?
  12. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    I have a small media filter that I can place in the sump that will hold brightwell
    huntindoc likes this.
  13. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton


    I'll also have a small "refuge" chamber between the 4" filtersock and the chamber for the skimmer. Mainly to use for cheto if I choose to use it or bag media.
  14. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    I assume by "bio balls" you mean the Marine Pure balls and not the old rubber bio balls? Those things are "the devil"!:D

    The reason to replace them has to do with them being impregnated with sulfer...works like a sulfer denitrator to lower nitrates.

    This has no effect on their bacteria hosting function. How long the sulfer lasts depends on how high your nitrates are. Mine have been in 11 months and nitrates are still undetectable. I have no plan to replace any unless my nitrates start to rise.
    LJC6780 likes this.
  15. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    Either place would be good. I like to use it because you are free to have a more minimalist aquascape if you want. I think it also helps in small tanks where you want to leave room for your corals to grow..
    SilentReefer likes this.
  16. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    Minimalist is my goal, thats why I feel I need a good sump design for the small footprint the stand has.
    huntindoc likes this.
  17. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    Sorry for being inactive for awhile...

    I will be working on the tank for the next week or so. I decided to go with a larger stand than I previously had. I just didn't like having such a small sump (10 gallon).

    I splurged some this week and ordered a
    Jebao SW2 Propeller Water Pump Wave Maker, a 2 fishes GFO reactor, Skimz Sumpro UP22 sump, Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit, 20 pounds of Pukani dry live rock, 200 gallon box of reef crystal, ADE Refractometer, 3/4" acrylic rod and carbon fiber rods, nylon zip ties, gel super glue, and epoxy.

    This will go with the Reef Keeper Lite with pH, Temp, ATO, and moon lights. Skimmer is an Reef Octopus BH50 skimmer, and finnex heater.
    huntindoc likes this.
  18. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    I am late getting home but had to at least set part of the rock in the tank. My wave maker also came in today.

    Attached Files:

  19. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton

    This cabinet was the loan survivor from my 150 gallon. I was being lazy and trying to make it "work".

    I was not real crazy about the cabinet, now I have a good reason to build something to my liking.

    A true custom cabinet that will house everything, the new sump, Reef Keeper lite, wave pump controllers, light controller, room for a ATO tank & kalk reactor, phosphate reactor, skimmer, heater, UV, temp and pH probes.
    Kim likes this.
  20. ReefingInCabot

    ReefingInCabot Plankton


    Im still playing with the layout before I start a new cabinet.

    To the right is a 5 gallon glass aquarium, to gain some space im thinking about taking it apart and splitting it in half for 2.5 gallon ATO storage. Using a aqua lifter controlled with the Reef Keeper, run the ATO water throug a kalk reactor.

    I read that people have had success running GFO and Carbon in the same reactor.

    Im thinking about a 3 manifold coming off the return.

    I think it would be best to isolate all the controllers in a separate compartment to keep moisture away from them.

    Ill take any advise, im trying to really plan this build out insted od throwing everything in a cabinet and have a mess of hoses and wires. Im a little OCD on plumbing and wiring.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018

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