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Re: 240 gallon tank

> I found a great deal on a large tank. I will be setting it up after I sell my
> present house and move into another one.

There's a reason for great deals on them:-) I've seem many folks say this
and get whoppers. 
> 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
> 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?

You can sell the lights, all of them, and/or use PC's  mixed also.
 6x 96 w PC's would be enough light and the lamps are also good(last longer
than MH's, no noise at all), the reflectors are good and the light spread is
much more even. 
6x 96 watts= 576 w(2.4 w/gal)
4x 175 w= 700w(2.9 w.gal)

The whole PC set up is more compact and light weight.
I bet you could sell the MH's and have enough $ left over to get something
else like CO2, flourite etc.
> 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.

Either way. You'll need 2 or more Ehiems (Big as they make).
Remember for evaporation, sumps have large capacity.
Any tub etc will work for a sump. A life guard Quiet one should be enough
flow for the tank. You can add biomedia or have a bio tower ball tower or
not. Sponge material works well for biomedia. Bag filter are great for sumps
also and are easy to handle/clean/micron filtration.
See Berlin style sumps for more on those and removal of the bio tower.

Canisters are simpler though but the flow rate will be less with two

Tom Barr 

> I'd appreciate any input from list members that use sumps in thier planted
> tanks.
> Thanks for any help.
> Dave