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How much water is enough?

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Scooterman

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Oct 30, 2003
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Is there such a thing as not enough water volume to keep a reef long-term? My question is how much water does it take to make a stable environment? At what point you reach that more water volume, will produce the maximum benefits, longer living fish, healthy corals above all a very reliable system in terms of H2O quality? Is this a topic worth talking about even? How much swim room does your fish actually need?
 

Gina

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Mar 6, 2004
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Maryland
Very good question! Since, I still consider myself a newbie at this, I hope you don't mind If I follow your thread! Def. worthy of discussion.
 

Montanarocknreefer

New Sheriff In Town
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Jul 21, 2003
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467
Location
Missoula, Montana
This was my reply over at RS forum:
I think bigger tanks with bigger volume of water make it less risky of your tank crashing. Not a cure all but it helps!

I believe water flow is really important no matter what size tank or water volume you may have. Got to get that junk out off the bottom of your tank and into the water column and away. Also have a great skimmer to take out the other hidden poisons in the water is a must.

There are certain fish that definately require alot of swim space according to size but may not always be the case. All depends on the fish and it's requirement.

Also has far as more water volume for a stable tank helps, I think tank maturity really comes into play here. Your tank becomes more stable as it matures and everything levels out.

I would say that having great water movement is one of the most important requirements of a long lasting healthy reef but remember many other things come into play here as well. Enough LR, great lighting for what you are keeping and practicing great husbandry skills all combine for that reef tank you are looking for.

As they say there is no right way to set up a reef tank but many wrong ways to fail!


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jks1

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Nov 29, 2003
Messages
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I think of this in terms of the goal, which is stable high quality water. I have had several reefs over the years- 29g, 75g, 110g, 210g, and a 240g. I currently have a 29 and a 210. I would say the biggest difference between them is in the ability to keep levels from fluctuating.

It was surprising to me that even in the 75, I had to really keep a close eye on parameters as they could shift quickly. In the 110 and above I enjoyed much more stability, which I attributed to the water volume. For instance in my 29g, my PH fluctuates .2 day to night every day- and this is with nightly kalk drips and regular water changes. In my 210, the PH might change .03-.04 from day to night.

For me bigger is easier to maintain and provides for a more stable, more forgiving environment.
 

Cougra

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Mar 29, 2004
Messages
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Location
Ontario
In theory as long as the water covers the corals, allows room for some growth, and you can provide adiquate filtration for them, then it's enough. Obviously larger corals, like say a Cap, will need more room to grow then something like a Zoanthid therefor a larger tank for long term maintainence. There really is no set amount of water that's really minimal, it's down more to the species kept, and the amount of time, work and dedication a person is willing to put into the system that is key to maintaining a reef long term.

Realistically, well, that's a different story, the bigger the better as long as you arent intimidated by the size of the tank!
 

NaH2O

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Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Is there such a thing as not enough water volume to keep a reef long-term? My question is how much water does it take to make a stable environment?
I don't think so. The more volume you can add (sumps, etc) to any sized tank will increase the stability. Larger water volume will take longer to change from an event....say your heater goes out - it will take longer with large volume to make a drop in temperature significant enough to cause a problem....in comparison to - say a nano.

At what point you reach that more water volume, will produce the maximum benefits, longer living fish, healthy corals above all a very reliable system in terms of H2O quality?
I think this would be difficult to determine, as everyone maintains their systems different. If you aren't providing adequate flow, not getting detritus out of the system, overfeeding, or too long of a photoperiod, etc etc....then you are going to have problems no matter how much water volume, and you wouldn't have a very healthy environment (although more water - it would take longer to show problems). At the same time, someone with a nano may have a perfectly healthy and reliable system because of the husbandry and care put into it....and understanding their system enough to notice subtle changes.
 
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