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Old 11-21-2003, 07:26 PM   #1
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Pondering the Salt

Ok. Ignore my prior thread. I have decided, with a house 3-4 years in the future, I don't want to wait for my grand plans. I'd like to start something smaller now.

So here's my initial question, in relation to equipment:

What would you suggest as minimum/maximum gallon size for a beginning SW hobbiest? Of the tanks I currently have, I have a 20 gallon long not in use.. well its setup but I never located the Lake Tang cichlids I wanted. I also have a 10 gallon with goldfish that I have pondered moving into the 20. So my pre-bought options are 20L or 10. Comments?

I'll ask one question at a time, as I'll be researching things independantly and in a slow caution fashion on my own :) (And my budget doesn't allow me to just go buy whatever I want anymore)
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Old 11-21-2003, 07:29 PM   #2
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I would definitly go with the largest volume you can afford initially.... With water parameters being so critical in reef systems it is much easier to detecty changes for the worse in larger volumes, where the swings wont happen as quickly...
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Old 11-21-2003, 07:30 PM   #3
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Well reefRunner Has an Awesome 20L setup and looks amazing.. Since you are starting off I would suggest that you use the 20L as its going to be much easier to maintain..

HTH<
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:58 AM   #4
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My first salt tanks was and still is a 20 long. Its fairly easy to maintain. My set up is about 1-2" of sand, @30lbs LR, a powerhead in each corner at @230 gph, and a prizm skimmer. I've never really had water quality issues. My lighting is 2x55 watt compact fluorescents that I will be adding a 175 watt metal halide to as soon as I get around to building the canopy. 2 biggest things to keep in mind are that with the smaller tank size evaporation can become a major issue, and controlling temperature. These are not difficult to overcome.
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:13 PM   #5
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Well. I'm debating. The goldfish need the 20L.

I'm thinking I'm gonna save up and get an Oceanic 30G Cherry Oak Cube. They're around $180, but I love the way they look. One LFS has a reef set up in one of these, with a quad compact Coralite light on top and a Pro Prizm protein skimmer. I like the tank even if I might end up with the other equipment being different (Both of those are another $180 each apparently.)
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
What would you suggest as minimum/maximum gallon size for a beginning SW hobbiest?
Minimum 30 gal
Maxium 180 gal



Serously it woudl be best to shoot for the largest tank you can fit/afford with out breaking the bank. While I aswell stareted with a 20 gal tank and was somewhat sucessful with it the smaller the tank the more day to day work you need to put into the system. Topping off the tank with freshwater to replace evaproation, water changes, managing excess heat from lights, etc are all somewhat easier to do on a larger system than a smaller system.

Also the smaller the tank the more likly the tank will end up overstocked because who likes to have just one or two fish in a tank? For a 20 gal I would not avocate more than 3 small fish (less than 2" in lenght).

I love the 30 gal cube tank I wanted one the minute I saw it in the LFS last year. One thing thats on the negitive side of the cube is the surface area. There is less surface area per gal in a cube tank than in a tank of the same capacity but of a longer/narrower configuration.

What did you want to keep in the tank? What yo uwant to keep can be a big factor in deciding on the tank size and shape.
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:37 AM   #7
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The tank at the lfs is fully of mainly live rock. I would say if the cube is .. 15x15x15 (Just making up numbers), the rock in the middle took up about 12x12x12.. They're selling the tank as is for roughly $1600.. Its got a clam in it worth $500 supposively.

I want corals and such (I don't know all the teminology), a few inverts for cleaning and such, a maybe 3-4 small fish. Yes, one of those will definately have to be a clown fish, my wife has and loved Finding Nemo. In general without yet knowing much about SW fish, I'd want the fish to different color wise. A blue one, a yellow one, a green one, etc.

I agree with the floor space not being quite a much, but I figured there's also a plus in that I can pile rock a little higher and provide more 'levels'.

I also like the cubes as they should fit well on my desk or counter. I don't particularily have a floor spot and I'd rather not have to buy a stand anyways.
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:08 PM   #8
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More thought into it all. As pretty as the Oceanic cubes are, I'd rather put my money towards the other components of the tank, like a good light and skimmer. So I'm probably going to get a standard 29 gallon. It'll be longer and a little taller, though also less deep.

My current thoughts are to stick two powerheads on each side (Suggested gph seems to be 200+), and use an old Penguin 330 I have lying around as just a secondary method of moving water and providing a location for carbon. Someone mentioned it being a sort of mini-sump as well. I will probably remove the biowheels.

So the remaining two pieces of equipment I need the most suggestions with are lighting and skimmers. Lighting is more of which would be the best brand and color temperature. Skimmers I simply know nothing about.
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