Recommended Tank Height

timbo227

New member
Hi guys. First post...

I'm still planning out my first tank.

I've read about the advantages of tank depth, but what about tank height?
I imagine that a tank with more height would allow you to have a greater variety of corals (i.e. a greater spectrum of light intensity from surface to tank bed).

Can anyone weigh in on the benefits and limitations of a tank with greater water depth?

On a related note, what's the consensus on hex tanks for reef tanks? I've always loved the look of big hex tanks but I haven't seen very many in my early research into this hobby.

Thanks!
 

FraggledRock

New member
What kind of corals are you planning to keep and how long do you truthfully plan to keep your tank and grow your corals out?

SPS definitely needs height.

but remember more height = more light power to reach the bottom. so keep that in mind when making lighting purchases

LPS maybe not so much.

hex tanks are limiting for fish.

example: Tangs need A LOT of horizontal swimming space. a hex will probably stress them out.
 

Mr_I_Dare_You

New member
I had a 30g hex tank as my first tank years ago. You are really kind of limited on what you can do as far as aquascaping goes. There's also less swimming space for the fish. The only thing I think hex tanks are good for are seahorses.

I think you may have misunderstood when you were reading about depth. Depth is the same as height. I imagine you have it mixed up with tank width. Or maybe I'm miss reading your post.
 

FraggledRock

New member
I had a 30g hex tank as my first tank years ago. You are really kind of limited on what you can do as far as aquascaping goes. There's also less swimming space for the fish. The only thing I think hex tanks are good for are seahorses.

I think you may have misunderstood when you were reading about depth. Depth is the same as height. I imagine you have it mixed up with tank width. Or maybe I'm miss reading your post.

i think in this situation he means depth as width = front to back and height - top to bottom.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Don't have a bottom which (with sandbed) you cannot reach...my own tank is very deep, and I have to go in up to my armpit to reach something that's fallen to the bottom. I often use a large net to bring it within reach.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
I'm tall (6' 3") and have a hard time getting all the way to the bottom of my 30" tall tank. I always design my stands so that the tank rim is at armpit height, even so it can be a pain. I'd certainly never go more than 30" high. More deeper (width) is better though.
 

dendrite

New member
amen to 24 to 30 inches. I'm 6'3" and 24 inch deep is the most I can comfortably reach. I'm a firm believer in being able to reach almost everywhere
 

m0nkie

Active member
I have one tank that's 4ft deep.. One of these days I'm going to fall inside face first and drown.. it's a PITA to clean. haha.
 

Saltwatercoral2

New member
Its just a personal preference. Some people like shallow tanks, and some time taller tanks.. I prefer shallow as I dont like getting my whole arm wet. Something around 20" tall is perfect IMO
 

timbo227

New member
First off, my bad… I mean depth (an obvious newbie here… Is there any way to edit my original thread title?)

Second, thanks for the advice. I hadn’t really thought about how my arm length factors into it. So somewhere between 24-30” it will be.

What kind of corals are you planning to keep and how long do you truthfully plan to keep your tank and grow your corals out?

My current plan is to keep my first tank as long as possible, so I'm hoping that ample planning will ensure that I get the right tank and equipment I can "grow into" with experience. I don’t know if this will be too ambitious for a first tank.

I am hoping to do a mixed tank with SPS and LP. I’ve read this is possible if you have a good skimmer, run carbon, and keep a close eye on things. I’m still trying to work out what specific species will work together in terms of flow/lighting.

I had a 30g hex tank as my first tank years ago. You are really kind of limited on what you can do as far as aquascaping goes. There's also less swimming space for the fish. The only thing I think hex tanks are good for are seahorses.

I knew there must be a good reason for this… Well, in the long-term I’m hoping to have a display refugium with macroalgae and seahorses. So maybe I can have my hex tank that way. Although, I’m thinking planning on a 130g or 180g reef tank, so a hex tank big enough to make an effective refugium might end up being a pretty pricey side-project... My experience with keeping reptile and freshwater tanks has been that hex tanks are generally more expensive. Correct me if I'm wrong!
 

Mr_I_Dare_You

New member
For what it's worth I am running a 16 inch deep tank and I am successfully growing different types of SPS LPS and soft corals under LED lighting. The only thing I have noticed is that the colors on some of my mushrooms are a tiny bit washed out. But, the LEDs are turned down as low as I can get them without the SPS corals starting to brown out.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
What kind of corals are you planning to keep and how long do you truthfully plan to keep your tank and grow your corals out?

SPS definitely needs height.

but remember more height = more light power to reach the bottom. so keep that in mind when making lighting purchases

LPS maybe not so much.

hex tanks are limiting for fish.

example: Tangs need A LOT of horizontal swimming space. a hex will probably stress them out.

Excellent advice in this post. :D
 

theatrus

100-mile-commuter
I also wouldn't go deeper than 24".

A shallow tank can be a whole new perspective, as you can look into it from above easily.
 

Coelli

New member
I have a 24" and I can just barely touch the bottom (I'm only 5'2" though). It's definitely at the upper limit of what I can manage. I use tongs whenever possible; but the other day I had to get my monkey-armed boyfriend to reach down and under the back of a rock to reach a fallen coral. If you can check out some tanks in person and try to visualize yourself working at the very bottom it might help you decide. :)
 

Subie

Premium Member
We have a 300 gallon tank - it's 30" high and it's a pain. If we had to do it over again, we would go for a tank no higher than 24" and increase the front to back dimension. It would help with our aquascaping, too.
 

ECreefer

New member
As everyone is saying, 24 inches is a great height and can allow for a variety of corals. I feel that for a first tank, a shallower depth can be kind of nice. My very first tank was a 15 gallon, and I learned a lot from that tank. Really helped that it was only 12" deep.
 

freeflydive

New member
You can include me in the 24" tank height club…much easier to maintain; comes up to my armpit (I'm 5'9" tall/short). It is perfect for a 24" depth (front to back), which allows you to place corals at different levels within the tank to accommodate their light requirement…I find most typical 18" depth (front to back) too limiting when it comes to aquascaping. Separately…while length (right to left) is not typically an issue for corals, I wouldn't go under 48" if you plan on having tangs/triggers or other marine life that requires additional swimming space.

I'm not a fan of hex and cylinder shaped tanks…partially due to subjective taste, partially because it lacks in function (i.e. floor space/horizontal swim space).

I currently have a 150g (60x24x24) and already wish I could trade some of the height for more length…as always, YMMV. :) Keep us posted on what you decide and welcome to the forum.
 
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jerrym21

Premium Member
I have a 110 that is 30 tall and to reach the rear bottom I am in up to my shoulder...it sucks! I also have a 24" tall 180 and love it. Everything is easily reachable and I like the 6' length.
 
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