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Old 03-10-2005, 04:44 PM   #1
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Tank Size - How big to start?

I used to keep freshwater fish and I am now very interested in starting again but with a SW this time. I've always wanted a big SW tank but I'm wondering if going big from that start (over 100ish) would be foolish since I've never managed a SW tank before. I've got Fenner's book on the way from amazon.com so I am sure that will answer many of my questions but I was curious what you guys started with and what you would recommend as far as tank size goes.

Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:48 PM   #2
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A larger tank is much more forgiving and stable than a smaller system. I would say the bigger, the better. Of course the start up cost go up with the added real estate.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:48 PM   #3
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I've heard (and believed ) that the bigger the better on SW because only bad things happen fast and they happen even faster in a smaller volume of water. We went with a 120 for our first tank and have been thrilled with it so far. Our only regret? Not having gone bigger

So I say go as big as you can afford! (Maybe even a little bigger )
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:01 PM   #4
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So I say go as big as you can afford! (Maybe even a little bigger )
Yes! I would say get the biggest one your wallet can afford. Not only that, but you wouldn't be as limited with the fish load.

Mike
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:05 PM   #5
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So with a tank that large what do you guys do when you change apartments/homes?
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:44 PM   #6
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If you move, you need to make sure you have PLENTY of small buckets to transport water, fish, rocks, and sand. It's a HUGE hassle, so if you're planning a move sometime in the near future, I would highly recommend that you wait till you're done.

If you just want to dip your feet into the hobby, a 60 gallon tank would be awesome. 72 gallon bowfront is nice too, although you pay most the money for the curved glass. Something of this size is more than do-able, but can still set you back a pretty penny. Think up some options, like if you want Fish Only, Reef, FOWLR, Sump, etc, and let us know. Lighting can get more expensive if you choose a deeper tank, whereas if you go with a large tank, you may want to consider a sump as well. Research is half the fun

The bigger the better... but regardless, planning is key. Check local newspapers for sales, and see what kind of deals you can find... you never know
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:57 PM   #7
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Looking for FOWLR with a sump probably. I currently in my last year of med school and my wife and I will be moving back to MI sometime in August so I can setup practice and find a house. We currently live in an apartment and I am for sure not going to get a tank until we have a house. So for the time being I am researching everything and getting more and more anxious to start a tank as the time goes on. When I asked about moving a tank I was thinking like 8 years from know or so and just imagining the hassle it must be.

On another note, Is there any benifit to going acrylic besides the interesting shapes you can find and the weight reduction?
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:00 PM   #8
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Research is half the fun
Ditto that, but when the fruits of the research begin to yield results!! WOW!!

I've had my tank up and running with LR for only 6 days, and EVERY DAY is somthing new. Today I discovered that those really cool clam shells imbedded in the LR were actually LIVING clams, and I found what looked like a patch of dandelions on a piece of branch rock: baby feather dusters (or tube worms of some type - more research needed) at least 10.

I can't IMAGINE what I would see with a bigger tank (mine is only 30 gal).

So, while size may indeed matter, my small one has already delivered much pleasure.

Don't allow yourself to be convinced that you have to go broke to enjoy this hobby - although it's going to be expensive. My 30 has cost me $1000 easy including everything, so be prepared.

Enjoy!!!
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:45 PM   #9
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I'll toss this out there as well... plan on spending appx. $1000 for every 25 gallons of tank you purchase.

Bigger is better, I agree. But once I sat down and did the math, I decided I could afford a 58 gallon.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:12 PM   #10
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Well I'm definitly still in the planning stage...would you mind sharing your cost break down that brings you to $1000 per 25 gallons?
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