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Old 10-08-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Tank size differences?

I really want to set up a saltwater reef tank sometime in the future (have only had FW tanks so far) but i want to know what is different between tank sizes, equipment, and prices. So i kinda figured i'd start with a tank between 10-40 gallons. Between these tank sizes, what additional equipment, if any, is need to run a 40 gallon compared to like a 10? And what additional time would i have to put in to run a small tank compared to a bigger one?
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmarine View Post
I really want to set up a saltwater reef tank sometime in the future (have only had FW tanks so far) but i want to know what is different between tank sizes, equipment, and prices. So i kinda figured i'd start with a tank between 10-40 gallons. Between these tank sizes, what additional equipment, if any, is need to run a 40 gallon compared to like a 10? And what additional time would i have to put in to run a small tank compared to a bigger one?
Small tanks are more for experienced saltwater tank owners. Smaller tank=less stable parameters. I found it easiest to build and care for the 40 breeder tanks. Good size and I recently have been setting mine up with two par38 LEDs on gooseneck mounts so total I will have maybe $500 in it with everything (sand, rock, skimmer, lights, heater, powerheads, and livestock). The initial startup is expensive to do it correctly. You don't want to pinch pennies here. Worst thing is buying cheap equipment that will fail on you once you have the tank running. I am going to be running the jebao wp25 in mine but I'll keep a small koralia running in the back just in case the jebao quits on me since they are still a newer pump brand.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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I agree, go with a 40b and you won't be disappointed. In saltt water you will want to go with the largest size tank you can afford / fit and it will be a much more forgiving system. Plus you won't have to spend money down the road to upgrade in case you want to.

All in all there isn't really much of a difference in equipment with a 40b compared to a 10. I would however suggest that you try out a 20g long tank as a sump underneath if you go with a 40b
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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You do need to go as big as possible if you can. Its not major thing, but having a smaller tank will limit you as far as what you can put in it, "live stock." The 40breeder is a great tank you do get a lot of room in there. If you find a better deal on a 55 or something bc you can usually find them cheap, please do yourself a favor and pass it up. Bc only being 1ft wide you really are limited in room because of its shape. My first was a 55 and I hated it, it was almost impossible to aquascape they way that appeals to you. With the extra 6ins in width on the 40breeder you will be happier even though your losing 15 gallons. What I would suggest unless you are on a extremly tight budget choose one of these. Small to large order: 8, 12, 14, 24, 28 nanocube or bio cube. 30 breeder (maybe if its not 18ins wide forget this one) 40 breeder, 75 gallon, 90 gallons. After this much of water you usually have atleast 18ins in width. The 30breeder I think is 18ins wide not for sure though. Now most of these you can find pretty cheap like on craigslist. The bio and nano cubes I have so many sizes bc I couldnt remember exactly what size. I do like these because you get pretty much everything you need with them. They do seem costly but you have to think of total cost at the end. Really easy to set up and are pretty nice. Make sure if you get a 30 or 40 it does say breeder they do sale them as a regular tank in which are only 11 ins wide. The reason I hate anything under 18ins is after you add you overflow box or drill anything that really does take a lot of valuable space up and hard to aquascape and give yourself enough room to clean your tank. Hope this helps
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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Yeah it does, thanks! So definitely drop the 10 gallon. So if i did a 20 or 30 gallon reef, what would i need and how many do i need for like filtration, powerheads, and heaters? What kind of filtration for the tank (sump, fuge, hob)? And then would i need a protein skimmer? And what kind of lights? I've heard of doing a diy refugium out of a HOB filter so i might do that.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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If you do a 20 30 or 40 get a breeder tank this is going to help you. Gives you alot of room for you to work with. Check out craigslist or maybe a state forum. We have one im from kentucky its called "Big Blue Reef" you can get great deals from them. Also keep track or petco the have the $1 a gallon sales every now and then. I dont think you can get a 20 breeder so count that out for your dt (display tank) get a 20 long for your sump.

Filteration: the main filtration of your tank is going to be the rock, this is natural so your going to get about 1 pound per gallon of rock and for sand. For a beginner I would not recommend a deep sand bed go with no more than 1.5in of sand or less.

To make things cheaper order dry rock and dry sand. This helps in a couple ways. You get no un-wanted pests and as you buy dry rock the less the reefs in the ocean are being destroyed by people wanting it in tgis hobby. Check out reefrocks.com marcorocks.com and some ebay people sale it as well.

Equipment: your lights are going to depend on if you want coral and what types of coral. If a 30 breeder you can get a dimmable led light on ebay for about 100 bucks. This will give you a nice look and gives you away to have a wide variety of intense lighting. So you want softies lower the leds all the way you want sps higher the intensity. I would get a skimmer theres a lot out there. Stay away from ebay on the skimmers unless someone is getting rid of a used one thats a good brand. Octopus, aquamaxx, theres a lot of them. I have reef dynamics I love the thing I would buy another. Are a little pricy but I have a 125 a little bigger than yours if you get 40 or below. So you skimmer will be cheaper.

I wouldnt run a hob filter. If you have a sump throw your carbon in a filter sock and there you go. I do like filter socks you do have to change them out every three days. I wash mine so I reuse them. Bulk reef supply sales them and there filter socks for a good price. You will need a power head a heater and a return pump.

The powerhead I have the jebao wp-40 they do have a jebao wp-25 for smaller tanks. Check those out ebay. Great price for what they do compared to others.

There is so much you can do to a saltwer tank the best thing is to research everything. Thats what I did. It helps. Also asking too.

To save money build your own stand unless your get it off of craigslist with the tank.

You will need a hydrometer or refractometer(prefered) amazon. A saltwater test kit. I hope I said everything. If I forgot something just say so.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
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K that was everything on my list for equipment! Could i do a diy refugium? And if i have a sump it needs to be drilled, correct? It will be a reef eventually and i'd probably start with sps corals as i have read they are a little easier. Do i need more than 1 powerhead?

It might be awhile for me to set up the tank, because i'm still paying off my 125 gallon and then i have to gain some money back for emergencies in the tanks, but i'm just trying to learn everything and know what i need to get so i can jump on a deal when i see it!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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Yes you can do a diy refugium. I have some videos on youtube to do so type edwardclaxton89 into youtube the videos are labeled diy 40 breeder sump part 1 and 2. I think I only have 2 videos on there. It will be cheapest. As far as the easier coral to keep it isnt sps they are probably the hardest along with some clams. Softies, leathers, zoas, mushrooms.

I had trouble with this some too. You have to watch out how people use some words in this hobby. For instance they will say a fish or coral is hardy, this doesnt mean they are hard to keep it usually means they are more tolerant to swings in water parameters. Now when a fish or coral is labeled hard as in level then usually is meant for experts. Its easy to get caught up in hardy and hard when talking to someone thats been reefing for awhile and you be slightly new.

The best advise I can give you with coral is research them. I wouldnt recommend someones opinion unless they have had a very aged and successful saltwater reef tank. The more you research the better your going to be. If you need some quick info about a type of coral google it and liveaquaria.com usually pops up and I think they are pretty reliable on the info they give. You will find that some are different than others (website info differs slightly).

With this being said you also have to watch out for the size tank the fish needs at each point of its life. For example ive seen on reef2go that they had a certain fish in a minimum 50 gallon tank, but at liveaquaria its 125 gallons. Whats the difference liveaquaria usually is good for doing this and its giving you the amount of room when the fish is fully grown. And reefs2go will be for the fish at that point in time of its life. So yes that fish is ok in a 50 gallon, but you will need to uograde your tank in probably 6months to a year so your fish doesnt out grow your tank. A lot of people dont see this and they buy all these small fish based on fish needs as a juvenile then when they grow up the tank has issues of fish being very aggressive.

Also, I would like to push you into looking at quarantining your fish for 6 weeks before you add them. This is a good practice to start and do. This helps prevent infections and diseases from being in your tank.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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Depending on what your powerhead can do maybe or maybe not. Theres a rule of thumb. I cant remember it though. I like the jebao bc it has the "else" mode which gives you a more laminar flow I think thats what its called. Its not sitting there blasting whatever in front of it. It gives different pulses and intensities of that pulse.

With the overflow: you can drill it which I prefer to have because there can be possible issues with other methods but they do work and I have used some. The other way is to get an overflow box they have different types out. I think all the overflow boxes are a siphon system based. But one has an aqualifter attached. Never used that one. Im not for sure if always suppose to keep siphon or not if it does thats what I would go for. The one I had was a u-tube overflow box and it can easily break siphon and you must keep an eye on it. I hated leaving for anymore than a day. Thats why I drilled my tank. Gl*******s.com has kits. I think you might beable to piece one together from bulk reef supply. And prolbably on ebay as well. Im not for sure of the price differences though.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #10
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Oh i'm sorry! I read that LPS are generally easier to keep! And yeah Liveaquaria/Drs Foster and Smith is my main hub for researching the saltwater equipment/livestock i want/need. Are polyps pretty easy too? So what about this for tank stuff:
30 or 40 breeder-maybe drilled if i can
Diy refugium out of a hob filter
Maybe a diy sump? Or another hob with live rock in it?
A good heater-100w
2 powerheads maybe, one on each side
Good reef lights-still researching
Dry sand
30-40 lbs of dry rock with 1 live to seed (maybe an artificial one sold by liveaquaria-eco friendly)
Hydrometer
Maybe ro/di unit
Maybe a skimmer
API test kit
One of the drip Acclimator tubes?
Then salt?

Anything else? Anything i can take off?
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