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Old 02-17-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Size of first saltwater tank

What's everyones recommendation for the size of a first saltwater tank? I'm interested in nanos, but I know the smaller the tank, the faster problems can occur.

125 malawi cichlid, 110 Discus, 75 reef, 30 reef, 27 reef, 4 planted
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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I got the JBJ 28 gallon nano cube and LOVE it! The lighting is metal halide so i have no limitations to corals (moonlights included). It came with a a filter (sponge, carbon, ect) and with a small skimmer that sat in the back. It also comes with two power heads that can be controlled to alternate (wavemaker).

I replaced the skimmer with a hang on the back one that worked better and i managed to just squeeze it in.

It does tend to overheat with the metal halides even though there is built in fans. This is not much of a problem because the temperature stays at a a reasonable level if i leave the lid open a crack.

Also my heater fits nicely in the back.

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Old 02-17-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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I think the smallest for a beginner should be about 20G. If you don't mind a little more maintenance, you can skip the protein skimmer and be dedicated to PWCs regularly. Depending on if you wanted a FO, FOWLR or reef tank, you would have many choices in filtration, lighting, etc.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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As big as you have room for. If you have room for a 55g, I'd go with that.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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I started with a 35, I wish I would have started with a 55. It is easier to maintain water quality, plus you aren't as limited on what you can do.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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When I first started I figured, a 29G Biocube would be easy since its an "ALL-In-One" package. And yeah, it was fairly easy and simple. So I took an empty 38G I had in the garage and turned that into a SW reef. Well I can't say that the 29G was any easier than my 38G. 38G was easier in some aspects because I could put a hang on overflow on it, and I have a 10G sump. Long story short, I like my 29G Biocube (that's still up and running) but if I had to do it again, I'd have just found a nice sized tank and stand on Craigslist and skipped over the biocube. Best of luck, its a fun, but very addictive hobby.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:48 PM   #7
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I'd say 40g,that way when you upgrade the 40 will be a great sump!!!!
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:07 AM   #8
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Maybe start with a 29 gallon oceaninc bio-cube (Thats what I am). It is kinda of a all in one package, but just missing a few pieces of equipment.

The protein skimmer that is made by the same company for that tank, dont get it, I have only heard bad reports about it. Go for the Tunze 9002 skimmer, but if you go that decide to go that route, the cup is a weird size and you would want this as well with it: Upgraded Tunze Cup
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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Bigger is always better. I agree to not even try to go less than 20 gallons.

I personally can't stand any of the all-in-one tanks. There is no room to customize or change things as you and your tank grow.

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