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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about a reef set up, 320 gal ( L 96 x W 30 x H 26), then I was concerned about 2 other factors (light penetration (want to use LED’s) and ability to scrub the glass to the bottom of the tank. Therefore I was getting quotes for:
- L 72 ( or L 96 ) x W 30 x H 22………….does anyone have any opinions / advise on this ?
Thank you for your time
 

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Mine is 30" deep and and I do not have any issues cleaning the glass. Magna-float for the win. I have not made the jump to LEDS yet.
 

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Magnafloats work fine for cleaning glass. Although less of an issue with bigger tanks than small, remember to have your rocks far enough away from the glass to allow clearance when you're scrubbing. Just don't let coraline get entrenched.

I don't mind tall tanks aethestically, but they typically require a lot more rockwork to look decent, and/or stratification of different corals. IMHO, height requires more maintenance than tank width per cubic gallon.

LED's with optics punch down through tall tanks like nobody's business. In this respect they are easily the most efficient technology to use. If you are going DIY LED I strongly suggest building a very small array first, get the colors and optics worked out until it looks good, them do the rest of the build. Saves a lot of mistakes this way and you get something exactly they way you wanted it before commiting a lot of money.
 

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Ya, I have had everything from 18" - 30" high tanks and as someone with shorter arms I hated the 30" high tank from a practical standpoint. I did like the looks though. Yes, much of the glass cleaning can be done with a magnet cleaner but sometimes that's not good enough and you just have to use a scraper. Also, I agree with rhouse that beyond the cleaning, I was always arranging stuff on the sandbed or re-aquascaping which is way harder at such depths. I think 21" - 24" high is about right. If you have the room, for the same water volume, I'd go 96" long instead of 30" high since this willl give larger fish longer swimming distance without having to go in circles.
 

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I like a 25 or 26" tank myself, but put up with 30" tanks as far as reaching the bottom scraping etc. Although the 30" tanks are a stretch for sure. It's surely easier to work on a tank the shorter it gets, I just find the visual display advantages of 25" and up tanks up to outweigh the negatives of the harder cleaning.

The mag float 'scrape' is the "new" magnet that for glass tanks does an awesome job of cutting through coraline algae. The blades don't last as long as other scraper blades I've used, but it's so convenient to scrape algae that the day I first tested one of these, I immediately ordered one for all of our Aquarium Maintenance techs to use in the field.

I wouldn't be overly concerned with light penetration at any of those heights. There's always lower light stuff that would thrive in the lower parts of the tank, and many LED's and metal halides have not problem penetrating that depth.

As far as 96 vs 72... 96" tanks are so awesome looking! That extra couple feet not only offers the extra swimming room, but also a more 'panoramic' view. It does however mean one more light for that last 24" of length...

Steve
 
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