What draws you to Small Tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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What draws you to Small Tanks?

First off...not knocking any size tank because I love looking at them all but I'm curious about your views...

What draws you to like small planted tanks over larger ones?
-Financial?
-Space available?
-Some aspect of it?
-Time? (maintenance, setup, etc.)

If money and space werent an issue would you go huge or still enjoy small tanks?

**For the purposes of this forum I'm going to say small tanks are below 10g. Everyone's small could be way different.

Personally I dont think I'll ever truely be satisfied with a tank until its large enough I can sit submerged in it with a scuba tank and watch the fish in the environment lol. For practical reasons, space, money and time all keep this from happening for right now. I'm always torn when it comes to setting up a small tank as I like how I can put one anywhere and not spend a fortune...then the other half of me says will I need more depth or if I'm going to put this effort into it I might as well save for a larger setup.

Could be a personality issue for me...but thought I'd ask the question of what do you find attractive about smaller tank.

Vin
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional View Post
What draws you to like small planted tanks over larger ones?
- Living situation : Space availability and water usage.


I live in an apartment whose the water bill is included in the rent. My landlord won't be happy to see me using a lot of water for a big tank. Even if I am the one who pays the water bill, they still wouldn't allow because of possible damage by leaking or breaking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional View Post
If money and space werent an issue would you go huge or still enjoy small tanks?
I would love to try a big tank (even a 20 gallon would be nice). There are many plants, driftwood, and fish that are only good for big tanks.


For now, I'm happy with my 5.5 gallon and 8.6 gallon tanks
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 06:51 PM
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Man, I thought I would have some piece to say, until you said small is only 10 or under. No matter. My tank feels like a 10 to me because I have a comparable problem that the ladies have with their diamonds. I have Tank Shrinkage Syndrome. I always want to go larger but it's definitely space and money that's the problem for me.

Having said all that, I've seen people make some beautiful works of art with smaller tanks. I have no eye for style, so my only outlet is going bigger and better.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 07:02 PM
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Hard to imagine until you reach the point but it can be just a matter of boredom and sometimes a large tank can get just boring! So one way to perk up the old spirit is to try something new and perhaps more difficult. After a bit of learning the basics of how to keep fish alive, a big tank is so easy, compared to small that going back to small can really give much more opportunity to expand and do many things on a small scale rather than one single large scale item. I tend to like large fish and large tanks, so I do have a 120 but as I've settled into a less intense way of living, my favorite tank is a 20 long with a varied bunch of small fish.
I can go into the twenty and do an hours work and it looks totally different where if I spent the same time, effort and money on the 120, I would still need to "fix" the tank. And there is certainly much more challenge in keeping a small tank on the straight and narrow as they are so much more likely to become unstable, just due to size. A single dead guppy may pollute and kill a gallon tank where it would not even become an issue in 120?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 07:21 PM
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"-Financial"

Much so this one, however not always. I have spent more on <5 gallon tanks before than I spent on my 40 gallon. When buying plants, it helps to only spend a little and have it quickly fill your tank vs. selling your home and firstborn child to barely get enough plants for planting a bigger tank

"-Space available?"

This is a huge seller for me. I am a college student currently and am constantly having to move, so a big tank isn't a huge option (other than my 40g at home). With small tanks I can always find a spot in my apartment for it and I still get the 'wow' factor from roommates and guests, even if it is tiny. Also the equipment for maintenance and such tends to be smaller for smaller tanks(imagine that!).

I also Like small tanks because, due to lack of fish inches available, I have to be very meticulous about what fish are put in there. I also feel like I am better able to care for the fish since there can't be very many.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 08:18 PM
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Finances is a big one for me as well. I have too many hobbies to invest so much into just one. I had larger tanks years ago but I would always lost interest in them. I had a tendency to slack off on maintenance quite a bit in those days. Fish/shrimp always seemed fine but algae was always rampant. I eventually hung it up for about 10 years before getting back into the hobby. I find that smaller tanks keep me invested due to the level of work they need to maintain a healthy balance. Plus, I like the idea of having multiple little tiny worlds filled with small scaled plants/mosses that can fit almost anywhere that has a square foot of space. When I get bored of my current tanks, I can setup another one for $100 or less. Many of the plants used in these small scapes are easy enough to keep on stand by for when I need them. I have quite a few just sitting in widow sills for months now in plain tap water. I imagine I would need a lot of window sills if I were planning to fill a much larger tank.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 09:04 PM
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Kind of off topic, as my smallest planted tank is 75 gallons, but I have to respond to this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional View Post
Personally I dont think I'll ever truely be satisfied with a tank until its large enough I can sit submerged in it with a scuba tank and watch the fish in the environment lol.
I have a 150g Tall on a ~33 inch high stand. That SUCKS to work on. I have to take my shirt off and stand on a step ladder to do anything in it. Even then, I can't reach everywhere in the tank.

My 75g feels about right as far as height goes. I can stand next to the tank and look down from the top to see what I am doing. Tougher to do that on the 90g, which is 3 or 4 inches taller. 24" front to back would be nice, but more than that and it gets very difficult to work on it unless you can stand on three sides. A tank can never be long enough.

So, I guess that makes my perfect aquarium something like 96 inches (L) x 24 inches (W) x 21 inches (H).


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 09:28 PM
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Years ago I had a 29g and 65g and eventually just became too much to deal with in the summer with crazy high temps and a crap AC system. Hung it up for 10+ years and got back into it last year. Started with a 17g and 2.5g. Replaced the 2.5g with a 5g and just in the last month replaced the 17g with a UNS 90U which is 69g. I think I'm stuck where I'm at now :-). I love small and large tanks but the 17g was limiting in the types of plants I could use and in the size of a school of small fish. I really wanted a large school of cool to watch.

The 69G is in it's early 2nd week of setup and planting. The biggest and most complex/high tech project I've done to date and so far just giddy with how it's turned out. Since i transferred a fully cycled filter and used BDBS instead of Aquasoil I've already stocked it with a school of 35 Gold dwarf barbs. They are a stunning display school against the dark substrate.

Big or small, I love planted tanks. What I keep will always depend upon feasibility in terms of size rather than being stuck on small or large aquaria. Here's a sneak peak at the new setup.



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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 09:54 PM
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If I had infinite amount of money and infinite space... I guess I would have a few big tanks and a metric [censored][censored][censored][censored]-ton of nano tanks. Nano tanks are more flexible. You can quickly rescape it, everything happens faster in them. You can try so many killifish that wouldn't be able to live together, so many bettas! I love my big tank, but I don't think I would like many of those. Maybe because there are more nano fish than big fish I would like to try and I find small scapes cute.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 10:54 PM
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Space. I live in a small apartment, no pets not allowed.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanish View Post
Kind of off topic, as my smallest planted tank is 75 gallons, but I have to respond to this!



I have a 150g Tall on a ~33 inch high stand. That SUCKS to work on. I have to take my shirt off and stand on a step ladder to do anything in it. Even then, I can't reach everywhere in the tank.

My 75g feels about right as far as height goes. I can stand next to the tank and look down from the top to see what I am doing. Tougher to do that on the 90g, which is 3 or 4 inches taller. 24" front to back would be nice, but more than that and it gets very difficult to work on it unless you can stand on three sides. A tank can never be long enough.

So, I guess that makes my perfect aquarium something like 96 inches (L) x 24 inches (W) x 21 inches (H).
No reason you couldnt respond! I just tried to anticipate the question "what is considered a small tank?". The guy who has a 300g tank will think a 75 is small...the guy who has a 20g will think a 5g or 2g is small.

I'm with you on tank size though, I always valued depth and width more than height and some of the Coral Frag tanks fit the bill very nicely.

I feel slightly dumb now but it never really clicked that you could have so many different tiny worlds in the smaller tanks. Its always a struggle wanting to set up another tank because you have a new idea or want to see something new but dont want to mess a up a good thing with a current tank.

interesting read so far!

Vin
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