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

FLSharkvictim

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I started with a 120 a while ago and now I am building my Dream SCA150 system...
Here is a pic of my old 120 that was up and running for over 15 years!
old 120 mixed ref.png


Side shot of my new 150
150 side shot.jpeg
 
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JMM744

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My current tanks are 120, 180 and a 70. The 70 is full of sps and some soft corals and is a very stable reef tank. My 180 is full of butterflies and a few corals like a huge blue ridge and about 30 grand is palys. The 120 was a full reef but something still unknown caused me to start loosing my corals. That’s why the 70 is full.
I have a new tank waiting to be flame polished and it will house my butterflies. It’s an 8 ft by 30 by 24 tank.
To me big is nice but any well done tank that fits the current preference is fine.
 

HawkeyeDJ

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I'm new to this hobby and not ashamed to say I am a bit intimidated - by the cost and work involved. I've heard of folks having catastrophic failures where they lost thousands of dollars.

I'm staying small (24 g AIO) for these reasons. I'm already in for $1200 and I have not bought a single frag yet. Still learning.

The first pic is where I am right now. The second is the tank I hope to achieve.
20210406_215031.jpg
20210409_162433.jpg
 

SY2932

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I consider 180 gallons and up a big tank. Just got into the hobby back in August after my buddy moved and gave us his 55 gallon FOWLR. In the process of setting up a 110 gallon but it will be a "intermediate" tank. Some of the fish that we would like to keep require 180 gallons minimum... So at this point, I would consider a 240 gallon our dream tank. But I told my wife I might be content with the 110. The amount of attention and maintenance required for the 55 isn't too bad so stepping up to the 110 should *only* be about twice as much right ;)??? My wife is convinced that I am making a mistake and should skip the 110 and just get what I want. But even little problems can be big in a large aquarium. I enjoy the hobby and don't want the attention and maintenance to be so overbearing that it's not fun for me anymore. And that is why I am still going to setup the 110 first.
 

t5Nitro

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I think the dimension of the tank plays a role. I think you can get a custom build which seems more compact than a standard long and maybe it would be less of a hassle to care for?. My next tank I'm looking at doing something around 66" long, 36" wide and 24" tall which is about 246 gallons as opposed to a 96x24x24 for a similar volume. Seems the shorter one would be a lot more compact and easier to maintain. Same as a 60 cube compared to a standard 55. The larger cube just seems a lot less intimidating to someone getting into a mid-sized tank. Overall, I'd go bigger with a dimension that seems more inviting / seemingly easier to manage.
 

a4edwin

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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
051252B8-DDE5-441D-B44C-ED9AA21E3992.jpg
Hope they used union iron workers
 
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S2G

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Bigger is better of course, but I just cant justify the money for a huge reef. A 2ft wide 120 or similar cube is about all I want for a reef due to additives etc. Fowlr is a lot more manageable at gigantic sizes especially with a nice algae scrubber.
 

SaltySkipper

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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!

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 6.28.38 AM.png


Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 6.40.08 AM.png


One day I will have a huge system... for now though I will enjoy my nano reefs!
Following you on YT and IG. Nice display.
 

brahm

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I’ve had dozens of tanks between half gallons to around 1000 of water volume. Currently have a 110 and I’m not happy with it. wish I would have gone wider and a little taller. In the end I found the tank it’s self is only 1 small portion my 67 was only 3x2x18 but it had frag tanks and a sump pushing the water volume up helping with stability. My 225 though I designed poorly and despite having near 1000 gallons of water with an RK2 bin and multiple frag systems attached was always a huge hassle to work on, costly to maintain (mostly heat), and had a bad habit of equipment failure.

layout and dimensions are key, my 67 had an external overflow so 100% of the space was useable and accessible, my current cad light has a huge center internal overflow which makes flow placement harder, gets in the way of aqua scape etc etc etc feel like I have less space than I did before. My 5x3x2 I couldn’t reach a lot of it without getting half my torso wet. Next setup is going to be a max of 4l (so I can reach both sides) some where between 30”x4’w and a depth of 24 as I no longer need to worry about shorter tanks and light penetration with a modern lighting. (Ideally external over flow as well)
 

Seascapes

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I started out in this hobby as a teenager with a 10 gallon freshwater tank then transitioned to saltwater in my 30's and later with a 45 gallon corner, 75 gallon flatback hex, 95 glass corner to my current 150 glass tank. If I had to do it all over again, I would have not upgraded to the 150 gallon tank. I love having the opportunity to add tangs, but the larger tangs are not an option. Also I have to admit I just did a 10 percent water change by myself since I had shoulder surgery (from lugging all that water around I guess) and that was a trip! No wonder I've been battling cyano since I had the tank set up. But I do enjoy the oohs and aahs when people do see the larger tank cyano and all.
 
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waldoz

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I enjoy very large tanks when they are not mine. We have a DIY 20L AIO and up grading to a 60 cube with a sump. I'm second guessing myself and almost think a RS max E170 would be the way to go. We are not to deep into this 60 and thought a 60 will be easier. We shall see.
 

Ardeus

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2 years ago, when I upgraded from 100 gallon to a 200 I was shocked by the exponential increase in the amount of work it required.

Now it's probably the same amount, due to the maturity of the tank, my knowledge on how it works and automation.
 

drblank1

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I'm new to this hobby and not ashamed to say I am a bit intimidated - by the cost and work involved. I've heard of folks having catastrophic failures where they lost thousands of dollars.

I'm staying small (24 g AIO) for these reasons. I'm already in for $1200 and I have not bought a single frag yet. Still learning.

The first pic is where I am right now. The second is the tank I hope to achieve.
20210406_215031.jpg
There is no shaming in this hobby (except from the tang police :p). You can be budget-conscience and have the same level of success as the expensive/big boys. I used to have a large tank and decide to go down (I won't say downgrade :)) to a 70 gallon tank. I can now reduce my time on husbandry and concentrate more on quality.
 

Trever

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The most valuable responses here are ones that provide information on personal history of size(s). If someone just says smaller is better, but they've never owned bigger... that doesn't seem helpful. Likewise if someone started big and has never had a small DT.
 

Alex Costa

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I went from 200l, to 750l, to 2000l...................
I still like the possibilities of bigger tanks, but........................the cost and the amount of work is hard.



My 750liters
FTS.jpg



And then ....my 2000....
19-07-20-Front1.jpg


Just now I intend to downsize to a 400l .....a cup of salt water....
 

2Wheelsonly

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I don’t think bigger tanks mean they are more stable... I think they are more forgiving in terms of dosing because it’s harder to mess up via user error.

you still have nutrient issues, alk consumption, pH, temps to worry about and bigger thanks mean bigger problems. 200G water changes are not fun nor easy.

I still enjoy larger tanks, and would love to eventually get 1000+
 

Captain K'nuckles

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I've got lots of smaller tanks all on one sump so ? Mmmmmm stability. Lots and lots and lots of cleaning but I can keep all my mags appart and protect certain fish from being eaten. Multiple different set-up types Which is nice but the maintenance is a real chore. It's not always the size that matters but the shape footprint I mean 1000 litre rigid pond makes for a richer environment than its standard glass equivalent I have found.
 
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