New to the Hobby - Setting up a 220 Gallon - Opinions on Equipment? Help?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Rhinotronics, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Rhinotronics

    Rhinotronics Active Member

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    Hey Everyone! First off thanks for having such a wonderful community for people like us. I have been browsing around a bit and this place seems like a great treasure trove of information.:)

    I am not 100% new to the hobby as I have had tanks my whole life growing up. Nothing to serious though. I have done one salt water tank about 15+ years ago and it was just a small 37 Gallon. SO I have minimal experience.:( It was a successful tank with live rock and many different coral and fish. Lion Fish, Grouper, Eel even. All that came crashing down when I asked the wrong person for advice and their advice killed absolutely everything.:mad: My mistake for taking advice from someone I knew wasn't a true salt water professional.

    Any way I am getting back into the hobby and going to do it BIG this time. I own a home now and starting a family so I feel it is a perfect time to do a nice huge setup. I have not purchased anything yet, but I have an awesome LFS that seems to be top notch and we have gone through everything and discussed a set up and quote. I am hear for new comer advice, on steps I should take, Equipment opinions, basically anything that can help me. I know everyone will have an opinion just like anything in life, but I appreciate you taking your time to read and help me out.

    Here is the equipment I am starting off with.:D

    I will be setting up a 220 Gallon Aqueon Mega Flow 72.5" x 24.5" x 29.7"
    [​IMG]
    MarineLand Monterey Stand and Canopy
    [​IMG]
    Eshopps RS-300 3rd Gen Reef Sump
    [​IMG]
    Bubble Magnus Curve d9 Protein Skimmer
    [​IMG]
    10 Gallon Auto Top Off Tank with a Smart ATO 125
    [​IMG]
    Ecotech Vectra L1 Return Pump
    [​IMG]
    2 Ecotech MP40 Power Heads
    [​IMG]
    3 Ecotech Radion Gen 4 XR30w Pro
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    Ecotech Reeflink
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    Cobalt 300w Heater
    [​IMG]

    All this, plus of course the plumbing of Vinyl Tube with Ball Valves and T and it all installed professionally.:rolleyes:

    So Thats what I am starting off with. Opinions?
    I feel like this is a pretty monster set up for not being in the hobby for 15+ years. But Go BIG or go home as they say. As I said above I know everyone will have a different opinion on equipment but I am looking to see if this is a good set up. Does this more then meet the needs? What Else should I have to start? What else might I need in the future? I plan on also doing more research on my own as far as things I need to learn so any direction in where to find good info is appreciated too.

    Basically I want something that looks like this when I am done... well I know you are never done. but you know
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again and hopefully down the road I will be able to share my experience and then help others too.
     
  2. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Welcome to R2R, you have a great list, I would add a controller to that list.
     
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  3. Diesel

    Diesel String Stalker. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member

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    Welcome Bro.

    You did some home work right there, and have a solid game plan.
    Note that a lot of $$$ will go into the right sand and rock scape as what kind of rock.
    You always can swap out a pump or light but sand and rock you stuck on for the life or period your tank is running.
    Also you must have a good budget to spend on the equipment you have on the your list.
    Here a few notes that might help you, the heaters I have second thoughts about them others maybe not but bring it to the discussion, I use the Jager 300W over the APEX.
    Your 10 gallon ATO will need to be refilled every 4 to 5 days if not faster for your 220 gallon tank.
    Start thinking about a water storage from 35 gallon or bigger that you can hide or leave it outside as depends the location of your tank.
    Do some research on a aquarium controller as a Neptune APEX or a GHL, there are a few more but the first two are common in the hobby.
    One important thing I miss and you never brought it up and I must say it's THE IMPORTANT thing that will follow you as long you have a system running is a Quarantine tank for fish and corals.
    Yes now days if you don't QT your livestock and inverts you going to walk a fine line, and stories like "I know where my fish and corals come from" are not going to fly period.
    Browse the forum on that very subject and you will be surprised.
    @melypr1985 and @Humblefish can give you specific info and direction to some important threads here that can help you and $50 on a QT shouldn't break your bank.
    Looking forward to follow your system build.
     
  4. Chrisfish

    Chrisfish Well-Known Member Reef Squad Partner Member

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    Welcome to R2R, you've come to the right place:)
     
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  5. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member Expert Contributor

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    welcome to R2R! It's great to have you! Here is a quick link about QTs and what you need for them How to Quarantine
     
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  6. xREEFINaintEZx

    xREEFINaintEZx Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to R2R. I think your making the right choice with the "MONSTER"! Between the amount of homework your putting into this and R2R you'll be fine. Only stuff I could think of was already stated... Controller, high dollar skimmer, and the QT. We recently installed a floor drain for a buddie of mine and he loves it
     
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  7. monkiboy

    monkiboy Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I'm with diesel on perhaps looking to another heater option. locally just too many of them have blown up in reefer's tanks around here with minimal support from the manufacturer.

    I think you will find the quality of the Monterey stand and canopy very poor and cheaply built preferring to have a proper-height stand (the manufacturer stands are often quite low) that will allow for easy access and more pleasant maintenance or use of space under tank. you may consider a DIY stand that you skin yourself, having a steel stand built locally, or if budget isn't a concern an 80/20 aluminum stand.

    if the skimmer is going to be your main/only mechanism for export I'd look to another option more capable. also something with pumps that are easily replaceable for impellers or pumps like a sicce psk1000 or bubbleblaster. RO makes some great value and feature rich skimmers and quality only goes up from there. depends on what your stocking list is looking like and export strategies are going to be and maintenance but think you'll need larger than that size as well.

    on the sump you are probably going to want something larger for your size tank. you are probably going to want something that uses regular size 3 or 4 circular filter socks vs the harder to find and more expensive square filter socks. something that will hold water volume when your return is off and make keeping your internal equipment not a problem with sufficient space to access and work on.

    on the tank itself, I would really encourage you to get the tank without overflows. you will find they are very obtrusive and take up quite a bit of real estate and running a modified herbie or dual dursos is fine but the popularity of bean and a clean and minimalist rear glass mounted internal to external box plumbed in bean animal fashion will five you all the real estate back and be silent providing more flow throughput as well in an arguably safer manner with much better aesthetics.

    hope this helps sir and welcome back to the hobby; you've found a great home here!
     
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  8. tpack17

    tpack17 Member

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    Definitely no megaoverflows. Drill it for a synergy ghost overflow. Radions a great light but may shadow. Look at ghl mitras lx7 or wait for Phillips coral care. Good luck!
     
  9. Rhinotronics

    Rhinotronics Active Member

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    Why do you say "definitely no megaflows"?
     
  10. Pongo

    Pongo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    With a tank that size I would think about water changes and set up all you might need before setting up the tank.

    RO/DI filtration
    Water storage tanks for the RO/DI and mixed salt water.
    Where and how to drain off the old water from the tank.
    How to get new water into the tank.
    Drains, pumps, and lines to and from.

    It will make your life a lot easier in the long run.
    Simplify maintenance, spend more time enjoying the tank. ;)

    It looks like you're off to a good start for a great build. Too much fun.
    Post lots of pics of your progress.
     
  11. Erik R

    Erik R Active Member

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    Wow. and here I thought my plan for a new tank was on the ambitious side. LOL. Most people start with mid-sized tanks. They jump in the lake and learn to swim. YOU are jumping into the pacific!

    Not to be redundant with everyone elses suggestions, but you DO have an excellent list there. Having a 250 gallon display tank is going to provide you a ton of stability, making your swim in the pacific much easier. The heaters stood out to me as the biggest problem. As mentioned, I have seen too many reports of these failing. The skimmer also appears to be under capable. The rule of thumb for skimmers is to figure out the "Right" size for your tank then buy the next largest one.

    My "Add" to your list would be to also incorporate a refugium. If you can do that in your sump, perfect. Get some Cheato going in there and this will definitely help in a huge way with your success.

    My biggest concern with going with a tank that size is the water change. Typically 10-20% is what most people do. In your case, we are talking about 25-50 gallons PER water change. That is larger than the tanks many people have. That is a **** ton of work, and a massive load of salt.

    You know what would be AWESOME? If you could blog this. Every step. Take pictures, make a post, each stage, take another picture and make a post. It would paint an awesome store especially for those learning. If you could talk about obstacles and solutions, things you learned, that would be fantastic.
     
  12. taj0930

    taj0930 Member

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    With the $ that your going to invest in such a large tank - Id say these are a must, absolutely no exceptions->

    Water quality items... (these I feel are not negotiable at all)
    RODI
    Refractometer
    Quality test equipment

    System Items...
    A tank that large should have some redundancy....
    Tank Controller - If you don't want to shell out the money for an Apex, totally understandable, get a reefkeeper, or bare minimum a controller for the heater that will shut them off if they malfunction. You can get the best heaters in the world, they always pose a risk of cooking your tank.
    Battery backup - for the vortechs - worth every penny when you lose power (think tank insurance) -- if you don't have a generator
    ATO - Id personally ditch your current planned and get the Tunze Osmolator - 3155. Best in ATO's. One of the most consistently quality rated ATO's out there hands down.

    Chemical Reactor - Some will say you can use mesh bags, & yes for a smaller system Id totally agree. But with a large tank, your going to use a decent amount of media more than your average smaller tank. So Id almost put this as a means to being more efficient in your case.

    Optional - Doser-
    While a doser is not absolutely necessary, I would highly recommend it if you plan on keeping SPS corals shown in that picture you have. With SPS, stability is king, & dosing every day by hand can be cumbersome, and unstable if your non consistent. Youd have the best results with a doser.

    Overall I wouldn't advise jumping into SPS corals though if you have minimal experience. You could get an amazing looking tank with easier to keep corals and would be better to learn so your not throwing expensive coral out if you make a mistake.

    Impressed with your selection so far. All quality equipment choices thus far IMO.

    Good luck!!
     
  13. pdt7361

    pdt7361 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in a similar boat as you...currently putting together a list for my new 180g system. My recommendations would be:
    Look at a different sump. I have an Eshopps ADV-200 on my 90g and while it's worked well, I hate the rectangular socks and the flow through it. On my new build I'll either do a custom made sump or a Synergy Reef CL44.

    For your plumbing you mentioned vinyl...I'd recommend doing as much hard plumbed PVC as you can. It will look much cleaner and need less maintenance over time. Clear vinyl allows algea to grow inside of it and will become ugly very quickly. I've also read many stories of vinyl becoming brittle over time and needing to be replaced.
     
  14. BNR210

    BNR210 Well-Known Member

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    If your wallet can afford a better aquarium I would look into other options as well, for 2 reasons.

    I purchased this exact aquarium last June. At first I didn't mind the overflow boxes taking up so much space but now I wish I would have gone a different route because I have spent countless hours arranging live rock to make the aquascape look the way I envisioned, which I never achieved.

    The second reason is the main reason I would look into other glass tanks and it is the quality of the glass, mine is very distorted/blurry. I didn't notice the distortion until it was completely set up with water and live rock and the led lights were turned on. I was disappointed but it wasn't too bad so I accepted it and kept trucking along. However after adding coral and fish I noticed it A LOT more because my face is always inches away from the glass watching for growth, bugs, coral warfare and a million other things. If I focus on one spot and don't move it's ok, it isn't that blurry but if I shift my position and slide down to the other end of the tank while I'm still pretty close to the glass it's so bad that it's like I have vertigo. My husband can't look at the tank for long periods of time without getting a headache from his eyes straining themselves to focus.

    So again if you can afford better glass I would, unfortunately I couldn't at the time and I can't afford to replace it now so I'm stuck with it for at least a few years but if you can avoid it I would. It's no fun if you're disappointed with your display tank every time you look at it.
     
  15. tpack17

    tpack17 Member

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    I had a 180 with the megaflows. They take up space you will want for scaping and block light. The ghost makes for a much neater setup and more flow.
     
  16. pdt7361

    pdt7361 Well-Known Member

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    With the external ghost overflows versus the internal megaflows - how much extra risk do the external ones bring as far as leaks and floods?
     
  17. tpack17

    tpack17 Member

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    Same difference as inside megaflows. Bulkheads and pvc. The ghost you can have primary secondary and emergency overflow. On the megaflows you only have 2 holes. Go to their page. They have setup videos. IMO much better setup. I am sure others may chime in also.
     
  18. pdt7361

    pdt7361 Well-Known Member

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    I've decided that I'll use the ghost overflow on my new system and figure out the bean animal plumbing....but to me, it seems there is more danger of leaks and floods with the external overflows. With my internal, if the bulkhead leaks, it just leaks into my sump...not on my floor.
     
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  19. Rhinotronics

    Rhinotronics Active Member

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    This has been soo awesome to hear from all of you. I'm so glad I came here first before fully committing to anything. It's really made me rethink a few things. I appreciate the advice and plan on taking a second look at my set up and bringing these thing to their attention when making final decisions. As I told the store owner, "I want it done right" I don't want to have to worry about things down the road and have head aches or wish I had this or that instead. He did recommend an Apex but said that might be a down the road type of purchase, but I really like the idea of having it completely monitored. Also the back up systems I am sure I will ask about too. I know Ecotech makes a back up for power failure. He did also talk to me about a water delivery system along with setting up a filtration system. I already have a huge whole home water filtration system but I'm not sure if that is enough. I do plan on having them do a monthly maintenance on it until it's up and running good along with me learning enough to feel comfortable to do it all on my own.
    All I know is I'm getting more and more excited the more I learn, so thank you guys. Keep the suggestions coming too. I need all the info I can get. Ohh and keep in mind I might not understand all the lingo yet, but I'm learning that too. I am pretty sure that I will be sticking around here and posting pics a lot.
     
  20. PatW

    PatW Well-Known Member

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    You have obviously given this a deal of thought.

    I see that you are in Orlando. There are two active aquarium clubs in Orlando. You might want to attend meetings.

    I would recommend a controller. I understand that aquarium heaters tend to have cheap thermostats that always fail on the on setting and cook the tank. I have a heater sans thermostat controlled by my controller. I also have fans in my sump controlled by the controller to turn on when the tank gets warm. In Orlando, many people do fine without heaters.

    I would also suggest looking at another tank. The overflows limit the aquascape. Worse they limit your placement of powerheads. However, my tank has corner overflows and works fine. So it is a consideration, not a total necessity. Also, you might consider different dimensions for a tank. My tank has a 27" height and even though I am 6' tall, reaching the bottom is tough. Most people like the 24" height. Having more depth (horizontal dimension) gives more options for aquascape. Also on a custom tank, you can use low iron glass which will be far less green than normal glass. But for some people, green glass is just fine. Best for viewing is acrylic but you can scratch it by looking at it.

    I would also suggest a larger ATO storage container. You could use a Brute trashcan or a 29 gallon tank.

    Another thing to think about is your RODI system, storage containers, and water change system. With 220 gallons, you want to do at least 20 gallons in a change. Obviously, you don't want to go to the LFS and buy RODI toss it in your car and carry it home. You also do not want to do a bucket brigade. I can wheel a Brute trash can to my tank. Siphon out tank water, wheel a can of salt water to it and use a pump to pump water into the tank. It would be better to be able to siphon water out of the tank and pump it in from a station near the tank but maybe behind a wall.
     
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