Home Forums Reef Discussion New to reefing need help

7 replies, 5 voices Last updated by  hank 3 months ago
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    OK I’m about to build a 220 gallon acrylic aquarium 61 L 30 W 28H


    So far I have built a 10 bulb 4ft t5 and have a 24in reef beeder led for light

    Then 300 lbs dry rock curing for 2 months

    400 lbs of sand

    5 wave makers 3 jebao and 2 hydro

    Eshopp s200 and tunze 9010 skimmers

    2 29 gallon tank for sump also 20 gallon fug

    2 1400 gph return pumps

    75gpd Rodi unit

    Reef keeper elite

    What else do I need I’m not trying to put it together until I get all the pieces for it this my first time I need all tips and opinions




    Welcome to an amazing adventure.  For starters I would reconsider your (2) 29 gallon tanks as a sump (it will be very hard to configure,  balance the flow with two sumps and fit any equipment you will need such as a skimmer).  I might suggest finding or building a sump that will better accomodate your 220g tank.  I would shoot for a 50g sump with a chaeto / live rock chamber, an equipment section and return area.  You are always welcome to drop by my place to see my setup.  It may give you a few ideas on what will work for you.  I think you also may need to extend your lighting with your tank being 72″ and t5 lights at 48″ you will need to extend it.



    The t5 is 48 and I have a photon 24 the tank is 61 inches long and yes I love to learn and I’m green to this so any help is welcome



    I believe what Brett is trying to say that you want to have equal lighting (both T5 and LED) across the entire length of tank. Not one type for 48″ and then another totally different type for the remainder. Your corals will not be happy



    Thank you for clarifying brother.  🙂


    Im in Johns Creek and your fairly close to me.  Your welcome to drop by just about any time.  Pm me.



    One street of the same lighting would defiantly be ideal, but as long as the corals in each section remain constantly in that section I don’t see why it wouldn’t work… just not how I’d do it. Aesthetically I don’t think you’ll be pleased.

    Welcome to the hobby / job. haha. I’ll say 220 is a pretty big tank if you’re just starting in salt water. Not saying you can’t do it but the upkeep in water changes alone is going to be a chore. Personally a 120 footprint is about as big as I care to go, but at 42 I’m ancient and boring I guess.

    I also noticed you said you had 300 lbs of LR. There’s nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind you’ll want to keep flow at a premium. You’ll need to keep room for corals to grow. Don’t sweat the surface area for bacteria. With that much sand surface area you’ll have plenty anyway.

    Looks like you’re off to a good start. Just realize there are mistakes to be made and successes to be had:) One rarely comes without the other. Glad to have you on board.


    • Duluth
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    I agree with all of the points raised so far. 300lbs is a lot of rock 180 to 220 in the display would be a good place to start. As you build your structures and find you need a little more, cool you have it. You can put some in the sump too then sell any leftovers or keep it for future changes.

    On the T5’s, 60″ would’ve been better. Like Brandon said, if things are kept under the specific light they’ll grow well but from your view point it will always look odd with led only on one end of the tank.

    The pumps you have may not be enough to handle the flow you’ll need either. After head loss you’ll be somewhere between 1000 and 1300gph, total. That’s with both pumps combined. That might handle just the display but no room to do anything else. They’ll also need to be cleaned very often. I’ve found you lose about 10% to 15% flow per quarter due to buildup.

    I’m also pretty close in Duluth. Feel free to drop by and have a look at my setup. I recommend seeing as many large setups as you can. Ask them what they like about the way they did things and what they wish they’d have done differently. Learn from us so you don’t make the same mistakes and end up spending more money and time than you need too doing/buying stuff twice. We’ve all been there starting out.



    Thanks I love the advice

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