New frag tank setup
by, 04-22-2012 at 04:31 AM (1301 Views)
Since my shallow 60g is on eternal hold, I decided I needed to change things up somewhere. My current growout system is a very traditional setup- 40 breeder tank consisting of racks of eggcrate for the frags, draining into a very basic sump housing the skimmer and heater. Internal return pump and feed pump for the GAC/GFO reactor. A separate 10g tank holding top-off water to be added to the sump controlled by a level sensor. Nothing special. Not that I haven't had decent results with it, but I've always hated 3 things about it: 1: it's very difficult to keep clean, due to the eggcrate racks keeping you from easily reaching the bottom of the tank; 2: it's difficult to achieve good flow, also due to the racks; 3: (most importantly) it's ugly(!), once again, due to the frag rack setup.
So I am proposing a new way to approach a "frag tank": one that is as easy to maintain as any other reef tank, and is just as pleasing to the eye.
The new setup will also be a 40 breeder along with a sump. However, there will not be any frag racks, per se. A DSB, 5" deep in this case, and pre-drilled live rock will be my racks. Zoanthid and other soft corals will grow on the sandbed, and SPS and high-light coral will grow on the rock structure.
The sump is much better designed and built, with a skimmer-specific chamber to give the CAD Lights skimmer a stable water level, a large refugium area, a smaller final chamber so less evaporation is required to trip the top-off leading to more stable salinity, and a built-in reservoir for the top-off water.
Water flow will come courtesy of a new Reeflo Blowhole 1450 plumbed through a 1" SCWD. Plumbed into the return line is a diversion for my reactor and another for easy water changes. Dual 1" drains get the water back down to the sump.
So far the tank is drilled, plumbed, sand added and filled with water. Sorry, I didn't think to take pics of the build at all! After a half-hour the water is nearly clear already:
Quick sump pic:
Skimmer nogging up already:
Return plumbing with Reeflo Blowhole, diversions for water changes and reactor feed:
At this time total water volume is 45 gallons, but once the water clears tomorrow I'll start on the rockscape. Hoping to have it running and full of frags by the end of the week.