Building my dream 220! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Building my dream 220!

Iv'e decided to start a 220 planted tank. This will actually be my first planted tank, so I may play around with a smaller tank a little while testing out what I like.

So here is a little about me. I am 27 years old and have been keeping fish for around 17 years. My parents bought me a 29 gallon tank and ever since then I have been hooked. I have had 30 plus tanks since then and have had as many as 6 at once. I have also have my fair share of reef tanks ranging from 3 gallons up to 125. This hobby lets me spend time with both of my daughters (10 and 5). They love the fish and love picking out fish. I obtained my 220 gallon from a friend at work. I got this tank in Jan of 2015. I set it up and began to cycle the tank. Then, on Jan 27th, my wife was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. This put a stop to all projects. We spent the next 8 months driving hours to The University of Chicago. Well on Oct 14th she was released and cleared of all cancer! There is more appointments, but we have some time off until then. We have decided to work on the hobby together and spend more time together doing these kinds of hobbies. Life can change really fast, enjoy the time you have together. We get so attached to everything. We get attached to the ways we do things, to the places we visit, to the items we buy. All these attachments will only bring you anguish, sorrow, and suffering in the end.


The tank has been setup and maintained since Jan. I ended up transferring my 55 to this tank. So along came some community fish and a miss map turtle. The turtle has never ate a fish or even tried to. He will only eat pellets and some dried shrimp. Now he will most likely need a new tank when the plants shows up. The tank currently has 150lbs of pool filter sand and is filtered by a FX5.


Filters: Currently one FX5. Looking into running a sump along with the FX5.

UV Sterlizer: Looking to pick up a Coralife Turbo-Twist inline. Going to plumb it in for future use if needed.

Heaters: Two 300w heaters

C02 Injections: Considering co2 with a 5lb tank. Have not spent the time looking into this yet.

Lights: Currently using a small strip light to get a shadow effect on my tank. Need to spend some time to find lights.

Substrate: Eco-Complete or possible a dirted tank.

Fish: I have some tetras now and corys now.

Planning plumbing and sizing out sumps currently.

220 Gallon Freshwater (In the works)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 07:42 PM
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Welcome! This looks like a great project.

You might want to post in the "tank journals" section. With pics!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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MOVED TO "tank journals"

220 Gallon Freshwater (In the works)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 09:03 PM
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FWIW from a person not experienced in CO2, but having read several threads on it.
I think that for longer between fills use the 20# cylinder would be minimal for
that size tank. Not all but some who fill them charge almost the same amount for 20# or less cylinders. So that is two ways you will short yourself.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 09:04 PM
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glad to hear your wife is ok! congrats to that!

I cant wait to see what this turns out to be. The few things that jump out at me are your filter and co2 choices. If it were me, I'd want to choose either a sump or canister filters but not both. Lots of info says sumps dont work well on co2 injected planted aquariums; but then again lots have accomplished it and done very well. So my vote for a tank of that size would definitely be a sump.

As far as the co2 goes, I'd be aiming for larger than a 5 lb tank.

I think its also worth noting that you're probably going to need some pretty strong lights to make this work well as most 220 tanks are pretty deep. Doable for sure, but do your research!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 10:41 PM
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What a cool thing to do together! so happy that your wife is ok!

I would consider a big canister over a sump. (sumps are not c02 friendly...too much shakey shakey)
I put a fluval fx5 on my 125, not sure if an fx 6 would be enough on a 220 or not....
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North Dakota
125 planted, angels, rummies, c02 tank
72 bow, mystery snails and angels
55 planted, yellow neon shrimp
55 shrimp tank, rcs
29 shrimp tank, blue- not sure what kind
40 long - winter koi home
40 breeder- planted
10- nursery
10- quarantine
5.5- cycling to be another shrimp tank...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Noted on the 20# tank. Need to do a lot of research on co2 systems still. Def dont want to have to fill a tank ever 2 weeks. As for lighting I do have a 72" HQI system i could use. It can handle up to three 400w hqi bulbs. I would consider running 150's. Again have yet to read into any lighting option for my tank. Not sure if hqi would even be a good option.

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Originally Posted by bsherwood View Post
What a cool thing to do together! so happy that your wife is ok!

I would consider a big canister over a sump. (sumps are not c02 friendly...too much shakey shakey)
I put a fluval fx5 on my 125, not sure if an fx 6 would be enough on a 220 or not....

Thanks!
Im so torn. I have an FX5 running my overflows now and it is doing great. I like the idea of a sump, but everything i have read states it harder with co2. Decisions....

220 Gallon Freshwater (In the works)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 11:34 PM
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I run a couple finnex ray II's on my 125. They are a recent addition and seem to be doing well. I had t5's and an older compact flourescent thing that worked well but the bulbs are so darn expensive......in my salt days I ran metal halide's but that also made my elec. meter spin and at 100 bucks per bulb it was insanity.....

North Dakota
125 planted, angels, rummies, c02 tank
72 bow, mystery snails and angels
55 planted, yellow neon shrimp
55 shrimp tank, rcs
29 shrimp tank, blue- not sure what kind
40 long - winter koi home
40 breeder- planted
10- nursery
10- quarantine
5.5- cycling to be another shrimp tank...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 05:54 AM
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glad your wife is doing well!

+1 sump

+1 20# tank (i'd recco 2 to reduce fill trips)

best,
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsherwood View Post
What a cool thing to do together! so happy that your wife is ok!

I would consider a big canister over a sump. (sumps are not c02 friendly...too much shakey shakey)
I put a fluval fx5 on my 125, not sure if an fx 6 would be enough on a 220 or not....
This is a false statement. I assume either you never tried it or you didn't do it correctly. As mentioned above, many have and are having success with it, myself included. CO2 issues with sumps were a thing of the past. Its been figured out how to make a setup with a sump work.

+1 on a sump, better lighting and 20lb co2. For a tank that size, its a win win. I won't go into detail on them because there are loads of threads out there under each given topic. Not just on this site but on the web in general. If you are a diy-er, build a stand if you don't have a good one. Tailor it to your liking, intents and space requirements. Place the largest tank you possibly can underneath for your sump.

There are many many pros to doing a sump. I will give you my top 3 but there are many others out there. 1) display maintains consistent water level- the sump evaporates, not the display 2) surface skimmer - gets rid of that unwanted protein layer and gives good gas exchange 3) increased water volume - more water volume usually creates less issues as parameters do not change as quickly as small tanks. A bonus is place to house your equipment which gives you a cleaner looking display. The only con really is that you need more space and you have more plumbing to do. You were a reefer so I am sure this is nothing new to you.

Substrate wise, I would probably go with something better than Eco though. There are better cheaper options. Depending on your intents for this tank will determine all the options available for you. Are you going for something simple, AGA contest style tank, a little bit of both, etc...... I think your on the right path for experimenting first. I have been working on my project since summer of 2012 and I am just starting to setup tanks. Take your time, be patient and research. In the end, it saves money and less headache.

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Last edited by flight50; 10-31-2015 at 07:23 AM. Reason: -
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm really leaning towards a sump. The tank was built for it... I love tossing all my equip into a sump and not having to look at it and keeping the display tank levels constant is nice to. I'm leaning towards just building a sump, but may consider buying an acrylic one. Something around 75 gallons. I am also going to buy a piece of plywood for the inside of my stand. You can tell at one time some water had leaked inside and caused the inside to droop a little.

220 Gallon Freshwater (In the works)
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