Choosing a Reef Tank (Beginner’s Guide)

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    Choosing a reef tank (especially for a beginner) may seem a simple task. However, without first considering a few key factors, this decision could easily result in a large amount of wasted time and money. This article outlines in detail the key factors that should influence your decision when choosing a new reef tank purchase, and ensure your reef tank journey starts in success.


    The size of the reef tank is influenced by what you have decided to keep in it. A good basic rule with reef tank sizes, is go for the biggest tank you can afford. A larger reef tank is (in a way easier) to keep than a smaller one. This is because a larger reef tank is more forgiving when there is an imbalance in the water chemistry. With more water in the tank, an issue will be slower to adversely affect the tank’s inhabitants and will typically allow more time to be rectified. Most reef tank owners will scale-up their tanks as-and-when their coral collections grow in size. By, starting with a larger tank, you will actually save money in the long run.


    Reef tanks are obviously very heavy, so be sure that the intended position of the tank will be able to support the weight. Ideally, the tank should not be positioned near a window or door that could potentially have a cold draft of air near your tank. In many house it can be hard to find a location that is not near a window. In this case try to ensure that your tank will not be in direct sunlight. Many reef tank owners have indirect sunlight on their tanks with little or no adverse affects, this is because the lighting in your tank will be way brighter than indirect sunlight and so should not impact the tank.


    Modern reef tanks now come in all shapes and sizes. Bowfront tanks are very popular and have a nice-looking curved front edge to the tank. The curve effect gives a magnifying effect when looking through the front of the tank. Other shapes available are cubes and even hexagons. While both of these offer some interest on the design aspect, they often don’t allow much space for the fish to swim, especially once live rock is added and corals have grown. Tall tanks are also available, but the problem with these tanks is that much stronger lighting may be required to allow the light to reach the bottom of the tank. There is a reason why rectangular shapes are popular, as they offer the best viewing experience and don’t have lighting or room issues for fish.


    After buying a basic tank, a little research will show you that the additional items you need will cost a significant amount of money, in most cases more than the tank itself. While this route requires time and money it does allow the option of purchasing each item to the exact specifications required, and if particular corals or fish are the goal, then this can be the obvious choice. However, for most beginners, simplicity is often the key. All in one tanks(AIO) are increasingly popular these days as they provide pretty much everything you need to own a successful reef tank. Most of these AIO tanks will provide the tank(obviously) and a built-in sump, heater and lighting. From a design viewpoint the sump section is typically hidden behind a wall at the back of the tank, so along with the heater it is invisible which makes a nice clean look for your tank without any cables and pipes showing. The AIO tanks are typically less than 50G in size.

    Beginner’s Guides

    Thanks for reading this Beginner’s Guide. Many more guides are available at Visit our website today to view the Reef Tank Directory, our lively forums and interesting articles.

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