I have so many questions

NanoNana

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I’m so new to this I haven’t even bought a tank yet. I’m in the process of trying to put together a build list and would like some input. Because of space and budget and preference be going the nano AIO route. I found a very affordable IM 20 gallon long BUT, these are shallow tanks at 13 inches and I’m wondering if that’s ideal. I like the longer viewing angle of the long tank because of where it will be placed but wonder if the shallow tank will create issues I haven’t considered. I’m thinking lighting requirements may be a thing as I can’t hang lights easily (20 ft ceiling) and am concerned about coverage with nano clip ons. I looked at some strips and the ONE that gave distance was 12 inches and I saw no option other than edge mounts or hanging.
As far as corals I’ll be doing softies to start. I love the look of gsp on the wall and want some flowies and probably a zoa garden. Other than that I probably won’t get too crazy with corals on a small tank and let fish be the focus.
So, I guess the first questions are, what are drawbacks to a shallow tank vs cube and/or lighting suggestions for a 23.5 long 13” inch deep tank under $200.
 

EgotisticObeseChihuahua

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In saltwater most people tend to prefer "shallow tanks" generally depending on the tank and its depth shallow tanks usually have cheaper lighting options because of the less penetration it takes for the light to reach the bottom. I prefer more room to grow upwards but everyone has their own preferences. Another benefit for bigger tanks is the ability to house more free swimming fish like tangs. Due to the additional room for swimming.
 

fishyjoes

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One issue I've found with a shallow tank is that you can't have very much variation in PAR from the top of the tank to the bottom. This might not matter to you, but it's something I didn't realize at first.

I mean, if I want 400 PAR near the top for SPS, I can't really have 100 par on the sand - it will be like 200+ no matter what (I'm just making up numbers for demonstration).

If my tank were deeper a greater range of PAR would be possible.
 

Ben's Pico Reefing

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un my signature we discuss keeping things simple and minimalist. There is some great info there to get started. There is many ways to do things some necessary some none. You will need to have a cclear vision before purchasing equipemnt. Seach the nano forums and see what you like and dont.

For light, you can look at stands that hold lights such as for reptiles. They have hook so you can mount wire or cord or however it hangs.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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personally I would keep looking, I'm not into shallow tanks myself, or cube tanks either lol, I like old fashioned rectangle tanks. Those are very easy to find and very cheap and very versatile.

A 20 gallon reef is very easy to run with minimal equipment, any hang on back filter will provide mechanical and chemical filtration, the rocks in the tank are the biofilter, you don't need anything else except a heater and an ATO.
 

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Welcome!

I think it comes down to personal preference, but after owning both a shallow (I have the IM Lagoon 25 in my office) and regular depth tank, I can certainly understand the appeal of the shallow type. It's a heck of a lot easier to work on a shallow lagoon-style tank and it is more accessible to work with frags and fish.

I suppose the downside to that is you don't have as many aquascaping options and livestock variety. Both are great, and I'm sure you'll be happy with either. The best advice I can give is to look at a lot of photos of tanks to decide which look suits you best.

As far as lighting is concerned, I like the AI Blade Grow for that setup. It's good value, can be used for any type of coral and you can place it directly on the tank if you want to save some cash buying mounting hardware. The startup costs can get a bit much, so every little bit helps.
 

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Most if not all nano tanks are going to less than 16" depth. That's not really much of a worry unless you want more room for corals/livestock in which case you shouldn't be shopping for a nano. There is no shortage of suitable lighting options with appropriate coverage in the nano space. It's just a matter of how much you want to spend and what features you desire.
 

CBonito

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I’m so new to this I haven’t even bought a tank yet. I’m in the process of trying to put together a build list and would like some input. Because of space and budget and preference be going the nano AIO route. I found a very affordable IM 20 gallon long BUT, these are shallow tanks at 13 inches and I’m wondering if that’s ideal. I like the longer viewing angle of the long tank because of where it will be placed but wonder if the shallow tank will create issues I haven’t considered. I’m thinking lighting requirements may be a thing as I can’t hang lights easily (20 ft ceiling) and am concerned about coverage with nano clip ons. I looked at some strips and the ONE that gave distance was 12 inches and I saw no option other than edge mounts or hanging.
As far as corals I’ll be doing softies to start. I love the look of gsp on the wall and want some flowies and probably a zoa garden. Other than that I probably won’t get too crazy with corals on a small tank and let fish be the focus.
So, I guess the first questions are, what are drawbacks to a shallow tank vs cube and/or lighting suggestions for a 23.5 long 13” inch deep tank under $200.

Shallow tanks are excellent. Less hassle to light them, easy to get a strong current, easy to work on and make a great presentation. The thing here to be careful of is what tanks you go with because there are a lot of flimsy and way overpriced offerings out there.

I wanted a smaller and shallower tank, but I didn't want all the typical "big box" garbage. So I pieced mine together. You definitely should choose the tank you WANT and not make any compromises because they will come back and haunt you later.

Does something like this interest you? it's 3x2 foot and only 12" tall. And I am enjoying the heck out of it.
You can read through my tank thread if interested.

1708624941152.jpeg
 
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NanoNana

NanoNana

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Shallow tanks are excellent. Less hassle to light them, easy to get a strong current, easy to work on and make a great presentation. The thing here to be careful of is what tanks you go with because there are a lot of flimsy and way overpriced offerings out there.

I wanted a smaller and shallower tank, but I didn't want all the typical "big box" garbage. So I pieced mine together. You definitely should choose the tank you WANT and not make any compromises because they will come back and haunt you later.

Does something like this interest you? it's 3x2 foot and only 12" tall. And I am enjoying the heck out of it.
You can read through my tank thread if interested.

1708624941152.jpeg
Thanks for replying! You did a lot! I don’t quite have 3ft of space because of location and for multiple reasons will not be running a sump system. I’m looking at an Innovative Marine 20 gallon long AOI. It’s pretty bare bones and just come with a stock IM pump that will probably need changing. I know the internal components will eat a couple gallons of actual tank but it just fits my CURRENT needs better atm. I’m actually debating whether 20 gallons is more than I can handle lugging water all the way across the house for but I want more than 2 fish. ‍♀️ Glad that you mentioned easier to access! I’m not tall so shorter tank would definitely make it easier to glue corals and vacuum, change water etc. it’s good to know a shallower tank doesn’t increase the difficulty exponentially!
 

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Thanks for replying! You did a lot! I don’t quite have 3ft of space because of location and for multiple reasons will not be running a sump system. I’m looking at an Innovative Marine 20 gallon long AOI. It’s pretty bare bones and just come with a stock IM pump that will probably need changing. I know the internal components will eat a couple gallons of actual tank but it just fits my CURRENT needs better atm. I’m actually debating whether 20 gallons is more than I can handle lugging water all the way across the house for but I want more than 2 fish. ‍♀️ Glad that you mentioned easier to access! I’m not tall so shorter tank would definitely make it easier to glue corals and vacuum, change water etc. it’s good to know a shallower tank doesn’t increase the difficulty exponentially!
That's totally fine. My tank emphasis was to have all of the larger tank attributes while still being smaller and manageable since I wanted to keep very difficult corals and also since this is on my third floor in my studio and I didnt want 5000 lbs. ;)

You can do a lot with that tank actually. You're going to want an auto topoff system to maintain the salinity and you can just hit the ground running and go from there. The Innovative Marine Tanks that I've seen are usually pretty nice for the money.

There are some incredible small tanks on here. I would go through all of the nano tank forum and find some models you would aspire to and from there you would be better able to formulate a plan and additional questions. Just knowing what the right questions are to ask can be daunting at first. I definitely don't know everything and anyone who tells you they do isn't being truthful. ;)

We're all students here!
 

apb03

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Thanks for replying! You did a lot! I don’t quite have 3ft of space because of location and for multiple reasons will not be running a sump system. I’m looking at an Innovative Marine 20 gallon long AOI. It’s pretty bare bones and just come with a stock IM pump that will probably need changing. I know the internal components will eat a couple gallons of actual tank but it just fits my CURRENT needs better atm. I’m actually debating whether 20 gallons is more than I can handle lugging water all the way across the house for but I want more than 2 fish. ‍♀️ Glad that you mentioned easier to access! I’m not tall so shorter tank would definitely make it easier to glue corals and vacuum, change water etc. it’s good to know a shallower tank doesn’t increase the difficulty exponentially!

You don't have to worry about moving too much water around with a tank of that size. Generally, if you do weekly 10-15% water changes, that should be all you need. You can just scoop out water into a small bucket and re-fill that bucket with clean SW. The majority of your water hauling will be for your Automatic top-off. A 5gal container should last you a good week or so.

I still use the return pump that came with my IM Lagoon 25, it's not an amazing pump by any means but it does the job.
 
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NanoNana

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I still use the return pump that came with my IM Lagoon 25, it's not an amazing pump by any means but it does the job.
That is great to hear!
I was wondering about ATO. Is there one you recommend?

What are you lighting your lagoon with?
 
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That's totally fine. My tank emphasis was to have all of the larger tank attributes while still being smaller and manageable since I wanted to keep very difficult corals and also since this is on my third floor in my studio and I didnt want 5000 lbs. ;)

You can do a lot with that tank actually. You're going to want an auto topoff system to maintain the salinity and you can just hit the ground running and go from there. The Innovative Marine Tanks that I've seen are usually pretty nice for the money.

There are some incredible small tanks on here. I would go through all of the nano tank forum and find some models you would aspire to and from there you would be better able to formulate a plan and additional questions. Just knowing what the right questions are to ask can be daunting at first. I definitely don't know everything and anyone who tells you they do isn't being truthful. ;)

We're all students here!
I have been having an awesome time looking at the littles.

But yeah I’m probably years away from difficult corals. I’ll just be happy if I keep the fish alive. Lol
 

JayM

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But yeah I’m probably years away from difficult corals.
That precisely what I said about 7 months ago when I got back into the hobby. It wasn't more than about 6 weeks later I started going crazy with corals and they quickly outnumbered the fish by nearly 3:1.
 

CBonito

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I have been having an awesome time looking at the littles.

But yeah I’m probably years away from difficult corals. I’ll just be happy if I keep the fish alive. Lol
I still look at all of them, even though I already have what I want. Some of them are really great and some of them have the greatest workmanship into them which I appreciate.
 

saltcats

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My first tank was the IM 14 peninsula and I really liked it! It had nice features and good quality build. I don't know that you would need to replace the pump, the IM mightyjet pumps are pretty good I believe. It has different speed settings, pulse vs continuous mode, and a 10 minute feed mode built in.

I like that the tank comes with a lid included (IMO essential to keep fish contained). All in all I was very pleased with the quality (and in fact my upgrade is from IM as well :) ).
I don't think the shallowness will be a big issue; it does limit scaping a bit but that would be true of any nano tank. The only alternative I can think of with a similar footprint would be a standard 29 gallon aquarium, but then you lose the sleekness of an AIO unless you can find an mod kit for it (does anybody still make those?)
 
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NanoNana

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My first tank was the IM 14 peninsula and I really liked it! It had nice features and good quality build. I don't know that you would need to replace the pump, the IM mightyjet pumps are pretty good I believe. It has different speed settings, pulse vs continuous mode, and a 10 minute feed mode built in.

I like that the tank comes with a lid included (IMO essential to keep fish contained). All in all I was very pleased with the quality (and in fact my upgrade is from IM as well :) ).
I don't think the shallowness will be a big issue; it does limit scaping a bit but that would be true of any nano tank. The only alternative I can think of with a similar footprint would be a standard 29 gallon aquarium, but then you lose the sleekness of an AIO unless you can find an mod kit for it (does anybody still make those?)
They actually do make them. I hadn’t really considered that but probably should. Glad you mentioned it! I’m going to some reef stores this weekend
( the closest is 1.5-2 hrs from me ) to look at some sizes and see fish and corals in person to get a more clear idea of size and what will fit.
 

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