Yesterday, I plunked down 50% for my custom tank! So, how did I get to this point? Per my first two blog posts, I spent a couple of weeks deciding what size tank I want, how/ where it would fit into my home, which stores I wanted to quote me… and finally, which quote I decided to accept.
My first tank was 72x24x30. I knew this time I wanted to go bigger. I had one toadstool leather in my first tank that grew to take up a good 1/4 of the tank, and I was running out of room! This time, bigger was top on my priority list. I wanted to go deeper (front-to-back) this time as well, to be able to create more depth in vision, more swimming channels that weren’t running left-to-right in the tank, and to be able to create more three dimensionality for the viewer. For the height, I wanted to go 36″, but I started figuring out that the budget had to have some limits. lol. At 30″ tall I could get away with a certain type of LED lighting system, but at 36″ it likely wouldn’t be enough and would require an upgrade… so 30″ tall it is!
So, given my 10′ long wall, and 9′ high ceilings, I decided to go with a tank 96x30x30. The stand will be 36″h to give lots of room for my oversized sump, and I plan on putting a canopy on at some point in the future, so with tank, stand, and canopy I’m factoring for an overall height of approx. 90″ (7.5′). This will give me a little bit of room to the left/right of the tank, and about 1.5′ above the tank to lift the canopy if/when needed.
The size is based on wanting the largest volume of water possible, given the space in my home I have for the tank. Size is one of the first things to consider when picking your tank. The question lies in the expense and maintenance of the tank. The smaller the tank, the less expensive the up-front costs will be, but the larger tanks have a larger volume of water, making balancing and maintaining everything much, much easier. Larger tanks also allow you to explore with different animals that might not be able to be kept together in smaller systems where there might be fights for territory and/or less hiding places. In my mind, as long as you have the budget, bigger is always better!