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View Full Version : Best Height for SPS Dominant - 20" vs 24" Tall


Hentz
05/26/2017, 12:06 PM
Hey guys, so I purchased a 7 year old tank a few weeks ago.
It's built from LeeMar with the dimensions of 46x24x20, starfire front panel, and a coast-to-coast overflow. I absolutely love the dimensions of it as I was originally planning a 120 (48x24x24) or 48x24x20). Only downfall is there are a handful of scratches.

I came across a used and well taken care of 120 Gallon for the same price as a stand for my Leemar. Corner overflow, Eurobraced, stand, canopy, and sump.

Then I got thinking, both tanks are great dimensions. However, would the extra 4" tall allow for more SPS growth?
I keep looking at my Reefer 170 and think, it's nice having the shallow tank but will my acros (as one is already reaching near the surface) be better with the extra 4" of height?

I'd love to get your opinions on this. I've seen GORGEOUS tanks for both sizes. Always dreamt of both of these dimensions but want to be smart in my choices.

DivingTheWorld
05/26/2017, 12:10 PM
I think its mostly personal preference. That said, the shallower the tank, the more light your sps will get and light is key with sps. But 20-24" isn't a big difference. Mine is 22" with a 20" water height. My next tank I plan to go longer and deeper, but I'll probably shoot for a similar height, 20-22".

Bpb
05/26/2017, 12:29 PM
I like the 24" height personally. Light shouldn't be an issue if you have an appropriate amount. 8x54 watt t5ho, or 250 watt halides minimum. LEDs eh. Depends on what and how many. Any 3-5 watt per diode fixture will produce more than enough par for 24" deep it's just about having enough of them to cover the shadowing adequately. 24" height just allows for more flow control, more swimming room, more height for stag growth. Only downside is if you have short arms


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Hentz
05/26/2017, 12:42 PM
I tested my arms, no big deal on both tanks.

I will be running a 6x54 Sunpower though. Would've opted for the 8 bulb but figured it would be too much for my 46x24x20, especially with the overflow being about 3.5" from coast to coast leaving my tank about 20" with really useable real estate.

DivingTheWorld
05/26/2017, 12:53 PM
I tested my arms, no big deal on both tanks.

I will be running a 6x54 Sunpower though. Would've opted for the 8 bulb but figured it would be too much for my 46x24x20, especially with the overflow being about 3.5" from coast to coast leaving my tank about 20" with really useable real estate.

The recommendation for T5 with SPS is one bulb per 3 inches. So assuming 24" deep, you'd want an 8 bulb. But assuming your overflow removes 3.5" as you say, then 6 bulb should be fine.

Hentz
05/26/2017, 01:03 PM
The recommendation for T5 with SPS is one bulb per 3 inches. So assuming 24" deep, you'd want an 8 bulb. But assuming your overflow removes 3.5" as you say, then 6 bulb should be fine.

I've never heard that before, but that makes great sense. Glad I know that now.

Bpb
05/26/2017, 01:07 PM
I run all 8 bulbs on my 90 gallon 48x18x24


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reefmutt
05/26/2017, 02:00 PM
I'd definitely go for the extra height.
More swimming room for the fish above the acros and more area of unobstructed water flow.
And I hate when acros hit the surface, they start to grow funny.

jda
05/26/2017, 02:24 PM
If you can light it, go for the extra height.

Pife
05/26/2017, 08:06 PM
It would be nice to have the extra water volume.

Stolireef
05/28/2017, 04:28 PM
I actually prefer the lower height just because I have short arms. To me, front to back depth is way more important than height.

rovster
05/30/2017, 10:15 PM
The deeper tank can be more impressive IF you can fill it. My tank is 19" tall and now that I've got a few colonies in there I wish I had gone taller. It's easy to be short sighted when you start out and all you have is 1" frags (pun intended). I happen to LOVE stags and I haveca couple that are 7-8" and a few more in the 4-5" range that are really starting to consume the water column.

I still love my tank dimensions but I have my days when I wish it was taller. It wasn't until I saw a couple of grown in tanks with massive colonies that I truly began to appreciate the real beauty of SPS namely acros and that is STRUCTURE. Forget that miniature rainbow nonsense, gimme a huge green slimer or blue tipped stag or a huge table any day. My opinion of course:D

Wiskey
05/30/2017, 10:25 PM
Extra height is really nice if you want a mixed reef which needs lower light areas, but for SPS only the shallow wide tanks are really nice because you can get all the light you need for montis at the bottom and grow acros above them.

That being said, I'm not totally sure 6 T5's are enough for the highest light corals. I had 4HO with good reflectors (not overdriven) over a 75 that is 18" wide, and that barely kept them alive. Adding 2 more, or led sups was the ticket for growth. I had good light in the center, but the outer edges were dark. I verified this with a PAR meter and growth rates.

Whiskey