How to decide on reef tanks and stands | Reef Builders


Once you ask somebody what an important points of getting a reef tank are, and what actually received them excited not a single particular person will ever say “my tank” or “my stand”. However when you concentrate on it with out our glass field and a spot to place it, we actually wouldn’t have a lot of a passion. Certain, you could be like Julian Sprung and arrange a saltwater pond and name that your tank, however sadly, only a few of us dwell the place that is even remotely possible.

After getting the final planning out of the way in which it’s time to resolve on a tank. For somebody simply beginning out even this may be intimidating particularly in terms of measurement, when it comes to gallons, and form, which we’ll talk about. I’m not even going to debate composition, since now over 90% of tanks are product of glass, there isn’t a motive to get into the deserves of getting an acrylic versus a glass tank. For me no less than having had each, the issue with acrylic tanks scratching so simply outweighs any of the benefits that it might need. So because of this I can be discussing solely glass tanks.

Over time a picket stand can begin to look and be worn out.

Tank measurement

To start out with, the primary and most vital query is what’s going to the scale of the tank be? For many newcomers, one of the best vary of tanks is regarded as from 40 gallons to 90 gallons. These sizes are regarded as good because the 40 is large enough to not be thought-about a nano tank, whereas the 90 is assumed large enough that it’s going to present an attention-grabbing show. I’m downplaying the considered beginning with a nano tank, as regardless that they’re small-sized they nonetheless require a major quantity of labor and they’re more durable to maintain secure than these larger-sized tanks. Which measurement just isn’t a simple query to ponder, as the final rule is to get as huge as you possibly can afford and have house for.

Larger is regarded as higher as greater tanks are sometimes extra secure, on a cost-per-gallon foundation they’re cheaper, and a much bigger tank permits for extra fish and coral to be stored, which is what one turns into involved with after attaining some success within the passion. However it isn’t fairly that easy, as different elements come into play when deciding on a tank. Apart from house and price, another questions to debate are how usually do you progress, or are you planning to maneuver within the close to future. If both of those is the case, then it’s most likely finest to decide on a smaller tank. Subsequent is how a lot time you must spend on the tank. Larger tanks sometimes require greater expenditures of time for issues like water modifications, basic cleansing, and upkeep.

And lastly, is that this going to be a “household” tank the place everybody helps a bit of or is that this a one-man band kind of association? Clearly when extra persons are serving to a much bigger tank is simply as straightforward as a small tank the place nobody helps out. So all of this ought to be stored in thoughts when deciding on the tank. Along with measurement, the form must be thought-about as effectively. Tanks ought to be no less than as broad as they’re tall, with wider than taller being even higher. It is because when considered from the entrance, offering extra depth entrance to again permits for the tank to look deeper and fuller and the aquascaping to look extra lifelike when the corals are allowed to develop wider reasonably than simply straight up.

When accomplished proper a correctly designed tank and stand can present enjoyment for your complete household.

Large is best than tall

Most of us now not preserve staghorn corals, which are inclined to develop vertically, however reasonably we preserve bushy corals together with most lps corals and sps corals. Happily, most tank producers now provide tanks that conform to those targets, now not are we restricted to the previous customary 55-gallon tanks that have been tall and slim. Having a tank wider than tall additionally permits for simpler entry to work within the tank and do upkeep. As talked about within the planning article, the aim is to make issues as straightforward and easy to do as attainable as the better issues are the extra probably we’re to do them, and having easy accessibility to the tank helps obtain this aim.

If desirous about the tank is without doubt one of the extra uncared for points of establishing a brand new tank, desirous about the stand is much more uncared for. For many of us, once we consider a stand, all we take into consideration is discovering one thing to stay our tank on, we actually don’t spend a lot time desirous about it or its significance. That is unlucky as choosing the proper stand could make issues simpler in the long term and within the worst case it will possibly even result in the failure of our system. So, what ought to be thought-about when selecting a stand for a brand new reef setup? In contrast to a stand that we’d have gotten for a freshwater arrange the place the stand simply needed to maintain the tank and the underside was the place we saved the meals, drugs, and different associated gear for the tank, for a reef arrange the stand not solely holds the tank, however the backside additionally sometimes homes the sump and associated filtration gear. Subsequently, not solely does the stand have to be sturdy, however the backside must be large enough to carry all of the reef-related gear and on the similar time permit easy accessibility so this gear could be simply cleaned and maintained.

As well as, since a reef tank is normally housed the place it’s readily considered, it must be aesthetically pleasing so it matches in with the look of the house. The stand additionally must be waterproofed, as it should always be uncovered to salt water and salt drip, so this must be accomplished earlier than the system is began. If this isn’t accomplished, particularly if the stand is product of wooden, ultimately the salt will eat away on the wooden inflicting it to weaken. When this occurs, the stand will begin to collapse. In one of the best case, there is not going to be a complete collapse, it should simply regularly fall on one aspect or the opposite. Sadly, this may trigger the tank to turn out to be confused and if this isn’t corrected it will possibly trigger the tank to leak or utterly fail. That’s the reason all of those elements have to be thought-about when selecting a stand and why it will be important.

 A tank and stand don’t have to be large in an effort to present enjoyment within the passion.


Price is normally the primary consideration when selecting a stand and most stands for tanks within the 40-120 gallon measurement price between $150 and $500. Whereas price clearly must be considered, in the long term, selecting a greater high quality stand that can final no less than a decade or extra can be more cost effective than selecting a less expensive stand that will have to be changed in a shorter time-frame. Wooded stands are normally the primary alternative when beginning out as they’re cheap and look sturdy. Sadly, increasingly of them are constructed of particle board or plywood and as such aren’t constructed to final, particularly in a saltwater atmosphere.

Should you do resolve to go along with wooden, attempt to discover a stand that isn’t made solely of particle board, and in one of the best case has 2x2s or greater boards within the corners to assist the tank. If wooden is chosen your complete within the stand must be waterproofed with epoxy or comparable materials and several other coats ought to be utilized. In my expertise, a tank containing metallic is a significantly better long-term alternative, especially if made of aluminum, which does not rust. These are coming onto the market increasingly, however it should most likely be simpler to discover a stand product of chrome steel. It ought to be famous that chrome steel does rust, it simply does so extra slowly than wrought iron or different metals made to construct stands. However even when it’s product of metallic, the stand ought to nonetheless be waterproofed.

The underside of the stand must be massive sufficient to not solely home all the required gear but additionally present entry.


Whereas the fabric the stand is product of is vital, a correct stand also needs to be chosen that permits the sump and all the filtration and different gear to suit inside it and be hidden. That is the place planning and particular measurements have to be accomplished forward of time to verify the house beneath the stand is sufficient. The better it’s to do issues like take away the scum cup of the protein skimmer or have the power to vary out the carbon or GFO and extra probably that will probably be accomplished frequently. So select the stand accordingly.

Lastly, select a stand that not solely appears to be like good but additionally one that may simply be leveled. This may occasionally sound trivial, however after establishing tanks on dozens of flooring I’ve realized simply how occasionally I’ve encountered a superbly degree ground. An unlevel ground may end up in an unlevel tank, and this may end up in a tank failure. When selecting a stand take into account how straightforward will probably be to make it completely degree if it has a mechanism for self-leveling that’s nice, but when not plan on how straightforward will probably be to degree if shims are wanted. Both approach, take this into consideration when selecting a stand. Whereas selecting a tank and stand aren’t the sexiest side when beginning a brand new reef system, selecting the improper ones could make what ought to be a lifelong pursuit short-lived. As with every thing on this passion endurance is rewarded, so take your time when selecting these, and as mentioned in the last article, plan effectively.

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