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Old 08-21-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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Is bigger really better?

Just made my big move from Mississippi to California and have a few empty tanks. I really want to try my hand at a reef tank. Ok so the questions I have are
1. Should I start small? I have a 20 long that is just lying around.
2. Should I go bigger? I also have a 46 gallon bowfront I could use.

I have been reading online as this would be my first reef tank, and some say it is simple for a smaller tank. Others say that the bigger the tank, the easier it will be to maintain.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Smaller is cheaper but harder to maintain, larger is expensive and much easier. I have a 46 bowfront mixed reef and couldn't imagine going smaller cause you run out of room really quick lol. I got a video of it I just put up on YouTube if you'd like to check it out in my threads started "46 bowfront mixed reef work in progress"
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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The general theory is that more water is more stable and easier to maintain. But, more water also causes more work in other ways. I have had tanks from 10 gallons to 40 and find I like the smaller ones. Right now I have a 10 but might bump back up to a 20 again some day because a couple of fish I have decided to try won't fit the 10. I personally would never go any bigger than that because the larger (medium) tank did not work for me. If I get more money to spend some day where I can get a python to help with water changes, maybe I would change my mind, but that is not happening any time soon. I have kept my 10 clean and stable just fine. There are ways to do smaller reef tanks if that is what you want, just think about it ahead of time, decide what you really want to do, and don't get talked into something you don't want.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for both replys. I am kinda sorta leaning towards the smaller tank simply because of price. Keeping the water stable won't be to big of a problem I hope because I am willing to do it all to keep it stable.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Just remember if you go small the key thing is to keep your evaporation in check with top offs and don't use a hydrometer only a refractometer cause a small miscalculation can cause a major disaster with salinity in small tanks.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrc8858
Just remember if you go small the key thing is to keep your evaporation in check with top offs and don't use a hydrometer only a refractometer cause a small miscalculation can cause a major disaster with salinity in small tanks.
Thanks for that. I was wondering if you could recommend any lights that I could use to grow most corals? Please and thank you in advance
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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What size tank and what kind of corals will effect what light to get so you'll have to decide on that first but with a small tank you could light it reasonably cheap with leds which seems to be the best way to go these days.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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Larger water volumes are more forgiving when problems and mistakes happen. Saying that smaller tanks can work just need more dilligence.
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