BIG TANKS versus smaller tanks...Which do you prefer and why?

BRS

BIG TANKS versus smaller tanks...Which do you prefer?

  • BIGGER

    Votes: 773 75.5%
  • smaller

    Votes: 200 19.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 51 5.0%

  • Total voters
    1,024

revhtree

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Have you ever dreamed of getting a bigger reef tank? Doesn't everyone want a bigger tank? I personally always did but after having a "bigger" tank I'm dreaming of smaller! HA! How about you? Let's talk about it!

1. How many gallons do you consider a "BIG" tank?

2. BIG TANKS versus smaller tanks...Which do you prefer and why?

YES this is going to be a 4200g reef aquarium! image via @dca22anderson
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fish farmer

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Anything over 100 gallons I consider big.

I prefer smaller. I can do significant water changes with a bucket, they are cheaper, by design, although you can automate the heck out of a small tank if you wish. Take up less space, easier to move, generally easier to remove pests. I don't really agree that bigger tanks are more stable, maybe with regard to holding temperature, but a glass box with biology inside should act the same regardless of size, it the the "operator error" or design flaws that cause any instability IMO.
 

Dbichler

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I have zero preference as long as it’s saltwater. My smallest is my daughters 10 gallon and biggest is my 210 have had a 29 bio cube and a 54 corner. They all had things I liked and disliked. Top off on small tanks is a pain without ato. Cleaning a large tank tanks more time. I feel if I went much bigger than 210 I would lose motivation to clean as often as I should.
 

Timfish

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#1 When I started out in '87 anything bigger than a 75 was Big, now it's gotta be at least 200 gallons to qualify.

#2 Size isn't what matters, it's what's inside. A big tank can be pretty boring and a small tank can be quite beautiful and/or have an intrigueing selection of animals.
 

NeonRabbit221B

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Smaller for me as @fish farmer summed up. My nano is fully automated, stable, zero pests and healthy far beyond my 40B. A velvet outbreak would impact all two of my fish in my Evo and pests can be quickly eradicated. Can’t imagine shutting down that tank but will likely upgrade the breeder at some point. Smaller is also far cheaper which I don’t think anyone can argue. I 100% disagree with the statement that a starter reef tank should be as big as possible.
 

Patientman

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It's not the size that counts, it's how you use it ;) That being said, I have a large tank :)
Voted "other". Said it once before … size doesn't matter! :rolleyes: I have a 240g and a 20g (opposite sides of basement) … find myself looking … observing … loosing track of time in front of both … so can appreciate a small or large tanks!
 

stanleo

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I think the bigger the tank the easier it is to maintain. Until of course you get into the 1000s of gallons range. I always want a bigger tank. I have a 120 and I thought that was big but now I want a 400 gallon. A 120 is not big enough to do everything I want to do in a reef tank.
 

KingTideCorals

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Of course I want nothing more than to have a large system set up but since we are renting this home, and I know at some point in my future I will move again before I get to my forever home (or so to speak) I just have not wanted to commit to such a large water volume. So for now we enjoy the presence of nanos for my systems!

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One day I will have a huge system... for now though I will enjoy my nano reefs!
 

Frithton

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I like the greater choice of fish that a larger tank offers. That being said, I like the ease of maintenance of a smaller tank (especially after shoulder surgery 7 years ago). I like to stay within the 55 to 90 gallon range. Currently have a 65 gallon which fits perfectly in the space we have, the stock in it are healthy, and is easy to maintain.
 

billandwende

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I started my trip to insanity with a 29 BioCube that I loved. Then I lost my mind (perhaps licking toads is a bad idea) and followed some bad advise (for me) and bought the "BIGGEST TANK YOU CAN AFFORD". I have a lovely 350 gallon tank taking up a huge amount of space in my living room. I've been fighting this thing since day one. I've changed so much, so many times and I can never get it dialed in. I've killed more frags than most people would ever buy. Different lights, re designs on the sump, skimmers, reactors, on and on. Watched every video on YouTube. I still go from cayano bacteria that covers everything to rock covered in algae and back again. I've given up on ever having a nice reef tank. I'm sticking to fish only and live rock. Though I do have a very large bubble tip that seems happy, and a Bubble coral that's easily the size of 2 grapefruits side by side. I have cleaner shrimp, hermits, snails (sometime a few some time hundreds) urchins, a brittle star That all do fine but always cayano or algae. All told I'm in 30k and wish I'd never gone this big. Perhaps I should give up and raise the for mentioned Psychedelic toads. (for medicinal use only not for resale) If you want big do a 180. Much easier to maintain or remove later.
 

lpsouth1978

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I have had all manner of tanks from a 3g Pico up to a 300g. While I love a well stocked big tank, There was about $40k invested in the 300 and it still was not fully stocked. It also felt like I was CONSTANTLY working on/in the tank to keep it clean/maintained. I never really had time to just enjoy the tank. I had a similar experience with my 180. My most enjoyable systems were my 3g pico and my 40b, but I will likely upgrade to a 75g. A 4' 120 is about as big as I will go in the future.
 

unchaotic

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I'd say the shape of the tank is more important than the overall size. I have a regular 60 gallon and the front view is nice but when I see how narrow it is from the side I feel bad for the fish. But a 60 gallon cube looks like it would be much more comfortable for them.

Having said that, I'll be stepping up to a 7 foot 200 gallon and a 95 gallon wave front and I'm super excited about it.
 
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