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Old 10-01-2008, 12:50 AM   #1
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just researching

ok looking for advice, opinions or whatever lol. i know this stuff gets asked a million times so like the 999,999 people before me ill apologize now for it being asked again.

i currently own a 29g planted aquarium and have been having thoughts of also doing a sw reef tank of some kind. the 3 i was looking at are a 12g nano cube, a 20g or a 40g breeder tank. with the 12g nano it comes with the lights and most of the other equipment. no need for a skimmer or a sump. im assuming with a 40g i would need both a skimmer and a sump? would i need those with a 20g? also i know the wpg rule is not a set in stone rule but what are the genaral guide lines for wpg of pc lighting for a 20g and a 40g breeders tank.

i know most people are goign to say go with the biggest tank i can afford but right now im just looking at my options.im ok doing extra work with a smaller tank. i really like the nano tanks but thinking the 20g or 40g breeders could be a doable option. i have done some reading on nano tanks but i have a hard time thinking the lights that come with most( around 2-3wpg) will be enough to do any kind of coral.

what i do know is just like my planted tank i enjoy the plant part of it just as much as the fish part so coral is the big reason i want to do this. so if anyone has any opions or suggestions or reading for the nano tank or what i would need for a 40g breeders tank let me know please and ty.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:02 AM   #2
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As you said... "Go with the biggest tank you can afford!"

But honestly... I have a 46g and originally thought about going the 28g nano route because it was sooooo convenient - it's just "plug and play"... right?

Wrong.

If you think you're going to go the coral route, which it sounds like you will, then most of those "kits" or "plug and play" setups will kinda work, but you'll probably find yourself a year down the road kicking yourself and upgrading to a larger tank anyway.

I went with a 46g because it fit the space available in my house. When I set it up, I thought it was huge. I now wish I had more room! I am SO glad I didn't go the nano route as I would've wasted a LOT of money with a setup that I would've outgrown in short order. So I'd obviously go for the 40g setup.

Regarding lighting... the wpg rule has its pitfalls, but for initial thinking, if you get a fixture in the 4-5 watts/gallon range you can have most of the LPS corals out there, and just a few of the SPS corals. I have 196W of compact fluorescent over my 46g and while I'm limited in what I can keep, I've found no problem filling it with beautiful corals that seem to be happy.

You don't "need" a sump on anything. More water volume is good, but if you don't want to deal with it, don't. I don't have a sump on mine and have just decided to maintain a pretty consistent/frequent maintenance schedule to make up for the lack of one.

I think if you enjoy a planted tank, you'll enjoy a reef.

Welcome to the dark side...
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:05 AM   #3
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i would skip the 12. they are convienent but they take away from the fun diy-ness of the expirence. but if you are doing it only for coral you might want to consitter it. i would go with the 20 or 40 if it was me cuz my (first) tank is a nanocube and i can tell now that i kinda missed out on the whole diy factor. im not sure on the wpg. and for the 20 or 40 you wouldnt need a sump, you could get another type of filter. skimmers are debatable.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:17 AM   #4
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im very much into doing tank cleaning and maintance. for me its part of the fun.but im not much of a diy type person. i dont want to have to set up plumbing or drill my tank.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:24 AM   #5
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when i said diy i kinda meant more mix n matching stuff instead of having to have all of the stuff that the manufacturer puts in the tank. its just more fun to be ael to have choices i think.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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I agree with the once said "bigger is better" theory. I have seen soo many start out small and go bigger within a short time. (including myself). Even those that are BIG to me keep going bigger I think there is an addiction here on the dark side....LOL
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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Kurt pretty much nailed it.

Big as you can afford is best. SW is a little different then FW. A 10g FW tank is pretty easy to deal with, the same is not true of SW. Things can change very quickly in SW and not always easy to correct. With SW evaporation is a killer on small tanks. To give you an idea, I have a 120 with sumps and a 55g frag system, something in the neighborhood of 240g total. I have to top off 3+ gallons of water every day because of evaporation. Now scale that down to a smaller tank and you could easilly see your SG jump in 24 hours. That is not a good thing.

If you are ready to jump into the SW world I say go with the 40g. It is a shallow tank so your lighting can easily be T5s and you could house just about any coral you want. It has a nice footprint allowing for some interesting aquascaping. It is the larger of the tankgs you mentioned so you'll have that going for you as well.

Sumps and fuges...hmmm...I'm the guy that will ALWAYS say add a sump and a fuge if you are going to have coral. Is it a must, no, is it a good idea, YES! Those are things that you can add later though and you don't have to drill your tank to do it. A friend of mine in the hobby has a slogan, "Dilution is the solution to pollution" more water volume means slower changes in your water parameters.

Do a good amount of research and keep this thread updated and ask your questions. We will be glad to help you along the way.

Oh and the WPG rule...toss that. Things have changed a lot in marine lighting.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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I agree go with the 40. Bigger is better in the Sw side. You`ll be glad you did.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #9
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I started with a 65, and 2 1/2 months in I am alreay wishing I had a larger tank! Go big, if it ends up being too much room then just don't stock it all the way.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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the reason i liked the 40g is because it is shallower and thus the lighting is not as expensive. ill look into what all ill need and the cost and figure out whats the best route for me to go. if the nano is not a good option then it looks like the 40 is my best bet.

one question which could put this on hold. there is prolly a 75% chance i move from cali to texas next july or august. is it worth starting a sw tank now if i do have to move then? i know sw is alot slower process then fw.
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