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upgrade to 75...finally


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The time is getting near.

I have convinced my wife to let me have another 6 inches of the room, so I'll be upgrading to a 75 from my 55 and along with that putting in a sump/fuge/algae scrubber system.


I have 50lbs of rock that's been curing in a rubbermaid for about 6 weeks so far, it'll be probably another month before this happens. it's probably 85-90 degrees with a little pump for circulation.



Hoping to get a standard 75 drilled with either a cornerflow or on the back (bean animal would be awesome). will do at least two drills, preferably 3.

I'll put some rock from the rubbermaid in the 75 on the stand to create a under-sand base for things, then pull the livestock, 15 gallons of tank water and most of the current rock into a 29 I have as a temp home (I'll fill it with new water). Then move the sand bed over (it's only 6 months old, was dry and new when I put it in), and the rest of the tank water. Test NH3, NO3 and PO4 in the 75, do water changes until I'm happy, then move all the stuff from the 29 to the 75.

sound ok?


under the stand, which is the meat of it all:

I have a ~25 gallon sump (thanks Serge!) that will be the heart of the thing.

Drains will go into socks (far left).

directly from this, I'll drill to plumb my skimmer (external) which will output back to the same section.

this goes under-over baffles to the fuge area. This will (at this time) just be chaeto, but may add a sand bed and/or other macro algae later.

'under' baffle and only a short 'over' baffle, probably only 4 inches tall to the return section which will only be about 4 inches wide, drilled for an external return (mag 7) with an ATO.

The return will go up to the display and to the

rubbermaid tub.

the rubbermaid tub will be filled with all the excess rock I can fit, with the lid.

I'll cut a hole in the top for the inlet, flex pvc will push water out at the bottom of the tub with a siphon-break hole near the top.

side of tub will have two drains cut, one right above the other. the top one will drain into the drain of the sump (far left).

The bottom drain from the tub will have a ball valve and connect to an 18" long (probably 12-18" high) algae scrubber. the bottom of the scrubber mat will just hit the height of the ATO so it minimizes splashing.

I'm hoping for 200-250gph to the display, which leaves me about 300gph (estimated) through the tub (cryptic fuge?).

the algae scrubber will have two 120W (equivalent) CFL bulbs that will also light the chaeto.

when I feel like it, I can toss a bag of carbon in the fuge area, or phosphate media (wrapped in floss?).



I'll have a 10gallon tank sit on the rubbermaid with an aqualifter in it. the ato switch will kick on power to the aqualifter, which moves about 0.058 gallons per minute.


Goal: achieve minimal nitrates and phosphates, and generally clean water with little (or no) use of medias or reactors. I'm planning LPS/softies and maybe an easy SPS or two (up high). Eventually, I'll be replacing the lighting with 6-bulb T5's for 324 watts.


Please do please try to keep your suggestions within the spirit of my goals. For example, I'm not going to do a 200gallon tank, I'm not going to add 6 reactors to the system, I'm not going to do an in-wall...you get the idea.


That said, I want all the constructive criticism I can get...that's why I'm on the forum in the first place

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oh, and the stand will be homemade from 2x4s and 2x6s with plywood doors (two 24" doors on the front, one 18" door on each side) each piece will be sealed with urethane individually, then the whole thing sealed after assembly.


and the tank is going to be glass, the sump is acrylic

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I've upgrade twice: from a 72 to a 125 then to my current 180. Each time I reused all of the old sand and all of the old water adding more of each to fill the new tank. I also built the stand for my 180, so I can offer advice there as well. Each upgrade was done in a single very long day. I did not lose a single fish or coral in both upgrades. My one really good piece of advice would be to go bigger. Not 200 gallons, but 120 would be a good size. You know you want to, its not that much more money or space, it would be a more stable system and you won't be going thru this again in 9 months or so. I'd be willing to lend a hand if you need it, I live in N. Albany and work in CV. PM me if you want more info or advice.

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I had a 75 All Glass ( I think they are the AGA tanks??) anyway the foot print is the same onthe 55, 75 and 90-when I bought the 75 I figured the 90 was not worth the few extra dollars, after about 5 months I was wishing I got the 90-something to consider, I think its only like 2-3 inches taller


My experiance with an ATO via a float that triggers my aqualifter was great for the 1st 9-10 months now I hate it and cant wait to get my other frag tank online with my current tank. This is my first and only (and last) experiance with an electronic float ATO, all my other tanks have been gravity fed via a float in the sump that is fed from a container and never once had any issue at all. My 150 temp tank was fed via an old kent bucket from salt that I added a John Guess valve to-easy to do and I only filled the 5 gallon bucket maybe once every other week, and that was on a 150 that ran halides for the first 5-6 months


The electronic float has been sticking and I soaked it in vinegar (overkill I know since there was no coraline) and did a thoruogh cleaning which lasted a month now its sticks again-I know plenty of people who use these types of floats for ATOand have had no issues, I just wanted to give you something to think about-I have had 3 years zero issues on floats that are gravity fed and 9 months on an electronic float fed via the aqualifter that sticks.


Corals get angry when your salinty drops from 1.025 to1.20


Thats my only input (so far (laugh) )

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I may take you up on that, Garrett


Anyone ever do an external weir overflow? I'm considering trying to do one with a 48" weir and setup a bean animal external? basically have the back wall be an inch shorter than the other three and have a 3" x 3" x48" box outside with holes through the bottom?

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I've done two external weir overflows, one on my current tank, You might consider making them a little deeper than three inches, you will have more flexibility with raising or lowering the water level for noise control and flow. If you isolate the plumbing you can use the extra space, I've seen DSB's in some and its also a good place for macro Algae

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Smann, I'm glad to hear it's been done. I may use if for macro, though I think I'd just put sand in the sump (and I've got about 100lbs I'll have in the display which is fairly deep, it's about 4" in my 55).


could you post a pic or 3 of the overflow? I'm looking for how it's braced, how the pieces are cut/etc. Primary motivation is to not take up space in the DT, and to offer more plumbing flexibility. I may set up 6 drains, two siphons in the corners, two emergencies near the middle (probably 12" apart) and the last pair in between each siphon and emergency.

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My tanks are acrylic but I have seen some glass ones, try to search on RC, here is a link to one this site that Rick did, it's a smaller tank



These are my tanks, the first was the Temp system/prototype, second is my current tank





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Yep, the snails and sally lightfoot crabs like to go back and forth, lots of food back there, a fish does end up back there on occasion but not often. The drains are screened so nothing can get into them, there is no dead space, the screens go from top to bottom so there is full water flow, there is no detritus in the right and left sides at all, it does accumulate around the drains but can be siphoned out or just stirred up and it will go down the drain and into filter socks.

As far as the size if I remember the original BeanAnimal designs were on smaller tanks, I did a 24" with a 3-4" overflow, as the design got bigger and flow increased in the larger tanks I increased the size/depth, the water level is about 3.5" above the siphon drain or it will suck air and about 1" below the weir line to reduce the water noise. Another good reason is just more water, the overflow holds 14 gallons, good place for macro Algae, etc.


If I were to do another tank I would do the overflow exactly the same as this one, there are a few other things I would do different but I very happy with this design

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sounds good.


what about having an internal 3"x1" box with 4-5 holes to an external box? that way I can maintain the structure (and rim) of the 90gallon glass tank, minimize volume loss in the DT and get a weir?


I'm thinking 1"=1.5" holes between the boxes, covered in egg crate to minimize critter movement, then a bean animal in the back as follows:


full siphon 4" from one corner, allowing water to flow in at a very low point (maybe no pipe above the bulkhead?)

non-siphon 4" from the opposite corner, primarily pulling water at a very low point (as siphon), but with airline to just above high-water mark


two emergency-drains, 1' apart in the center with the entrance to the pipes being just above the high-water mark (probably one slightly above the other).


hoping that the weir will be about 1/2 or 5/8" under the top of the tank and the top of the holes (to ext box) are 1" or 1.5" below the weir (the bottom of the box will be ~3.5" below the top of the tank, ~1" from front-back). the external box will be 6" tall (top of box = top of tank), high-water level will be set to about 1.5" below top of tank, with emergency drains at 0.5" and 1" below the top of the tank. Maybe I'll make some drawings


both boxes (two-pieces internal, 4 pieces external) made from 1/4" glass.

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It really sounds like you want it to be as complicated as possible. No offense intended of course. If you do end up getting a tank with a built in overflow, they run really quietly. In my experience the more tricked out something is the more things could go wrong. Also I do not know how much I would trust a glass box siliconed onto the outside of a tank. Again, I am not trying to be a downer.

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I appreciate the input, Josh. As a backup I can do an internal c2c. It would be simpler and take care of most of what I'm looking for. Losing a 3x3 inside would be tolerable and I can have 3 holes in the back of the box for drains. I may still run a second emergency drain... :)


Internal would make it easier to paint the back too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got an 8bulb fixture today, it's wildly bright and will barely fit over the future 90. Came with all 5600k bulbs, so I'll work on changing those over eventually. Thinking about doing the 90 as Rimless since this light came with rope ratchets to hang...think 1/2 glass for that?

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  • 1 month later...

so, much delayed, but a little update:

first: still hoping a mod can change the title to "upgrade to 90...finally", cause my tank is a 90 gallon.


now: I picked up an old 90 up in salem for a good price (thanks, Scott!), apparently it used to be Garret's (TPA) personal tank so it's got some history on this forum. it's got three holes with bulkheads on the back. was set up as two drains and one return. I'm going to install a C2C internal box and have all three be used as a bean animal system. one of the three is larger than the other two...which of the bean animal system should be larger? I'm thinking that I won't use the siphon full-open so the larger one should be the durso, but not sure.


we're also redoing the kitchen with oak cabinets that we're rebuilding as my parents are pulling them out for their own kitchen remodel. so I'll have a 54x21x36" stand (lxwxh). of course the cabinet can't support the tank so I'll be basically using its skin and putting a 2x4 structure inside the cabinet.

It will have a granite tile 'counter' surface under the tank...any objections to that?


lastly: I'm debating using my current 55 as the sump instead of using an acrylic 25g plus 30g rubbbermaid (for a cryptic fuge), but the 55 is all panels tempered (dumb, I know)...any suggestions? I am only planning on the skimmer for equipment but want to have an algae scrubber and as much rock as possible.


I was going to have an algae scrubber and chaeto in most of the sump, rock in the rubbermaid and have the skimmer and return plumbed externally (with a very small drain and very small return section-with ATO)...how do I do it in a 55 best?

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Did you score one of those tek lights that someone was offloading?


yes one of the guys here hooked me up with a tek light that had been sold as a hydroponic light. but it's Tek, jjust that it had 6500K bulbs, so I got Danik's old actinics and I'm up and running now, just need to hang it - it even came with rope ratchets!)

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