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iammrwiggles

10 vs 20gal long

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Hello Nano Reefers! I'm new to the forum and to marine aquariums as well. I've got a solid background with FW tanks, but I've always wanted to explore marine tanks and here I am! I've been doing some research for the past few months, but I wanted to ask for some of your experiences.

 

I would like to start a nano reef tank, I would like to grow softies and mostly lps, possibly some sps a few months down when I get more comfortable with coral keeping

 

I currently have a 10gallon tank that is cycling 15lbs of live rock and 10lbs live sand. I got the rock because I found a LFS that had a sale for $2.50 live rock and got some of the last of it. After doing a lot of research on lighting... lol :P i'm considering upgrading to a 20L with a 30" fishneedit t5fixture over it. I know that I would need to restart cycling, and that I will need to get some more LR, but I was having a lot of trouble finding a lighting system I was happy with for a 10gal.

 

My question for you is - will I have an easier time maintaining the 20l vs the 10gal? I wasn't able to find a clear comparison between the two but my general sense is that it could be more manageable. As a recent college grad, $$ is tight, but is it better to spend a lil more upfront for a tank that could be more stable in the future?

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Might as well go for hte larger one so you don't need to uprgrade later and more water volume, better to keep parameters stable.

 

The cost for lights for a 10 and 20 not much. Browse the lighting section to see if there's cheaper alternative. The lights i have is for a 36" long tank but I can use it on my 29G 30" cause it's adjustable.

 

I'm upgrading to a 40G B some time soon and most of this is re-useable on the new tank.

Edited by bizzarro

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There are a lot of really nice 20 long tanks out there.

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Might as well go for hte larger one so you don't need to uprgrade later and more water volume, better to keep parameters stable.

 

The cost for lights for a 10 and 20 not much. Browse the lighting section to see if there's cheaper alternative. The lights i have is for a 36" long tank but I can use it on my 29G 30" cause it's adjustable.

 

I'm upgrading to a 40G B some time soon and most of this is re-useable on the new tank.

 

this is interesting, so it's not much of a problem to have a 36" light on a 20Long at 30"? I'm asking because eventually I will be upgrading to a 40G B in the future and lights really seem to be a huge part of the costs. I was thinking that this 20L could end up becoming a sump for a 40G B. Would it be good to go with the 36" fixture, even if I won't be upgrading for a few years?

 

edit: did a quick search and it seems like the fishneedit fixtures have mounting legs where you can adjust the length. Can anyone confirm?

Edited by iammrwiggles

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I have kept a 10 and a 20 long and the difference in maintanence was negligable. But i enjoyed the deminsions of the 20 long much beter. Its one of my favorite tanks. I used a 24 inch aquatraders t5 quad fixture that has digital timers and moonlight leds. The fixture is like 100 dollars with free shipping and this is the result.

2012-03-01172808.jpg

 

Also large amounts of live rock and live sand are overrated. You have plenty for a 20 gallon.

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Thanks for you input James, I agree it might just be that I'm feeling a bit cramped in a 10 gallon. But I tested my water today and ammonia and nitrites are at 0, nitrates at 20 so i'm getting close to cycled (i hope)!

 

The lighting costs do seem fairly similar, I spose I will take a few days to decide if I want to bump up to a 20L. I currently have one that is FW, so we'll see.

 

And btw your tank looks awesome! :D

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I have a 10Gal. I am currently planning long term to upgrade to a 20L. The 20L has a lot more space to do stuff with than a 10, while still being economical compared to larger tanks.

 

Obviously my vote is for the 20L as I'm looking to upgrade my 10 to a 20L. My suggestion is to go to petsmart and look at a 10G side by side with a 20L. It sold me on a 20L.

Edited by Veng

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I think that whether you go for a 20 or not depends on what your likes and dislikes are. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages I've thought of (you've gotten a lot of good ones already):

 

As far as maintenance goes, they're probably about the same. You'll need to change more water on the 20, and you'll have more glass to clean. But the 20 will probably be more stable, too. If your main reason for upgrading is maintenance, you might be disappointed. That being said, there are advantages to each tank.

 

Cost per gallon is more on the 10, but overall cost is probably more on the 20.

 

I personally prefer the dimensions of the 20L, but which one do you like better? Also, the 20L has more space for coral, but did you want to spend more money on coral? You can have more/bigger fish in the 20. What type of fish do you want to keep?

 

Good luck deciding!

 

Lara

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She makes a good point about the fish too. Its alot more fun to watch the fish swim the length of the 20 long than to watch them hover in place in the ten gallon.

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I know that I would need to restart cycling,

False. The only change in cycling would be the dieoff from the tank change (minimal assuming you can do the change in under a few hours or keep the rock submerged during), or the slight elongation when more rock is added. If you're really worried add dry rock.

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False. The only change in cycling would be the dieoff from the tank change (minimal assuming you can do the change in under a few hours or keep the rock submerged during), or the slight elongation when more rock is added. If you're really worried add dry rock.

 

+1 ive done this from a ten to a tweenty. Just recently did it again from the tweenty to a 55. The only thing i would add to this is that i always used as much of the mature water as i could to go in the new tank. Some people dont think it helps. But it cant hurt. Plus thats just ten less gallons of water you have to mix.

Edited by JamesHL88

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It really depends on what you want to keep.

 

I have the Current 4x39W, I only use 2 out of the 4. It has adjustable legs but if you don't get an answer contact the company or perhaps get a hanging kit.

 

I have mushrooms mainly, yellow star polyps and some green button polyps, nothing really demanding in terms of lighting needs.

 

The reason to upgrading my 40B is for "real estate", the mushroom corals I picked up recently don't really fit with the current ones I have one now to stack.

Edited by bizzarro

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I think that whether you go for a 20 or not depends on what your likes and dislikes are. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages I've thought of (you've gotten a lot of good ones already):

 

As far as maintenance goes, they're probably about the same. You'll need to change more water on the 20, and you'll have more glass to clean. But the 20 will probably be more stable, too. If your main reason for upgrading is maintenance, you might be disappointed. That being said, there are advantages to each tank.

 

Cost per gallon is more on the 10, but overall cost is probably more on the 20.

 

I personally prefer the dimensions of the 20L, but which one do you like better? Also, the 20L has more space for coral, but did you want to spend more money on coral? You can have more/bigger fish in the 20. What type of fish do you want to keep?

 

Good luck deciding!

 

Lara

 

Wow thanks a lot for all the advice, this really is a great community! :D

 

Lara I really appreciate how you laid this out. I understand that either way it is a nano tank and nano tanks require diligent maintenance. I am a bit more concerned about stability and it seems like the 20L might actually offer a bit more of a stable system.

 

I would like this to end up having lots of coral, so the real estate value of the 20L might be enough to push me over to it. Admittedly I like the look of the 20L better as well, and it would be nice to have more than one fish :lol: I'm interested in gobies and clownfish, but i'm really more interested in the coral. I'm hoping to take my time to stock mostly softies and lps as funds allow

 

thanks for the tips on the cycle as well. I just thought this process would take a lot longer and wasn't looking forward to starting again. the plan would be for the LR to go from the 10g in to the 20L (after the water has heated of course!).

 

btw, I have an aquaclear powerhead pumping 175gph and a koralia nano with 425 gph. would this be sufficient flow for a 20L? I'm hoping I can use the same equipment but just switch the tank

 

+1 ive done this from a ten to a tweenty. Just recently did it again from the tweenty to a 55. The only thing i would add to this is that i always used as much of the mature water as i could to go in the new tank. Some people dont think it helps. But it cant hurt. Plus thats just ten less gallons of water you have to mix.

 

James, when you say mature water, do you mean the water that is currently in the 10g? this is something I was wondering, I did a bit of searching and yeah it seems to be sorta debated on whether or not to do it. I was planning on using the tank water so please let me know if I should use all new water if I switch to a 20L

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Yes water from the ten gallon. Use it all. It will be dirty looking at first but will clear up when evrything settles down in the new tank. Usually overnight.

Edited by JamesHL88

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And 600 gph should be plenty of flow. I ran over 1000 gph but its not nessicary to have that kind of turnover. And actually blew my sand around more than i liked.

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I have kept a 10 and a 20 long and the difference in maintanence was negligable. But i enjoyed the deminsions of the 20 long much beter. Its one of my favorite tanks. I used a 24 inch aquatraders t5 quad fixture that has digital timers and moonlight leds. The fixture is like 100 dollars with free shipping and this is the result.

2012-03-01172808.jpg

 

Also large amounts of live rock and live sand are overrated. You have plenty for a 20 gallon.

 

 

Wow this is a really nice tank! I agree the 20 L would be the better option, I think if you go with the 10 you will have upgrade fever really quickly.

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btw, I have an aquaclear powerhead pumping 175gph and a koralia nano with 425 gph. would this be sufficient flow for a 20L? I'm hoping I can use the same equipment but just switch the tank

I'd be inclined to pick up another powerhead (another 425 maybe). You can try it out and see if you get dead spots. These tend to cause algae growth and should be noticeable.

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I only have 1 and I think the flow is too much for a 29G. I can't imagine having 2.

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I moved from a 10G to a 20G long, and love the difference...it provides a lot more space for viewing your beasties, and more space along the back of the tank for filters and such...

 

Jamie

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I only have 1 and I think the flow is too much for a 29G. I can't imagine having 2.

A biocube with a return pump and other circulation on top?

 

I had a 29 and ran much heavier circulation and still felt like it could use more.

Edited by asting

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Not meaning to add a hiccup but I'm just starting a 15 (pics will be on my thread later today). Dimensions are 24 x 12 x 12. I've had 10's and 20L's and am really liking the size and dimensions of the 15 :)

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Haven't read this thread, but let me just say... 20L >>>>>> 10G

 

I started with a 10G and upgraded after a year. The 20L is soooo much better. Maintenance is actually easier on the 20L than the 10G, because I have the extra room to attach a HOB skimmer. When I converted, I kept the same amount of LR and didn't increase the WC volume (3gallons/week).

 

Here are pics to show the difference:

 

FTS April 2011

DSC_0658-1.jpg

10g tank

 

FTS March 2012

FTSMarchJPG.jpg

20L tank

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Haven't read this thread, but let me just say... 20L >>>>>> 10G

 

I started with a 10G and upgraded after a year. The 20L is soooo much better. Maintenance is actually easier on the 20L than the 10G, because I have the extra room to attach a HOB skimmer. When I converted, I kept the same amount of LR and didn't increase the WC volume (3gallons/week).

 

Here are pics to show the difference:

 

FTS April 2011

DSC_0658-1.jpg

10g tank

 

FTS March 2012

FTSMarchJPG.jpg

20L tank

 

Thanks awpong for this comparison. The amount of LR currently in my 10g looks similar to your 10g shot, and I actually really like the look of your 20L with the same amount of rock. Do you know about how much sand is in there? I was thinking about putting maybe 15-20lbs sand in a 20L

 

Yes water from the ten gallon. Use it all. It will be dirty looking at first but will clear up when evrything settles down in the new tank. Usually overnight.

 

Thanks for your advice James, this is how I will be doing it.

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Thanks awpong for this comparison. The amount of LR currently in my 10g looks similar to your 10g shot, and I actually really like the look of your 20L with the same amount of rock. Do you know about how much sand is in there? I was thinking about putting maybe 15-20lbs sand in a 20L

 

I used 20lbs of sand

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