Really there's not a minimum. That being said the smaller the tank the harder it is going to be. I would say go for as big of a tank that you can, but most recommend 60 gallon or more. The bigger the better and easier to maintain water parameters. IMO
I would say get one of those 40 gallon breeder tanks and as big of a tank you can for a sump. The footprint of the 40b is 36 x18 and gives a lot of space for your rock set up and the height of the tank is shallow enough for more lighting options. This is all my opinion, and someone that has a lot more experience may steer you another direction. They do make nano tanks that can do reef as small as 14 gallons I believe.
For the most part Matt is correct.The bigger the better and easier to keep accurate levels in the water.
But if you didn't want fish and only wanted 1 or 2 corals or a couple shrimp(inverts) you could probly get away with a 10g.Most fish won't do well in such a small tank but a cleaner,coralbanded or peppermint shrimp would be happy.
Check out the nano reef forum,we used to have several members with "nano" tanks.
This was just one ofthe great threads; http://www.aquariumforum.com/f22/starting-5-gallon-marine-tank-41938.html
Should be at least 30 but 40 is better if you want clown fish(or most any fish).
The black and white ones I suspect are damsels.THEY ARE ONE OF THE MEANEST FISH GOING THAT DOESN'T JUST SWALLOW FISH WHOLE!Most regret ever using a damsel for a starter fish and not removing it before adding "real"fish.
Amphiprion ocellaris or the Black and White Clownfish, should not be housed with a Tomato Clownfish, the Tomato will kill it.
Ocellaris should only be housed in small tanks with other Ocellaris fish. Tomato Clarkii Maroon Skunk
to name a few, are some of the meanest fish out there, and will kill most other clowns in their territory, in smaller tanks.
Like... coral and anemones and one or two common clownfish kinda nano reef... I plan on getting a larger tank soon, so maybe I'll use my 20 gallon tank for it.... also most of the LED lights have gone out in it... anyone know where I can get some LED light strands?
Lighting is WAY MORE IMPORTANT in reefs than any "planted freshwater " tank.
"strip lights" will not work !The salt added to the water(which is a solid when you purchase it) "filters"/"cuts" light(push light through solid material).A stronger light is "one of the most important" parts of a reef tank.
Any reef under 30G "in theory" can be run without filter and/or protien skimmer;
IF WATER CHANGES MAKE UP FOR ALL OF THEM.
If you don't want to change water forever(fun in the FW world?) then don't think this system could even be close to the same price of FW.
If every tank hasn't cost more than a HS graduate should be able to calculate,then I'll just say 5x the cost to set up and AT LEAST 2X the cost to keep runnig(I am probly alittle lite for real)of any freshwater set up.
I have [email protected] 120 ,[email protected] a 29 marine set ups ,AND [email protected],75,55,[email protected],[email protected],[email protected] 20 and [email protected] freshwater.
Sometimes setting up what you can afford doesn't take in account what can keep /or take care of?
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