Rookie reef: What size was your first aquarium?

What size was your first aquarium?

  • 10 gallons or less

    Votes: 145 22.5%
  • 11-29 gallons

    Votes: 176 27.3%
  • 30-54 gallons

    Votes: 126 19.6%
  • 55-90 gallons

    Votes: 137 21.3%
  • 91-149 gallons

    Votes: 36 5.6%
  • 150-299 gallons

    Votes: 21 3.3%
  • 300 gallons or more

    Votes: 3 0.5%

  • Total voters
    644

Peace River

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Rookie reef: What size was your first aquarium?

You may be just getting started or you may have an amazing mature reef like the picture shown below. For many of us, the tank, or tanks, that we have now is not where we started. That first tank may make you cringe, or you may wistfully look back on it, however there was probably a lot of learning that happened with that first tank. Please tell us about your first tank and your experience with it in the thread below!

Pro Tip: There are many perspectives on the best size for a first tank and lately the small tanks have been getting a lot of focus. I still find that 40-75 gallons is a good range to consider. The cost of equipment to support bigger tanks can become a limitation, however aquariums in this range still have enough water volume to be a little forgiving,

MarounC_FTS.jpeg

Photo by @maroun.c


This QOTD is sponsored by: www.topshelfaquatics.com

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“Whether you are looking for that one of a kind piece or for the perfect beginner coral to start your reef, our dedicated staff is always eager to help!" -TopShelfAquatics
 

o2manyfish

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My first reef tank venture was in my fraternity house in the late 80's it was a cinderblock wall with 3 tanks in it. Each tank was 48x10x10 - That's right in the old days these were for housing bettas - long small tanks - I had them stacked on top of each other and water flowed from tank to tank to tank to sump - which was full of DLS rolls back in the day.

That tank wasn't successful. So when I moved out of the frat house I got a 75g tall reef. I had the most tick colored yellow halide, that was bought from a company that supplied lights for parking lots. This time we upgraded and had bioballs instead of the DLS rolls.

This tank lasted 2 years and then upgraded to a 125 High. The 125 was a wonderful tank, and while enjoying it eventually Protein Skimmers came to popularity, and at one point it even had a custome fluidized sand filter on it. This tank moved up to 2 metal halide bulbs - and the colors got a lot less *****. This tank also had a motorized pool ball valve on it and every 1/2 hour the water shifted from the left side of the tank to the right side.

The 125 lasted 6.5 years until I got into the colored sticks. It was upgraded to a 360, which lasted a year before the seams started to go bad and was replaced under warranty - but we upgraded to a 400g. The poorly built 400g from the same crappy builder lasted 20 years, before it started bowing too much to be comfortable.

We got nervous about the 400 and in a panic replaced it with a 560g tall on Xmas eve. The was a beautiful tank at 36" tall. Just stunning. But after a double disaster losing all fish and corals within 36 hours the wife pushed me to build my final tank.

So we went to a 750 last fall.



750g - Build Progress - Low Res  5.jpg





Rubio - Floor Tile - Fish Room 5.jpg
 

snorklr

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first salt...molded plastic 10 with local stuff (late 60's)...next salt 20 long with undergravel, local seahorse hermits shrimp etc (80's)...first coral attempt 36 with wet dry and CFL's (90's)
 

Reefer Matt

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I had a 110 gallon tall (4 foot long, very tall) in 2005. I had an eBay retrofitted 400w highbay mh light. That thing lit up my whole house and had that highbay ballast hum. But it worked until I had to sell it all due to the economy back then. But it set me up for my comeback in 2018. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 

vetteguy53081

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10 gallons with 4 damsels and a condylactus anemone - What a joke but yet the domino damsel felt right at home with the anemone
 

zoomonster

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AGA 55g with undergravel lol. Then a 90, 30g breeder and 3 racked hydro trays all run together for years, couple year break and then a 200 close to 10yrs ago. Everything from starting shop light, MH/VHO, MH/T5, T5, CFL, PC to Radions now for lighting.
 
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RichWise73

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My first reef tank was 75 gallons. It was a nice tank that I had set up about 20 years ago. Metal halide and T5’s lit the tank and will more than likely be my lighting choice on my next reef tank.

My first tank was a 10 gallon I got while in third grade. During summer break after second grade, I took the class aquarium and its occupants home. The fish were guppies and the plant was Elodea and both the fish and plants multiplied like mad over the summer. When it was time to return the tank, fish and plants back, I was hooked. Luckily, my mom allowed me to get a tank of my own and I’ve had a tank to some capacity set up for the past 40 years.
 

GARRIGA

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Gold fish bowl then 10 gallons. Hard finding larger than 10 gallons in the 70s and parents weren’t allowing space or funds for larger, either :)
 

fish farmer

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My first reef tank was a 38 gallon with sump in 2000. Very successful softie/lps tank, live rock, metal halide with PC actinics, dripped kalk. Ran for two years before the upgrades.

My first salt tanks were 20 gal to 38 gal in the 1980's with varying success.
 

threebuoys

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My first two saltwater tanks were 55 gallons each, purchased in 1973. The LFS at that time warned against anything smaller due to difficulty in maintaining water stability. My stands were made with cinderblocks and 2 x 4 rails. I attached wall paneling to the 2 x 4's to hide the cinderblocks.
 

My tank was framed! Do you have a rimmed or rimless aquarium?

  • My tank has a frame/rim.

    Votes: 148 34.5%
  • My tank is rimless.

    Votes: 176 41.0%
  • I have both rimmed and rimless tanks.

    Votes: 94 21.9%
  • Other.

    Votes: 11 2.6%
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