Salt Water Aquarium Set-up :
1- A typical Reef tank :
46" Bowfront Stand
46 Gallon Bowfront System Aquarium (including built-in filtration( Sump))
36" Dual Compact Fluorescent Fixture or a comparable light fixture
100W Therm heater
Two, 20-lb ( 11 Kg) bags of Indo Pacific Black Sand
50-gallons mix of Tropic Marin salt
50 KG of live rock
Week 1: Assemble the Aquarium and Cure the Live Rock
Pour the sand into the aquarium.
Prepare saltwater in a mixing container so that the specific gravity measures 1.025.
Carefully fill aquarium with the prepared saltwater.
Gently rinse live rock in a small bucket of prepared saltwater. Remove loose organic debris and examine carefully for unwanted hitchhikers. Arrange the live rock in your aquarium as desired.
Install aquarium equipment per manufacturer's instructions. Run the protein skimmer and main filtration system to make sure there is constant water movement. However, keep the lighting system off during the cycling period in order to reduce the likelihood of undesirable algae growth.
For the next 4 weeks, perform a 50% water change each week to properly cure your live rock. During your water change, siphon out any loose organic matter. Test for ammonia and nitrite and make sure these levels are zero. Also, test the pH and adjust as needed to achieve the desired level of 8.1-8.4.
Week 4: Add your First Inhabitants
You will need:
Add various snails and crabs for Algae eating ( 36 pieces required )
Acclimate and release your new inhabitants into the aquarium per acclimation guide.
Use the timer to set the lights to go on and off in 12-hour increments.
Wait 2 weeks.
Week 6: Add your First Corals
You will need:
Beginner Coral Pack (contains Button Polyp, Yellow Colony Polyp, Hairy Mushroom Coral, and Bullseye Mushroom Coral)
Perform a 25% water change.
Acclimate the corals per acclimation guide. Place the corals onto the live rock.
Wait 2 weeks.
Week 8: Add Aquacultured Corals
You will need:
Silver Branch Pumping Xenia
Regular Pumping Xenia
Cauliflower Colt Coral
Taro Tree Coral
Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral
Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral
Acclimate the corals per acclimation guide. Place them onto the live rock.
Wait 2 weeks.
Weeks 10 and 12: Add Fish & Invertebrates
Add 2 Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Hawaii Feather Dusters, and a total of 6 fish. Choose from:
Ocellaris Clownfish (Multiples ok)
Fridmani Pseudochromis (Only 1)
Six-line Wrasse (Only 1)
Green Chromis (Multiples ok)
Kaudern's Cardinalfish (Multiples ok)
Perform a 25% water change.
Acclimate the fish per acclimation guide and add them to your aquarium.
Wait 2 weeks.
Perform a 25% water change. Select 2 of the following fish and acclimate per acclimation guide and add them to your aquarium.
Carpenter's Wrasse (Only 1)
Coral Beauty Angelfish (Only 1 - Small)
Sailfin Algae Blenny (Only 1 - Small)
Electrical divider and timer to connect the equipments cables
46 inch aquarium length ..
Above and left .. is the use of Hydrometer with light presence
Live rock to be rinse by using Bucket of prepared salt water
Heater , Protien Skimmer and usually in the ready made Aquarium come with sump and filter and sometimes all the equipments required ( A just plug and play system ) , also Electrical divider , sump light and all other components and supplies .. safety meatures to be taken in consideration when you use the electrical cables , equipments and plugs .. Read carefully the user manuals .. Or sometimes the package come only the aquariums ( Skin type ) and you need to purchase all the supplies required
complete set up without adding any water ..
Sometimes called the cleaner crew or package which is ean snails , crabs and creatures eating the algae and help tp cycle the aquarium ..
One of the common proplem will appear in the first week of cycling is the brown algae or diatoms which will invade the aquarium , turn of light the light and add the cleaners crew and wait untill the aquarium will be cycling - not less than four weeks
A hundereds of corals types suitable for biggner .. check the Coral Guide
Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral
Taro Tree Coral
Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp
Sailfin Algae Blenny
What is the Live Rock ? :
When talking about live rock (LR), it is a misconception that the rock itself is alive. What makes it live are the many forms of micro and macroscopic marine life that live on and inside of it. The rock itself is only made up of the calcium carbonate skeletons of long dead corals, Live rock is usually extremely porous and is used as the primary biological filter in saltwater tanks that have it. The many holes and crannies in this rock give it a tremendous amount of surface area for the beneficial aerobic (needs oxygen) and anaerobic (does not need oxygen) bacteria to live on. This is what makes saltwater live rock such a great biological filter for your tank. The beneficial bacteria helps convert the ammonia from fish waste and uneaten fish food into nitrIte. The second step is when this bacteria converts the nitrIte into nitrAte. The last step is when the anaerobic bacteria converts the nitrAte into harmless nitrogen gas that escapes via the water surface. If you're curious to find out more information on this cycle.
How well saltwater live rock can completely cycle the aquarium has a lot to do with how much rock you have in your aquarium. Many hobbyists try to get at least 1 pound per gallon for fish only tanks (FOWLR) and 2 pounds or more per gallon for amarine reef tank setup. You'll definitely need to monitor andtest your water quality periodically to check for nitrAtes. If your readings are out of the acceptable range for your tank inhabitants you will need to perform water changes to bring the nitrAte levels within acceptable range.
The completed aquarium
Saltwater Live Rock Benefits :
Some of the benefits that you can expect from using live rock:
Saltwater live rock is a fantastic biological filter.
Provides many hiding and living spaces for your saltwater fish and invertebrates.
Can be a source of food for your saltwater fish and invertebrates
Purple and pink Coralline algae that will grow on the rock can be extremely attractive.
Live rocks shape , color and branches diferent as per the area ( bio tope ) come from
The many organisms that spring to life after your rock has finally cured can be just as fascinating as the fish in your tank. We can't tell you how many hours we have wasted just looking for what's new on our rocks.
Rock scaped saltwater aquariums are more natural looking. It's kind of like having a heavily planted freshwater aquarium.
You can easily attach corals in a reef tank setup to live rock using aquarium safe glue and you can sometimes even insert the plug corals come on into a natural hole or crevice in the rock.
You should have a much better experience with keeping saltwater fish if you use live rock because of the biological filter and food source reasons.
3 month old rock
While researching saltwater live rock you're going to come across some different types of rock. There are basically two main types of live rock - cured and uncured.:
- Pre-Cured or Cured Live Rock :
Cured live rock is rock that has been in the retailer's tank for a few weeks, at least. The retailer will scrub off any dead or dying organisms from the face of the rock and then cure it by placing it in a high-circulation curing tank. They also sometimes spray a continuous mist of saltwater over the rock that helps to remove the dead organisms. After a few weeks or even a month of this process the rock is considered ready to ship.
Getting cured live rock is going to cost much more than getting uncured live rock but it's usually worth the extra expense. Curing live rock in your home can be a very smelly and dirty project.
Even though there can be a significant die off during the curing process, many of the living organisms make it through the pre-curing process at the retailer. You will still need to cure it again once you get it home because some of the organisms will have died during shipment before it reaches your house. It just won't take as long to cure again as uncured live rock. Because of the die off during shipment, you should never place live rock (pre-cured or uncured) into an established tank. Doing so may cause an ammonia spike.
-Uncured Live Rock:
Uncured live rock is usually a third of the price of cured rock. Hobbyists on an extremely tight budget usually opt for this type of rock. The major drawback is that you're going to see a much greater die off rate then the pre-cured rock and you'll need to get the materials to do the curing process yourself.
If you're setting up a new tank with no other livestock in the tank yet, you can cure the saltwater live rock in the new tank. If not, you can use cheap plastic containers or trash cans as the curing containers. After you scrub off the dead organisms and other debris from the rock, place it in the curing container. An old tooth brush can work fairly well for scrubbing off the dead organisms. Hook up a thermometer, a power head and a protein skimmer to the container. Fill the containers with premixed, aged saltwater and you're ready to go. You will need to monitor the water parameters with your test kit(s) for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and perform frequent water changes during the curing process. Once you no longer detect ammonia and nitrite and there is no longer a foul smell, you can consider the process complete. How long it takes depends on the shape the rocks in when you start the process.
New rock, fresh from dealer
Same rock, 3 months later
Live Rock Types :
These are some of the types of live rock you may come across:
Base Rock - This is rock that is usually found "under the pile" and it is usually a little cheaper than the other types of rock because it has less living organisms and algae living on the surface. You can save a few dollars by using this as the base to the rock structure in your tank.
Pacific Rock - This is rock that comes from Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia and other locations in the Pacific. It is usually the better choice because it is more porous than the other types of rock. It will also usually have more caves and holes in it. Frequently, this is the most expensive type of rock. It can sometimes be labeled as Pacific Rock or Fiji Premium Rock.
Atlantic Rock, Gulf Rock and Caribbean Rock - This is rock that comes from each area as labeled. It is usually not as porous as the other types of rock and might not be the best choice for your tank.
Aqua Cultured - This is porous rock that has been placed in the ocean artificially and left for several years so that beneficial bacteria and other organisms can populate the rock. This is the most environment friendly type of live rock you can get.
Tips on Growing Coralline Algae :
Keep your water parameters in line with regular partial water changes.
Get a test kit for alkalinity, magnesium, pH and calcium. If these parameters are dropping too much in between water changes, dose these elements and try to keep the pH in the 8.2 - 8.4 range. Kalkwasser works well to keep alkalinity and calcium levels up but be extremely careful dosing with kalkwasser (slow drips), especially in smaller tanks! Kalkwasser is extremely basic and can cause extreme swings in pH. Regular partial water changes should work great for most hobbyists without extensive stony coral growth and should help keep the calcium, alkalinity, pH and magnesium levels where they need to be for good coralline growth
How to pack the live rocks :
Live rock should be packing with humid and some water.. Should be never come to dry... the Bacteria and small beneficial organisms will die with absence of humidity.. The best method is using water and newspaper, paper or towels and to be packed by plastic bags as follows in these pictures..
What is the Live Sand ?
Live sand, or LS is natural reef coral sand that is collected live from the ocean, or non-living coral sand that is cultured to make it live. What makes it live is the microscopic biological bacteria that grows on it, and the many tiny crustaceans and other micro and macro-organisms that reside in it.
Live sand can serve as the main base for biological filtration in a saltwater aquarium, while the organisms help consume organic matter in the sand bed. Some of the organisms provide a natural food source for many aquarium inhabitants as well.
What Type to Use:
There are many types of sand to choose from on the market, but sand of coral origin, such as coral sand, reef sand, crushed coral, or aragonite are best. One top choice of many expert aquarists is Aragonite by CaribSea. Some sand sources other than aragonite types may have silicates in them, which is something you do not want in your aquarium. Silicates cause algae problems, and once introduced are next to impossible to remove.
There a three basic choices for starting an aquarium with live sand:
You can use 100% LS, which can be very costly.
You can use a 50/50 combination of LS (bought or used from an already established aquarium) with non-living sand. By mixing the two together (seeding) you save money, and the LS will convert the non-living portion of the sand into LS over a shortened period of time as the biological bacteria and the living organisms multiply and populate it.
You can use nothing but non-living sand, as all sand eventually becomes live over time. However, starting from scratch does take much longer for the cylcing process to complete its task.
Whether you have a new aquarium just starting through the biological cycling process, or one still in the process of completing its cycle, the seeding method can be used to kick start or aid in the speeding up of this transition. For an aquarium that has been running for some time, seeding can also enhance the strength of its existing biological filter base.
Above is a live sand packed with original water from the ocean .
Several types of live rock arrangment
Salt water Aquarium Types :
FOWLR, Fish Only with Live Rock, Reef Tank?
This is a general introduction into the three main saltwater aquarium types: Fish Only, FOWLR (Fish Only with Live Rock) and the Reef Tank Setup. When getting started with saltwater it is recommended to get the biggest tank you can accommodate. Bigger tanks give you more room for error when it comes to water quality.
Again, there are basically three types of saltwater aquarium setups:
Fish Only with Live Rock - FOWLR
1- Fish Only
This is the least expensive type to set up because you don't necessarily need the better lighting that the other setups require. Check out the Saltwater Aquarium Setuppage to get an idea of the equipment needed, minus the live rock mentioned in this article above ..
Even though this is the least expensive setup, a saltwater fish only setup is not necessarily the easiest to get started with. Getting started may take a little longer than the other setups while waiting for the nitrogen cycle to complete. Saltwater fish only tanks also require more frequent tank maintenance than FOWLR tanks. This means that you will need to stay on top of those water changes to remove the nitrates that are constantly accumulating. Having a water test kit is a necessity when keeping saltwater tanks. You will need to periodically monitor the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels. These readings will give you a good indication of the water quality inside your tank. It will also give you an idea of how often you should be performing those water changes.
As the name implies, this saltwater fish only tank setup is really for keeping fish only. You may be able to keep a few snails or hermit crabs to help control any algae problems. There are generally two types of fish only tanks. Community type tanks and semi-aggressive type tanks. The community tanks house species that will get along well with the other species in the tank. Semi-aggressive tanks usually house solitary individuals from different species. Unless you have an extremely large tank, it is normally not recommended to get multiple fish from the same species.
These saltwater fish only setups are rapidly falling off in popularity because of the great biological filtration functions that live rock can provide. We discuss FOWLR setups next.
2- Fish Only with live rock - FOWLR
This setup is the same as a Fish Only with the addition of live rock and betteraquarium lighting. Check out the Saltwater Aquarium Setup page for more detailed information on this type of setup. The use of live rock has really taken off in the past decade because it really is the best form of natural biological filtration for the saltwater aquarium. It is called "live rock" because of the creatures and organisms living on the inside and on the surface of the rock. It can be very interesting to the look at the organisms and algae growing on the rock.
Getting good live rock, such as Fiji rock, can be expensive and may even be the most expensive part of setting up a FOWLR tank. A rule of thumb for setting up a tank with live rock is 1 to 2 pounds per aquarium gallon. Currently, live rock is going for about $7 per pound, so a 55 gallon tank would need approximately 82.5 lbs (using 1.5 pounds/gallon) or around $578 to get started. This price is just an estimate and the price may be much higher or lower in your particular area.
What makes live rock so good? The porous nature of live rock means that it comes packed with all types of tiny creatures and biological organisms that aid in the nitrogen cycle. The dense, porous material inside the live rock helps rid your aquarium of nitrates. You will still need to monitor your water parameters regularly with a FOWLR aquarium and perform water changes as needed. You will also need to add supplements such as iodine, calcium, strontium, magnesium and others, to the water periodically. Live rock helps maintain stability in a FOWLR saltwater aquarium and it can become a food source for your invertebrates and your fish.
3- Reef Tank:
The reef tank setup is primarily geared towards invertebrates, corals and anemones. The fish in this type of tank are sometimes just an afterthought. "Oh yeah, there's a fish in there". Reef keepers are usually more interested in keeping their corals and anemones growing and this means monitoring water parameters weekly if not daily. These invertebrates, corals and anemones can be very expensive and very hard to keep. It also should be noted that mixing various coral species and motile inverts (like anemones) is usually not a good idea.
Reef tanks are usually set up by more experienced hobbyists because these tanks require excellent water conditions, extremely high lighting levels (expensive), water supplements, reverse osmosis and/or deionized water (expensive), and excellent filtration (usually live rock).
If monitoring your water parameters on a daily basis and spending a lot of money is your idea of a good time, then you should look in to setting up a reef tank. Seriously though, if you are just getting started with saltwater, you should probably leave the reef tank for a future time when you get more experience under your belt. We don't want to discourage you from setting up a reef tank, but we do want to make you realize the amount of research and effort that goes into getting one of these set up. If you've been doing things correctly with your other tanks you are already familiar with researching fish and equipment. Starting with a FOWLR to learn the ropes and seeing if you really like the hobby first before investing in the more expensive reef tank setup can be a good route to take. When buying your FOWLR equipment just keep it in mind that if you like the hobby you will most likely be turning that FOWLR into a full blown reef eventually. Just a warning. :) A reef tank can be very rewarding and breath taking to look at when set up correctly.
You may also come acros something called a nano cube setup. These are very small tanks, typically something less than 30 gallons that are used for small reef tanks for housing corals and other saltwater inverts. These are very cool looking but take a lot of work monitoring water quality and correcting as needed.
Finally, to gain a better understanding of the cost differences between running a freshwater, saltwater or a reef tank, check out the Freshwater vs. Saltwater Aquariumpage for more information.
Hobbyists who get fond with marine fishes can keep several types of fishes without taking any considerations of presence of corals and then can keep wide range of fishes and invertebrates ..
The most and ultimate level of the marine aquarium .. its beauty attracts many hobbyists every year increasingly
Due to the environment pressure and the decline of breeding rate f corals causes by environment pollution.. Some hobbyist invents several ways to produce an artificial corals which can mimic the real corals and in the other hand can save the money by it’d price or the cost of feeding them or select the expensive light package.. Then nowadays a lot of companies and manufacturers produced several types shapes and colors of these corals.. Which can be a good resort for limited budget aquariums
The Sump Tank :
There are two types of sumps either to be made by yourself or to be purchased as a readymade and as we described In the Aquarium components – we need here to translate the sump components into read tank .. the location and space needed is important and you need to put in your consideration the space required to install all the equipments and to be accessible easily .. the levels of water is also important for each equipment ( for example the water level for protein skimmer which is critical thing to make it work effectively – Anyhow you can raise the level by plastic pipe fittings )
1. space needed: Here we need some estimations ..
- In general must be A sump size from 40 to 60% of the size of the main tank and the protein skimmer with a capacity of twice the amount of water in the main tank , if the main tank size is 100 liter then we need protein skimmer 200 liters per hour. The important thing is water recycling process which will l naturally drain by gravity and electric pump will return the water to the main tank in general we need to be 10 to 12 times if the capacity of 100 liters water tank we need to pump capacity 1000 to 1200 liters per hour.
- Sump Must contain the three different sections (can be reviewed in the components page of this website ).
- Take in your consideration the maintenance and space required for replace if you need, especially protein skimmer and space from the upper edge of the sump and the lower stand which hold the main tank , One of important things is the place for chiller which be always forgotten by hobbyist , and then forced to put it outside the stand and take place from the room with bad view specially when your room and tank surrounding are too pleasant ..
- Electricity sockets and electrical source should be also far away and try to be waterproof location or equipments ..
2. Electrical Works : you have the skimmer - Return pump – heater –chiller - lighting - wave maker- lamp for lighting the sump and the refrigium - external filter - reactor number 2 at least with the possibility of installation of 4 to 5 need any additional hardware or equipments , So you need a 12 electrical divider or feeders or electric socket. It should be taken away from sump , humidity and water source and do not forget to earth your equipments to prevent and protect against electric shock.
3. Plumbing (pipes works ) :
- We Use PVC plastic pipes, plastic pipes and sometimes from other materials such as transparent acrylic pipes to hide the view or the color of pipes .. and tubes sometimes we use pipes make from other plastic materials made of polycarbonate , polypropylene or the ABS.( Never use any metal , aluminum , iron in any fitting or products – Even the stand should be wood or stainless steel ( you can use anti rust paint )) .
- You have two sets of pipes:
1. Return ( By gravity ) water pipeline from the main aquarium tank .
2. Return water ( Pumped water ) pipes to the Main tank .
Some Times the main tank and the sump come in one package and it is calculated and designed in the factory and only to install the equipments and then fill the water – OR – you can make by your sels as a DIY ( Do-It-Yourself Project ) ..
Pipes with valves for Reactors operation
Lights for Refrigium
Suction pipes for return pump
Socks to refine the water from any debris
Several types of ready made sumps
Sump Construction :
You have two choises for sumps even to be a ready made sump which can be purchased from a pet or aquarium shop or you can build it by yourself .. Also any complete ready or package reef tank supplied with empty sump tank , you need only to fill with water and equipments .
- DIY sump ( Do-it-yourself ) Sump :
Reef Aquarium Sumps are something that can be very simple and easy to set up if you know a few things about what you are trying to do.
A big reason why sumps are confusing to beginners is that a lot of people make them way more complicated than they need to be. They see all kinds of pipes going all over the place and think they must be hard to build.
Sump Size Estimation :
It is now clear that we have three variables are important to size the sump:
- Diameter of the pipe from the schedule above.
- Protein skimmer and shall be double the tank capacity per hour .
- Returns pump, which must be 10 times the amount of water per hour of the tank ..
So how we behave with it?
Applied example is the best solution to understand these variables:
Assume that we have a main aquarium is a 100 cm length and width of 60 cm and a height of 70 cm and has a capacity of 420 liters of water
How much is the size and sump , skimmer , Return pump and pipe diameters?
Before everything is not all size aquarium 420 liters of water will be filtered, there are live rock and sand that will take part of the water and as we have said, the need for each gallon of water to 1 kg of live rock
So 420 liters divided by 3.678 convertible into US gallon, the capacity of 114.192 gallons or let’s say 115 gallons
So we need to 115 kg of live rock.
It means 420-115 = 305 liters of water, which is net water capacity ..
It neglects the sand because it is few , As well as add 10% safety factor is almost 350 liters of water or 96 gallon this that concerns us in determining the diameters of the pipes ..
So we have a 350 liter must be drain to the sump Since the pump capacity must by 10 times of the water capacity:
350 × 10 = 3500 liters per hour (this is capacity of the pump )
Pipeline: from the schedule above 3500 liters means 96 gallons × 10 and is equal to 960 gallons of it is high recommended to use two pipes o which will be keep you in safe side if in the case of a blockage . The first column in the schedule above , the 960 ÷ 2 = 480 gallons, the pipe diameter which suitable to us a diameter of 1 inch with rate good and the possibility of Carry on up to 600 gallons per hour which mean 1200 gallons per hour.
Do not forget that we need third pipe work as a seftey in case of any sudden rise in the water level in the main tank above the two other pipes which will protect us from any flood in the main tank .
So the answer is: pipe diameter 1 inch - 3 pipes
Sump size is the volume of net water without safety factors = 305 liters size of sump
So the main tank : 420 liter
Sump: 305 liter
Skimmer: 305 × 2: 610 liters per hour
Returns pump 3500 gallons per hour
Return pipes diameter : From same schedule : 1 inch pipe or two 3/4inch pipes but it is preferable to be two pumps in case of any one stop working , we can
Now all information is available in terms of volumes and pipe sizes and the sump partitions and dividers or baffles , You have two choices as we have said either by acrylic or glass -Acrylic easier in terms of work holes and cutting, etc but more difficult glass it is better to review Video following that illustrate the work of the tanks of the important things is to cut glass or acrylic panels that must take into account the overlap between the sheet :
Example: tank length of 60 cm and a width of 30 cm and a height of 30 cm and a thickness of 6 mm (thickness of the glass table to the length and hight) what is panels dimensions ?
Shape is usually square or parallelogram and need the following panels:
Base: length 60 width 30 cm
the front Side : the length of 60 cm, but the rise will be less than 30 cm by 6 mm (Keep in mind that every 1 cm is equal to 10 mm) shall be 29.4 cm and the reason for this is that the thickness of the base.
The back side = the front 60 cm × 29.4 cm
The side: Right and left: there are two as in the above front and rear or back side must minus the display of 30 cm of 6 mm from both sides of a 30 cm - 12 mm or 1.2 cm as well as the height of 30 cm minus 6 mm for the base shall be: (30 cm - 12 mm ) × (30 cm - 6 mm) = 28.8 × 29.4 cm
In order to be not fallen in a mistakes used millimeters instead centimeter:
In general each tank consists of five panels have also been mentioned in the above and this is similar in the case of acrylic or glass
The important scheduale to know the water capacity drain from pipes by gravity pr by pump pressure asper the pipe diameter - We will need it to know the water capacity and the pipe sizes to connect the sump to the main Tank
UPVC pipes is a common pipes used with aquarium it is available in most hardware or home improvement or DIY shops in different sizes, colors and also it's fitting.. To be either to glue by special adhesive called PVC cement or by thread fittings - Don't use any metal products in Aquarium like iron fitting it will rust quickly and add unsafe mineral to the aquarium water ..
It is not commonly seen and rare to find - the acrylic pipes and it's fitting is crystal clear and can be used in aquarium lumbing specilally when the view of the pipes can not be hidden and will part of the room decoration .
Overflow from the Main tank to the Sump :
You have two choises for the overflow which will be responsible to take the water from tank and drain to the sump and will be by gravity without any pump pressure :
- Overflow box by Siphon method : this can be used when you have an drilled tank and usually used when you don't want to drill the tank to make a hole forthe pipes and fittings to be applied ..
If the tank is “reef-ready,” it has been drilled and has an internal overflow. This is the preferred method, because all the owner has to do is connect plumbing to the bulkheads. With a reef-ready tank, you never need to think about how it will drain, because it does so automatically. The only concern is that no livestock get into that section because it might obstruct the drain. A strainer can prevent a disaster.
For tanks that are not drilled, a Hang-On-the-Back (HOB) overflow works by using the siphon method. A box is submerged inside the tank and a second box hangs on the outside of the tank. A U-tube siphons water from the inner box to the outer box, and from there water flows down a drain line to the sump. If the overflow box is set up correctly and designed properly, it will always maintain a siphon, even during a power outage.
It is imperative that HOB overflow users visually check the U-tube daily. If trapped air is accumulating at the top (or apex) of the U-tube, this should be dealt with immediately rather than later. If air continues to accumulate on a regular basis, perhaps the U-tube isn't seated properly, or perhaps the flow through the overflow box isn't fast enough to force those bubbles to flow right out the other end. See this article for tips on starting an overflow.
Using something (such as foam pipe insulation) to shield the U-tube from direct lighting helps reduce algae growth within it. Algae can cause an obstruction, thereby reducing the flow through the pipe and making it hard to see inside it. Once a day, lift the lid and check the U-tube. It takes only one second of your time to make sure it is working as it should. I had two tanks running like this for nearly three years and never had a problem. Be sure to clean out the inner box of any algae growth so the overflow can run without issue. If green hair algae are growing abundantly, they can obstruct the flow. If the water can't siphon quickly enough, the display tank will fill up more and more, and possibly overflow.
Snails can be a problem if they crawl into the overflow tube, because their shell can temporarily block the flow. Some gutter guard or eggcrate (lighting diffuser) can be cut to fit, which acts as a barrier to keep the snails out of that area.
Above the location of the overflow box and to the right a ready made overflow box . Below is DIY Overflow box
- Direct Overflow : If you can drill a holes in the aquarium and have experince to do that , you can make holes for pipes and fix the Bulkhead ( Bulkhead : PVC fitting consist of two peices which tight together one piece inside the aquarium and the other one outside the aquarium , and alsop Rubber O ring to avoid any water leak from tank you can even drill in the back or on the bottom of the tan ..
- Glass cutting : Need more care and water to cool the sheet and use drill fittings with high speed and on a stages basis , the fitting or tool as below is supported with artifical or industrial diamond or stain less steel
Below Some Videos Explain the Tank construction :
- Acrylic Cutting : Acrylic cutting and coring is simpler than te glass cutting , its plastic based material , We use the same tools used for wood .. take care to keep the lamination paper or cover the acrylic sheet to protect it fro any scratch .. it is scratch easly .
The sharp needle to the left used for more control while coring by electrical drilling ..
- Over flow Set up: After making the hole which will be exactly the size (external diameter of the bulkhead) .. it is the time now to fix the bulkhead inside the hole .
To avoid the bad view if the bulk head and the pipe you can fix the screen sheet which made from plastic also even it is sold as a readymade one or you can make it by yourself from cutting plastic sheet take care to glue the screen sheet by proper and suitable gluing material .
screen sheet to stop any derbis , waste or materials to drain from the pipe .
Bulkhead and the elbow .
Another design can be used for the screen sheet which cab be shorter - water can be drop from above instaead of the screen side
screen sheet to stop any derbis , waste or materials to drain from the pipe .
Bulkhead and the elbow .
Rubber O ring to avoid any leak
Thread or screw to fit with pipe
Above is the types of bulk heads to be used and you can select the ways and methods to connect with the pipe fittings below you can use glue or join by thread , Adpaters is the name of the fitting below
Above and left is tthe female adapters used to join with the male adapters to the far left directly with bulkhead above .
For better maintenance and for easy dismantle the plumbing works it is better to use the Union shown here for both glue pipe type or join with the thread pipe type .
Above the thread seal tape which must be used when join any plastic pies to avoid any leak
Below several types of screen sheet which you can make it in the corner or back of the aquarium
The idea behined making tall screen sheet is a better chance to combine water from different level in the aquarium then better circulation and filteration .. This will usefull for the high tanks
You can install two pipes collect the water from above and below the tank on another hand two drain pipes will put you in safe side in case of any block or stop in one pipe .
Durso Pipe : Durso standpipe is the best solutions to a noisy overflow and you can do it by drill a PVC cap for the PVC pipe Mostly aquariums have this pipe combination , only the probel with snail if it is come inside the pipe , As we said above it is important to put two ppes for drain and also one pipe as spare in case of water become more than uual level in the aquarium and to avoid any flood in your room ..
Bootom bulkhead or Standpipe assembly :
10 - 1¼ PVC end-cap with vent hole.
9 - Connector made of 1¼ PVC. Glue to Tee, teflon taped top for snug fit with End-Cap.
8 - 1¼ PVC Street-Ell. Trim the connector for a compact design to help fit into smaller overflow chambers. Glued into Tee fitting. This is the water intake for the standpipe. Water level would be expected to be around the middle of this fitting.
7 - 1¼ PVC Tee. Do not glue this onto the standpipe. Use teflon tape on the standpipe for a snug fit. This allows it to be removed for height adjustment or maintenance.
6 - 1¼ PVC Pipe. Sized long enough to get the end-cap just about equal to the rim of the display tank.
5 - 1¼ PVC Coupling. The stand pipe and reducer bushing are glued to this part.
4 - 1¼ to 1 inch reducer bushing.
3 - Connector made of 1 inch PVC. This should be glued into the reducer bushing. If you have a slip bulkhead, this inserts directly into the bulkhead -- use teflon tape for snug fit.
2 - OPTIONAL: 1 Inch PVC Male adapter - only needed on threaded bulkheads. You may want to attach to connector with teflon tape to allow for a quick yank removal from bulkhead. Use teflon tape on threads before inserting into bulkhead.
1 - Bulkhead. The opening at the bottom of your overflow chamber to allow water to drain out to the sump. This drawing shows a threaded bulkhead.
How to Build It?
Building a Durso stand pipe is quite simple and inexpensive. Assuming that your tank or overflow is already designed with a stand-pipe you will only need seven additional parts to make this a "Durso". Because a stand-pipe must be large enough to accommodate YOUR tank size, no sizes are provided in the description below.
Part # (1) and (2) you should already have: (1) Slip to threaded adaptor that you screw into your threaded bulkhead. (2) a piece of PVC pipe cut to the length necessary for the water to be at the correct level in you corner overflow box, center overflow box, HOT overflow pre-filter box, or wherever.
You may have to cut it down some after attaching the rest of the parts. So, keep in mind: as long as the "Durso" assembly is inside a body of water you do not need to use any glue or silicone. The pipe fittings fit snug enough to be fairly water-tight. If this makes you nervous, you can always go back and glue the parts together after running it for a couple of days--to make sure it is the way you want it.
The "Durso" consists of parts (3) through (9):
3) slip "T" -size appropriate to your stand-pipe.
(4) pvc pipe - just long enough to join the "T" to the elbow
(5) slip elbow
(6) Reducer - reduction size appropriate to work with (7) &(8).
(7) Threaded 2 inch long pipe.
(8) Theaded to ribbed hose connector elbow
(9) flexible hose (or air line hose)
It was pointed out to me recently, by a guy (Tangster1) on About.com's Saltwater forum, that the "Durso" stand-pipe is the same, in concept, as the plumbing vent used in nearly all our homes. You know those little chimney-like pipes that stick out of the top of your roof? Those are the vents for the drains in your house.
Even though it has been stated that such stand pipes were used before Durso's name became associated with it, I continue to credit Richard Durso with this device because he popularized the use of this plumbing principle, in regards to stand pipes, on his web site. Sorry, Tangster1. You can see the many forms this design has taken on at Richard Durso's Website.
Above and left the Durso pipe which can be in or out of the aquarium .
Pipes Arrangment : Two pipes of drain and need one pipe for saftey this will be same other two pipes but only the elbow will be to above and near the the upper eadge of the aquarium to avoid food or leak from the tank
Three pipes are the common seen in the aquarium , You can plan for this by measure and design the diameter of pipe and the lengt of elbow then the drilling for the bulkhead to be lower aound 1 cm from the top of the aquarium ( or the back glass or acrlilic sheet )
Below the Durso pipe along with the union fitting and overflow pipe fittings .
After the Overflow above and where the pipes open in the sump you can combine all the pipe with one pipe called Header and install valve to control the water
Chiller also connected with the Main tank by plumbing works