Which Tank For Saltwater Aquarium?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Tank Equipment' started by Animated Brio, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    yo so,
    I stuck in a choice for my first saltwater tank (a nano reef). I can’t decide between a 27gal cube tank, or a 37gal column tank both by Marineland. I’ve looked at pros and cons, asked friends, but I’m too indecisive. Any input would be great!


    I forgot to make this a Question, I don’t know how to delete a post so I’ll just make a new post as a question.

    Never mind, I don’t know how to use this.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
  2. Five 97Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! Both tanks seem to have the same size footprint - I guess it would come down to whether or not you're comfortable with taller tanks?

  3. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    The taller tank will give you more water, thus more stability, so that would be my suggestion.
    However, keep in mind, that because its narrow, the stocking would be lower than a long tank of the same size. So it would probably only hold one or two more fish than the 27G. So if there is a large price difference between the two tanks it may not be worth it.

  4. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    The price difference is about $13. 27: $59.95 37: $72.95. But I know lightning might be a problem if I want a floor coral, but provides more stability.

    comfortable with any size tank, I have very long arms so reaching places isn’t tough.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
  5. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    27g's is still a good size for a beginner aquarium, so with good maintenance, you shouldn't have trouble with stable parameters. Reef lights are $$$ and I believe providing good lighting for coral in a column tank would be difficult. How high is it exactly? Consider that you may need a very strong light to reach the bottom of the tank, and with that, you may have difficulty with placement up high too. You wouldn't want to burn the corals at the top of the tank.
  6. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    Those are the exact concerns I had. I wanted to hear the opinion of others who know what they’re doing, making sure I wasn’t concerned over nothing to big of an issue. My funds aren’t the biggest, hopefully my up coming birthday will fix that and my plan to buy in the summer, so I am more tempted to the smaller tank. Thanks for you input!
  7. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    No problem. :) Welcome to Fishlore. We'll be more than happy to help you step into the dark side,:stig: and start your first salty tank. It took me several months to gather the supplies for my own little reef tank, and if I have one bit of advice, it's about lighting. If you will start the tank without coral, or as a FOWLR (fish only with live rock), then you do NOT need a fancy light to begin with. Lighting over a FOWLR is for viewing only. If you want a nice reef in the future, I would suggest you save for a while for the best light that your budget will allow. I made the mistake of buying a cheaper light from the get go, then wanting a better light less than a year later. So... I bought reef lighting twice.:banghead: Don't be like me.

    Also, here is a great thread written by the guy who helped me start my reef. It's very helpful in answering lots of the questions new reefers have. Enjoy! :D
    Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  8. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice! Is I’ve been reading posts here I do think starting a FOWLR and adding reef lights and corals later is the best idea for me. Once again thank you so much for yours, and everyone else’s, help and suggestions!
  9. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Just me but I would go with a 20 Long or 40 Breeder over either of those. The length of the tank and relatively shallow depth would be better suited to both fish and corals. Tall tanks can be a real pain when you have to work on them (and trust me, you will at some point).
  10. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    I haven’t been able to find one at a reasonable price yet. All though I did just find out Petco is doing a dollar per gallon sale, if I can go maybe I’ll get lucky?
  11. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Yup, it is running 'til the end of April. The 40 Breeder unfortunately is only 50% off, but the 20 long should be a dollar per gallon. Take it from a guy with a 90 gallon tank that is over 2 feet deep, when you have to remove excess shells from former members of your clean up crew (trust me over time it builds up), move rock/coral for better placement (or because it shifts, occasionally reach the hard to reach spots where the mag float won't go, etc. it can make the job much easier with a more shallow tank. The fish tend to prefer the horizontal swimming room the most and the shallower depth of the long/breeder variety tanks makes for better light penetration for coral growth.
  12. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    I can see that being a pain with the magfloat, but wouldn’t you say it’s worth it? I don’t know much about CuC, I haven’t made research in them a main priority (I should), but it’s sad to hear so many of them die out. I’ve only been able to see that super expensive brand Petco keeps pushing, seaclear I think?, so I haven’t been able to find prices for the 40gal. If you could help me with that I’d really appreciate it!
    Thanks for you input

  13. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    The magfloat is worth it for sure, it just can't get to some of the harder to reach spots in a deeper tank. As for the tanks at the sale they are all Aqueon (which are pretty decent tanks). If memory serves me correctly the 40 Breeder is usually $90 and so with the 50% off it should be around $45. They only do the deal in store so it's tough to pull it up online.
  14. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Just an FYI, the Flipper magnet cleaner is much thinner than a magfloat, so it's easier to get around a tank. I have the Flipper Nano on a 20g long reef and it does a great job on all glass surfaces because nothing is right up against the glass. My only complaint is that it's a little noisy. It makes a clackity sound when used in 'portrait' mode, but it is significantly reduced if you use the thing longways. Honestly, if space or aesthetics isn't an issue, I much prefer the bulkier magfloat, but only because the noise of the Flipper makes. The noise is probably a nonissue for most.;)
  15. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    $45 for a 40gal sounds like a deal from deal from the heavens! I’m hoping I’ll be able to go today if not tomorrow. I hope they have a 10gal I could use as a refugium/ sump. Thanks for telling me about this!

    Thanks for telling me, I think I’ll stick with a magfloat.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
  16. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    If you are going to do a refugium/sump (personally I wouldn't bother with one under a 55) I would recommend at least a 20 gallon for several reasons:

    1) a 10 gallon isn't going to give you the increased flow to really benefit from the effort and cost of putting in a sump
    2) like any other tank you are going to have to move in and around a sump and periodically clean things and a smaller tank is much more limiting and cramped for both equipment and for maintenance.
    3) You will be very limited on the equipment you can put in there due to the space restrictions

    I run a 29 gallon sump on my 90 gallon tank and between the dividers, my filter sock, protein skimmer and return pump it is pretty packed and that is about as basic of a sump config as you can get.
  17. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    I would like to run one, as I love dragonet fish. But I didn’t really think of the size needed. The more I think about it however it does seem unnecessary. Dragonets are probably something I would want in a much larger tank when (or if) I have a bigger budget. Also, would a HOB and live rock be enough for a tank? I. I know I want to make this tank as clean and filtered as possible, anything I could do to keep the water stable and clear.
  18. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Definitely save the dragonet for a larger tank. They need around 75lbs or more of live rock with a a healthy sustained copepod population that has been in place for a bare minimum of a year. They are notoriously picky eaters and may or may not adapt to frozen or pellet foods. Even the ones that do are usually beaten to the punch by other fish. Take this from a guy who had one that learned to eat frozen mysis and frozen reef frenzy and still starved to death in his tank after just 3 months (oh and I spent around $250-$300 on pods to boot). They need to feed almost constantly during the daytime. I would just get the 40 breeder and a 110 rated HOB filter (ie Fluval or Seachem Tidal). Keep the build as simple as possible so you can save for the upgrade. Substitute more frequent water changes for the other equipment. Oh incidentally, I did see on another forum that the 40B is actually $50-$56 after the discount, so my info was a bit off.
  19. Animated BrioNew MemberMember

    Yeah, I was just at Petco. I bought a 40B for $56, and they had Carib-sea aragAlive 1/2 at $16.50 for 20lb!! So yeah, I’m good for now. I won’t be setting this up for a few months (I’m moving soon) but I’ll be looking out on for deals and such for power heads and HOB filters. Any other suggestions for what I’ll need would be great, like say you see a cheap good Skimmer. Thanks for your help so far!
  20. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    For powerheads many here like Jebao, but I prefer the Hydor Koralia 3rd Gen powerheads. A Single 1950gph Hydor Koralia 3rd gen placed in the back and dead center with the wideflow head that comes with it would be sufficient to circulate the entire tank. I had one in my 36 gallon bowfront and it was more than enough and I now run a pair of them in my 90 gallon.


    As for HOB Filters the Fluval 110 or the Seachem Tidal 110 would be great:



    Just don't use the stock media that comes with them (other than carbon) . You could add a chemipure elite bag to them and that would help greatly as it reduces phosphates in the tank.

    As for HOB skimmer, it's up to you with whether or not you want to use one as it will add a $150-$200 expense if you want a decent one. A decent weekly water change system would likely eliminate the need for one. If you do use one there are a few good options (ie Reef Octopus Classic 100, the Eshoppes PSK-75H or PSK-100H). I ran an Eshoppes PSK-75H on my 36 gallon bowfront and you can see it in action in this video, along with the powerhead I mentioned:


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