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1/18/04 - Tank selection


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#1
caja

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There are many different sizes and styles of tanks to choose from as most of us know. Glass, acrylic, tall, long, bowfront, rectangle, cube, etc. Just about anything can be modified to become a nano. There's even a coffee pot nano over at reef central.

What were some of the factors that influenced your decision to go with the tank you chose and why?

Was it the ability to modify the tank to suit your needs? Was it the fact that it would be easy to find sufficient lighting to support a reef tank? Was size a factor? Were you looking for a tank with a specific price range in mind and settled for less than you hoped for perhaps?

Tank selection is the first hurdle when planning to set up a nano reef. This discussion hopefully will help those that are still in the planning stages.

#2
tinyreef

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the first thing i think of is how a tank's going to be viewed. one side, 3-sides, 360-deg, or other special circumstance. typically, the fewer the viewing area, the higher the tank i go to compensate. for picos and smaller nanos i usually allocate for 360-deg viewing since they're so mobile.

i prefer glass so acrylic doesn't enter into my thought process but for newcomers acrylic may be a good option due to the ease of diy/drilling and other physical properties. it will scratch like a dog tho.

size really isn't a factor (for me) unless you're trying to push the envelope for a specific reason (i.e. presentation, species, available space). but you have to be dedicated to upkeeping the tiny tanks, which require more attention. i'm a lazy bastage so i prefer the larger 'leave em alone-types'. whatever you go with, try to leave/plan at least twice the space underneath for equipment, water, sump, power, etc.

the last aspect i try to plan for is available/appropriate lighting. if i can't get the right lighting for the system (pricing, bulb availbility, intensity) i change either the biotope or the tank sizing. altho with the growth of the hobby, more and more different lighting configurations are available so that that's a minor issue if at all.

#3
aqua_aaron

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I personally got a 16 gal high (20x10x19) I like the taller tanks because you can have a ton of corals from all lighting requirements. One downside, however, is more lighting is needed to reach the bottom of the tank. Another pro of the tall tanks is that they take up a smaller area for those who have less space. I prefer glass tanks, mainly because one can find them anywhere and they are cheaper then acrylics. I picked a 16 gallon because I also wanted to have two or three fish in addition to the corals.
I think any newbie should pick the tank that they find most attractive and fits their situation.

#4
snookface1

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I wanted to have a taller tank and was going to get a 15 gal tall. When I saw it at my LFS I desided to make my own from a 10 gal I had. I took the 10 gal apart and bought glass 20" X 16" and made my own. My current tank a glass custom built (3/16" glass) 13.75 gal tank. It has the footprint of a 10 gal, but taller.

#5
movingshadow

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I've always looked for something out of the ordinary as far as shape goes. I gotta say, I am extremely pleased with my 5.5 glass bowfront tank. I'd always suggest to figure out exactly what you want to care for, research it and buy the tank that best matches your wants/needs. There's nothing worse than spending money and finding out you didn't need to, or to find out that you should have just spent those twenty bucks... sure, not everyone can afford the tank they want (hey I don't have a 25,000 gallon shark lagoon either...) but with a little research and patience just about everyone can have a tank looking the way they want it to...

sorry to ramble... maybe that was too much of our good german brew...hmmmm

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#6
donteatthenano

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I'd like to admit that I spent a lot of time deciding which tank would suit my favorite room the best (especially since we just bought a new house) but that was not the case, in my case.

I elected to go with a standard rectangular glass 10-gallon tank because it had been in my mother's basement, along with a nice heavy wrought-iron stand, for about 10 years. I'm happy with this because standard items (i.e. lighting) for these standard rectangular aquariums seem readily available. The tank, although small, is the centerpiece in our living room and everyone seems to enjoy it (when and if they even notice it).

If I were to start up another and had my choice I would probably go with a 5.5g because my ten doesn't feel "mini".

There's my ramble...

Jason

#7
Dingo

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I picked a 10 gallon AGA because it cost me 10 bucks and is small enough that tank maintenance is a breeze. A 1 gallon waterchange is simple, a 2 gallon water change is on the way to being a PITA. No way am I going to drop a hundie on a 10 gallon bowfront, even if it is pretty.

#8
donteatthenano

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I definitely agree on the 1-gallon waterchange. It didn't take long at all to make it routine. I usually get 3 refills: One fresh and two to mix. I have my water mixed usually a day after waterchange, about a week in advance and it sits in the basement ready to go. The fresh gallon, of course, is for top-off and usually hangs out closer to the tank (but NEVER on the kitchen counter). ???

#9
2D_Todd

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I used to own a 20 gallon long, I think I am the only person on the board who hates the size, its tough for viewing, needless to say I am 6'4", and it was on a low stand so I couldn't see the tank well standing up, I had to sit on the floor. My 29 gallon is nice and high up and visible from both the kitchen and the living room. I love it. Light penetration is another story though and has been debated to hell on this board.

#10
EnderG60

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I chose to build my own from scratch.

I couldnt find anything I could afford, so i just made my own. Minus the light the whole thing cost me about $50(1/8" plexi, glue, 1/4" black plexi for sump devider, pump, hoses and connectors, bio balls, wood, molding for top and bottom and 3 cans of spray paint)

plus this way i got to build it the size and shape i wanted, and made it with an internal rear sump that would actually work the way i wanted.

only thing i wish i had done was built in a skimmer into the sump, but hey i can always make another;)

#11
mattie

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i have limited space in my apt but i know from experience water volume make things alittle easier
i was orginally think a 10g since i have good results w/ one in the past i choose a 20H which has to much bigger of a foot print than a 10

#12
huari

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I've owned an FW Eclipse 12 and currently have a FW TruVu 20Long and a SW Jebo curved glass 8G. From all I've read and researched, glass is preferable for the scratch resistance factor. Despite the closer index of refraction water has to acrylic, I like the aesthetic of curved glass. Basically I would like an open box of curved glass preferably Saphire. The tank should be longer that tall. I don't know why manufacturers make such high 'portrait' looking tanks!? it doesn't promote increased surface area which is proportional gas exchange. Unfortunately choices are limited to the curved glass imports from Asia: Jebo, Jalli, ViaAqua JBJ, Alive, Boyu. Here is a link to the ultimate looking nano. Please for the love of Nemo someone get distribution rights to this company's products:
http://www.rva.ne.jp...so/nisso_ns.htm
Juliet,one of the posters from Korea has one of these beautiful tank. Anyone read Japanese?

Also I like lights to hang on legs like corallife fixtures so heat is less of an issue.
barring the import of a Nisso, my next tank is a AGA 5.5
good grief

#13
huari

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Here's the company link: http://www.nisso-int.co.jp/index8.html

look for the CS series like Juliet has.

drool. Even my GF would like it.

If anyone has leads on where I can get a nisso tank in the U.S.A
please PM me!!! thanks

oh and i like the volume to hover around 10G just enough for a fish and some corals, not to big and not to cramped.

#14
Lostmind

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I am in Canada. I just purchased a tank like that nisso one. I am not sure if it *is* that tank or not.

But, it looks just like that.

#15
huari

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I need to move to canada. Waah!

#16
I. T. Salty

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I bought a 5 gal Hex and put it on a standard PC Monitor stand because it fits perfecly in a corner of my desk out of the way.

And yet it's right there in front of me all day to calm me..

Lighting is OK with a screw in Mini compact fluor 50 50 ..

#17
TheUltimateNoob

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Damn 2D_Todd. Who's that girl in your avatar?? If she's a friend of yours could I get her number? Haha. j/k But hottie none the less.

#18
EJ7B18C1

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I chosed mines due to careful planning. Most if not all newbs I think though, go out and purchase a small tank thinking it would be less money & less maintenance since you can only have so many corals in it or at least that's what some of my friends thought. As for me I MUST have Metal Halide lighting no matter how small! My first MH I put on my 25T before just shocked me into a whole new world of lighting a reef tank. Ever since then I will not go w/o it. Sure I have tried PC's and VHO's but nothing compared to MH's. Price, height and space was another issue for me to consider this time around also, since it's going into my room.

The 20H I have now is perfect in footprint, height and price. Great size that just fit right next to my TV and doesn't block my entry way. Perfect height for the 175W MH setup I will be recieving in about a week or so. Lastly, PRICE! $20.00 new for 20 gallons which is $1.00 per gallon so I couldn't resist. :happy:

#19
MaxMike

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hi ..can any1 suggest which size is best for a newbie (i finish my fw plant tank..wanna try a sw nano reef)..i found this great site a few day ago..dun know where to start..

#20
offsprg01

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i think the most common sizes on this board are 10 gallon AGA and 12 galllon bow front. but like they say ther is no replacement for displacment. get the largest tank you can afford. although if you want to stay nano just keep it under 30 gal. 20 long are sweet tanks. they allow for alot of light penetration to the sand bed makling for easier placement of corals, and they allow for more swimming room for fish and have a large surface area to facilitate gas exchange. in my humble opinion i think they are the best nanos areound. i wish i could have one but i live in the doorm so they only allow me to have my 10 gallon. (which would be my second choice for ease of tank mantience and it's standard size not to mention price.) but as 10 diffrent people on the board and you'll get 10 diffrent answers. but you best bet will be the biggest tank you can get. as it will help keep your water paramaters much more stable.

#21
Vincerama

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After almost a year of a 10g AGA, I think I might move up to a 40 or 50 gallon breeder tank. The breeder tanks are short and fat, so a 40 is 36x18x16. My tall 37g Eclipse FW tank is hard to access the bottom of the tank without getting my armpits wet (exageration). And it is skinny too.

The 10g is too skinny. My rockwork is terrible, I want acreage! The 10g (well, mine anyway) jsut doesn't have enought space to put all the corals I want in it. It's probably just me, but I want a shallow tank so that I can reach stuff in the tank, but I want a large area so that I can space stuff out horizontally, which I like.

(Oh yeah, and it has to fit what little space I have, otherwise I'd get a 75g). Nanos are fun, but only if you also have a big tank!

V

#22
reefmaster3024

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My newest size is a 20 ,because I came home to a water leaking 25g.But the 20 is a good all around tank especially for sps corals, because of its depth. You dont need to run 250w or 400w halides to get penetration in the tank you can get away with 150w and 175 w halides-so you dont have to work so hard on keeping it cool. We all know how cheap chillers are...LOL. If I had to do tank selection all over again I would have a 24 X 24 X18 inch high built, so I could get a four side veiw, and run all my clams topside.