Pump - Lighting - Skimmer Ideas for my 210


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I have a 210 with just a few small fish in it right now(FOWLR) Dual overflow and a good size bio ball sump and a Mag drive I think the 36..

Here are some things I would like to do...

I will be changing the sump to a filter sock and drilling for an external return pump.
Whats the best(Quality, quiet, low heat) moderatly priced pump?

Would like to do an in sump skimmer. Something that would work with moderate fish load (few large tangs and a few other reef fish) It will be a mostly SPS tank but not only SPS.

I have regular flourescent on there now.. Obviously I will be changing this. I have seen many many successful T5 tanks(with SPS) and i think I want to do that but the MH shimmer is sweet looking... But then you have more heat and you end up paying a car payment's worth of electricity bills every month..
So my question here is MH or T5 for the 210. And what type of T5? Ice cap ballast? individual reflectors? bulb manufacturer?

Also I am obviously going to need a RO system.. Any recommendations?

Dosing or Calc reactor?

Also thinking about doing a large divided sump. 125 gallon probably.

I have done the research but wanted to know some experienced suggestions.
Your time, comments, and suggestions are appreciated.
I would go to FAOIS and get yourself a Gen-X pump (not too loud and defiantly runs cooler than others), Might want to look into a custom made sump from FAOIS as well, john has some nice ones at a reasonable price.

I am running all T5's over my tank right now, 8-54 watters, driven by 2 IceCap 660's, reflectors I would recommend a SLR reflector like the ones IceCap makes (single reflectors for each bulb).
Depending on the look you want I would use a combination of the following.

11000K Aquablue Special (60/40)
Actinic/Blue Plus
Pure Actinic 03

The 6000k sunlights will give you a yellow tinge to the tank, I would also stick with the German made bulbs as well.

I believe John at FAIOS all of this. However if you buy bulbs online the only place I would trust to **** them is reefgeek.com

I would suggest a good RO/DI unit like a Typhoon III, you can get one from airwaterice.com

I recently went to a calcium reactor and am lovin it thus far.
I have a pretty big bioload in my 180 so I went with a larger sump and a Euro reef recirc. skimmer both of which came from FAOIS.
Here's a pic so you can get an idea of what the sumps look like. He also sells a 2 sock sump.
You can find the details of my 225 on my site.

I'm running Sequence Reeflo Darts (one for the return, one for the skimmer) and Tunze Streams for circulation. The tank is a bare bottom. The amount of circulation that I have is too much for a tank with sand.

I'm using the same sump in the picture above.

The skimmer is a modified MyReefCreations MR3.

Lighting is 2x250 SE AquaConnect 14k and 2x48" VHO actinics.

There are only two things I'd like to change about the tank. First, I'd like to get a stronger skimmer. The MR3 works pretty well, but I feed heavy and often (there are Anthias in the tank) and wouldn't mind beefing it up a bit. I'd also like one with a self cleaning neck to cut down on maintenance a bit.

The other thing is I'd like to significantly cut back on the amount of flow through the overflow. The Dart that runs the return is pushing about 3000 gph after accounting for head loss. I'd like to cut back to under 1000 gph and put the Dart on a closed loop.

I'll probably redo the plumbing in a couple of months. The skimmer will have to wait awhile until I have the cash to replace it.

You're welcome to come look at the setup if you want.
Loose the bioballs
Go w/ MH SE bulbs or HQI, but I never liked my HQI setup. like you said the shimmer effect is very cool and you cant get that w/ t5ââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s. t5 lights are very nice and itââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s a decision you will have to make, maybe you can have both. You will need actinics so add some t-12 VHO or HO t5ââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s for actinic supplementation (I donââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢t think vho t-5 are available yet). On my 180 reef I have 3 -250w MH SE and my temp never goes above 80, I also don't have a chiller and my power bill is very low for running 2 tanks, a coke machine, and everything else in my house ( about 160-170 a month). I am also swapping out my center 250 for a 400w MH SE. If you go the MH route you will have to decide on ballasts, either TAR or Electronic. TAR ballasts overdrive bulbs so they need to be changed more frequently but you get a very bright light. Electronic ballasts under drive bulbs and you get less heat and longer bulb life.

FLOW, FLOW, FLOW is very important. Get some SEIO pumps or if you can afford it some TUNZEs. Your SPS wont last very long with out proper flow. You probably cant add a closed loop so that will be the next best thing. For your return the pumps listed above will do the job, I personally use a mag 36 and its great but its 380 watts an hr and it was very hard to quiet down, It took me 3 weeks of fiddling with the tank stand, sump and the pump itself to make it whisper quiet

I would get a skimmer that can handle your tank, but not spend more than 150-200 bucks. But If you have the cash get a deltec. I like my aqua medic turboflotor which has a needle wheel pump (its on my 55 soft coral tank) . I also use a custom downdraft skimmer on my 180 which is a great skimmer but it almost cost as much as my 180g tank. If I could do it again I would of bought a cheaper skimmer. I also believe in ozone. An ozone generator w/ controller will be great for your tank because it clears up your water, keeps algae at bay, keeps nitrate levels low and you wont have to worry about overfeeding ( to an extent). It also will improve your skimmers performance. Your tank is 6 feet long right? You will want 3 bulbs so you have a bulb every 2' for the 6ââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢ tank. Look around in the selling forums; you can pick up used lights cheap as well as everything else. I would go with 400 watt MH because of the height of the 210. 250 watt MH will work but you will need to keep the lights low to the waters surface. Get some high speed fans for exhaust of hot air to keep tank temp low. For the sump I would use a 55g tank or if you can find an old wet dry and add baffles, bubble trap, etc that would work great and you wonââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢t have to spend a lot on a custom sump. If you want a nice sump I would look at MRC, they make a very nice sump. Remember its not the equiptment that keeps your tank running smoothly itââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s the time and attention that you put into it. Water changes are the best thing you can do. I perform 3 small WC a week which adds up to about 30- 40 gallons. Itââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s the best thing I can do for my tank.
I agree with everything Pelagic said except for this:

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6956726#post6956726 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by PelagicMagic
Your tank is 6 feet long right? You will want 3 bulbs so you have a bulb every 2' for the 6ââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢ tank. Look around in the selling forums; you can pick up used lights cheap as well as everything else. I would go with 400 watt MH because of the height of the 210. 250 watt MH will work but you will need to keep the lights low to the waters surface.

My 225 is 6' long x 3' wide and my coverage with 2x250's in spider reflectors is more than adequate. Adding a 3rd would simply be a waste of electricity in my tank. The tank depth is 20" so the 250's are more than enough. What are the dimensions of the 210? IMO, 250s are good to about 24" deep. I'd opt for 2 400s mounted higher up than 3 250s mounted low (my bulbs are about 14" from the water surface).
I also have spider reflectors and before I added the 3rd (center) 250 MH I had a problem with equally lighting the whole tank. No matter what height I had the bulbs at, the tank had a dark spot/area and looked bad.
That's interesting....what's the depth of your tank?

I wonder how much having a barebottom is contributing to the light distribution in my tank.
I will have to get the tape out to measure when I get home. Its a standard aga 180. You might be right on the bare bottom. You would think the sand bed absorbs some light? Perhaps another reason to go bare bottom rather than a DSB