HM's 40b build (will work on title)


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Good evening everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and say hello to everyone who reads this post, I'm looking forward to being a part of this community. Now onto the build!

I'll be setting up a 40b over the next 2-3 months depending on my work schedule. Surprisingly, busy season for a CPA is not the ideal time to start a new build.

I was out of the reefing hobby for probably 10+ years, then a friend of mine handed me his Fluval Spec V when his A/C went out last summer because he thought everything would die from the heat. So needless to say I got hooked. It’s fascinating to see how much this hobby has changed; I remember upgrading to VHO's in the early 2000’s because they were the best next to MH.

So anyway, here is my list of stuff.

Tank - 40b from Petco drilled with a 700 kit from glass-holes.
Sump - 29g from Petco
Stand/Hood – DIY (pics to come)
Return Pump - Quiet One 4000
Lights – DIY LED
DT Flow - 2 Eheim Compact Pumps with random flow nozzles
Live seed rock - ~20 lbs, maybe LFS if I can find anything nice in Dallas
Dry rock - ~50 lbs dry rock.
Sand - N/A, going bare bottom. I am going to put down a 1” sheet of HDPE.
Skimmer – SCA-180
Reactors – BRS Dual
Heaters – 2 Eheim Jagers 250w

I am planning to have a mixed reef but predominately LPS and Zoas/Palys.

Planned fish:
1-2 Maroon clowns - I already have one, I might reconsider depending on how aggressive they decide to be. I love some of the designer clowns and will be adding a RBTA regardless of which clowns I go with.

3-4 Green Chromis, I really want a schooling type fish.

1 Six line wrasse (assuming it will be ok with bare bottom, I have to research it)

So I guess I'd like some input/wisdom from all you experts out there. Let me know what you think or if you have some suggestions for improvement.
I would just like to say *HI* and welcome to DFWMAS.

You said it yourself in your signature line ... *There is no secret ingredient* ... but there are MANY helpful heads and hands here!

Again, welcome! ... and when you are ready for a *title update* just let any MOD know and they can change it for you.
Welcome! I did a DIY 40b/29g as well! Let me know if you have any specific questions for this setup. Always glad to help.
Thanks all! I will post some pictures of the stand this weekend. Hopefully I can finish it and get it skinned. If I am feeling really ambitious I might try and drill my tank but to be honest the idea of drilling it is still terrifying....
@texreefer wrote:
Welcome! I did a DIY 40b/29g as well! Let me know if you have any specific questions for this setup. Always glad to help. said:
Any chance you can link me to your build thread or post some pictures of your layout? I have an idea in my head for how I want mine to look but I'm trying to keep an open mind..
Quick question: with the pump I am using will I have enough flow to plumb the return line into a BRS Dual GFO/Carbon reactor or should I buy an extra Cobalt 1200 pump to run it?
Haha, I just noticed that I never went back and updated it after it was finished. Maybe I'll do some "seven months later..." pictures this weekend.


As far as the return pump, I use a mag 5, which is only pushing a bit over 300 when you calculate head loss, and I wouldn't want much less flow than this through the sump. However if you are pushing around 500-600 after head loss... you would have plenty of gph to plumb your "accessories" right into the return line. Maybe someone can link you the head loss calculator.
@texreefer wrote:
I found the one linked in the DIY thread with the plumbing intro. Right now my best estimate is total flow around 430gph back to the DT. I guess I should actually sit down this weekend and plan my plumbing.
Would everyone mind sharing their wisdom and advice regarding my planned plumbing and sump.

Red = 1 1/2" drain line
Green = 1" return line

each square = 1 inch, I rounded everything to the next inch to give plenty of extra room.

Thank you in advance!
Will someone also recommend a good thread sealer for my bulkheads? I'm planning to use double threaded bulkheads.

If anyone is feeling especially generous would you also kindly recommend a PVC cement? I wasn't sure if I could just buy any type I want at Home Depot or if there is a particular type that is safe for aquariums.

Thank you
I didn't use any "thread sealer" on mine. Were you wanting to use threaded so that you can remove the pvc later?? I just hand tightened the bulkheads to the glass, pvc cemented the outside plumbing all the way to the sump, and used no cement inside the overflow box. Buy "Threaded Unions" to put in line near your pumps so that you can remove them easily, or anywhere else you may want to be able to take apart. As far as PVC cement, there isn't any type specific to aquariums, so the HD kind is fine.
@texreefer wrote:
I didn't use any "thread sealer" on mine. Were you wanting to use threaded so that you can remove the pvc later?? I just hand tightened the bulkheads to the glass said:
I guess I just keep thinking that if I mess something up or if I need to move the tank that being able to disconnect the bulkheads without removing them would be a good idea..

Any thoughts on the plumbing and sump layout?
Were you simply using the sump for the extra water volume and hiding your equipment? or were you planning on running a refugium?

I did this EXACT same setup in my sump, except mine is a 29g not 20g. The second picture.

There is really PLENTY of room in a 29g for a refugium, I would suggest it.

Also, as far as your plumbing... avoid horizontal plumbing, it is a bit more difficult to measure and do the initial gluing with angled pvc, but is a better option.
@texreefer wrote:
I haven't decided on the refugium yet, still not sure I want one.

Could you snap a few more pictures of your tanks plumbing? After reading your thread I've realized I am pretty much doing the exact same thing you did. I'd really like to see how you ran the lines for drains and the return lines. If not that's ok, I appreciate your help. I am going to work on the layout some more this week and I may order the extra bulk heads just to get a feel for where I want them in the tank..
Look I built a stand and it only took a month!

Basic bones, yes its pretty level but will require a shim as one corner on the bottom is off by 1/8-1/10 an inch.

Skinned and painted

With doors, I haven't installd the magnetic latch for the side doors so that is why they stick out a bit.

I have an extra piece of plywood big enough to put across the top so the tank (standard 40b with black rim) could sit on that rather than the 2x4 rails. Otherwise I would use the piece of plywood to provide a backsplash for the sump area. Any thoughts on either option?
I'd use it for the top to provide a level surface. Get a smaller piece for the sump area (leaving top half open to release heat), in case the sump overflows and it will hold the water within that area versus all over the floor, thus flooding your home. Make sure you seal it with caulk and I'd put Kills mold resistant paint in the sump area to prevent wood rot and mold.

Well since the sides and front of the stand aren't sealed not I'm not sure having the back sealed would help but I do understand your point.

I went back and forth on the Kilz, I used an exterior grade enamel in semi-gloss black. If you would still advise using Kilz on top of that I'll go see what I can find.

thank you for your input
If I could change one thing to my stand (which is very similar to yours), it would be adding some sort of external "box" or dry area on the side of the stand to house all the electrical. It's not a MUST, but I would like a single area to put my DJ outlet strips and my apex unit, without fear of humidity damaging them or accidentally splashing water on them... because IT WILL HAPPEN!

I splashed water right into my apex jr's power outlets... POP, SMOKE, ELECTRICAL SMELL... bad. I still don't know how it survived. Make or plan a safe space for the expensive electronics while you are still in "build mode", it will save you money and headache later.
^^^^+1000 That's what I do on my stands that I build. Highly advised! Kilz isn't mandatory but I've used it on all my stands for preventative maintenance down the road. Its all white in the sump area, which brightens it up when lighted.