120 Gallon vs 180 Gallon

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Joe Tony

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I'm going to be moving next year and am planning to upgrade from my 30 gallon tank. People on this forum convinced me that I ought to get a bigger tank than I originally thought. At this point it's between a 120 and 180. Besides the obvious, what's the difference between the two sizes, ie is one dimensionally more balanced than the other? If they're similar in terms of dimensions, then I might go with the 120, because I don't want to deal with more water changes/live rock that a 180 would demand, and there really aren't any fishes I'm interested in that need bigger than a 120 gallon (except maybe a yellow tang, but I'm not sure it couldn't live in a 120).
 
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007_reef

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I have a 120, and feel its the best of both worlds; large enough to not limit your fish choices, while at the same time, it doesn't require the higher investment that you get with something like a 180. Also, I have a purple tang, who is fat and happy, so you'll be just fine with a yellow in a 120.
 

EvanDeVita

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I'm going to be moving next year and am planning to upgrade from my 30 gallon tank. People on this forum convinced me that I ought to get a bigger tank than I originally thought. At this point it's between a 120 and 180. Besides the obvious, what's the difference between the two sizes, ie is one dimensionally more balanced than the other? If they're similar in terms of dimensions, then I might go with the 120, because I don't want to deal with more water changes/live rock that a 180 would demand, and there really aren't any fishes I'm interested in that need bigger than a 120 gallon (except maybe a yellow tang, but I'm not sure it couldn't live in a 120).
It depends on what 120/180 gallon you are looking at. There are many different dimensions that a tank of that size can have. Also, you could do a hybrid of live/dry rock, so don't let the cost of rock dictate what tank you want.
 

Gtinnel

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My advice is always go bigger. Even though there isn't a fish that you currently want that requires the extra space you never know when you will change your mind and want a fish that does need the extra space.
Just because the tank is bigger doesn't mean you have to put more rock in it. You can just leave more open space for fish.
The biggest cost difference that you will probably see, besides cost of tank, will be in the lighting. Just take whatever you expected to spend on light and add 50%.
 
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Joe Tony

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I have a 120, and feel its the best of both worlds; large enough to not limit your fish choices, while at the same time, it doesn't require the higher investment that you get with something like a 180. Also, I have a purple tang, who is fat and happy, so you'll be just fine with a yellow in a 120.
That's very helpful. Thanks a bunch! ^^
 
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Joe Tony

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Do the 180. I have a 120 because it's the largest I can fit where we wanted a tank, but I wish my tank was 6ft long. 2 extra ft is a big difference.
Yeah, but I'm not approaching this with a mindset of "bigger is always better." I know a 180 gallon is going to be larger, and require more lighting, more water changes, more equipment, for the sake of maybe getting big fish that I'm not really interested in anyway.
 
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Joe Tony

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My advice is always go bigger. Even though there isn't a fish that you currently want that requires the extra space you never know when you will change your mind and want a fish that does need the extra space.
Just because the tank is bigger doesn't mean you have to put more rock in it. You can just leave more open space for fish.
The biggest cost difference that you will probably see, besides cost of tank, will be in the lighting. Just take whatever you expected to spend on light and add 50%.
Yeah... not gonna lie, that's a bit of a turnoff for me
 
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Joe Tony

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Tell us what you want the tank to be.
I'd like it to be fairly long but not too long, fairly tall but not too tall, and have some width. I'd like wiggle room in case I'd want to get a bigger fish, but I have every intention of making this a reef tank so coral nippers, predators of inverts, are ruled out. I'd like the stand to be tall enough so that I can look at the tank straight in the eye (probably a 5 inch tall stand).

If it makes sense practically, I'll get a sump, protein skimmer, and RO/DI (I've used distilled water for my 30 gallon), but I've hesitated getting that kind of equipment. I'd rather just have one LED light, but I know I'm gonna need at least two good ones for a 120.

I'm interested in a mixed reef tank; toadstool leather, lps, some hardy sponges and feather dusters, a purple gorgonian, maxima clam

I'm generally interested in the smaller fish, ocellaris clownfish, banggai cardinal, blue damsel, orchid dottyback, gobies, etc., etc., etc.

The only big fish I might consider getting for a reef tank is a yellow tang, but I also like macroalgaes and I know yellow tangs eat those.
 
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Rubberfrog

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I'd like it to be fairly long but not too long, fairly tall but not too tall, and have some width. I'd like wiggle room in case I'd want to get a bigger fish, but I have every intention of making this a reef tank so coral nippers, predators of inverts, are ruled out. I'd like the stand to be tall enough so that I can look at the tank straight in the eye (probably a 5 inch tall stand).

If it makes sense practically, I'll get a sump, protein skimmer, and RO/DI (I've used distilled water for my 30 gallon), but I've hesitated getting that kind of equipment. I'd rather just have one LED light, but I know I'm gonna need at least two good ones for a 120.

I'm interested in a mixed reef tank; toadstool leather, lps, some hardy sponges and feather dusters, a purple gorgonian, maxima clam

I'm generally interested in the smaller fish, ocellaris clownfish, banggai cardinal, blue damsel, orchid dottyback, gobies, etc., etc., etc.

The only big fish I might consider getting for a reef tank is a yellow tang, but I also like macroalgaes and I know yellow tangs eat those.
Sounds like your interests are similar to mine. I didn't want something as big as a 180 (or the fish that go with it), but I felt I might want more than a 120. I ended up with a 133 gallon. It's roughly five feet long.
 

((FORDTECH))

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I'd like it to be fairly long but not too long, fairly tall but not too tall, and have some width. I'd like wiggle room in case I'd want to get a bigger fish, but I have every intention of making this a reef tank so coral nippers, predators of inverts, are ruled out. I'd like the stand to be tall enough so that I can look at the tank straight in the eye (probably a 5 inch tall stand).

If it makes sense practically, I'll get a sump, protein skimmer, and RO/DI (I've used distilled water for my 30 gallon), but I've hesitated getting that kind of equipment. I'd rather just have one LED light, but I know I'm gonna need at least two good ones for a 120.

I'm interested in a mixed reef tank; toadstool leather, lps, some hardy sponges and feather dusters, a purple gorgonian, maxima clam

I'm generally interested in the smaller fish, ocellaris clownfish, banggai cardinal, blue damsel, orchid dottyback, gobies, etc., etc., etc.

The only big fish I might consider getting for a reef tank is a yellow tang, but I also like macroalgaes and I know yellow tangs eat those.
I like this I’d like it to be tall but not too tall I’d like it to be wide but not too wide I’d like to be long but not too long hmmmmmmmm
 

Pntbll687

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Yeah, but I'm not approaching this with a mindset of "bigger is always better." I know a 180 gallon is going to be larger, and require more lighting, more water changes, more equipment, for the sake of maybe getting big fish that I'm not really interested in anyway.

Always good to go in with an open mind and really plan out what you want.

I went with a 180 peninsula style tank, thought it was my "dream tank", boy was I wrong. I didn't research enough on how much it was actually going to cost for all the equipment. I should have went with a 120, or a custom 5' 150g instead.

Lighting is the biggest difference in price. But, depending on the setup you could be looking at much more for just wavepumps that can push across the full 6ft.
 
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Joe Tony

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I like this I’d like it to be tall but not too tall I’d like it to be wide but not too wide I’d like to be long but not too long hmmmmmmmm
lol basically just a tank that has kind of a balance between dimensions, with length being around twice as long as width and height
 
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Joe Tony

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Always good to go in with an open mind and really plan out what you want.

I went with a 180 peninsula style tank, thought it was my "dream tank", boy was I wrong. I didn't research enough on how much it was actually going to cost for all the equipment. I should have went with a 120, or a custom 5' 150g instead.

Lighting is the biggest difference in price. But, depending on the setup you could be looking at much more for just wavepumps that can push across the full 6ft.
I'm starting to get a better idea of what I want. I think I'd like a tank that's 48 feet long and not much longer. This way I can get two LEDs instead of three, and maybe one powerful wave pump. I think 120 is the size I'm looking for after all.
 
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