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Re: Large tank lighting and to sump or not to sump?

The tank is an Oceanic 240 gallon reef ready. 8 feet long x 2 feet deep x 2
feet tall.

I am going to be using Metal Halide lighting, 175 watt lamps. I have purchase
three 2 x 175 watt retro kits. I am debating between using 4 or 5 175 watt MH
lamps. 6 seems like overkill to me, but I could also do that. I think a

6 lights would be overkill. And remember that every light is going to have a noticeable impact on your electric bill. A single 175 watt lamp, using the usual 80% ballast efficiency will cost you $7.85/month when run for 12 hours a day at 10 cents per kilowatt hour.

general rule of thumb is one 175 watt lamp for every two feet of tank length. Other
considerations are that this is a rather deep tank compared to others I have
had. I can easily resell one of the retro kits if I only use two of the kits.

So how many 175 watt lamps should I use: 4, 5, or 6?

Wattage gets you depth, quantity of lights gets you coverage. The general rule of thumb is that one fixture is good for a 2 x 2 foot square area. With your tank, that would mean you'd need 4 fixtures to cover your 2 foot wide by 8 foot long tank. This is using pendent-type fixtures though. Using a close-to-the-water hood might result in a bit less area covered per fixture, but I doubt it would be enough to worry about.

I'm also trying to decide whether to use a sump or just plumb the Eheim
Cannisters into the bulkhead fittings like I did my old 125 gallon.

I like sumps since you can hide things in them and they allow the tank to maintain a constant water level. If you size the sump carefully you can do a complete water change without effecting the water level in your tank at all, which I think is a big plus. It is possible to use a canister with a sump to gain some mechanical filtration. I am mostly just concerned with water circulation though and haven't used filters on my planted tanks in some time.


I'd appreciate any input from list members that use sumps in thier planted

Thanks for any help.


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