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Old 10-24-2006, 09:57 PM   #1
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Opinion on 55g vs. 50g tanks

Hi all-

I'd been planning to use a 55g tank for my FOWLR setup. Well, I just got my copy of Reef Inverts, by Calfo and Fenner today and it suggests a 50g (36x18x18) has better dimensions. They say the 13" width on the 55g doesn't really provide enough space for rock work, etc.

It sounds good to me, although the size change would drop my wattage down to 3.8 watts per gallon, vs. the 4.7 watts I'd have with the 55g setup. I don't have any intention of keeping anything needing an intense light source- just low-medium light inverts, soft corals, and so on.

Would I be better off trading the slightly lower wattage and total length for the better footprint provided by the 50g?

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:47 AM   #2
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That is an interesting point. I have noticed in my 55G there are some places that doesn't have a lot of space between my LR and glass. I think it all really depends on your placement of rock and the size of it. I just readjusted mine, so I could get my magnet scraper behind them.
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:37 PM   #3
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i really hate the 55's. I loved the lenght of mine, but they're so narrow that it is really really hard to get good rockwork in there. You almost cant realy build upwards (because you need bigger pieces on the bottom which are just too wide for the tank to look good with) and you pretty much have to build your rock low and lenghtwise.

I've got a 40 breeder now. it is only 36 inches long, but its like 17 inches front to back. I love how easy it is to build in there. I personally like the look of lots of open sand in the front, along with lots of open swimming room. But i also like building upwards with the rock. It adds height to the tank. But with 55's, you lose the open swimming space and open sand when you go upwards (again because you need larger/wider rocks on the bottom..they take up all the room from front to back). So theres not a whole lot of options with it.

Now with my 40 breeder...i can build as high as i want, but still have plenty of open space. Overall it just looks much nicer imo. Some people can pull off the good rockwork on a 55..but its hard and if you dont get the "right" rock, then its even harder.

But either way...theres not too many things that you'd be able to keep in a 55 gallon tank that you COULDNT keep in a 50. I cant think of anything offhand to be honest.
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:18 AM   #4
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I kind of agree with sir dudeguy....I have a 55 that is a FW planted tank, and it is a pain to aquascape as there is not enough distance front to back to have separate foreground, midground and background areas.

Any thoughts about a 75? same length and height as a 55, but 6" wider.

I actually came very close to buying a 50 on ebay a couple weeks ago, I thought it seemed like a really nicely sized tank. Too bad I just don't have the room!
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:33 AM   #5
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idk how the 75's are...they always seemed kinda narrow like the 55's to me too...but i never really looked at em much. I strongly recommend the 40 breeders tho. They're smallish so they dont take up a lot of room, but you'd be surprised what you can fit in there due to the ground space (which is what fish look for moreso than they do height...tho stuff like tangs like horizontal swimming space). But i plan to get a few blennies/gobies for my 40 breeder and imo theyd be perfectly fine together cuz theres lots of ground space (which means you can get more rock which is what they like)
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_dudeguy
idk how the 75's are...they always seemed kinda narrow like the 55's to me too...but i never really looked at em much
75's are nice. They are 18" wide and the same length and height of a 55.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo chili
Would I be better off trading the slightly lower wattage and total length for the better footprint provided by the 50g?
IMO yes. I have a 55g and I'd go with the 50g or a 75g if I did it over again. Check out my gallery if your interested in seeing a 55g in action.
Quote:
although the size change would drop my wattage down to 3.8 watts per gallon, vs. the 4.7 watts I'd have with the 55g setup
No big difference really-especially when considering the 50g is 2" shorter height wise which will aid in light penetration some. HTH and good luck.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:37 PM   #7
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I am confused you say you would have 4.7 watts per gallon with the 55 gallon tank. If you went with the 50 gallon tank wouldn't you have 5.17 watts per gallon not 3.8. Are you comparing the same lights
A 75 gallon would give you 3.4 watts if its the same lights.
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