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55g progress


Blue Ring
Sep 5, 2007
as most of you know i am planning on getting a bimac. i got a 55g tank, some live rock, and sand. i will need more live rock then this correct? i have a small diatom problem but it's mostly went away now. protien skimmer is running smoothly.



i will be getting more live rock soon. the live rock i have in there was pretty dead by the time i got it in this tank, but mostly redish/burgendy algae lookin stuff on it, and a bit of green alga but not much.

my question:

will this be too narrow? i know alot of people get those bow tanks but i couldn't find a 50+ gallon bow tank anywhere. this is the best i could find.
The shape of the tank shouldn't be much of an issue I wouldn't think. You should really look for a wet/dry filter or a decent sized sump to add onto it though, also maybe a decent HOB filter to run carbon. And yes, more live rock. 1lb per gallon, maybe more.
I know it seems overwhelming, but you'll really be doing yourself and the octo a favor in the long run. Getting a sump gives you the chance to put all external parts somewhere other than hanging on the tank....which is great, considering they do love to escape, and are quite capable - even through the smallest crevices you never imagined they could squeeze through.
Also, the more water you have running, the easier it is to maintain water parameters, i.e.: a small ammonia shift in a 30 gallon is a lot bigger than a small shift in ammonia in 60 gallons. This will save you time and stress!
It's really easy to make a DIY sump, I have done it and I'm pretty sure plenty of other TONMO-ers have also. I bet you could search for articles on this site and find some help with it....we're all pretty friendly. :smile:
All you need for a sump is a small tank you can fit below the display tank and a good return pump. You can get 10 gallon tanks at Wal-Mart for $10, though a 20 or 30 gallon would be better/easier to set up since you'd have more room and more overall water volume.
it's not mkaing and getting it thats the problem...

it's telling my parents that i am gonna need a 10-20 gallon tank in my room added onto my tortoise tank, my bearded dragon tank, and this new 55g tank..... you can see where the problem may be :tongue:

but i'll try.
Can't cut corners in the saltwater hobby, especially with cephalopods. I understand though. That's the tough part of being a kid and depending on your parents understanding and assistance. Tell them you'll wash the dishes, do the laundry, mow the lawn... :) Do some major brown-nosing and they might be easier to coax into it! And one of these days when you get married, you'll have the same thing to look forward to all over again! :)

I'm such a bad influence.
well our yard is about 20 acres or so, so thats kind of a problem. and we use a dish washer....but i may not need to do brown nosing after all!

i just remembered, the tank is on a realy strong wooden shipping box, wish, of course, is hollow inside. so viola! there is the good part, instead of telling my parents there wil be another tank in the house, i can put a tub i have a tthe garage, where the rest of my fish are, and put it in the box. then, cut some holes through thebox for tubes to go through to and from the tank.

the tub will be the sump, in the box, wich is the stand, hiden out of the way. it's a perfect solution! and then i don't have to buy a tank either :wink2:

so, that problem is now solved. i will try to see what tubs i can fit in it and how many gallons the tub will be toorrow, unfortunatly it's getting dark.

i may be getting more live rock next week. probably about 40 lbs? i am guessing thats about 10 lbs in the tank, but thats just my best guess, i could be wrong. i will probably put some rock in the sump to.

if the sump is gonna be basically pitch black in the box, will that be a problem? will the sump need light or will the bacteria be find in it? and could i put live rock in a pitch black sump or just keep all of it in the tank? i want it to have alot of room to play so if the rock would be just as helpful for bacteria in the dark let me know.

i'm probably typing way too much, but i jut can't wait to get an octo! :talker:

i just noticed a tiny little problem with that idea....

well ya see, the tank is on top of the box, 55g of water, the tank it'sself, sand, and rock.....

well if you think about it, wich i didn't, there is a huge problem with that idea. moving the tank, and getting a sump in the box.

so there goes that idea :sink:
The tubs are a good idea though. The sump needs to hold water, it does not have to be glass or acrylic or even transparent. It is a place for filtering so your closed box idea is not quite what you want. With a sump you can gravity feed your water over filtering material then pump back the filtered water (you can also move your skimmer to this area and not worry about the pump or sealing around it with the octo). I also keep a poly-filter (brand of water filter, not the blue polyester material) on my return pump's intake. Your open tub will give you a place to keep your live food as well. Shrimp and clams are good octo food and good tank cleaners. Additional LR will add filtration and provide housing for the crabs. I would advise against a substrate though, I have removed all the substrate from my sumps (excepting my deep sand bed for the 140 reef) because it put more dirt in than it took out.

Some people make a small refugium in part of their sump. My own experience, however, suggests that if you want a fuge, do it in a separate tank. Using it as a small refutium with plants and a light on 24/7 or in alteration with your tank lights helps stabalize the PH.

It look like you will need to put it under your window though, maybe you could fashion a small bookcase shelf to keep supplies with the tank on top (it does have to be lower than your tank for the siphon to work, the lower the better but keep it off the floor/carpet).

It is probably obvious the most of us feel a sump is the way to go but you can simply add a canister or overflow filter and secure the intake and openings. It is not the optimum solution but it is an alternative. I know Carol uses this method very successfully.
yeah, i thought of maby putting the tub next to the tank near the window, but put some sort of table or something over it and put a front on the table so yu can't see the sump but it wil get light and be usable for filtersa dn stuff. covering the areas around the protien skimmer was becomingone of my major worries but with a sump, if i can make it fit in twith the room without looking like a tub with wate rin it, will be very handy.

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