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· Harbinger of Salt
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875 Posts
Well Helen for starts depends on your budget and how much responsibility you want for maintenance. Bigger tanks of 55 gallon or more is recommended because evaporation and raise in salinity gravity. So how much work you wanna do is one question you ask yourself and how much I want to spend because this hobby does get expensive.
There again we are talking about budgets and money but auto top offs fix that little problem. Its all about how much you wanna spend and to spend more in the beginning will pay off later instead of going the cheap route then having to re-buy something better later.
I dont recomend a 55 for a reef, they are too narrowand hard to work around rock work during cleaning. If you want larger but not huge I suggest 75 gallons. 50 gallon bow front tanks are nice as well.
I recently sold a 50 gallon bow front and now currently have my 30 gallon tall tank and a 4 gallon pico tank. Set it up right, have a good spacious sump, and stay on top of maintanence and any size tank will thrive.
 

· Harbinger of Salt
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875 Posts
if you are really patient, id see if there were anywhere to get dry base rock. thats what im using to start my tank. some pros are that you will not get any bad hitchhikers such as aptasia, mantis shrimp, or fireworms. you can take your time aquascaping and really get it right before you put any water in.

cons would be that itll take longer to get the bacteria colonies established and to cycle your tank. you wont get any cool hitchhikers.
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Unfortunately you risk hitchikers good and bad anytime you add anything. Coral frag? They can have aptasia, crabs, and things all nestled in them and you may never know. Some people dip their corals but personally I like hitchikers of the good nature. I had rather take the risk and deal with the bad accordingly if they come. Just my ways and thoughts on it.
 

· Harbinger of Salt
Joined
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875 Posts
Rethink that because wait till you have a 75g tank and have to kill all your rock because you didn't dip corals and have a coral eating pest. It is the worst don't risk it. Hitchhikers suck there's nothing good about them and there's nothing you can get as a hitchhiker that you can't buy for a few $$. I will never use live rock or not dip my corals again. Also I remove corals from frags now if all possible.
Been in the hobby 15 years and largest reef tank ive had was 120 gallon showcase tank and have had all the good and bad happen over the years. I understand where your coming from but to me and my opinion its the nature of the beast and the risk you take if you want LR over dry rock. I am very trusting of my supplier for LR and they havent done me wrong yet. Granted I wouldnt just throw any piece of LR from any LFS or private tank in my tank, I am OCD selective of my stock. I am however a fan of dipping certain coral for sure. It is just safe and if anybody has lost an expensive piece over a pest I am sure you agree it is worth a dip.
 
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