Beginner Tips for Building the Perfect Reef Tank

Beginner Tips for Building the Perfect Reef Tank

Beginner Tips for Building the Perfect Reef Tank

So you finally decided you’re going all-in with the reef tank hobby. Well, the best advice we can offer is to really think about what is what you want to accomplish and establish the steps you’ll follow to get there.

Is true that reefing can be frustrating at times but it’s also a hobby that’s very rewarding.

There are certain things you need to be aware of, that will help you make more correct and informed choices from the beginning and this will also help you calculate how successful you’ll be.

So one of the first decisions is obviously about the aquarium, which sounds so simple right? Just take it, fill it with water, throw on a light, a filter and you have a tank! Well, let me tell you something. That’s not the case.

One of the things that truly matters is the size of your aquarium because it establishes the amount of money you’ll have to spend to maintain it, what you can keep inside the aquarium, what else you’ll need to buy, etc. 

It’s obviously your choice and we’re here only to try to make your process a little easier.

Establish your goals

To be honest, having to think about goals when it comes to hobbies can be a little daunting, but it’s very important to establish in what direction you want to go. For example, what kind of tank do you like? The small one or the big one? The simple or the most complex one? Are you planning on lots of fish?

Be sure to take some time and give this a thought at the beginning, and be aware that even by doing this, you might change your mind about some things in the future. It’s okay because as you learn and get more experience your intentions might change.

Remember that like everything, a hobby is meant to be something fun and obviously, you’re not gonna know everything and have all the answers in a couple of days.

What’s your budget?

Depending on the size, the quality, the materials, etc. the prices can go from $20 to $2,000. Of course, larger aquariums require larger equipment and are more expensive too. Also, there are always unexpected costs in this hobby, so keep that in mind.

And even when you can’t really know for sure how much you will end up spending, having a budget in mind will help you plan ahead and have a successful result.

Where will you place it?

Do you know exactly where you want your aquarium to be? Is there enough space? Do you have an electrical outlet in that area? You have to think about these things ahead of time.

You probably have plans of moving from an apartment to a place that might be bigger but remember, that big aquarium you just built will not move for a couple of years.

Another thing you should keep in the back of your mind is you need to have space to do your tank’s maintenance; remember that this is saltwater, and even when you get the water out the salt will stay behind. Remember that if you prepare for the worst, nothing can really take you by surprise.

The bigger the better

You should try to get the biggest aquarium you can. Why? When you have a larger aquarium it’s easier to maintain the water stability, and even though there’s going to be excess of nutrients from fish waste and excess of food, etc.

There are nano aquariums or nano tanks that hold 30 gallons of water or even less, and you would think it’s easier to keep in balance, right? Well, the truth is that smaller tanks are harder because if anything goes wrong, it can go wrong pretty quickly.

Should you build it yourself?

As in today, there are several companies that provide everything you need to get started, and there is a wide range of products; you can get the tank, the lights, sand, pumps, and filtration. So the best thing is to shop around and find the right package that feeds your needs.

 Another option is to buy everything separately, and even though is definitely more work, it allows you to get exactly what you need. And you can also save some money if you get out there and catch the sales.


Even when getting into a hobby is supposed to be fun, as you could see, getting/building an aquarium comes with a lot of choice-making, and the good thing about it is that there’s just so much information out there that can make it easier for you to make the right choices. 

But the reality is that some people enjoy doing their research and some others don’t. The truth is that doing your research properly will help you not only to succeed but to save a few dollars which is something we all want.

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