My very first sw tank! Need advice on tank size plz!

Joce

New member
Hi everyone!

I've been wanting to have an aquarium for a long time but as a student, I had to move frequently. Now that I'm finally settled down in one place, i can set up the tank of my dreams! :fish1:

Renovations in my new condo are about to be complete and I am going to custom build a peninsula-style tank right at the entrance. It'll be a mix reef with at least an anemone and clam that's not too crowded, with plenty of swimming room.

The space can allow a length of around 55 inches. What would a good width and height be that is proportional? Slightly longer or shorter is OK. And if it's not too much trouble, could someone also suggest ideal lighting for clams and anemones? I'm thinking it'll probably be some sort of MH lighting 250W? Are there any suppliers that do 220V for asia?

Thanks so much for your time!

Jocelyn :wave:
 

Shard

New member
Lighting also depends on tank depth. If your tank was a 12" deep, then 150W metal halides would keep the corals nicely lit. If you plan on having a tank over 24" deep (2 ft) I would suggest bumping up the wattage as the depth increases. 250W metal halides are great for tanks less than 2 ft deep, but 400W metal halides are probably the best for deeper tanks. If you have the money to invest, have you considered LED lighting? I am about to replace the metal halide and PC lights on my tank with LED arrays, which should be more energy efficient as they use about 1/3 the power for higher PAR output than my current metal halide setup.

As for tank size, if I had the amount of space you did to work in, I would probably have the tank built to be 30" high, 30" wide, and 55" deep. The tank would be about 214 gallons, or 810 liters. The amount of lighting needed also really depends on the types of corals you want to keep. Softies can use lights of much less intensity than metal halides, but SPS and clams usually require high intensity lighting. Remember to have the tank built with sufficient width so you have lots of room to work with. I like a little bit of sand around my rock structures so they dont just go from glass on one side to glass on the other.
 
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spleify

Premium Member
[welcome]

Glad you have finally settled down and you are ready to get a new tank. Keep in mind that anemone's require a matured tank, and its generally not the best idea to put one in a newly set up tank.
 

Joce

New member
I would love to consider LED but the sw technology seems decades slower here in china than when I was in Toronto. Since we use 220V in asia are there suppliers that readily sell lights that can be used here? If Im not mistaken, I believe europe and japan also uses 220V? Can someone point me to the right direction to buy lighting?
 

Shard

New member
Funny that the technology seems slower there when almost all the components come from China :)
 

Joce

New member
Yes, thank you! I finished reading all the newbie threads and anemone FAQ and a bunch of books on corals etc. Tbh, i've been planning/dreaming about this tank for 2 yrs+! just never had the chance to actually get started. I studied biology as my undergrad and did a field marine biology course once so I understand cycles and stuff like that but I'm just so clueless about lighting!! it seems like the more i read, the more i'm confused!
 

Joce

New member
Funny that the technology seems slower there when almost all the components come from China :)

haha that's true! But for some reason, high quality products are only for export and aren't available to locals :sad1:
 

kynsee

New member
If you can't find anything there, then you're best to order something online. Check out the many aquarium shops that the net offers, you'll definetly find something; perhaps Ebay. The shipping could be pricey for your location.
 

kynsee

New member
Oh, and you could probably even find something for cheap off reef forums like this one. Check out the "For Sales."
 

jer77

Phish Lover
How much experience do you have with reef tanks and setting them up? Its easy to dive head over heels into a project like this which lots of the time you'll end up looking back in hindsight wishing you did something different. With a large project like this patience is key. It took me 6 months from choosing and buying my 180 until it was actually up and running and I knew what I was doing. Its really hard to change some parts once you actually do them. So it will take some time, but its well worth it and not as hard from what I'm probably making it seem.

For the tank size, you can either get one that is a common size or you can order one custom built. Common sizes for around 55'' would pretty much have to be either 48'' or 60'' long, unless you can do 72''. A 48'' long tank has many different common size options ranging from 55g to 200g. 60'' has less, a 120g, a 150g, and a 250g. I'd say if you go for a custom 55'' long tank, a width of at least 24'' would work well, I would like it even a little more wide like 30'' but this may look odd if your plan is for a peninsula look. I prefer wide tanks cause there's more room for fish and corals and its more natural than a long skinny tank that can barely fit a wall of LR. For the height, I'd say 24'' also is a good and reasonable height. This allows for lots of room and its not so deep so you won't need the strongest 400W metal halides.

About the lighting, to keep clams and most anemones you'll need either metal halides or T-5's for the size tank your considering if its between 24''-30'' deep. And IMO, T-5's won't be enough if your tank is deeper than 24''. You will need a high number of T-5 bulbs, like 8+, too even if it is 24'' deep to keep most anemones and clams. You'll most likely have to use 250W-400W metal halides. The halides are also able to spread their light with a proper reflector to cover a large width, over 24'', and able to penetrate deep enough. If you decide on a wide and deep tank, over 24'', I would use 400W metal halides and supplement them with a couple T-5's or even VHO actinics depending on what kelvin you choose for the MH's
 

Joce

New member
kynsee: gd idea! i'll check ebay.uk for systems that are made for 220V. thanks :)

Jonny: I'm completely new to saltwater but I've been reading and researching stuff for almost 3 yrs! I still haven't moved in to my new condo yet because it's still in renovation so it'll take me at least a month to plan details and order the tank and then another month for anything to materialize. So in the meantime, i'll be showering many of you experienced reefers with questions!

Ya, I;m going to go for a custom 55" length. I asked around today and I believe in China, larger size aquariums have to be custom built anyway so might as well go for the perfect length to fit my space. I wish I could get 30"deep! Too bad that would be too big for my entrance :(

I got an approx quote today for 55"x24"x25" and it came up to be HK$1800 for 3/8" thick glass and around $3000 for 1/2" thick glass. That's around US$230 and US$395. Seems to me like a good price? The LFS offers T5 lighting but not MH..i guess i'll have to hunt them down!

BTW, when people say 24" height, is this the height of the water, distance from bottom of tank to lighting or simply the height of the glass?

Thank you so much for help too!
 
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