120 Gallon vs 180 Gallon

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Joe Tony

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He was only joking. I'm sure he meant nothing by it, just aquarist humor.
If he was only joking then no worries. Just didn't get the impression that he was.

I guess that's the problem with online messaging. There's not the hint of sarcasm you get from a human conversation. No worries RubberFrog
 
Fritz

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Ummmm... I started this thread to get ideas and suggestions from people more experienced than me. But at the end of the day, it IS my money, it IS my house, and it IS my tank. So no, I'm not going to "do what you say," and I don't "got it" and I really don't appreciate you acting like some boss or elite who's just presumes to just tell me what to do. It's because of comments like this that turn some people off from the hobby
Wow. Sorry you took it that way. I hope you end up with your dream tank.
 

Skynyrd Fish

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Joe i Feel if you did the 150 you would still only use two lights. You may want to add a couple t5’s to it down the road. I would place a maxima underneath your lights in whatever tank you get. Maybe get a t5 retro fit or a hybrid fixture. Good luck.
 

JumboShrimp

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I’m tossing out to you the idea of a 150... I just set this one up, and when I was considering one, it was a bit difficult to find many full tank photos that really helped me to visualize the ‘final product.’
 
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I went 180 because it fit in my space. No regrets. 2x2x6'. It almost feels small now that corals are filling it. 2ft x2ft height and depth are manageable. Length just gives you more options to stock. Not a significant cost or effort to maintin IMO.
 

SaltISlife

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You guys and your equipment costs man.

My 6ft 135g tank was 100$ used. I resealed it for 30$ in silicone and some tools. Bought the wooden perfecto stand for 40$. The power heads are koralias because i like to aim my pumps.. mp40s and other pumps cant be aimed and that makes it impossible to get the right flow for a heavy mixed tank imo.

So i have 3 power heads. I spent like 50$ each.. so 150$.

I dont use a sump or skimmer 0$

I use 3 emperor 400 hobs for mechanical and if i need be to toss chemical filtration in. 120$

My lights are t5s. Two 36 inch fixtures. 140$. 8 Bulbs 168$. They last about 18 months btw.

In all i spent maybe 600$ on my tabk and equipment.

And here is what it looks like. But thats just me. I have even more coral now than in this picture.. i ran outs room nearly.. i wish i had a 180g for that extra 6 inchs front to back lol

20201129_183030.jpg 20201119_134909.jpg
 
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Joe Tony

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I’m tossing out to you the idea of a 150... I just set this one up, and when I was considering one, it was a bit difficult to find many full tank photos that really helped me to visualize the ‘final product.’
As beautiful as those big fish are, I know for a fact that at least the puffer is not reef safe, so again, which simply doesn't work for my purposes.
 
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Joe Tony

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Joe i Feel if you did the 150 you would still only use two lights. You may want to add a couple t5’s to it down the road. I would place a maxima underneath your lights in whatever tank you get. Maybe get a t5 retro fit or a hybrid fixture. Good luck.
Thanks, but I'm not really interested in t5s, just LEDs. And I feel more confident in saying that a 120 4-foot long will definitely be fine with two very bright LEDs, rather than the addition of T5s for the clam, so you actually helped further convince me to stick with the 120. Appreciate the input though.
 
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G Santana

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IMO Bigger is always better. If it doesn't put you in a bind financially, go bigger.
I look at my 130 and say hmmmm a 200 would give me just what I want lol

Given time, you will fill it.
 

saltyfins

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Guys look, you were all very helpful at helping me to break down the tank size for me, but now my mind is made up. A 120-gallon is the right balance I'm looking for me and my purposes.
I hope you do a build! it's always fun to learn and watch them grow. Good for you, for deciding what works best for you, and I bet it'll be beautiful!
 

shred5

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I have been in the reef hobby close to 35 years, I have kept allot of different size tanks and bigger is better is hogwash to a certain extent now a days.
Once you get to a certain size stability makes little difference. If you compare a 20 gallon to a 120 there is a big difference. If you compare 120 to 180 there is not much. The whole stability thing started when a 75 gallon was a large tank.
Matter of fact if something goes wrong it is harder to get under control. It will require a much larger water change.
But honestly there is little difference between the two.
What should make a difference is space and money. A 4 ft tank is easier to get proper flow. 6' is a longer distance and will require more flow pumps and more expensive flow pumps. Return pumps will need to be bigger, larger heaters, more glass to clean, larger electric bills, more lighting, more evaporation etc.


Matter of fact I have seen more people downgrade or leave the hobby with big tanks because of burn out. Everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side till they are there. Sometimes because they ended up with a issue and lost so much in investment.

This is coming from someone who has about 400 gallons of water in my systems right now.
 
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90's reefer

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I have a 120 and you run out of room quick.
That said a 120 is a good size tank for many reasons.
Their is not much difference in equipment setup on a 120 vs 180 really.
I restarted the hobby with a 25 nano 5 years ago.
I took a year gathering all equipment for the 120.
Do a build thread on your 120 for sure.
My 120 is 1.5 years old and requires very little maintenance.
20210130_125206.jpg
 
Maxout

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I first looked at tanks over 10 years ago when I got into the hobby. Originally thought I was going to do a 65 and ended up plunging into the hobby with a 120 and thought at the time it was huge.... Based on where the tank is located, anything bigger would feel a bit squeezed in - so no regrets on the 120 for my needs/constraints (just don't have the wall space for anything much longer). I am glad I went 24" wide (front to back) - as that extra room allowed me to have rockscape and room despite the interior overflow boxes. If I had to do it again, I would look at a tank with a single overflow- to simplify the plumbing and give me more room in the stand. Sump with refugium, reactors (carbon and GFO), skimmer, dosing containers, ATO reservoir, UV, and having dual drains and returns is a bit of a plumbing challenge. I also run full Apex (one of the items I invested in after the 1st year in the hobby) and am in the process of having an add-on cabinet built to match my stand so that I can move all of the controller gear out of the stand. One thing with this hobby - I think we grow into whatever size system we have - both stocking, filtration, and control. More volume is more stable to maintain, but the investment in the support system is also a bit more. As pointed out above - support elements that increase in quantity (lights, pumps) are the biggest cost items when adjusting system size, but for other items, going up a size in a skimmer, or up a size in return pump isn't as much of a delta (the larger sizes are an incremental increase, versus a multiplier by quantity). I don't regret starting with a 120 - it's a good balance.
 

Skynyrd Fish

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120 is a great tank. Now you can get your rocks, start working on a scape and curing in a Rubbermaid brute can. Then when your tank shows up your ready to roll. Please start a build thread so we can see. Im looking forward to seeing that maxima in there. Pacific aquaculture is a great place to order a healthy clam from. Good luck.
 
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Joe Tony

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120 is a great tank. Now you can get your rocks, start working on a scape and curing in a Rubbermaid brute can. Then when your tank shows up your ready to roll. Please start a build thread so we can see. Im looking forward to seeing that maxima in there. Pacific aquaculture is a great place to order a healthy clam from. Good luck.
I'll definitely start a build for you guys, but I'm not gonna be doing this until I move, which won't happen until next year, so I'm afraid it'll be a little while ;)
 

muggle0981

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Im flipping a 120g to a 180g

120 is a lovely tank, the 48x24x24 is a great size, the depth is a game changer of 24”

im going to a 180 so my yellow belly blue hippo has additional swim space(as a 180 is minimum) and yes larger volume if there are issues can be more challenging.

water changes from a 120g to a 180 imo is not a deal breaker.

depending on placement need to take into consideration floor weight.

cost is all a matter of what you want to spend, i prefer new but am comfortable with the costs, same thing for lighting doing radion xr 15’s pro...and again my choice and oreference on what i want to soend, i need to be comfortable with what im choosing to spend, or shall i say the wife needs to, and as long as your comfortable and happy with what you doing then god bless you.

but can say i thought the 120g was my end all tank and as the years wore on got the itch for a 6ft tank, and in retrospect for me a 180 would have been the route to go from the start but there was additional questions of would the hobby wear off, so not have gone from a 55, to 120 and shortly 180, but that will be it cause thats max for my floor and space it fits

Good luck
 
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