I am in the beginning phases of a 205 gallon tank build. I bought a used hybrid tank a few weeks ago. The tank is 44"x36"x30" There is an overflow centered on on of the 36" sides. The tank is also drilled for a reef closed loop (which I will most likely plug and not use). The tank has a PVC bottom, glass wall, and acrylic euro bracing around the top edge. The tank came with an awesome sump which is 32"x36"x18" (I need to double check the sump height). The sump includes two 15"x15" partitioned off areas which will be big enough to breed apistogrammas, shrimp, or something like that in. The tank also came with a metal stand, but the stand was made from thin wall tubular steel which was starting to rust/pit. I decided to trash the stand and I will build a new wooded one.
Two big goals (besides having a great looking tank) are to keep the tank very energy efficient and very quiet. I like the eheim pumps and canister filters for this reason but am open to suggestions.
I have a fairly large piece of drift wood mounted to slate I plan to use and I also have manzanita wood from Rich at www.manzanita.com
on the way. I have not been in the hobby a long time and could use some help.
Below is a list of equipment/ideas I am thinking right now. I could use help with all of these topics.
-LED lighting. The tank is 30" deep so I know lighting will be a challenge. I was thinking maybe 3 of the finnex 36" planted+ strips over the tank. Will this be enough? Maybe I can make the substrate fairly thick to raise the 'floor' a little.
-CO2 injection. I have not research a ton yet, but since I will be running a sump I have read there are injectors which you can run into the return line. I would really appreciate some help with this one.
-Substrate. I really have no preference as of this time. Maybe dirt/flourite/something else with sand or very fine gravel over it. What is the best/most cost efficient way to go?
-Livestock. I would like a well mixed community tank with Discus as the focus. Current thoughts are 2-6 discus, pair of appistogramma, tetras, twig catfish pair, german rams, siamese algae eater, gobies, possibly rainbows, and other fish that would fit in.
-Filter. Biomedia in sump (what brand is best value?), canister, potentially uv sterilizer (may add later if I feel I need), filter sock.
-Water flow. Minimal return pump from sump (200-500 gph) as pumping water back to tank is not energy efficient, some kind of powerhead/wavemaker in the tank as this water flow is much more energy efficient. I will run some sort of stand pipe in the tank overflow with a high water height and low flow as to have minimal water surface disturbance as to retain as much CO2 as possible. I plan to run the canister internally to the sump only as the two 'breeding tanks' build in the sump are partitioned off and need water pumped into them. The canister will pump water from the main sump to the breeding tanks which will overflow back into the main sump. I can add the uv sterilizer to the canister flow if needed.
I will post photos of the tank and sump soon. Any and all comments are appreciated.