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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting from scratch building a 120g setup, 4' x 2' x 2'. I'm considering either a standard tank or a reef ready. I plan on filtration being a closed loop setup, using 2 Eheim 2128s, inline co2 reactor, inline pH, and semi-automatic water chage(automatic expansion in the future).

I want the filter loop intakes to be at the bottom of the tank. I haven't purchased the tank. These are the two options I'm considering. I'd like opinions, pros/cons, etc....

Option 1:
Standard tank. Drill two holes in the back for bulkheads. The tank is $120 cheaper than the reef ready version. In this scenario, I'd have to purchase diamond drill bits ($40) and run the risk of cracking the glass while drilling. I can practice drilling on an old 15g before hand, but there is still always a risk. The downside here is that custom drilled aquariums are hard to sell and lose a lot of value on the used market. It's likely I will sell this tank one day to upgrate to a 180 once I have the space(many years from now).

Option 2:
Reef Ready tank. Remove overflows(I don't like the look) and cap off two of four wholes in bottom glass. Use remaining two wholes with bulkheads and other fittings as intakes for cannister loop. Downside is it's $120 more, but I don't have to buy drill bits or risk cracking the glass.

Which option is better? How hard is it to remove the plastic overflows without damaging them so that I could possibly put them back on later if I wanted?
 

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Plan B. Simply because it's more useful to other reef aquarists once you plan to sell it.

IMHO, I would use the overflows - especially if I were doing an automatic WC system. A sump is much easier to work in and customize than a closed-loop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IMHO, I would use the overflows - especially if I were doing an automatic WC system. A sump is much easier to work in and customize than a closed-loop.

I considered that, but I'm such a fan huge overflows in the back of an aquarium, especially one without a background(which is what I'm planning at the moment).

There are a lot of advantages to a sump. People talk about sumps off gasing co2, but I don't see it being that big of a problem if you design the sump right. Am I right?
 

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There are a lot of advantages to a sump. People talk about sumps off gasing co2, but I don't see it being that big of a problem if you design the sump right. Am I right?
I think it's overrated. I mean Amano uses overflows on some of his larger aquariums in his gallery (check out the 6'x4' aquariums) including his own personal aquarium. Other hobbyists have as well. All still get good plant growth.

I'm also in the same dilemma as you are, I love the idea of a sump but hate the fact that it's an eye-sore. The best solution I've found is to take the overflow off and uses a standpipe draining at the water level. They also make clear PVC if you really want to hide it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A sump would make automatic WCs easier, but that's the only advantage for me. I haven't decided on a water change system yet...the automatic part would come later when I decided to integrate an aqua controller. For now, I was simply planning on a couple of solenoid valves with switches, and basically I would drain and fill myself without having to use a python.

I don't want to use a wet/dry, but I suppose I could do a different kind of sump. The disadvantage there is that I have ton of canister filters and other inline equipment around. I could sell it to purchase other stuff. It's a lot to consider.

However, I think my immediate decision is to get the reef ready tank. I can rip the overflows out and use the existing holes, or leave one or both overflows.....decisions.
 
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