How to select the right reef tank for you

August 4, 2016

Selection of the proper reef tank:

Now that you have made the decision of becoming a Reef aquarium owner, you now have to decide which tank is most suitable for you. I have been in the aquarium industry for over 25 years starting at my parents custom aquarium shops, I have taken these steps into assisting new aquarium owners choose the proper aquarium for them, their house and their family. Aquariums are mostly built using 2 types of material one is Glass and the other is Acrylic. Both materials have its advantages and disadvantages so its ultimately the aquarium owners choice. Here, I will give you the usual guideline I use for helping our customers choose the proper Glass aquarium for their reef, fish or FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock).


Step 1: How much space do you have?

Go to the location you are planning on putting the tank and measure the ENTIRE length, width and height. Of course it isnt logical to get a tank that takes up all of that space and when customers give me these dimensions, I actually use it to figure out the best sized tank that proportionally fits into your space that allows room to work with, access, best aesthetically fit etc.

Step 2: What type of Specimens you are planning to keep?

Keeping different types of aquatic specimens require different space so that they can have adequate living space for them to grow and reduce their stress level. For instance for Saltwater fish,  here is a rough estimate: you will need an average of 2-4 Gallons of water per inch of fish. And for reef tanks, you will need approximately .5 to 1lb of live rock per gallon of water. Filtration will of course make those guidelines vary depending on water flow, Waste removal capacity, circulation and speed of water etc. so figure out which type of specimen you wish to keep and your LFS or us here at Mode Aquariums can assist you in choosing out the best tank for you.

Step 3 Type of aquarium

There are many different types and designs of aquariums such as: Rectangular, Cube, Corner shaped, Shallow, slim elongated, Peninsula etc. each one is designed to fit for a specific use. For example if you have an empty wall, a straight seamed rectangular aquarium will be best. If you have a corner, then a Cube or triangular shaped aquarium will be best. If you have a large room which does more than one job (ie: entryway and Formal living room) a Peninsula aquarium is best. So see which type of application you are looking for and we can help you determine which type of aquarium is best suited for you.

Step 3 Budget

This step is a bit tricky as we all know the larger the tank is the more expensive it can get. As the larger the tank, the larger the equipment needs to be, the more rock you will need, more lights, equipment etc. So see what is the best budget that fits for you and adding onto the 2 factors previously, you can determine the best size tank that fits you.

Going back to the previous “Budget” factor, the larger the tank, more work may be involved or more equipment that can levy the work may be needed. On an average estimate, it may take about 2 hours of work per month for a 30G aquarium. A larger aquarium may take more work or like i said before, the extra work can be levied with the appropriate equipment

Having an aquarium has gotten much easier in recent times with many breakthrough advances in technology, design selection, availability, knowledge and even competitive in price. All these factors make having and keeping an aquarium much easier than in previous times. You now can simply go to your LFS (Local Fish Store) and let the staff know what you are looking for and the size aquarium you would like and they can help you select the proper sized tank for you and your house. Another very popular method now is to go online and search the different aquarium retail sites which they will list out all the most popular brands and styles that are available. There are many different ways to find a right aquarium, but to start, you must figure out how much space you have and the dedicate the amount of time for upkeep.

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