Planning my 8' high tech tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Planning my 8' high tech tank

Whats up guys,

This could easily ( and probably will ) turn into a long read, so first things first, please forgive me if this gets long.

So I have a 200 Gallon, 8'L x 20"W x 24"T acrylic aquarium, that I am going through the plannings stages of setting up. I'm thinking its going to be a high tech, med-high light tank. Im thinking about doing it VERY similarly to James Findly's "
", because i love the way it looks and I dont have a very good imagination, so I will be following his scape pretty closely.

In an effort to keep this short ill just break down each spec for each aspect, and your input and thoughts on each would be great. When you give your input, please know that im just a 22 year old that works part time at Best Buy, so each aspect of the tank needs to be as " bang for your buck " as possible.

200 Gallon 8' acrylic aquarium

ill need probably 150-180lbs of it, have no idea what to use tho.

Hard scape:

2x Odyssea 48" quad T5HO 6500K

i have a scrap 90 gallon that i could easily turn into a sump, but think i would rather go with a really good canister filter, one with a built in heater and all that, this area i dont mind spending the extra dough.

The carpet plant would be dwarf hair grass. Other plants would be S. Repens, Blyxa Japonica and some others

Co2 Reactor, at first paint ball tanks but will probably later move on to a proper Co2 tank

A grip of neon tetra, Ottos, dwarf gourami, chocolate gourami, amano shrimp

Treated RO/DI to keep things perfect

Any input on any of these points would be awesome!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 07:12 AM
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Hopefully others have good ideas on what to get you for the most bang for the buck on this. I only have experience using ADA aquasoil varieties, but one idea someone showed me is a trick to minimize the amount of soil / expensive substrate you need to use. In the areas where you want to elevate the substrate level, fill up nylon stockings with cheap gravel and use them almost as sandbangs to lift up the soil. Then pour the nice stuff on top of it. I think it's a brilliant idea for instances where you need 8"+ of substrate in the rear, but don't want to have to buy a truckload of nice substrate to do it. Conversely, you can also just stuff it with random rocks and stuff in the back (but I'd be cautious about warping due to weight and overall weight of the tank).

Have you already bought the odyssea lights? I used the 48" quad T5HO lights as well, and it worked well for 1-2 years, but like any flourescent lamp, the bulbs will go back pretty quickly. The replacement bulbs for them aren't cheap either. Have you thought about spending extra for LED lights? You could check aquatraders to see what kinds of high intensity LED light fixtures they have.

How many canisters are you hoping to run? I'd recommend at minimum 2 canisters for this set up (maybe even more since it's a 200gallon). You could also use rena biostars for the biologic media since they are supposed to be more effective. That could maybe help you get away with using fewer canisters and saving some money on that end. I would also highly recommend an inline heater, though it might get expensive to get enough to maintain the temperature on a 200gallon depending on your ambient temperature.

Also, have you looked into other aquascapes? Personally, I like the amano nature-style aquariums more than the tanks at TGM. The aquascapes at TGM are meticulously designed and cared for, but to me they seem a bit forced. IMO they lack the harmony that you see in Amano nature style aquariums. One of my favorite "reads" are the AGA aquascaping contest archives.

Tons of ideas from these tanks. You can also check the winners for the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contests that happen every year.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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I havent bough the lights yet, i havent bought anything yet, except for the tank.

I was hoping to use just one canister

look at this tank, erhmagerdshh

252 gallons
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 05:16 PM
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Suggestion for substrate would be Black diamond blasting grit very cheap. And go for the C02 setup initially instead of the paintball tanks. You will end up blasting through them so quick it wont be worth it.
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