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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I lurk about here quite a bit and post a comment from time to time, but I don't have a tank set up right now and I haven't for about 10 years. I kept fish for about 6 years in the 90's and really enjoyed it. But I got married and we moved, money was tight then and the tanks never went up again, etc.

Anyway we've had our own house now for a couple years and there's enough disposable income, but I'm having a real hard time deciding what setup to come back to the hobby with. The angel on one shoulder says get a 75 and keep one oscar, a few geophagus, and either a pictus or pleco. That way I don't commit too much money just in case I get bored with it, and I can have it all bought fairly soon. But the devil on the other shoulder says hold out for a 180 or 210. And it's hard to resist that devil, cuz I like large cichlids and the investment in the 75, while more practical, would set that dream tank back for years.

In between the 75 and the 180, I look at the available tank sizes and don't see anything that settles the issue. It reminds me of the comedian Louie Anderson's joke about buying a soda at 7-11 ... you walk in just wanting a small drink, but the next size is only 6 cents more, and the next size after that is only six cents more, and you end up walking out of the store with a 55 gallon drum of coke. When I consider a 125, I figure if I'm going to commit that much floor space (72") I might as well get the 180. When I look at a 120 (48x24x24), well that's a lot more water but not much more swim room for the fish over a 75. Not for big fish anyway.

I'm pretty sold on Aqueon tanks and not planning to buy Perfecto, so I know I'm limiting my options.

Anyone care to share thoughts and wisdom? If you were starting from scratch as I am, would you get back into the hobby with a moderate setup, or go big from the start?
 

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Well did you get bored with the hobby last time or just move? If you think you are gonna get bored, the smaller tank may be a better route. However the 180 or 210 can give so many options of cool fish. I have a 180 all male hap/peacock tank and I absolutely love it. I jumped to that from a 55g. So on the other end, you may end up discovering new found love for the hobby and wish you had gotten the 180. If you don't mind the extra work and aren't too worried about being bored then go with the larger tank. Hope that helped and didn't make things worse. haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. No, didn't get bored. Just couldn't afford it. We were really poor for the first few years - my wife's from Japan and had a hard time getting a job for a while, and she had an 8 year old from her first marriage when we got married. I was only just out of school back then and not making much - it was fine for a single guy but we struggled as a family. I had two tanks (a 55 and a 30) and after they sat unused for several years I gave it all to my brother.

As I said above, one big thing that makes me hesitate on the 75 is the cost - not the cost of setting it up, but that the money it takes for the 75 would cover a substantial portion of going for the 180. If I do the 75, I'm back to square one saving up for the tank I'd like to have. Again, I'm making it difficult on myself because I intend to do it right whichever size tank I go with. That means a couple canisters, inline heater(s), marineland doublebright led - one thing I've learned from keeping fish in the past and with other things is the cheap way often becomes more expensive in the long run. But, if I decide to do the 75 I'll have a tank sooner.

I'm not asking because I want someone to make the decision for me. I just figure this isn't exactly a unique dilemma for most folks here, and I listen to the voice(s) of experience.
 

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I have a 75 and a 90 and all I can think of is getting an 8 footer. And then a 10 footer... It just keeps going (for me anyways). I would personally go bigger because you have way more options, and it is cheaper per gallon for a big tank than a smaller one. Meaning one 180 gal costs less than 2 90 gallon setups.
 

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Personally, I think a 75 gallon is a pretty great tank -- you have lots of options for fish while not taking up tons of floor space or having to commit a huge amount of time each week. It might not be a bad thing to get back into the hobby with a little smaller of a tank to begin with. Take time to get it 'scaped exactly as you wish, pick the fish, maybe change your mind a few times, test how things have changed since you were last in fish, etc.

In the end, you can always upgrade, which is easier, I think, than dismantling a huge tank you find you don't have the time or energy to deal with . . .

Just my two cents
 

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It will never end. I started with 20s when I was younger, eventually moved up to a 55. Now, I have 10+ tanks ranging from 20 to 110. And all I want is a bigger tank. And a pond. In the next 3 months, I will have my 200+ and at that point, I will be ready to get something bigger. It's a vicious world we live in and I love it.

My opinion, save up for the big tank. You said you want to keep an Oscar, but have you kept Africans before? If not, oh man, you're in for a world of hurt when MTS hits you.
 

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First - I am pretty confident I have never heard some one say "I wish I had a smaller tank"

Second - the cheap way is not always most expensive. If you are only keeping Cichlids, question WHY you want the latest and greatest lighting equipment. If you were starting a reef or live plant tank, then sure, but not for a fish only tank, IMO.

Good luck with whatever you choose. And post pictures!
 

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This story sounds familiar. I started with a 10, picked up a used 29. Then wasn't looking and ran into an 80gal complete for $80. Had the 80 for a several years, got married decided to part with it, I am not sure if I was getting bored or was busy (and was poor too). I WISH I HAD IT BACK. In my house now, I don't really have room for a 24" deep tank, even 18" deep will use living space. The 80 I had was 6' long x 13" deep (just like a long 55 gal tank). You could stick it on a wall anywhere.

Anyway, I decided to get back into fish keeping, went with a 55, but want to upgrade it bad. 125 was the tank I was really thinking about because I like the dimension.

Agree with RRasco, I had never kept cichlids, but now have Mbuna in the 55. They are awesome fish. Think of the fish I could have if I went with a 125 and a 50 gal sump :drooling:

By the way, is the perfecto aquarium inferior?
 

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I think if your not sure of weather this hobby is for you and your not an addict like most of us here :D, i would get a 120 gallon. It would limit some stocking plans for big fish but it's not too big or to small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
nodima said:
If you are only keeping Cichlids, question WHY you want the latest and greatest lighting equipment. If you were starting a reef or live plant tank, then sure, but not for a fish only tank, IMO.
I just like the design, LED's are energy efficient, and they make a tank look great. Shimmer.

millsb40 said:
By the way, is the perfecto aquarium inferior?
nah, just personal preference. Ford/Chevy
 

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millsb40 said:
In my house now, I don't really have room for a 24" deep tank, even 18" deep will use living space.
I don't either, but that's not gonna stop me from buying one! Don't worry about the details, just do it!
 

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You are undecided on what size tank, well, maybe decide which type of fish you would really like to keep ,I think that will help you decide what size tank they will do best in
 

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If it were me, i would get a bigger tank. I have had small ones in the past, and I am always wanting to get a bigger one. Im trying to sell my 75 gallon so I can get another 180. AS for the price, there is no reason to buy new. Look on craigslist. As long as the tank holds water you are fine. If you can wait awhile, you can always find a good deal on there. This is just me opinion.
 

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Go for the 6 footer and don't look back. So many more options for stocking, you won't regret it.
 

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I have about 8 tanks ranging from 20 for fry to my 125 display. I got the 125 recently for a steal, a Petsmart was moving and was selling it for $160 with glass hoods and lights.

Anyway I've been wanting a 6 foot tank for a while but now that I have it, I'm dreaming about an 8 foot tank, so my point is, that once you get in the hobby it never ends.

So my advice is, figure out a place you want the tank and figure out the biggest tank you can fit there and then go for it. If you're worried about costs, be patient and keep checking craigslist. Every few weeks someone is selling a monster tank for a lot less than you can get them from a store.

Also try to keep an eye out on an pet or fish store closing. You can always pick up a cheap tank like I did. I got my 125 and I got a used 110 with hood and lights from another store that closed for $100.
 

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RRasco said:
I don't either, but that's not gonna stop me from buying one! Don't worry about the details, just do it!
Well, I am thinking the same. I actually have a pony wall (or half wall) that separates my front entry and the living room. The pony wall is just over 6' long. I'm thinking about tearing it out, rebuilding it wider (18") and having a 3 sided 125 (or 150 I guess). If I go to the trouble, I'm going to install a sump and plumb the cabinet (wall) with hot, cold and probably a drain.
 

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I wouldn't count out the 120. IMO it is one of the best tanks made - not to big not to small so it fits in a lot of spots a 6 footer won't. The 24" front to back and depth is also a huge leap up from 18" opening up a ton of room. Also keep in mind filtration costs jump substantially from that size tank up.
 

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I actually have a couple of 120's that are 60" long x18" wide and they are great for my Tropheus. If they were 24" wide they would be perfect.
 

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If you read through the profiles (and I'm sure you have) you'll get an idea of what fish you want. That may help in narrowing the tank size down. Maybe also check the dimensions to make sure you have room around the tank for maintenance and passage. Other than that "go for the 72" tank".
 

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I used to have a 180 gallon tank. I sold it when I bought my big screen TV/Entertainment unit. Basically I needed the room.
I enjoyed the 180 but it was a pain to move and a bit awkward to clean.
I now have two 90s at home and at work, a 135 gallon. From time to time I miss the 180 but have no regrets about selling it either.
If you could get something in the 180 range used, at a good price, say half the price of a new one, or the same price as a new 90, that might be the way to go.
When you buy used, you can usually recoup your expenses if you resell.
 
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