Alright here we go, this will most likely be a rather long post so you might wanna sit down as I attempt to bore you to death while I bring you up to speed of where I'm at.

Ok so I'm on a rather tight budget since I'm still in college and have to pay for school myself, which is completely fine but it will just inhibit my progress some.

Anyways my plan is to have a 55 gallon tank which will eventually be a reef tank, you know fish rock sps and hopefully an anemone, the system will have a 20 gallon sump and as many DIY things as I can do without endangering the system's inhabitants

So far I have the two tanks and PVC set up for my overflow system (still only a dry fit hasn't been glued together in-case I decide to make changes)

55 Gallon Beast (for me at least haha I know most of you have double the size):

That's post cleaning... well at least some of the cleaning haha need to do a more thorough windexing on the outside eventually

20 Gallon sump: it's just a regular looking 20 gallon long haha nothing special I'm sure we've all seen them before haha I'll post pictures once I get it set up with the compartments the way I have it in my head lol

And here's my rough draft of a over flow type system:

And finally a little shot to show you how it will hang on the tank... hopefully haha:

From outside the tank

From inside the tank... the intake is a little high I think but I'm gonna test it out and see how it goes with just water in the tank once I get all my equipment for a wet test. Also there will be some screen over the top and I'll probably cut slits in as well

So ok now on to my plan of action:

1. Pick up my MAG pump this weekend (MAG 12, pumps out 1200gph which I know is overkill but I figured it can't hurt): This weekend

2. Begin construction on stand for tank of 2x4's (will be very sturdy, mix of 2x4's and plywood sheeting): Hopefully Friday night

3. Pick up skimmer and power heads : TBD

4. Do a wet test of all equipment OUTSIDE and make sure all my plumbing and fiddle with my rates so that they are equal (siphon out of tank = pumping into tank) : After stand is complete and plumbing has been tested and glued haha (might be changed to basement due to cold weather)

5. FISH!!!! No I'm completely kidding haha

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head... I mean I know I'm skimming the surface but for the love of God the post is already long enough haha so I won't get into my plan for cycling and all that good stuff yet

As for right now I'm researching my lighting options, I want to do DIY because I have no problem getting it all wired up accordingly and all that hooha but I just don't wanna F it up and then have to but a 130 dollar fixture anyways lol

Also I need to figure out where I'm going to put this bad boy in my room... I started with the notion of the foot of my bed but I think I might move the 20 gal fresh over there since it will fit better and I'll put this sucker over on the wall where the fresh was, which will work out because they'll both still have access to an outlet.

Plans for power are to just run a power strip from the nearest outlet and go from there accordingly. Haven't really looked into the consumption and whether or not it'll blow my breaker. It should be a 15A breaker so if it is too much I can always spread the load out a little.

So if anybody has any advice feel free to chime in haha I've been reading "The New Aquarium" by Michael Paletta which has been great very knowledgeble but if you guys have any tips from what I've written already feel free to chime in. Like I said progress will be slow so don't get too excited haha