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Old 02-04-2016, 12:02 PM   #1
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New SW tank size

Hey guys I'm new to SW tanks. I currently have a FW 36g but was curious as to what size would be realistic for someone who is new to SW. Any input and advice would be greatly appreciated, as well as any product recommendations.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:03 PM   #2
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As big as you can afford. the same theory applies to salt as fresh, more water less headache. But in the case of marine, the bigger can mean more expensive. Ive kept everything from a 10 gal. nano to a 150 gal. reef.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:23 PM   #3
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As big as you can afford. the same theory applies to salt as fresh, more water less headache. But in the case of marine, the bigger can mean more expensive. Ive kept everything from a 10 gal. nano to a 150 gal. reef.

Thank you for the input I would like to do maybe a 50 gallon to start off with but I wasn't sure as too if that would be too small as I'm new to SW. I mean I would love to have a 200g tank but right now it's just not realistic
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:29 AM   #4
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Would I be able to do a lot with a 55g tank or would that still be small for most SW fish. I know clowns and tanks are supposed to have a lot of room that is why I ask
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:33 AM   #5
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The 55 gal. aquarium is probably one of the most popular tank sizes. There is a lot of very nice things you could do. I would start off with a good deep sand bed, seeded with about a gallon of substrate from a good dealers tanks. Add about 40 # of Dry Rock, (cheaper) and maybe 10# of live coraline covered live rock (i like fiji) toss in a few reef hermits, maybe a brittle star, and let it cycle. While you wait for that to settle in > read, read, and read some more. There are almost an endless number of fish and inverts you could house in a 55. I lean toward low stocking. But to each his own.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:53 AM   #6
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I started with a 18 gallon, after 4 months I went to a 50 gallon, the next year now is a 120 gallon. The 120 gallon is much easier and you can have more fish

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Old 02-05-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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I have been telling one of my friends who wants a tank to go in the 30-55gal range. It's manageable and you can make it really nice but your equipment costs aren't as high. After you do it for awhile and learn more you can expand either the tank you have or go into bigger sizes. But if you hate it you didn't waste (hopefully) a ton of money on equipment.


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Old 02-05-2016, 11:06 AM   #8
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I started with a 18 gallon, after 4 months I went to a 50 gallon, the next year now is a 120 gallon. The 120 gallon is much easier and you can have more fish

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Oh wow you expanded rather quickly then! That's great! What are the dimensions of the 120g? Do you have any pictures?
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:08 AM   #9
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The 55 gal. aquarium is probably one of the most popular tank sizes. There is a lot of very nice things you could do. I would start off with a good deep sand bed, seeded with about a gallon of substrate from a good dealers tanks. Add about 40 # of Dry Rock, (cheaper) and maybe 10# of live coraline covered live rock (i like fiji) toss in a few reef hermits, maybe a brittle star, and let it cycle. While you wait for that to settle in > read, read, and read some more. There are almost an endless number of fish and inverts you could house in a 55. I lean toward low stocking. But to each his own.

Okay because I definitely want to do live rocks with maybe some coral what do you think? Are they hard to keep if you have the right lighting?
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:11 AM   #10
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I have been telling one of my friends who wants a tank to go in the 30-55gal range. It's manageable and you can make it really nice but your equipment costs aren't as high. After you do it for awhile and learn more you can expand either the tank you have or go into bigger sizes. But if you hate it you didn't waste (hopefully) a ton of money on equipment.


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Very true on the money aspect. Is it more difficult to start up a tank based on size or is it relatively the same all around regardless of the size?
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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Everyone says bigger tanks are more forgiving for beginners which is true in a lot of ways. It takes more to pollute a big tank and it takes longer for parameters to change. You have more cushion which is nice for starting because you may not have good routines yet. But then you have to consider start up and maintenance.

My personal opinion is a 30 gallon is a great place to start. Or the range of 30-55gal. The money to start isn't high. You don't need amazing equipment. The tank will require you to maybe maintain it a little more but no matter the size you'll have to get these good routines in place to have stability and success.
Which in the end how you take care of the tank...big or small is going to determine if it's successful.


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Old 02-05-2016, 01:29 PM   #12
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Everyone says bigger tanks are more forgiving for beginners which is true in a lot of ways. It takes more to pollute a big tank and it takes longer for parameters to change. You have more cushion which is nice for starting because you may not have good routines yet. But then you have to consider start up and maintenance.

My personal opinion is a 30 gallon is a great place to start. Or the range of 30-55gal. The money to start isn't high. You don't need amazing equipment. The tank will require you to maybe maintain it a little more but no matter the size you'll have to get these good routines in place to have stability and success.
Which in the end how you take care of the tank...big or small is going to determine if it's successful.


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Thank you for all of the helpful insight. Do you think I would be able to have a nice reef tank with a 30-55g tank or should I not even bother?
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:46 PM   #13
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Yes you can definitely have a really nice reef tank in those size tanks.


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Old 02-05-2016, 02:01 PM   #14
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Yes you can definitely have a really nice reef tank in those size tanks.


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Awesome! I'm very excited to see what I can do
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:36 PM   #15
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Oh wow you expanded rather quickly then! That's great! What are the dimensions of the 120g? Do you have any pictures?
It's 24"wide 4'long x 24'high I have a picture of the 50 gallon next to the 120 before we changed it out. I bought it the 120 for $350.00 on Craigslist. I sold all the equipment is didn't need and made my money back. The guy had a high end sterilizer amongst other stuff

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Old 02-07-2016, 06:51 AM   #16
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It's 24"wide 4'long x 24'high I have a picture of the 50 gallon next to the 120 before we changed it out. I bought it the 120 for $350.00 on Craigslist. I sold all the equipment is didn't need and made my money back. The guy had a high end sterilizer amongst other stuff

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Oh wow the 50g looks so small. That looks like a really nice size tank. You can do a lot with that
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:24 PM   #17
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I'm so happy with the larger tank. It was intimidating but I got past it. It is much easier to maintain

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Old 02-07-2016, 05:43 PM   #18
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For a good starter a 40breeder is perfect nice foot print and nice size , even if you decided to stay with that size yo do a lot with them
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:22 AM   #19
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For a good starter a 40breeder is perfect nice foot print and nice size , even if you decided to stay with that size yo do a lot with them

Would I be able to do FOWLR with clowns and other fish of that nature or should I do a bigger tank if I'm planning on doing that?
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:23 AM   #20
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I'm so happy with the larger tank. It was intimidating but I got past it. It is much easier to maintain

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I'm sure it's very rewarding I'm just not sure if I have the room for it because it does take up some room ugh :/
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