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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am adding a third large tank to my collection - have 200G mixed reef and 180G freshwater planted. Running reef with 17-21K spectrum and freshwater planted at 5500K.

The new tank will be 205G - 6' by 3' by 3' with typical reef tank set up - ghost overflow and sump with wetdry filter, UV sterilization, filter socks and media filters for carbon, Purigen and bio pellets.

The big question is lighting and spectrum. Am thinking I want to be 10K and above, and so looking at reef lighting from Kessil and GHL Mitras. I am running these on my reef tank. I have read the 12K is a good spectrum from Mbunas, and the Kessil AP700 looks appealing.

Thoughts?
 

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Welcome to C-F!!!

Are you sure on the tank dimensions? I get 405G when I use 6' x 3' x 3' which would be an awesome tank size regardless.

I will assume you will not be planting the tank, correct?

I'll let others suggest lighting as I tend to just provide light to see the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, not sure why I got the dimensions so far off. It will be 60" by 30" by 30" with 3/4 inch glass - a rimless aquarium.
 

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Why would you want to be over 10K for mbuna? I'd go lower...more like the planted tank but more blue and less coloration for plant growth. Not too much blue though as it encourages algae...I remove all the actinic bulbs that come with fixtures. Many do like the 50/50 actinic mix for Africans however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is what I am trying to figure out. I have read that Mbunas look good under higher Kelvin light, esp. the blue Mbunas. Either way, I want a fixture that provides a wide K range. Agree that finding one that can vary from 8000K to 16000K and brightness throught the day, with sunrise and sunset. The GHL mitras do this, along with clouds and storms. But they are expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have ordered the tank from Miracles in Toronto, and it is larger. Peninsula 72" by 30" by 30", rimless with 3/4" starfire glass - 245 gallons. Going with 300lbs of Texas Holey Rock and a black sand substrate. Plan will be to let it all get dark with algae and not keep it clean with that unnatural looking, actual reef like, bright white bleached appearance. Will have two Kessil A360Xs over the tank creating extreme shimmer. Will run them generally much dimmer than on a reef setup, but programmed with sunset, sunrise, clouds, etc. and with a >10K spectrum. Filtration will be a custom 60" Lifereef wet dry sump with bio ball towers, media filter canisters with carbon, purigen and gfo (fluidized), UV sterilizer, and an algae turf scrubber. Will do semi automatic water changes weekly - 100 gallons each weekend. Am prepared to do medium light plants that can tolerate higher PH, just won't start with them. Plan to overstock, and run it at zero nitrates and phosphates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
btw, I have been doing reef tanks for 20 years, freshwater planted for a bit more, and had successful african cichlid tank in the 90s that was 75 gallons. Since then only planted and reef. Branching back out to african cichlids. Current tanks are 200G reef and 180G planted with Discus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
New 240G tank has arrived and filled. It is drilled for overflow and custom sump, sump is being shipped this week. 66" custom Lifereef four chamber wet dry system. So in meantime have tank filled to below return line bulkhead holes. Heated tank to 78F, connected to Apex for temp and PH measurement. Jury rigged bio filtration using freshwater mature freshwater cannister filter with only bio media in it. This is always connected to one of my systems to use to fast start cycles or for emergency new tank set ups. Added 5 comets this weekend, and all are still thriving. Will do 55G water change once a week until fully cycled.

Running three (not two) Kessil A360X Tuna Blues on a Spectral Controller X, for sunrise, sunset dimming and clouds, etc. Will run around 10000K peak, with sunrise sunset more blue.

Sump design diagram attached.

I plan to do AquaUV 15W UV sterilization.

Will run carbon in 2/3 of filter media reactors.

Considering running a Reef Octopus bio pellet reactor. Still researching this. Would be for nitrate and phosphate reduction.

Lastly, bought a used a used Algae Turf Scrubber for nitrate reduction.

Still plan to do 1/4 water change weekly, but this should make this less necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No biopellets here. Will use huge towers of bioballs, Algae Turf Scrubber and activated carbon. I will be wanting to grow algae on the rocks, just want the water column to be crystal clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Received and installed the sump today. Heavy mechanical filtration, two hugh bioball tower, 3 media reactors. Will incorporate and ATS and UV sterilizer.
 

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This whole thing is just incredible. Please keep us posted. I'm really interested in the lighting. I am running two 36" Fluval 3.0 Sea/marine lights on my Mbuna tank and I really like the lighting compared to the plant 3.0. Plant seems a bit more natural but the marine really brings out the colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
started pvc plumbing yesterday. probably a week more of work to connect display tank to sump, sump to sewer line. also cycling with hang on back filter and pre-existing bio cannister that has been running on several tanks over past 18 months.
 
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