Items needed for 260 gallon fowlr tank

Mar 14, 2013

I am trying to come up with a list of all of the things I will need to start up an 8 foot, 260 gallon fowlr aquarium. This is my list so far:

Predrilled 96” (260 gallon) tank with overflows, stand and canopy
Acclimation kit
2-3 buckets for acclimation
50 gallon garbage can for water changes
90 gallon sump
Return pump (external for returning filtered water to tank)
Power heads (2 for tank)
Submersible pump (1 for mixing salt in water changing container)
Flexible Tubing and clamps
Synthetic Sea Salt mix
Nitrifying bacteria
Water conditioners
Heater w/ thermostat (one for tank, one for water changing container)
RO/DI Unit
Protein skimmer
Gravel vacuum/Water changer
Live rock
Text kits
Power surge protector
Ammonia Neutralizer
Air pump with airstones
Chlorine Neutralizer
Phosphate remover
pH conditioners
AmQuel Plus
Stress Coat
Filter media and bags: Nitrate remover, phosphate remover, activated carbon
UV sterilizer

Can anyone think of anything else that I will need? Thanks!


Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
Cape Cod
**GCFI outlet for your safety - these suckers are cheap and can be plugged into any standard outlet. Any SW tank should have one, it can save your live for $8-15. They also make GCFI power strips with it built right in. Also, with that kind of powerful equipment combined with the SW, you will want to get a proper power strip, NOT a surge protector - surge protectors with large amounts of electronics plugged in, and the potential to get SW on them, have this fun tendency to start fires. Surge protectors are designed to protect the equipment, and have these little plastic bits in them that, once used up, will melt. A power strip in a metal housing, with all individual plugs (not the plastic ones that are all interconnected), is much safer. And the GCFI will instantly cut out the power if the strip does get wet. A grounding probe is another good idea, but not a necessity.

Are you planning to do a filter sock of any sort, or just the protein skimmer? It would probably be worthwhile to have a filter sock on hand, so after stuff gets stirred out it can be used to take the crud chunks out (like after a water change).

QT tank would be a very good investment - especially since you plan on tangs and those suckers are ich magnets.
Similarly, you may want to grab some prazipro - takes care of flukes, internal parasites - safe and recommended to use for any new fish. And it's pretty cheap, if you use it in a QT tank or a dip - obviously it would be more expensive to treat 260g...

You are probably including it already, but the wheels that go on the bottom of the brute trash can are worthwhile. I recommend using the brute as opposed to another type, brutes are specifically designed for water use like that.

Are you planning to do an autotopoff?

Planning any baffles in the sump (may be already included on your list but just to put it out there)?

Without knowing the type of sump, are you sure you are having an external pump? It is easier plumbing to get an internal one that sits in the sump, rather than an external one that has an additional hose going to it, usually through a drilled hole in the sump.

LR - especially for a tank of that size, you can do mostly dry rock with some live to seed it, and it will all become live eventually. Alternatively, I don't know about your area but a lot of places, especially with a reef club or similar, there are people selling out and selling large amounts of LR for MUCH cheaper than stores.

Mag float to clean glass?

Sturdy even floor, and a level to make sure the stand is level before filling.

You'll want either really strong powerheads, or more than two, for that size tank. Many tangs especially like some good water movement. But you can always add afterwards as needed.

2-3 battery powered backup pumps, to come on and keep the water oxygenated in case of power outage. I know a very experienced reefer who has 2 on a 125g, so probably 3 for that size tank would work. Or, a generator.

Paper towels / actual towels ;) Inevitably there will be spilling doing water changes and such - so just something to wipe it off the stand / glass.

Good SW book - "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner is a good one.

What you could / should take off the list:
-UV sterilizer - doesn't really do much, and will not keep ich out of the tank. A QT tank would be a better investment, for many reasons.
-Water conditioners, PH stuff, Chlorine neutralizer, Stress coat - if you are using RO/DI water, there won't be anything in there that you need to remove or condition. AmQuel plus, would still be good to have on hand - especially for a QT tank. You shouldn't get ammonia in the main tank, with the LR.
-Nitrifying bacteria - 2 reasons - first, it will come free with the LR and just needs to reproduce, and secondly buying bacteria in a bottle is almost always buying an expensive bottle of uselessness.
-Air pump - the powerheads / sump return are going to provide the water movement and thus oxygenation.

Hope some of that was useful.


Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
Cape Cod
Forgot to add - make sure you get submersible heaters for SW tanks, otherwise the salt creep can cause them to stick on. You also want to have a couple heaters for the tank itself, rather than one large one - if one of the smaller heaters sticks on, it is not likely to overheat the tank fatally before you notice, whereas a large heater stuck on can cook everyone pretty quickly.


Superstar Fish
Jun 2, 2010
Yelm, WA
Remember when you level that tank to do it side to side and front to back. It is easy to forget the front to back level when you are anxious to get some water in it,