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I have been running a 2' deep tank for a couple months now. The only problem I have is obvious, you get more wet when you need to reach the bottom of the tank.

Perhaps the light reaching the bottom, or the circulation is why 18" max was recommended? I don't know.
 

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The problem with deeper is that you need more light. If you are happy to provide more light and pay the electricity bills then deeper is fine. I have been keeping 2.5' deep (high) planted tanks for decades without problems, but I do use metal halides for lighting. For your size of tank I would go higher than 18" because 2' would look much better IMO. Good luck with it.
 
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