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Buying a tank

Posted 09/15/2014 at 08:44 AM by Sk8r

Buying a marine aquarium
...most fish stores cannot stock the size of tank appropriate for most of the fish they sell. Tanks of 30 gallons or under are appropriate for a clown pair, a few gobies or blennies, a royal gramma or dartfish, and some inverts. And with good lighting---corals.

If you want larger fish, you have several size jumps. A 50 will let you have a dwarf angel or similar, anything a 30 can handle, maybe a single chromis (a damsel, like a clown, mildmannered, in the singular.)

A 75 will let you have a few more fish or a larger reef.

A 100 is a pretty good size tank: the smallest, quietest tangs, and some multiples: I keep my own as a damsel tank---they're quite trouble-free in a 100 gal, with one of a kind. Plus some gobies, etc.

A 120-150 will let you have pretty good freedom to stock, but lighting one of these for a heavy coral load can get spendy.

A 200 up is getting into serious size, and keepers of tangs and regular angels are advised to go as large as possible and as long as possible. This sort of tank can provide various 'territories' along its length, and provide interesting viewing from several vantages along the way. This size is on the one hand far more stable and trouble-free than a little tank---but water changes are heavy-duty work, and automation of many things like dosing are a big help.

If you contemplate getting into the larger tanks, sometimes you can luck into a tank being sold by somebody either upsizing or getting out of the hobby: be sure when you are handed a list of what it's got---that it's appropriate for what you want to keep: size isn't the whole story. Shape matters, and whether the equipment is decades old.

If you want to order a tank, don't go it alone: ask around, get specs, get advice about brands and can start out with a little tank to see if you like the hobby; but when you're ready to go large, shop around. And shop some more. Don't assume it all works: if somebody's leaving the hobby, there may be a reason somewhere in the setup. Your lfs may have a good offer, or used stuff; and a good lfs can be helpful---but still ask around.

We on RC are real happy to hand out advice. Sometimes it's pretty varied. But get us information about what you want to do and what you think you can do it in, and we'll be happy to help.
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  1. Old Comment

    First time tank buyer


    I am in the process of having my first tank quoted as a custom acrylic quarter bow front cylinder corner tank around 120-150 gallons. This is not set in stone as I am open to advise on the best tank for my fish. I am primarily interested in a fish only tank with some live rock. Eventually a reef tank will come. I will have a local company do all of the tank setup and monthly mnt. for at least a year, until I have learned enough to handle it myself.

    This tank will be installed on the main floor of our house with the Sump and everything in the basement just below the tank. I am mostly interested in a couple of Puffers with just a few select others added eventually. Any advise on how I can get the most bang for my fishes by choosing the best tank size and design to start out? Thanks
    Posted 01/03/2015 at 04:56 AM by Pufferchick Pufferchick is offline

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