Aquariums come in many different shapes and sizes. It really depends on your situation to determine which size is best for you. You have to consider things like where you will put the tank, what fish you want to keep, and your skill level. In this article, I will explain why you may want to buy a bigger, smaller, or medium-size tank.
Beginner Marine Tank
The most talked-about idea within the topic of tank size is which size is best for beginners. There are lots of reasons why all sizes are good for beginners and the reasons why they aren’t good.
People that are new to the hobby often assume that smaller aquariums are easier to keep than larger ones. This is partly true, but generally smaller aquariums are more difficult to keep. At the same time, beginners probably should not have a 200-gallon tank. This does not mean it is impossible for beginners to be successful with these sizes, but most of the time they should be avoided.
Why are small aquariums bad for beginners? First of all, when I say “small aquarium” I am referring to tanks under 40-gallons. In the marine aquarium hobby, stability is everything. Keeping water parameters stable is the most crucial part to keeping corals and fish. Of course, there is a general range you want to be in with some parameters being more ideal, but as long as you are within that range and stable you are set out to have a successful aquarium. The less water volume there is, the more difficult it will be to maintain stability. While a few extra nutrients will not hurt a larger aquarium, that bit will have a bigger impact on a smaller aquarium because there is less water to balance it out. For this reason, everything happens much faster in a smaller aquarium. This is not to say a beginner cannot keep a smaller aquarium with amazing results. It just means that smaller aquariums may take more work, surprisingly.
What attracts new hobbyists to small aquariums is the price. They are much cheaper in every aspect. The tank itself is cheaper. The equipment is cheaper. You don’t have to buy as much rock and sand. It even takes up less electricity. This is why a larger 200-gallon aquarium may not be ideal for a beginner. A larger aquarium is easier, but it is also much more expensive. You have to buy more lights or bigger lights. You have to buy a bigger skimmer, bigger pumps, and more rocks. You are also dealing with much more water. A tiny five-gallon water change is not going to impact your water bill much, but a twenty-gallon water change one or more times per month plus ATO water will add up.
So what size should beginners go with? Anything between 50-175 gallons is great for beginners. Keep in mind that the larger you go, the more expensive it will get overall. A 90-gallon tank would be great for a beginner, as it offers a good balance between something that is easy, but not too expensive.
Aquariums size for experienced hobbyists
If you are an experienced hobbyist, you have a larger variety of which tanks will be suitable for you. It just depends on what tank you want to have. If you want more fish you will need a larger tank. If you don’t want to have to mix as much water for water changes, you may want to go with a smaller tank. You also need to consider the price. Do you want to buy a cheaper tank and save money for fish and corals? Do you want to buy the best tank you can buy? These are all things you need to consider. You probably have a specific idea of what you want in your next tank. AlgaeBarn has you covered with the best tanks from CADE.
Fish per gallon?
A common question among beginner hobbyists is how many fish they can have in a particular aquarium. A while ago there was this idea floating around on the internet that the rule was “one inch of fish per gallon”. This rule is silly because you cannot have a 20-inch fish in a 20-gallon aquarium or 20 fish that are one inch. While it is inhumane to put too many fish in a small space, the main reason this rule does not work is because of the bioload that comes with fish. For the most part, the amount of fish you can have in a particular tank depends on how much bioload the tank can handle. Keep in mind that big fish create more bioload and small fish create less. Better filtration will allow for a higher bioload. That means that a 100-gallon-aquarium can have a larger bioload than another 100-gallon-aquarium depending on its filtration. A better aquarium will allow you to have more fish, to an extent of course.
CADE Reef S2 tank sizes
The reef S2 series aquariums by CADE come with a pre-assembled stand, an awesome sump, and an ATO chamber. These tanks are currently being sold by AlgaeBarn and are some of the best tanks you can buy. They come in many different sizes, which I am going to break down for you. Keep mind that the sump volume is what can actually be used, rather than the complete volume of the sump.
The smallest is the CADE Reef 600 S2 also known as the PR2-600(pro reef). The total system capacity is 70-gallons, which includes a 13-gallon sump. The display volume is 57-gallons. This tank would be great for beginners or advanced hobbyists. It would be a great upgrade from a nano aquarium. Its cube shape allows it to fit into many spaces.
The PR2-900 has a total capacity of 98.5-gallons. The sump is 13-gallons and the display is 85.6 gallons. This aquarium is a decently sized tank that can fit a wide range of different fish. It is probably the most ideal tank size for a beginner.
Next is the PR2-1200. This aquarium has a display volume of 114-gallons and a sump volume of 21-gallons. It adds up to a 135-gallon system. Again, this is a great size for beginners. That doesn’t me it isn’t good for more advanced hobbyists either. You can certainly have a lot of fun with this aquarium.
The PR2-1500 is 169-gallons in total with a 143-gallon display and a 26.4-gallon sump.
The biggest aquarium from this line up is the PR2-1800, which comes in at a total volume of 207-gallons. It has a 171-gallon display and a 35.4-gallon sump.
The two largest aquariums may not be ideal for beginners but will be able to house some big fish. All of these aquariums will be great for most hobbyists. All of these options have great accessibility to the sump and are very well-built. They will make the hobby a delightful experience.
Hopefully, this article helped you get a better idea of what size aquarium you want to get. Remember it all depends on your situation. You should definitely enjoy the aquarium you decide to buy as well!