• Welcome back Guest!

    MARSH is a private reefing group. Comments and suggestions are encouraged, but please keep them positive and constructive. Negative threads, posts, or attacks will be removed from view and reviewed by the staff. Continually disruptive, argumentative, or flagrant rule breakers may be suspended or banned.
  • Hello Guest,

    How would you like to get a Build Thread Contributor title/badge?
    Go here for instuctions.

General advice on equipment setup (1 Viewer)


Supporting Member
Jul 26, 2017
Reaction score
I've had my tank up for roughly 3 years now, and still consider myself a newbie.

Currently I'm battling GHA. If I manually remove the GHA, red slimy bubbles appear in their place (I'm guessing Dino's?). But I digress, this isn't what this thread is about.

My setup consists of:
120 gallon Aqueon Reef-ready tank
DIY sump from a 55 gallon
Plumbing is Sch40 PVC from the hardware store
Eheim 1262 Return pump
2x Ecotech MP60wQD
Simplicity 240 Skimmer
Refugium light is a Kessil H80 Tuna Flora, timed 5pm-8am
Display Light is a LedZeal Malibu S200 full-spectrum LED, with a ramping profile.

I have a 75gpd RODI, with 2 50-gallon poly drums for rip-off and salt mixing.

I plan for this to be a mixed reef, current tank inhabitants:
1x serpent star
2x tuxedo urchin
5x emerald crab
Astreus snail x 12ish
Nassirus snail x 10 ish
Scarlet hermit x5
Red leg hermit x15
Blue leg hermit x10

1x toadstool leather
1x hammer
2x ocellaris clown
1x starry blenny
1x bicolor angel

On to the question -
Are there any necessary livestock or equipment I'm missing? Should I be running a bigger return pump? How much flow does the refugium itself need?
The refugium water source is branched off of my return line. If I open the refugium too much, the flow up to the DT drops to zero.
While the GHA is flourishing, I can't seem to keep chaeto alive in my current setup. I've cleaned all the GHA out of the sump and added two softball size chaeto clumps. The GHA has started growing inside the chaeto ball and is quickly choking the chaeto out.
I'm honestly concerned about adding corals at this point. I want to make sure I have what I need so I'm not making emergency purchases.


Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Jun 11, 2012
Reaction score
The Woodlands
The first thing you may want to invest in is phosphate and nitrate test kits, so you'll have a better idea of what you're dealing with. Your bio load is pretty low, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem, but you never know.

Since you have no corals, you could leave the lights off on the DT for quite a while, while only running the refugium light. Regardless of whether you're growing chaeto or GHA in the fuge, harvesting it removes nutrients needed by the GHA in the DT.


Vice President
Staff member
Content Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Jul 23, 2014
Reaction score
Spring, TX
Where is the hair algae growing? On the glass? Sand? Rocks?


Supporting Member
Oct 14, 2011
Reaction score
610s/NRG Stadium area
900gph return pump is a tad small for that system. Especially if you are splitting it with a refugium. I would recommend increasing the flow to the refugium and doing more maintenance so that it is kept cleaner. Once gha takes hold in the cheato it will destroy it. You can try cutting off or pulling off the pieces with gha in it.

Also your clean up crew could use a little beefing up. This gives your system a chance to fight off the algae in the display tank while your refugium takes control again.

Manual removal of gha in the display is good too if possible.

Users who are viewing this thread