40g, or more?

Discussion in 'Just starting out (SW Beginners)' started by Polly, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Polly

    Polly New Member

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    Hi all! I have been doing research for a while, and am ready to purchase my first tank for setup. A salt water specialist told me I should not go below about a 50 gallon tank as the parameters are too hard to control. I have found a good deal on a set up with a 40 gallon tank and stand (and all needed equipment). I am afraid to discover that he was right, that it's too small. Opinions from the experienced? Thanks much!
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    More to the point, what livestock do you want to keep in the system?

    There is no reason you can't set up a small tank, and some can be real gems, but there are some limitations to small systems. For example, if you want a blue hipo tang, you need a tank of about 150 gal to support the fish.

    When your buying user equipment, you can find some great bargains, but you can also end up with a lot of equipment you need to replace. Make sure the equipment is actually geared toward a SW system, and is really going to work, and that you can still get replacement parts for it.
     
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  3. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Hi Polly,

    I set up my first Reef aquarium about 7 months ago and decided I didn’t want to go too big from the getgo.

    I bought a 135 ltr (about 30 gallon) aquarium with built in sump and all the equipment to get started. As it’s a smaller aquarium, it’s easy (as a beginner) to overstock, as I was more interested in corals, this wasn’t much of a problem.

    Like Davek said, it’s all about what you want to stock, if you want the larger marine fish then you will need to go bigger, if you are happy with just a few fish and inverts to get you going, then I’d say the 40 gallon is perfect.

    I’m fully stocked in my aquarium and it brings me so much joy to watch it daily. Maybe in a year or two when my experience and knowledge has increased, then I will go for a larger aquarium.

    Hope that helps a little with your decision.

    Here is a photo of my 30 gallon aquarium so you can see if you would be happy with the fish amount etc etc

    F0B16A90-112E-48C8-8EB7-DDCD4FD6BD64.jpeg
     
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  4. Polly

    Polly New Member

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    Thank you both so much!! And wow Smudge your tank is fantastic!! I love it!! It sure doesn't look small.

    Yes I am looking to do soft corals such as frog spawn, some zoanthids, favias, etc... and would like minimal fish, some clean up specimens, a couple of clams.

    The system I'm looking to buy is supposedly ready to plug-and-play, $400;
    40g tank and stand
    AQUATIC LIFE T5HO 4 BULB WITH TIMER AND MOONLIGHTS
    REEF OCTOPUS RO-PS-1000INT
    Bubble Blaster Skimmer Pump HY-10008
    2 FLUVIAL SEA POWERHEADS
    2 LITTLE FISHES PHOSBAN REACTOR
    FILTER SOCK MOUNT
    SUMP 20gal sump with very quiet overflow and return pump
    Heater/thermometer
    Hoses/etc

    He is also going to deliver it and set it up for me!

    I already have all of the water quality monitoring materials, as I am an environmental scientist and teach children how to test water quality here in coastal Louisiana. But I will need to get substrate, rocks (I don't believe he is including his) and livestock. I also have a friend who works for the Aquarium of the Americas here who is going to help me not to kill everything :-D
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Active Member

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    Your ready to go! So have fun!
    Make sure your water is RODI from the start.
    Make sure you are fully cycled and can maintain the common parameters.
    The only limit to 40g is no tangs......enjoy
     
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  6. Polly

    Polly New Member

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    Yay thank you for the confirmation and the advice Uncle99!
     
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  7. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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  8. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    There is a "sweet spot" for maintenance and size, and it varies depending on budget and time. "Medium" sized tanks from 40-90 can have most of the water parameter issues fixed by regular water changes, which is the cost of salt and little else. Smaller tanks are harder to maintain mineral levels due to smaller water volumes. Corals quickly deplete, and water evap causes fluctuations.

    Not saying small tanks are impossible, or that medium sized tanks can be cheap always. Nano tanks require an expert and a reliable automatic top off....controllers for chemical dousing are a great idea. Larger tanks can have their dirty water replaced, but it gets expensive and time consuming mixing 40-60g water changes every other week.

    My goal was to find that happy medium (because I am lazy), and I think that 40-60 is a great spot. My 40 gallon is my personal favorite tank. 10-15 gallon water changes/week are simple. There is plenty of space for rock work and biological filtration. My 90 on the other hand is just getting into "absurd". I am no longer operating out of 5 gallon buckets, and now have to mix water changes in larger vessels. To keep it simple, I do bi-weekly of 40 gallons. You start making things with pumps that will break. I have it down to a science at this point....However you can't just talk about this stuff in public, they think you are insane. Most people think a 20 gallon fish tank is large. I use a 40 just to mix for water changes. People can't wrap their head around the hobby.

    Overhead costs are part of ownership, and we can't be fooled by the pretty pictures. Every stupendous tank has a closet or room full of buckets, jugs and pumps and likely another tank or 2.

    @Polly

    That deal for the 40g sounds really good actually. Good luck, and do let us know how it goes!
     
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  9. Polly

    Polly New Member

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    You're a dream, Squatch, thank you so much for sharing all of that!! <3

    I will definitely be updating here, because I will need help, and if anything happens to look good, I'm going to want to share with people who will appreciate! :)
     
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