Go massive or just big?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by erratiC, 15 Aug 2012.

  1. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Hey guys, I've got this internal debate going on in my head at the moment - I've got the opportunity to construct a tank in a new place that my soon-to-be wife and I are going to be building.

    I've got free reign over any decisions I make with regards to the tank and she's got my back 100%. She's also aware of the costs involved in constructing said tank.

    The one side of my head is telling me to go huge and go for a 3m x 1m x 0.7m(h) monster but the other side is telling me to go slightly more conservative with probably around a 1.8 - 2m x 1m x 0.7m(h) sized tank.

    Having seen only a handful of really large tanks here I'm beginning to wonder why this is so? I've figured it probably comes down to 1 of 3 things or at least a combination of the following - lack of space, funds or just the fact that it's no easy task to maintain a massive tank, obviously without spending copious amounts of money on automating it.

    I'm really itching to go huge with the 3m long tank and having seen the costs involved I'm prepared for it. Also, having only been in the hobby for just over 2 years with a tiny TL-550, I'm hoping I'm not going to get smacked with the reality of the difference in sizes a bit too late.

    To the guys that have large tanks - would you do it differently if you had the choice?

    So... what to do? Please help!

    PS. Wow, that was long.. sorry! :rolleyes:
     
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  3. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    I like the saying .... If you can't run with the big dogs ..... Get back under the porch! Firstly you at the coast so no shortage of sea water .... Go big bud you won't regret it .... Remember a large water volume allows you to have a titsup and you wont notice a dramatic change in water parms ... So much more forgiving for mistakes as well ..... Stability becomes second nature for your setup coz once fine tuned everything runs like clockwork on bigger water volumes ... Space wise one can never have enough space ..... You will end up enjoying your setup more as there will be less to fiddle with when its up and running .... GO BEEEEEG ... Oh and to answer your question .... To do it differently .... DEFINATELY ..... I would go BIGGER!
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2012
  4. durleo

    durleo

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    If you got the space then 3m would be nice but (what will the total water volume be?) 10% waterchanges might be like 400lt a time. If gonna light the tank for corals or fish only? I would preferably go with a 2mx1mx0.6 height. 700 might be a schlep when working with scaping and maintainance in the tank.
     
  5. Ayoob

    Ayoob

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    Big is always better, less worries about overstocking Fish as a fare share could be added, less territory issues and Lot more stable. If i had Space i would go 3m but unfortunately 2m is all i can fit.
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

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    if you have the space for a 3m then use it, or even a little longer. and if you can access the tank from both sides (highly advisable to make it a room divider or penisular style tank) then pushing it to 1m or a little wider is fantastic too.
     
  7. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    if i can offer a porpers opinion :)

    be careful of taking on a massive tank for the singe reason that it will cost you many hundreds of rands in electricity,

    bigger tanks = bigger/more heaters, more lighting to cover the area, more flow pumps ... if you are up for the anual increases and maintenance go ahead, my personal choice would be something along the lines of 1.5m x 1m x .650mm. (water level .570mm) peninsular style tank, its a personal opinion but its would be within my budget to maintain and i am pretty sure i could do wonders with that size.

    id rather have a smaller system with an abundance of equipment than a large system lacking....
     
  8. DeanT

    DeanT Dean

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    i think the larger dimensions maybe a little over kill .
    planning the budget for the tank is the easy part - trying to stock it is the expensive part.
    i originally purchased a 1.8 x0.7 x 0.7 tank , and when offered a bigger tank, i took it
    i now stand with a 2.5 x 1 x 0.8 tank and love it.
    stocking it is taking time , and like everyone says - rushing doesnt help.
    only thing i find a little difficult , is trying to work in the bottom of the tank as i am not the tallest person, and also the dawnting task of doing water changes , (200 L).

    during my setup another issue i seemed to have was trying to find lighting to suit my tank , and ended up buying a reef inmates SPS lighting unit and it was the right size , but if you have budget to play with i am sure you will find other lighting options like LED .

    one thing that comes with larger tanks , is much larger setup cost , so maybe also factor that in
     
  9. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Hi @erratiC, i will also go with the smaller if i were you, i used to have a 2500l freahwater planted tank around 7 years ago, & although it was only a freshwater tank, it still cost me a lot of money on electricity bill (i was still a student back then), but the main reason i closed the tank was the amount of work i needed to put into maintaining it. It took me at least 2 full saturdays each month just clean up the tank & do a waterchange!

    I think you should have a chat to the guys with the massive tanks in sa to hear their opinions!
    One of the best guys to chat to would be @(bob) the reef builder, he is the only guy i can think of that has a really noteworthy massive system!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Dont build something that you will not have the time to Maintain. the bigger you go the more attention it will need, ie bigger water changes, more glass to clean. etc all adds up to time and money.
     
  11. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    My answer regarding the size of you'r Tank originates from you'r 1st Paragraph..large Tanks in my opinion do require way more maintenance, cost and physical input..(large water changes..cleaning glass etc..)..besides that...or maybe because of that I have to add my 2c worth and say go smaller...I'm not sure...(PLS don't be offended as this is private)..:blush:..but when you start a family, you will not have the time to give the proper maintenance to such a large Tank...you'r priorities will change and you'll have added expenses and basically only one person will end up doing the maintenance...I know of a few who has gone down this route and either closed down or wish they had more time to spend on their tanks....however, many have unlimited budgets and this has not affected them...:)

    So,having said that...if you don't have a "budget" and you can "automate" and added expenses is not an option, then I would still probably lean towards going a bit smaller...:blush:, but that's purely my personal chose as I couldn't see myself doing +200Lts waterchanges a week and I think I'll have a heart attack if I see the Electricity bill and not to mention the expenses of Saltmix...:eek:
     
  12. Wes

    Wes

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    don't forget maintenance costs :)
     
  13. erratiC

    erratiC Thread Starter

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    Lol, "Get back under the porsche"... nice one. :thumbup: Thanks @chikaboo... invaluable advice as always.

    Total water volume will be around 2600L incl. sump. For the water changes I have added an extra "automatic water change" tank into my plans that has a volume of 320L that will allow me to "at the flip of a switch" do a water change of just over 12%. It'll be connected straight to the RO machine so that doing water changes is going to be an absolute breeze. I'm going to definitely consider your advice on going .6m height. Thanks Duran.

    Thanks @Ayoob. Appreciate the advice.

    Thanks @crispin, it is going to be accessible from the back as well as the front, pending overflow design. :) I don't have the option of going wider sadly.

    Thanks @leslie hempel, I'm seeing this as a life-long investment so I'll be spending quite a bit getting it going initially.. 3HP chiller, calc reactor, 2x Vortech MP60s, etc. I'll be gaining on lighting because, and thanks to the likes of @butcherman, @hadiosbourne, @Quintin, etc. I'll be doing a DIY LED unit or multiple units sometime in the near future (can't wait to get started with this). I'll be factoring this tank into a home loan so large spending, initially, will save me loads of stress (and backpain) in the long run and I'll be able to pay it off over the next 20 years or so.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. erratiC

    erratiC Thread Starter

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    Thanks @DeanT, it's good hearing from members who have experience with above average size tanks. I'm considering going shallower as you're not the first person to suggest this. Lighting is going to be DIY - super keen for this!

    Thanks @Visser, awesome advice... the bulk of the maintenance is going to be sorted due to the extra "auto water change" tank that I'm adding. :thumbup:

    Thanks @butcherman.

    Thanks @belindamotion, I've spoken to the soon-to-be-wife about this and she's agreed that she'll be assisting with the maintenance (almost got her to sign a contract saying so :lol:). I am really hoping that it's not going to tax our relationship and I can't see it being too much of a change - we have been together for just over 7 years and living together for just over 6 of those years so we've got a good foundation at least. We go diving together so I've told her that she's got no choice but to stick it out with me. :lol:

    Ye, thanks @Wes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Perfect, good to see you doing your homework, its also my dream to build something nice and colourful for my home and family. But I will be looking at "greener" methods of cooling (digging a drum in the ground) etc.

    I want a neat set up and I have recently found that it need not have to be massive to achieve what I want. But we all differ. Wishing you a successful dream tank. Whatever direction and size you should choose! :)
     
  16. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Personally i prefer higher tanks. On a 3m tank i wouldnt hesitate to go 0.8m high. But then it depends on what you plan on keeping. Fish only id go 3m and higher to allow for larger fish to be kept, but for a full reef id make it lower lower so that you can get away with less light and make moving things around easier.
     
  17. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    If you're going for full reef with SPS then I'd stay smaller and shallower. Maintenance is a bit more of a pain and it can get daunting on a big tank.

    If you're going for a softie or fish-only tank then I'd go big. Many of the more impressive fish like angels and butterflies tend to reach quite a size.
     
  18. erratiC

    erratiC Thread Starter

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    Shot Leslie.

    Thanks @459b, I've got loads of time to stock so I will be going full reef and what you're saying actually goes with me going a bit shallower.

    Just out of interest, how tall are you?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. erratiC

    erratiC Thread Starter

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    Thanks @Lord_Blackadder. Appreciate the advice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Should i feel uneasy answering this question... Im 1.83m.
     
  21. erratiC

    erratiC Thread Starter

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    Haha, no you shouldn't feel uneasy. Was just thinking that if you were 2m tall a high tank wouldn't be a problem for you but seeing as we're roughly the same height - I'm at 1.82m then it shouldn't be a problem for me too. :lol:
     
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