Filters, holes, HELP!


I was looking at tanks at my lfs recently, and after some thought, it's come down to the perfect 2-item checklist:

75 gallon tank


Now, the question is, what to put in the sump, where to drill the holes, etc:

On this store's pre-drilled tanks, the holes are behind a black (plastic) sheild, which has vertical holes at the top and bottom. These don't look smaller than a baby octopus' eyes/beak, so I'm thinking I'd better get the tank custom drilled. Is that the way to go? With a powerhead coming out of the sump? Also, he said that a fine mesh over the intake/outflows would impede flow. What do most people do about this?

Also, I was told not to use a wet/dry as the sump (he said I'd have nitrate problems), live rock would be enough bio-filtration. This doesn't seem right...I picture non-live sand, live rock, a wet/dry suited for (help!) gallons, and a protein skimmer. Who's right here?

Also, I've never dealt with a marine tank before, so I figured I'd try to keep a few small fish alive for a few months before ordering a bimac. Make sense?


Staff member
Lots of questions here, so I'll respond to one that was important for me. You mentioned operating your tank for a few months before ordering an octo. This is what I did (turned out to be 4 months) and it was good in many ways. I got used to the tank and its care, the tank stabilized (never really cycled), and I grew a huge crop of amphipods, which my baby bimac really appreciated.



Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Hello jetlee

I can't speak to the equipment list, but the attempt to keep other fish alive before taking on more demanding creatures sounds eminently reasonable and admirable.



Unless I am totally off on the black plastic shield, I am pretty sure that is the overflow. The slits are to allow the water in and keep fish inthe tank (don't know whoy it would have thenm at the bottow also though). You need this to regulate the amount of h2o in the tank.

I have seen the "WD is a nitrate factory" a couple places lately. I think they are talking about a specialised kind of WD for ponds, not the usual one used on a tank. You are right the LR will not be enough filtration on its own. I would aim for the biggest sump you can fit under the tank.


Haliphron Atlanticus
It is the overflow being refered to here. So basically jetlee you asre looking at what is commonly called a reef ready tank. They usually are more expensive than a regular tank, and a seperate overflow - Just FYI. If you price the two together and you have a better deal with the reef ready - get it and send me one to!!!!! :D

IMO - you would need to find a way to block the path to the sump from the downtubes at the bottom of the overflow to the sump. I would put a mess in the middle of the black overflow, more water comes through and would not block the amount able to leave the tank like would happen if you meshed the slots.

I do not believe you would need to drill this set-up at all.

IMO - the reason for this conception about nitrates is the possiblity of an outage, and the bacteria on the bio-balls gets washed in to the system, as the water increase.

Get a w/d suitable for a 100gal tank. I always oversize my w/d as I have found many uses for the extra space, and increased circulation capacity.

Sorry for the novel, but hopes this helps!!


Larval Mass
tank questions

Get the reef ready, make sure you have a good cover.

Overflow, this is how you make it "baby octo proof"; goto your favorite home improvement store/hardware store. Goto the drywall section. Look for the plastic strips that seal the corners of the drywall - they should be about 8 foot long and cost $1.75. It has holes already drilled in it and is easily cut with a knife or scissors. Take this home and cut it to go over your overflow. Secure it using zip ties.

Your done! Attached are a couple of photos from my new 60 gallon that just got set up this morning. THe sand is still swirling around, so ignore the murky water.


Nice fix.
I got to thinking and I hae the same problem, reef ready tank and was at a loss as to how to seal that up. Liiks like I am headed to lowes today. :)

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