Tank size dilemma

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Wizard$, 22 May 2013.

  1. Wizard$

    Wizard$

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    I have had a RSM 130d for the last 10 months or so, and of course, now want to upgrade.
    The space I have available could easily house a 2.2m long tank (800 wide and 600 high), and being a vivid follower of Mr Saltwater Tank, I thought bigger is better. Also tank cost is not too excessive at that size. But then I started working out how much live rock i would need, flow pumps, skimmer size, lighting requirements, return pump, water changes, etc . I am now thinking that bigger is not necessarily better, especially if you can't afford to give your fish and corals the best that they need.

    So my question from all you very experienced guys (and gals), is what is the ideal (I know very difficult) size, ie that fits good value skimmers, light fixtures, etc. Purely from your experience, or point of view.

    Thanks
     
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  3. the fish

    the fish

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    i would say anything from 1.2 meter to 1.5 meter tanks are ideal. cost effective in terms of you can easily get second hand equipment for them that will suite your budget.
     
  4. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    well this is something i have just experienced...
    bigger has its draw backs, the tank is cheap its what goes into it that makes the difference...
    the biggest cost was lighting, i am jumping from a 1200x800x500 to a 2500x1000x600 and its a big step, exciting though....

    1500x800x600 is a great size and should be more than adequate to keep a good selection of fish and corals
     
  5. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Ideally, anything smaller than 500L total volume as this seems to be the balance point where equipment rated for more than 500l seems to be a overly expensive per volume compared to systems under 500l.
    This is partly affected by the fact that there are a lot more reefers keeping tanks under 500l than anything more than that, & as you know, mass production of products directly impacts pricing of products...

    So if you can design your tank to fall into that volume range, you can easily keep the cost lower.

    Another massive expense is lighting.... First have a look at what type of lighting you want to use before designing your tank. You don't want your lighting cost to double because your original light was underrated...
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    up to 500L is "ideal"
    Water change is 2 drums that you can carry one time. :)
    As my father used to say: "The lazy carry himself to death".

    Anyway up to 500L and all equipment is still affordable. OK, that does depend on your wallet thickness. Thereafter things tend to move up rapidly. Live rock is expensive, and if you need 200kg, it is a lot of money. Could easily end up with the rock costing more than the tank stand and sump together, plus some other things. Buying live rock secondhand and you inherit the reason why the previous guy pack up most likely. Phosphate loaded, algae covered, aptasia farm. But can be overcome if you cure the rock in separate tank or container. But note, this can take longer than the normal 6 weeks max for a cycle period.

    Look at the mission critical components first. Skimmer and lights. Leds for a big tank will not be cheap. But using 2 * 39W T5 light fixtures first next to each other to get the full length on a 2.2m tank is an option. Getting them secondhand will also help in keeping initial startup costs down. Skimmer, get the best you can afford.

    Powerheads, The new Seio 15000 controllable pumps are great for their price. There are other pumps out there that could be a lot better in the long run, but to start off, 3 Seio for same price as 1 Vortech MP40. And those 3 Seio will give a lot more flow than 1 MP40.

    Reactors, dosing pumps, tank controllers and computers and what ever else, are all nice to have. And one day next year or thereafter, yeah, maybe then. Only automation you really really need is electronic timers for the lights and an auto topup system.
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2013
  7. Wizard$

    Wizard$ Thread Starter

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    Thanks - I'm leaning towards Dallas's suggestion - 1,5 m - I could centre it in the area I have allowing viewing from 3 sides (2.2m would most probably have been up against wall on side), maybe consider eurobracing only for this size, mp40's (or tunze equivalent) would work well on this size(?), and easier to find skimmer for double the volume. Would also allow for easier placement of chiller if required.
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    MP40 would.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    What height and width?
     
  10. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    I started on a 1.5m x 0.6m x 0.6m tank and found this was a really nice size. Volume was large enough to be able to keep most of the fish you would want to. Ran this on a TS3 skimmer (eventually, first started out with ans Aqua medic 1000 which was a bit on the small size but worked OK). I had about 60kg of live rock in the tank which was sufficient but that also depends on the look you want to achieve.
     
  11. Chris Delport

    Chris Delport

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    The deeper you go the thicker the glass-$$$$.Too deep and maintenance becomes a mission.Always good to learn from other peoples mistakes, you are on the right path by asking before you build.
     
  12. Wizard$

    Wizard$ Thread Starter

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    800 width and 600 height.
     
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