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Filtration, Lighting, and Heating

Filtration, Lighting, and Heating

Last week I introduced the aquarium I would be using, a 220 gallon corner flow tank. This week I’m going to talk about filtration, lighting, and heating.

Filtration– after the tank itself, filtration is perhaps the most important thing about an aquarium. For this aquarium, I’m going to use an Eshopps ADV-200 Advanced Sump ($306.16) and a Cascade 1500 Canister Filter ($126.07). The sump is a more advanced filtration technology usually used in marine setups. A sump is useful because it essentially expands the size of your tank for stocking purposes. Fish tanks can only support a limited number a fish. A general guideline that is antiquated, inaccurate, and pretty much useless but is still used is 1 inch of fish per gallon. What a sump allows you to do, is put more fish in your display tank because the overall system size is larger and can support the extra fish. Additionally, sumps can be entirely areas for growth of beneficial bacteria that clean the tank and remove toxins and chemicals from the water. The canister filter is more traditional and involves pumping water through various filter mediums.

The sump as they are usually placed, below the display aquarium.


Heating- Heating is pretty simple. Most fish require temperatures that are above that of typical room temperature. Because this tank is so large, I will utilize three heaters. Two Fluval E 300 heaters ($72.18) that will be in the tank and one ETH 300 In-Line Heater ($53.15). None of these heaters are large enough to heat the tank entirely on their own. This is intentional because if one of them malfunctions, the other two can keep the tank warm enough until it can be replaced, or if it is stuck on, one malfunctioning heater will not cause the tank to overheat, killing the fish and plants inside.


Lighting- Lighting is another very important portion of an aquarium, especially if you intend to keep plants, like I do. It is difficult to determine what light standards to believe, as their are numerous guidelines out there. I generally abide by the manufacturers suggested use. For this tank, I will be using two Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Light Systems ($879.04). These lights are brand new LED lights intended for growing plants in deep freshwater planted aquariums. LED are ideal for aquariums because they use a tiny amount of power and they don’t produce infrared heat, which can cause aquariums to overheat. While they are expensive, the bulbs will never have to be replaced and the energy savings will pay back the difference within several years.


Miscellaneous- Additionally, I will be using 3 Seio Prop Pumps with Magnets ($48.69) that move 320 gallons per hour. These will circulate the water very well, ensuring that there will be no dead zones in which toxins could accumulate and it will also ensure an even distribution of heat, nutrients, etc. I will also use two Red Sea CO2 System 500 to provide CO2 for plants ($344.88). These systems will ensure that the plants I include will have adequate CO2 and other nutrients so that they grow properly without depleting the water of anything necessary for life.


The cost so far is $3146.23. A hefty price but one that will purchase an amazing, state of the art aquarium. I never said this would be achievable on a college budget. Or even a typical person’s budget.

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