As some of you may remember I was recently debating on whether to get a 175 gallon bowfront or a 180 gallon rectangular tank for my upcoming tank. Well after MUCH contemplation, my wife
and I finally settled on the Oceanic 175 gallon bowfront... That was such a difficult choice for this size of investment....
That being said, before I make the purchase, I am planning out all the aspects of the tank. (Equipment, Lighting, etc) The main question for this post is the filtration. The tank can be ordered predrilled with Oceanic's "Reef Ready" system which features an overflow and return and a nice sump/trickle filter. Although this is great convenience feature to have, I'm not sure I like it for a couple reasons:
1. CO2 Loss. I currently have this type of setup on my 80 Gallon bowfront and I go through CO2 pretty quick thanks to the trickle filter/sump.
2. Cramped planting space on either side of the tank. The "Reef Ready" setup blocks off the back 2 corners of the tank with the overflow and returns. These remove an area of about 9" x 7" from each side of the tank where space is already limited as it is, since its a bowfront. This results in a front to back planting space of only 10" on each side. I might be being a little nitpicky here, but one of the reasons I wanted to move to a bigger tank was because I wanted a more generous planting area.
3. Lighting. Well I just thought of this while I was typing, I suppose I would lose a little
bit of light also thanks to the aforementioned blocked off corners. Not a big issue, but a small part of the whole.
Based on the above, I am leaning towards not going with the "Reef Ready" setup and just ordering the tank without it. Instead I'm thinking of the more popular method around here of using canister filters.
I'm basically looking for opinions from everyone here on the forums.
Am I making the right choice by not going with the "Reef Ready" setup?
What filters would you recommend? I really like the Eheim Pro II series with the built in heater, although they are kinda pricey. Perhaps a combination of this with something else?
How many such filters would I need for a tank of this size?
Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated.