My 210 gallon community tank

Zach B.
  • #1
So I am in the process of slowly collecting things I need to get my tank running and I am working on saving to buy each thing. I think I can muster about $200 a month on fish equipment/plants/fish.

So what I have is a 210g 7ftx2ftx2ft tank. It has a custom sump designed for salt water. I will take out the protein skimmer and just set it up as mostly a mechanical filtration. I got a Fluval FX6 from PetSmart on Black Friday for $189.

So on my wish list for the tank.
Inkbird aquarium thermostat for heaters
2x Eheim Jager 200W heater.
36 in finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC
48 in finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC
2x 15.4lbs bag of flourite black sand
2x Eco complete Black 20lbs
2x fluval Stratum 17.6 lbs
80 gph dry burn protection pump
Jebao programmable auto dosing pump
Bunch of smart plugs

So the build set up is going to use the sump for an auto water change system. The pump that runs the sump will shut off the dry burn protection pump will drain the sump down to a low level the auto doser will pump in prime a solinoid valve controlled by the smart plug will come on and let pre filtered water from my carbon block filter setup fill the sump. The prime is for the chloramine the chlorine should be removed from the carbon block filter. Then I will fill the sump and turn the sump pump back on changing about 15-20 gallons every 24 hours.

The sump will be primarily mechanical while the FX6 will be mainly bio with a intake sponge.

I will use filter bags of lava rock to create my scape and add depth to the tank then add the planted substrate where I want it and the black sand over the top of it.

For a stocking list I plan to do:
50 corydoras not sure what kind but I think panda
100 cardinal or rummynose tetras or maybe 50 of each.
My king tiger pleco( he is in a 29 gallon right now)
My Amazon puffer( he is in the same 29 gallon)
15 honey gouramis a few of the wild variant the red and yellow.
5+ panda Garra
10+ peacock gudgeons
20+ dwarf chain loaches
15+ otocinclus
A pair of appistogramas panduro
A pair of Bolivian Rams
And a pair of angelfish.

I plan to use all low to medium light plants, driftwood, and maybe a few large river rocks.
Plants I may use:
Jungle Val
Java Fern
Dwarf aquarium Lilly
And some stem plants not sure what just yet.

I am going to use some pre cycled media to seed the cycle and seed the tank with blackworms and scuds well before fish go in and drop food in to feed them and cycle the tank while building a great Eco system.

Starting very soon I will buy a group of Corydoras and start breeding them till I raise the 50+ that I want in the tank. I am not sure I will succeed at breeding cardinal tetras but I might give it a try as well.

The plants and fish will get added as I have money and as I find them at the fish stores near me.

For the pairs of cichlids I will buy a group and wait till I get a pair and then re-home the rest.

I will update this as I have more information and would love to discuss ideas and criticism just keep things positive. I love to chat and have conversations so please all comments are welcome.

  • #2
I don't have enough experience to offer advice or critique your plan other then to say if it's rummy nose or cardinal I'd go for the cardinals. That's just a matter of personal preference. Or maybe 75/25.

I'm looking forward to the updates.

  • #3
  • #4
I vote for 50/50 for the rummies and cardinals. The cardinals are certainly flashier, but the rummies are so much fun to watch schooling around! Your setup sounds dreamy. I'm shooting for a 40b sometime soon so I can have enough space for cories, dwarf chains, and a pair of bolivians. If I had your tank, I would never get anything done- I'd just be sitting in front of it all day. Love your feel for stocking- balanced and endlessly fascinating! Please post pics so we can live vicariously through you!!
Zach B.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I have had koolI loaches, dwarf chain loaches and zebra loaches. Dwarf chain loaches are by far my favorite and want to have them again. The panda Garra are also amazing spending most of their time resting on decore or cleaning the glass. The only issue is you definitely need a 100% sealed lid and be diligent to never leave it open I lost 3 in one day because I forgot to close the lid and they jumped out. I am still torn on what I want to have for a schooling fish because I know large groups of one type of fish gives you more natural behavior. I have been looking at my list and I do have a large quantity of bottom dwellers. It is my only concern and I may remove the otocinclus because I have seen videos of fish with having an otocinclus stuck in their mouth.
The bottom species on the list are:
Corydoras 50+
Rams 2+
Appistogramas 2+
Otocinclus 15+
Panda Garra 5+
Loaches 20+
king tiger pleco 1
~200 inches of fish just on bottom

My new perposal would be:
Rams 2+
Appistogramas 2+
Corydoras 40-50
Panda Garra 8
King tiger pleco 1 ( I may see if I could trade him to a local fish store for some other fish I am not a huge fan of plecos after owning one)
20-30 loaches
~150-180 inches of "bottom" dwellers with more of each species except corydoras. Keep in mind I do have 14 sqft of bottom space just for reference a 55 gallon tank has 4sqft.

I watch a bunch of YouTube and I want to do what Rachel O'Leary does with this tank and have large numbers of smaller fish in a single tank even if it means less species of fish.

I have been watching videos on diy foam/cement backgrounds and was thinking of making a natural looking overhang that wraps the bottom 6" of the tank it would overhang about 4-6" I would slope the back side of it down so I could fill it with substrate and plant in that. Not only would that give the fish a tremendous amount of caves/bidding places but also raise my plants closer to the light without having to build a mound with expensive substrate. It wouldn't be a continuous ledge but broken up sticking out a long ways in some spots and very thin or non existent in others maybe even some places it looks like it is collapsed to create natural looking tunnels. It not only would cover the back but wrap around the sides as well.

I want one side of the tank to have a decent amount of flow and surface agitation and the other to have a relatively stagnant surface with some floating plants to provide cover for the gouramis. While the other side to have some flow for fish like the puffer, tetras, and Garra.

I am so excited about the project I just wish I had a cash infusion of about $500-600 to get it ready. All things will come in time I am expecting 6 months till it is fish ready and another 6 months to afford to buy all the fish.
  • #6
It sounds great and you’ve certainly put thought into it. There’s something about watching fish in a Large tank that is mesmerising.

I have a 210g too (not as long as yours) and it’s my pride and joy. Keep at it and yes even though the “bit by bit” approach seems to drag on - before you’ll know it it will have been done and established and you won’t remember a time BT (before tank!)
  • #7
Not quite as big as yours but just got done growing in a 120g. I have to say the coolest part of larger tanks is you have a good long time to slowly add new fish and plants. With enough capacity for bioload I enjoyed week by week picking new fish and adding them to the tank slowly over time... same for the plants. It was cool constantly having something new to add every week for months. We had a few failures along the way for both and overcame some adversities that resulted in losses sadly, but that provided opportunities to try new or different species until we settled on what really worked.

If budget permits recommend going hog wild on the plants ASAP though my wife will tell you there were plenty of 4 letter words involved in much of the initial plantings. In the end it was well worth it though now that it's grown in and the plants do wonders helping settle down the tank. When my filter died and I couldn't replace right away it saved our bacon, I just left the light on 24/7 for 2 days and the plants kept on pumping out the Oxygen I was no longer getting from surface transfer.

The foam cement background sounds very interesting. Not sure I can fully picture what you intend, but get the general gist. Would very much like to see how it comes together over time if you can post progress photos.

Best of luck with the project!
Zach B.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
The foam cement background sounds very interesting. Not sure I can fully picture what you intend, but get the general gist. Would very much like to see how it comes together over time if you can post progress photos.

Best of luck with the project!

Think of a shallow river or ditch and there are plants growing up to the edge. The water will under cut that edge but the plant roots hold the dirt from eroding leaving an area underneath for fish to hide from flying threats or to avoid the sun. I was thinking of taking a foam board and stacking strips and carving it to look real with sections with real rocks jetting out and holding them in place with expanding foam. After the structure is built I will paint on layers of cement and each layer will have some sand and different color pigment added to it. Once it hardens it will have a semI realistic Rocky/sand/clay look to it.

I will add pictures as soon as it is in place right now it is in my garage and I need to get 3-4 people to come help me move the 400 pound tank to my basement. I am not looking forward to it I know it can be done because we got a 7 foot long 3x3 foot couch base down the stairs. I sent out my Amazon shopping cart as well as asked for fish store gift cards from all my relatives for x-mas so I might get more items soon from the list above.

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