200 Gal DIY Project W/D Sump&Canopy

Triton

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 9, 2008
67
0
0
New Jersey
I recently bought a 200 gallon tank (7ftx2ftx2ft) and a stand on craigslist for $400. I was really only looking for a 125 gal (4x2x2ft), but then I saw this tank and figured it would be worth it. Now that I got it, I'm starting to realize its a whole new world going from a 55 gal to a 200 gal. Filtration and lighting being the two things I've been reading a lot of on the forums.

When I saw that a new Wet/Dry sump for a 200 gal tank can go for over $400, I thought, no way! That thing looks like it cost the company $50 to make! A DIY Wet/DrySump is definitely the way to go. Next, I'm going to need a canopy and then I saw the prices for those! More motivation to build a DIY canopy for my tank.

So to start off, I would definitely advise to get at least 3 friends to help move a 200 gal glass tank. I estimate it weighs about 400lbs (180kg). I finished reinforcing my floor by using cement blocks under the house. The house sits about 3 ft (1m) above the ground. I estimate with the tank, sump, water and substrate/rocks this whole thing will weigh between 2200-2500 lbs (1000-1100 kg).

I'll be posting pics of my progress. Any tips or encouragement is much appreciated.

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timeneverfreezes

Black Skirt Tetra
MFK Member
Jun 11, 2008
407
0
16
charlotte,nc
i would consider using as big of a tank as you can fit in the stand as a sump, that way you can expand the water volume.

Remember that a bigger tanks parameters are easier to maintain because theres a big volume of water.

Other than that looks like you def on the right track, if you have any specific questions post 'em up!
 

Triton

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 9, 2008
67
0
0
New Jersey
After doing a lot of research and looking at the different styles of all Wet/Dry sumps, I decided to go with one of those Sterlite plastic cabinet set ups. It has one thin drawer, and two thick drawers. I figured the thin drawer could house the mechanical filter and the two thick drawers could hold the bio media.

I ended up buying a 5 gallon bucket of CoraLife Bio-Balls. It almost fits in one drawer, so I decide to put it in a drawer and a half. I cut the bottom out of the middle drawer and the bottom drawer I cut in half. I put the bottom drawer on pipe legs to keep it above the water level.

I thought about using ceiling tile/egg crate, but didn't feel like going to Home Depot for the tenth time this week. I just drilled a bunch of holes into the bottom of it.

After all the cutting and prep, I put it in a Rubbermaid container. I think its a 35 gallon container. I may upgrade and buy a bigger one or connect it to another Rubbermaid container of the same size.

Lastly, I just got my MagDrive MD12 and its rated at 1200 GPH (max). I'm hoping with about 2-3 ft of head I won't need to throttle the discharge with my Eshopps overflow PF-1200 (rated at 1000gph).

I didn't really think about this beforehand, but can anybody recommend a good mechanical filter media for these types of sumps? Originally, I just got whatever looked like it would work.

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Triton

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 9, 2008
67
0
0
New Jersey
I recently found a tree stump that I ended up having to "downsize", so it could fit in my tank. The stump is pretty big and crusted with algae. I think I'll start with my Dremel and just sand off the top layer of the stump. I'll use my bathtub to soak it and use some boiling water to pour into the crevices were my Dremel doesn't reach (most likely a few hot water dips will be needed). Heres a pic of the before, I'll have an after pic hopefully before Thanksgiving.

driftwood.jpg
 

RayzrsEdge

Gambusia
MFK Member
Oct 16, 2008
81
0
6
Pottsville PA
those blue pads will work great as a mechanical filter, I used similar material for my DIY sump, and it worked really good........ every things lookin good so far, can't wait to see the finshed tank, what r u gonna stock it with???
 

Triton

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 9, 2008
67
0
0
New Jersey
Here are some pics of the tank I have right now. Its a 55 gal tank with 2 black moors, a blind goldfish named Sharkie (that drove across from California to New Jersey in a 5 gallon bucket), a pleco that we adopted and a blue lobster (~7 inches/18cm male). Last week, I found this good deal on craigslist for a 48" Orbit 4x96W SunPaq for $200. While I was out getting the light for the 200gal tank, I stopped at Tropiquarium and stocked up on more plants and bought another blue lobster (~3 inches/8cm female?).

As soon as the 200 gal tank is up and running, everybody in the 55 gal will be going in the new tank. I plan on getting a few more goldfish for my new tank. I would like to get a shubunkin, but I think as it gets older, it will be too aggressive when it comes to feeding time. The black moors are very slow movers and Sharkie has to fumble around to find his food. So a quick moving fish might be trouble. I may get a few Calico Ryukin as a compromise. I'm still up in the air about what additional fish I'm going to get. If anyone has any other fish stocking ideas, I'd be glad to hear it.

The tank I have now, I keep at about 73F/23C and my pH is usually between 7.4-7.8.

Here are some pics of my 55 gallon...

old55tank.jpg

pleco.jpg

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Triton

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 9, 2008
67
0
0
New Jersey
Well, despite having to work 12 hr days/6 days a week at work right now, I've managed to get the sump hooked up and going. The Mag Drive MD12 I got seems to be a little too powerful for my Eshopps overflow. I have a discharge valve on the pump that I was able to throttle back and have its flow equalized with the overflow. I plan on doing a little more tweeking with the sump. I may put a 'T' in the discharge line and use some of the pump flow to go to a Nitrate/Phosphate remover thats been posted on here.

I'm in the process of trying the fishless cycling, which should go a little quicker because I'm using my 55 gal tank (rocks, driftwood, gravel, etc) to seed good bacteria in my 200 gal tank.

I haven't been able to watch my tank very closely this week. Just test the water and go. Today, as I noticed the ammonia coming down, I began to see algae growing everywhere. To make things worst, a few small snails were spotted. A few must have survived my clean & quarantine. :irked:

Here are a few pics ofmy progress...

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tankcycling.jpg

algae1.jpg

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algae3.jpg

algae4.jpg
 

loogielv

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Nov 4, 2008
229
0
0
Las Vegas, USA
i see you're doing an algae scrubber. have you used this method before in a FW setup?

if i understand them right, there's no need for the wet/dry with them?
 
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