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I was recently told that smaller tanks have a higher nitrite or nitrate, don't remember which, is this true? Also to combat this should I, like once a month, do a much larger water change? For example instead of a 10% to 20% water change do a 30% or 40% once a day.

the noob
 

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i have alot of low light corals in my 24gal nano i do a 5gal water change every 2 weeks i have about 15 hermit crabs and 3 snails and one clown thats about 2.5" everything is doing fine.
 

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In smaller systems, all levels will climb faster, not necessarilly higher than in large systems. For example, put a drop of blue food coloring in a shot glass (small body of water) and it will obviously turn blue. Put the same amount in a 5 gallon bucket (much larger body of water), and you probably wont even be able to tell a difference in color. Instead of food coloring, think about the waste thats put into your tank via fish excretement or food you put in. In a smaller body of water, the waste breaks down and becomes toxic faster than in a larger body of water.
This is why you hear people, particularly at LFS, say "Its best to start your first reef with the biggest tank you can afford/fit."...because ALL levels will change slower.
In terms of water change, you want to remain consistant. Its generally not a good idea to ever do large spiratic water changes, unless its an emergency. To combat faster rising levels in a small tank, you could just implement more frequent water changes rather than larger water changes. For example, lets say your doing 15% water changes weekly, you might want to start doing them twice a week.
 

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I agree with Stunreefer. I do how ever feel that instead of the largest tank one can keep, it's best to say, to start with a 50-75 gallon tank. Larger than 75 gallons then you also have different issues. I do always hear that the biggest tank you can have is the best. But managing a 200 gallon tank in my opinion is way too much for a beginner to tackle. So really a medium size tank is the best to start with in my opinion.

Dan
 

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Taylor_made said:
I do how ever feel that instead of the largest tank one can keep, it's best to say, to start with a 50-75 gallon tank. Larger than 75 gallons then you also have different issues. I do always hear that the biggest tank you can have is the best. But managing a 200 gallon tank in my opinion is way too much for a beginner to tackle. So really a medium size tank is the best to start with in my opinion.

Dan
Great point Taylor made...should've added something like that in my post, however, I just assume that not many newbies will go out and buy a 180 gal. (That be one heck of a newbie-like that guy who posted on MR who moved into his new house with a 300 gal. reef!!! Awesome to us...imagine how completely overwhelming it would be a newbie!)

50 gal. or so would allow for levels to change pretty slowly (as long as your not dumping food in there), as well as still be a manageable first reef tank.
 

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I have an 8 gal bio cube, I've not done a water change in about 2 months, I just top off, got a killer clean up crew with 2 peppermints in there, I took the fish out so it's coral only, zoo's, shrooms, zoo/pally's. It's doing fine. I put the anemone in there to recover from the powerhead incident and it's looking even better in that tank than my "clean" one.

The thing I've found with everything is you don't need to do anything religiously. Find what works best for your tank and you and stick with it. I know people who just top off and never do water changes. I'm not saying water changes are bad, I do them on my display tank, and I run a skimmer on that one as well. they are different tanks and they react a little different to everything.
 
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