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View Full Version : New tank, what to get?


Llorgon
02-11-2018, 01:25 AM
So I have recently got out of freshwater and looking to try my hand at a larger reef tank.

I have been thinking of a 75 gallon, but after doing some LFS visits I am not sure if I should go with a regular 75 gallon, one of the all in one systems or a cube tank.

What my thought process is

regular 75 gallon - Seems to be the most cost effective in terms of cost of buying the tank, stand. I would have to drill the tank which seems like a bit of a task since I have neither the tools or know how.

All in one - Convenient since everything comes with the tank. Quicker setup? Seems like a good way to go for a beginner. They are very expensive though.

Cube tank - Wife loves these tanks. Size wise it would work well in our apartment. I'm not sure how the cube tank would limit me livestock wise, it seems like fitting a sump and all that would be kinda cramped since there doesn't seem to be much room under the stand. Cost is also on the higher side it seems.

Anyone have any good recommendations on which would be the best route for a beginner?

marks69
02-11-2018, 02:01 AM
i would go with a reef ready 90g. same footprint as a 75 just a little taller, more volume so more stable, and off the shelf so to speak.take any 3' tank and throw in some baffles and your ready to plumb.

duncangweller
02-11-2018, 02:57 AM
I had a 75g as my first tank and it was great. I personally stay away from taller tanks as they are harder to reach the bottom and that makes it harder to reach things, therefore makes me less likely to work on it.....maybe I've just got t-rex arms.

You can buy 75g with overflows installed and I like this option as then the holes are often in the bottom and that makes plumbing a little tidier and means you can push the tank closer to the wall.

Whilst I'm ranting.....I had a 90g cube and loved the look of it, especially the rimless aspect. I did have a problem with sump space and ended up getting a custom sump made. The tank also cost almost $700, which was almost four times what the 75g cost me

Just my thoughts, I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions from lots of people, many more qualified than I.

Just enjoy it and before you know it you'll be as deep as the rest of us and wondering where all your money went.

Dunc

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

Llorgon
02-11-2018, 08:38 PM
i would go with a reef ready 90g. same footprint as a 75 just a little taller, more volume so more stable, and off the shelf so to speak.take any 3' tank and throw in some baffles and your ready to plumb.

Hmm never thought of the 90g. Would there be a big difference in lighting requirements with the extra height?

I had a 75g as my first tank and it was great. I personally stay away from taller tanks as they are harder to reach the bottom and that makes it harder to reach things, therefore makes me less likely to work on it.....maybe I've just got t-rex arms.

You can buy 75g with overflows installed and I like this option as then the holes are often in the bottom and that makes plumbing a little tidier and means you can push the tank closer to the wall.

Whilst I'm ranting.....I had a 90g cube and loved the look of it, especially the rimless aspect. I did have a problem with sump space and ended up getting a custom sump made. The tank also cost almost $700, which was almost four times what the 75g cost me

Just my thoughts, I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions from lots of people, many more qualified than I.

Just enjoy it and before you know it you'll be as deep as the rest of us and wondering where all your money went.

Dunc

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

I have never had a problem reaching things(long arms), but that is something to take into account. I don't really want to be struggling to reach things in the tank. I think I would be more concerned about the possible increased cost of lighting a taller tank.

Will most fish stores drilled and install the overflows for you? The only one I went to yesterday that had a 75g drilled with overflow was j&l and their price was $320 or something like that where a normal non drilled 75g was $180.

I did notice the cube tanks were more expensive and it looked like getting a good sump to fit would be a bit of an issue. The wife really does like them though. She is really pushing for it... I just need some good reasons to go with the regular 75g.

Dearth
02-11-2018, 08:58 PM
Just because it makes life easier IMO I would go with a tank with built in overflows itís easier to plumb and it keeps that much more equipment out of the display tank and as others have stated a lot of reef ready tanks tend to be taller so after placing on a 36 inch stand ideally you would want to reach all corners of your tank without playing the tiptoe stretch

A big question to ask yourself is what kind of fish do you want in your tank as tank size determines types of fish you want and that is an important factor to consider as well

Myka
02-11-2018, 10:33 PM
Two BIG questions:

Name a few fish that you "must have".

Name an approximate budget for the tank and equipment. (PM me if you'd prefer)

crimper
02-11-2018, 11:52 PM
If you are considering a 4ft tank like a 75G foot print, get a 120G instead, 48Ēx24Ēx24Ē. Hereís why.

https://youtu.be/q0WwT4j86a0

Skimmer Juice
02-12-2018, 12:16 AM
I would go with your wife on this cube would be nice for an apartment , and dont really like standard dimension tanks . Most people dont end up using the height so I tend to go wider and shallow opposed to taller and thinner (most standard tanks) and having space from front to back is more valuable for scapping IMO

Llorgon
02-12-2018, 04:25 AM
Just because it makes life easier IMO I would go with a tank with built in overflows itís easier to plumb and it keeps that much more equipment out of the display tank and as others have stated a lot of reef ready tanks tend to be taller so after placing on a 36 inch stand ideally you would want to reach all corners of your tank without playing the tiptoe stretch

A big question to ask yourself is what kind of fish do you want in your tank as tank size determines types of fish you want and that is an important factor to consider as well

Agreed. Built in overflows would be the way to go I think.

I haven't given too much thought into fish yet. I'm more interested in the corals! But I do think flame angels look pretty cool. Although I'm not sure they are always reef safe.

Two BIG questions:

Name a few fish that you "must have".

Name an approximate budget for the tank and equipment. (PM me if you'd prefer)

Haven't given fish too much thought yet. I guess I should. I like flame angels, wife says there has to be a clown fish. I think I would go with a few larger fish with some smaller schooling fish. Along with a clown fish or two. I should give this more thought.

For budget I have about 3k set aside for new reef tank. That might change depending on if I can get more freelance projects.

I would go with your wife on this cube would be nice for an apartment , and dont really like standard dimension tanks . Most people dont end up using the height so I tend to go wider and shallow opposed to taller and thinner (most standard tanks) and having space from front to back is more valuable for scapping IMO

I like the look of the cube tanks and I am a fan of wider tanks. My concerns are they seem to be more expensive, sumps seem to be a little trickier with the stand shape. Also I am wondering how much I would be limited in fish compared to a regular 75g.

Sounds like I should skip on the all in one tanks?

Skimmer Juice
02-12-2018, 05:17 AM
You could always run the sump on the side of the tank , thats how my tanks are set up . I like seeing my skimmer, and I grow mangroves in my sump. It sits right beside my tank on the floor , also lets me build the stand lower and have a nice top down view as well.
All in one tanks can be a good solution there are some pretty cool all in ones now . But I would find a shape I like and then try narrowing down a couple possible options

Llorgon
02-13-2018, 12:20 AM
You could always run the sump on the side of the tank , thats how my tanks are set up . I like seeing my skimmer, and I grow mangroves in my sump. It sits right beside my tank on the floor , also lets me build the stand lower and have a nice top down view as well.
All in one tanks can be a good solution there are some pretty cool all in ones now . But I would find a shape I like and then try narrowing down a couple possible options

I have thought about that. My one concern with that I have with that is I have 2 stupid and curious cats that seem to take a increased interest in all the fish stuff. They would definitely eat or chew up the mangroves.

I have thought about trying to make a separate cabinet to hold any electronic stuff and controllers I would need.

DKoKoMan
02-13-2018, 01:42 AM
You could probably find a tower or small shelving unit from ikea that you could make work. Just an idea as most of their decor will match most homes.

Llorgon
02-13-2018, 06:08 AM
You could probably find a tower or small shelving unit from ikea that you could make work. Just an idea as most of their decor will match most homes.Actually that is a pretty good idea. I could put all the equipment outside the main stand...

I should look into that!

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

DKoKoMan
02-13-2018, 03:51 PM
:biggrin: best of luck!

Myka
02-15-2018, 02:36 PM
Haven't given fish too much thought yet. I guess I should. I like flame angels, wife says there has to be a clown fish. I think I would go with a few larger fish with some smaller schooling fish. Along with a clown fish or two. I should give this more thought.

For budget I have about 3k set aside for new reef tank. That might change depending on if I can get more freelance projects.

Ok, your budget is reasonable (provided that is equipment only), so if you stick with the 75-gallon you're planning on you can get all the bells and whistles as long as you don't spend too much on a stand. By bells and whistles I mean a freshwater auto top off system, a good quality protein skimmer, etc. However, that is not enough budget to get good quality LED lights if that's what your heart is set on. Personally, I don't like LED as the main light source anyway, so I don't see this as a drawback. I highly recommend the ATI brand T5 fixtures. They are the best ones on the market and will grow any coral you want. Your budget is also not big enough for a custom cube tank with stand and custom sump.

Also, I think the 75-gallon tank is a great size to start with. The dimensions are really nice. I like the more "square from the side" dimensions because the tank is easier to aquascape. Tanks that are taller than they are wide, such as 90-gallon tanks, are more difficult to aquascape, and usually allow less swimming room for the fish between the front glass and the rocks. I like to see the fish a lot, so I like there to be lots of space between the rocks and the front glass.

Random comments on your fish choices...there are some reef-safe Angelfish (such as Watanabei), but they all get too large for a 75-gallon tank. Any of the Dwarf Angelfish (such as the Flame Angel) would be suitable for your tank size, however they are not 100% reef-safe. There are some individuals that are totally reef-safe, but most of them will bite corals causing various amounts of damage. Sometimes they only bother one type of coral, sometimes they bite everything. Lots of people say they are 50/50 reef-safe, but in my experiences it is more like 80/20 that they will bite corals.

Also, there are few fish that actually "school" in a home-sized aquarium. The reason they shoal in the wild is that there is danger being alone, so they shoal up - safety in numbers. At home they realize nothing will hurt them, so they stop shoaling. There are a few that have strong shoaling behavior though, and tend to mainly stick together. These are some of the Cardinalfish such as the Blue Eye Cardinals and Red Spot Cardinals.

gregzz4
02-15-2018, 08:26 PM
I started with an Aqueon 75g Reef Ready. I didn’t like the internal overflow as it took up too much real estate and made getting good surface flow difficult as the box is offset to one side. It also interfered with my MP10s.
I now have a 75g which I drilled and installed a ghost overflow. Very happy with it.
I would have preferred a coast to coast overflow, but that’s too pricey for me

Myka
02-16-2018, 01:36 PM
I now have a 75g which I drilled and installed a ghost overflow. Very happy with it.
I would have preferred a coast to coast overflow, but that’s too pricey for me

I love those ghost-style overflows. I currently have a false back wall on my tank creating a built-in coast to coast overflow, and I think my next tank will have a ghost-style overflow instead since they are so clean looking on the inside of the tank. The only drawback that I don't like is that the piping runs down the back of the tank, and what I do like about my built-in overflow is that the bulkheads are on the bottom of the tank, and the piping is all under the stand. I wish there was a best of both worlds. Haha

Llorgon
02-16-2018, 05:05 PM
Ok, your budget is reasonable (provided that is equipment only), so if you stick with the 75-gallon you're planning on you can get all the bells and whistles as long as you don't spend too much on a stand. By bells and whistles I mean a freshwater auto top off system, a good quality protein skimmer, etc. However, that is not enough budget to get good quality LED lights if that's what your heart is set on. Personally, I don't like LED as the main light source anyway, so I don't see this as a drawback. I highly recommend the ATI brand T5 fixtures. They are the best ones on the market and will grow any coral you want. Your budget is also not big enough for a custom cube tank with stand and custom sump.

Also, I think the 75-gallon tank is a great size to start with. The dimensions are really nice. I like the more "square from the side" dimensions because the tank is easier to aquascape. Tanks that are taller than they are wide, such as 90-gallon tanks, are more difficult to aquascape, and usually allow less swimming room for the fish between the front glass and the rocks. I like to see the fish a lot, so I like there to be lots of space between the rocks and the front glass.

Random comments on your fish choices...there are some reef-safe Angelfish (such as Watanabei), but they all get too large for a 75-gallon tank. Any of the Dwarf Angelfish (such as the Flame Angel) would be suitable for your tank size, however they are not 100% reef-safe. There are some individuals that are totally reef-safe, but most of them will bite corals causing various amounts of damage. Sometimes they only bother one type of coral, sometimes they bite everything. Lots of people say they are 50/50 reef-safe, but in my experiences it is more like 80/20 that they will bite corals.

Also, there are few fish that actually "school" in a home-sized aquarium. The reason they shoal in the wild is that there is danger being alone, so they shoal up - safety in numbers. At home they realize nothing will hurt them, so they stop shoaling. There are a few that have strong shoaling behavior though, and tend to mainly stick together. These are some of the Cardinalfish such as the Blue Eye Cardinals and Red Spot Cardinals.

Aww man. I was definitely hoping to get a LED light. That may have to be a future purchase I guess. For the ATI lights, how many bulbs should I be looking at? I see they have 4,6 and 8 bulb versions. I am kinda realizing that the cube tank will just be too expensive. The wife will be so sad!

I thought the 75 gallon would be best to start with. Not too big or too small. I think it should give me enough room to have a wide variety of fish to choose from. Unlike the current 10 gallon.

Good to know about the flame angels. I had read that they can be hit and miss, but they look so cool! I will have to do more research on the fish. I'm more focused on just getting the tank setup and not screwing up that part!

I started with an Aqueon 75g Reef Ready. I didnít like the internal overflow as it took up too much real estate and made getting good surface flow difficult as the box is offset to one side. It also interfered with my MP10s.
I now have a 75g which I drilled and installed a ghost overflow. Very happy with it.
I would have preferred a coast to coast overflow, but thatís too pricey for me

Where did you get the 75 gallon reef ready from?

I do like the look of those ghost overflows. They take up much less room. Are they easy to install? Keeping in mind I have never drilled a tank before.

I love those ghost-style overflows. I currently have a false back wall on my tank creating a built-in coast to coast overflow, and I think my next tank will have a ghost-style overflow instead since they are so clean looking on the inside of the tank. The only drawback that I don't like is that the piping runs down the back of the tank, and what I do like about my built-in overflow is that the bulkheads are on the bottom of the tank, and the piping is all under the stand. I wish there was a best of both worlds. Haha

I'm going to look into these ghost overflows more. Seems like it would be a good space saver inside the tank.

Is there a reason for not liking the piping going down the back of the tank or is it just how it looks?

Myka
02-17-2018, 10:05 PM
Aww man. I was definitely hoping to get a LED light. That may have to be a future purchase I guess. For the ATI lights, how many bulbs should I be looking at? I see they have 4,6 and 8 bulb versions. I am kinda realizing that the cube tank will just be too expensive. The wife will be so sad!

If you're really wanting a cube tank, you may be able to get something smaller like 24 x 24 x 20" tall or something (this is 50 gallons), and use an AI Prime HD to light it (that's a good-quality LED fixture) which are only $249.99. Honestly though, 24" for the Prime is really stretching it. I'd be more inclined to put it over 18 x 18". Even on 18 x 18" you'll get a spotlight look to the tank where the middle has a lot more light than the edges. I actually kinda dig that look, and you can get really creative with using that spotlight to great effect.

If you want to stick with the 75-gallon then you'd want to use (3) AI Prime HD (or a different fixture altogether). There just isn't a way to light a 75-gallon tank with good quality LED for less than about $800. That's a big chunk out of your budget.

For the ATI, for a 75-gallon tank you would probably not need more than 4 bulbs. 6 bulbs would end up being more light than you need for LPS corals. If you were doing an SPS tank I'd suggest 6 bulbs. The ATI fixtures are high-end and provide the corals with more usable light than other fixtures (especially when combined with ATI bulbs), so you can use less bulbs than a cheap fixture.

I do like the look of those ghost overflows. They take up much less room. Are they easy to install? Keeping in mind I have never drilled a tank before.

I'm going to look into these ghost overflows more. Seems like it would be a good space saver inside the tank.

Is there a reason for not liking the piping going down the back of the tank or is it just how it looks?

If I were you I would buy a cheap 5-gallon tank from PetSmart or something and practice drilling it - one hole in each pane. A 5-gallon tank is tough to drill because the glass is very thin and it breaks easily. For this reason, it is great to practice on. I think they are $20 to buy or so. If you can drill a 5-gallon you can EASILY drill a 75-gallon.

I don't like to see the piping which is why I don't like the piping running down the back. I don't care what color the piping is, I just don't want to see it.

Llorgon
02-19-2018, 09:26 PM
If you're really wanting a cube tank, you may be able to get something smaller like 24 x 24 x 20" tall or something (this is 50 gallons), and use an AI Prime HD to light it (that's a good-quality LED fixture) which are only $249.99. Honestly though, 24" for the Prime is really stretching it. I'd be more inclined to put it over 18 x 18". Even on 18 x 18" you'll get a spotlight look to the tank where the middle has a lot more light than the edges. I actually kinda dig that look, and you can get really creative with using that spotlight to great effect.

If you want to stick with the 75-gallon then you'd want to use (3) AI Prime HD (or a different fixture altogether). There just isn't a way to light a 75-gallon tank with good quality LED for less than about $800. That's a big chunk out of your budget.

For the ATI, for a 75-gallon tank you would probably not need more than 4 bulbs. 6 bulbs would end up being more light than you need for LPS corals. If you were doing an SPS tank I'd suggest 6 bulbs. The ATI fixtures are high-end and provide the corals with more usable light than other fixtures (especially when combined with ATI bulbs), so you can use less bulbs than a cheap fixture.



If I were you I would buy a cheap 5-gallon tank from PetSmart or something and practice drilling it - one hole in each pane. A 5-gallon tank is tough to drill because the glass is very thin and it breaks easily. For this reason, it is great to practice on. I think they are $20 to buy or so. If you can drill a 5-gallon you can EASILY drill a 75-gallon.

I don't like to see the piping which is why I don't like the piping running down the back. I don't care what color the piping is, I just don't want to see it.

I think I am going to stick with the regular 75 gallon tank. I don't feel like the cube tank is worth the extra money for me.

$800 just on lights might be a little much for me.. at least right now. Depends on how the rest of the build goes. Might wait to buy lights last.

For corals I would like some SPS and LPS. So maybe I should go with the 6 bulb version. I don't want to be limited in the corals I can keep like I am now with my 10 gallon.

Buying a 5 gallon and practicing on that is a good idea. Then I can get some confidence for trying it on the big tank.

2 questions

What should I be looking for when buying a stand? For freshwater it's will the stand hold the tank and can the filter fit underneath. I am sure there is more to think about with reef tanks.

What should I be looking for in the external overflows? I am guessing longer is better?