Who Runs Multiple Tanks, Is It a Pain, or Worth It?

Arthacker87

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I have my 65 on first floor, in basement I have a 250g and a 55 (plumbed together in future) into a 120g sump. The 250g is just rock and one fish right now lol waiting for electrician to finish up hooking up sub panel before finishing tank. But all in all those 3 just top off water and a wc every so often. Once tanks get up and going they self maintain ime. Keep an eye on them if they look weird test and w/c lol
 
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huckilt

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I was into freshwater before salt and I had 1 55gal and 2 2gal freshwater tanks when I got into saltwater after buying a cute lil puffer from wal mart not knowing it would eventually need full saltwater. So eventually started a 10gal saltwater tank with a diy 10gal sump from there I got another 29 and made that into a saltwater tank as well I kept up all 5 tanks for a few years till I had my first kid moved out my parents and started selling off and breaking down the tanks now I have a 36 bow front I started in March and am in the process of starting a 29 gal quarantine tank and getting parts together for my 40 breeder build I’m gonna start after the qt is setup and running. In my opinion it’s easier with more tanks cause you can make up larger batches of saltwater and if you at from the start you can always get a really big sump and plumb them all to one. If they’re all in the same “fish room” that’s my plan to tell you the truth. Well not the qt tank but using one large sump to accommodate more than one tank sumps are expensive to begin with might as well get the biggest I can fit and afford so i don’t have to buy another when I’m ready to start another tank. Plus I don’t wanna tear down one tank jus to start another. I plan them out from the start to be something I’m gonna keep for a long time and try to give the tanks inhabitants the best life possible so I try not to pick fish that will grow too large for each setup and don’t overstock it. Also gives me a reason to start that new tank, gotta get that new “ “ and don’t have room for it so I gotta start a new tank! Lol jus my opinion though.
 

Jeffster

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I started fresh, recently started salt, and i still maintain my freshwater system, and if maintenance is an issue, I would do freshwater, as you have a couple off good options with a 55, you can have a really nice community tank, or a planted tank.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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Set up a high nutrient marcro algea tank with low stocking. Then when you do a water change on your clean reef you can do a water change with the same water to your macro algea tank. This will also give you a place to put fish or livestock that needs to be moved from your display. Like if a softie isnt doing so hot in my reef I can usally put it in my macro algea tank and have it turn around. 1 reef is a handful 2 reefs and now you got alot of work but it's all personal preference.

That's actually a pretty good idea. Useful and saves on salt. Probably small, pretty peaceful inhabitants that I can't have in my 230,as it will have large, aggressive and potentially predatory fish. Have yet to have great success with macros though. Dragons Breath melted, Red Gracileria barely grows, and even my chaeto ball has only doubled in size and it's been 3 months.
 

andrewkw

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More tanks are more fun :) Separate systems are great to have, you can try different things, keep different things and have an in case of emergency location. It's important to remember 2 tanks are not twice the amount of work. Keep one system simple and even if the first one is really complex it's not going to add much work but can add a lot of enjoyment.

One thing I do since I maintain my main display very well as far as clean water, always testing parameters ect is use the water change water from that tank for all of my other tanks. While they all do get freshly mixed saltwater at some point I normally do try and recycle my water to the simpler tanks when possible.
 

2BIGTANK

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I'm working on setting up a big tank (obligatory shameless build thread promotion), and at the end of that process, all the livestock in my current tank will be transferred over. This will leave me with a perfectly fine 55 gallon tank with a butt load of equipment that cannot be transferred over as it's all HOB (tempered glass, huzzah!). I also will be leaving all the rock and sand behind as it's got lots of pests and I want a clean slate.

So I am left with a dilemma.
Do I sell it all to finance the purchase of livestock?
Convert it to a freshwater tank?
Keep it as is and stock smaller saltwater fish?

I'm inclined for Option 3, but a friend of mine also in the hobby is telling me maintaining two saltwater tanks is a colossal pain. Yet I also met another reefer buying a used sump who has 3 tanks, one of which is 1000 gallons (turbo jealous), and says running them all isn't a big deal.

What do y'all think?
Do a salt and a fresh, the fresh will be fun and not so tough to maintain. It’s what I did, I have a 180 salt and a 280 fresh. The 280 was a gift from a friend and I built the stand myself. It’s been fun working on them both and it’s a different experience with each
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Miguel Negron

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I have two tanks but they’re nanos. Having these two tanks are easy, it just depends what your gonna put in it.
 

KWT

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I have a 180g, a 65 g, and a 20 g, all relatively new. I do not have any problems keeping them, and they all stand alone. I have another 20g for the wife and we may do a large Waterbox after blue Friday, LoL
 

baysendreef

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I currently run 6 tanks. All saltwater. It's not so bad. Get everything on a schedule. Have your saltwater mixed, refill all of the reservoirs with RODI water, get testing done, clean, etc. I usually throw in one task I despise per week. That is usually something like wire/cord management or workstation cleaning. It gets to be a routine. I am also a retired, disabled vet, though, so what else do I have to do with my time?! Happy Reefing!!
 

Triple.T

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I'm in the same boat. I've had my nano and I love it! I got a PA crystalline reef ready setup last month, I too am not bring any of the equipment over and it's all a fresh start in the new setup.

The way I look at it, nothing in the hobby upsets me, it's all a fun and enjoying learning process. I'm going to keep my nano up ( 26G mixed reef )and also run my 105. I think it will be great, now I get to have double the fun and the pleasure of having my nano to look at so I don't rush my bigger build. So for me I'm kinda using my nano to stop myself from rushing in and going to fast...watching a new tank cycle is no fun, this is how I look at it anyway.
 
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xxkenny90xx

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112g reef, 38g giant hermit crab tank (upgrade pending), and 4g pico here. It's really pretty easy for me since only one tank is a reef. The others just get regular water changes and nothing else. No testing, no filtration other than a sponge and rocks, no ato, nothing! Easy!
 

DaddyFish

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I am NOT retired and I currently have five tanks; 90 SW, 90 SW, 54 SW, 45 FW, 20 SW. There are definite pros and cons to multiple tanks. Here's my list...

Pros
* If you like tinkering with species and personalities of fish, multiple tanks allows you to re-locate when someone isn't getting along, or you realize you just made a huge purchase mistake and your LFS is like all of mine, refuses to accept any returns, even at $0.
* You can try something different over here without destroying everything over there.
* You can have a reef tank and a FO tank with puffers etc.
* You can have a predator tank where it's survival of the fittest without every new resident being immediately eaten.
* When something does go wrong there's a place to toss the unaffected (if you're running good UV).
* Everyone is amazed at the variety and you can have beautiful displays in key areas of your house.

Cons
* Having multiple tanks on separate water systems is a total PITA. It's Work x #tanks, period!
* Multiple tanks on the same water system means there are no small mistakes, but it is much less work than independents.
* There's a lot of corners to clean, and a lot of equipment to clean/maintain, and a lot of parameters to watch, and a lot of test kits to buy, and a lot of water to mix, and a lot of feeders to check. Automation helps a lot, but doesn't simplify everything down to ONE.
* Everyone thinks you're crazy, and they're probably right.

I have one 45-gal bowfront freshwater that is a beautiful and entertaining tank. But even at it's best, it still pales in comparison to my worst saltwater tank. If I didn't have so much love for the big plecostamus in that tank, it would be saltwater. The only thing simpler about freshwater are the water changes, everything else is just as much work on a well-stocked fw system.
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code4

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Aquariums take up space. My living room is a bit crowded. 140 and a redsea 65 gallon. Love them both. Carpet is getting old. So that poses another issue. Had them for many years. Hard to give my pets away though. I was going to shut down the redsea when I set up the larger. Didn't do that. Now wanting a larger one again. I will not keep the 140 if I do. Also have a 40 gallon reef tank. SPS dominate. Life was easier before my addiction. I am not getting any new fish. Many have really long life spans. So no, I should have stayed with one tank. But I can't part with any either.
 

KorD

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Up until a month ago I had up to 5 tanks all under 30 gal up and running. Each tank had its own special stocking list.
I tore them all down and sold everything g off to get one large tank. The only things I kept was some equipment, clowns and a couple corals.

Personally I didn’t find it that hard to keep them all going and thriving. Actually got it down to a science on all maintenance being about 2 hours on the weekend
 

Tastee

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Extra tank(s) mean more work. Automation can reduce the workload significantly but as you have said it doesn’t come cheap. You also need to factor in failsafes so the automation doesn’t cause you issues, which adds additional cost. IMHO if you can afford it however it’s worth it.

I have a 65g and 130g SW and 15g FW. I’ve invested in automation and have an RODI station that automatically fills itself and an ATO in each SW tank that fills from the RO reservoir. I perform AWCs on both tanks from my RODI station and all I need to do manually for that is weigh salt. Each week I clean filer mesh socks in each SW tank and in the smaller one clean the skimmer. The larger SW tank has a skimmer with a neck cleaner and large skimmate reservoir that only needs emptying once a month or so. I have to top up dosing liquid in the small tank every 3 weeks and in the larger tank every couple of months. Cleaning the FW tank is manual but as it’s small and there is no salt etc to muck around with it’s simple. Periodically pumps, wavemakers etc need to be cleaned However so the more you have, the more you have to clean.
 
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Jet915

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I have a 120g display and 20g frag all tied into the same sump. Definitely worth it for me as the frags in my frag tank support my hobby.
 
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ichthyogeek

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That's actually a pretty good idea. Useful and saves on salt. Probably small, pretty peaceful inhabitants that I can't have in my 230,as it will have large, aggressive and potentially predatory fish. Have yet to have great success with macros though. Dragons Breath melted, Red Gracileria barely grows, and even my chaeto ball has only doubled in size and it's been 3 months.
Bouncing off of this idea, just connect the two, so that the high nutrients from the FOWLR flows into the macro tank so you can scrub some of it out. I've not had good success with ultra high lighting on macros. Medium-high works quite well. Oh, and the dirtier the water (we're talking clouds of molly fry being fed daily here), the better.
 

Brandon3152134

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That's actually a pretty good idea. Useful and saves on salt. Probably small, pretty peaceful inhabitants that I can't have in my 230,as it will have large, aggressive and potentially predatory fish. Have yet to have great success with macros though. Dragons Breath melted, Red Gracileria barely grows, and even my chaeto ball has
only doubled in size and it's been 3 months.
I was melting macros until I used t5 lighting. All I have in the macro tank is a couple power heads for flow and one 36 inch plant spectrum t5 light. The plant LEDs where way too strong and melted all the plants I added. I also add the extra cheato from my refuge every now and then.
 

Jon Fishman

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The day I went from 2 tanks to 1 was wonderful. I ran the second tank empty for 6+ months waiting for my local shop to get an octopus and then gave up (I won’t order one online).

I may regret it a bit if my shop calls me and says they got an octopus in, but only for a bit.

When I ultimately buy a new house my feelings may change, because I am planning on creating a new habitat for my Caiman and using his 250g as a sump for my main system, at which point I may run more than one display tank off of it...... but I will never run multiple full systems again.
 

SebastianReefer

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I have 6 tanks 125 75 40 breeder all on their own sumps two biocubes just have to change filter floss and one 55 freshwater I work a lot of hours a day so not much time but I have a system to doing it all and I wouldn’t change having all of them I think it’s well worth it
 
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