LFS says no to 55's

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Occasionally, I visit other fish stores in my area other than the one I always deal with, just to observe and make inquiries. Well, the one I visited yesterday, says you can't start a reef in a 55 or less because they're too small. Since I know better because of this site, everything else he said went in one ear and out the other. He says he's been in business for 20 yrs. And of course wanted to sell some elaborate system. Only interested in money. It seems to me that complaning at the source is what is needed. Not complaining to the misinformed. The only thing to do with the misinformed is to reteach. And after someone like that has had their opinions placed in the minds of beginners we end up with alot of misinformed people. Thank goodness you all are here to help a beginner like me learn the proper things to do in this hobby. His email if interested is unavailable. Thank you
Oh my god, I can't believe you posted the e-mail address of an idiot lfs! This guy is about to be ripped apart by some of the members of this board!
While it might be unethical to have given the email, he does advertise his own email address. So, I apologize if this shouldn't have been done.
I would never give out a private or unadvertised email address.
Hopefully not too many people will email the guy......
BTW, I sure hope he doesn't tell my nano that it can't exist! ;) <img src="graemlins//urrr.gif" border="0" alt="[urrr]" />


Hey you could look at it another way,he could be saving you money. You know aventually youre going to want larger system and alot of people buy pumps ect rated just for that tank then when you get larger one,you need to buy more. I've thought about how much water is in 55 after 100# live rock? not too much! then if you go to one inch of fish per 5 gal you're really on the borderline. <img src="graemlins//urrr.gif" border="0" alt="[urrr]" />
I agree with you there but to tell every customer who comes to his store that it just can't be done just doesn't seem to be right. Most everyone on here would agree that bigger is better for reefs but I bet that more than 50% of the people on this board have also kept a successful reef tank in less than a 50g tank. So IMO this guys is just trying to sell more expensive equipment that has a higher mark up or doesn't want to see beginners start a smaller tank that might need more work to keep healthy. Hopefully the later is the case and he just doesn't want to put people in the position to kill/buy/kill/buy/kill and eventually fail/give up or whatever.
It would have been alright if this lfs owner was recommending a larger system but to say it can't be done is just plain ignorant. I have a lfs in NY in which the owner didn't even let me look at his coral/sw fish section because I told him I have a 29 gallon tank. He told me, "I don't deal with anyone that has anything less than a 125gallon tank. It's bad for business".
That type of reasoning would be just great if everyone could afford a larger system or had the space for it. Unfortunatley a city boy like me living in a small apt doesn't have the room or funds for anything larger than a 29 gallon. I've had my system for 8 months so far with only 3 deaths. a percula(attacked by starfish), a red moon snail(didn't know about low temps) and an open brain(damaged in shipping). I'm not calling myself succesful but my tank has been steady and healthy so far. I know for a fact that even the so called knowledgable lfs manager knows less than I do and they're tanks look like sH+t. Sorry for venting but I'm just tired of people putting down smaller systems and saying it can't be done.
I have a 15 gallon that has been set up since December and no deaths yet.The polyps are multiplying and so are the mushrooms.My systems temp stays steady at 78 and my ph stays at 8.2
I know a larger tank remains more stable but up until now I have had good luck with this small tank.I actually enjoy it more than the 55 g I used to have.I will eventually get me a 100+ g tank setup when I move but I will also keep my 15g I love it.


Active Member
anything under a 55 is a bit more difficult to keep, yes, but not impossible, so yes you can keep them, but the larger footprint is much easier
now about the lfs, i have heard many times about how long one has been in business, and i say to them
it still don't mean they know alot about this hobby
btw, i agree about the email address, and removed it, esp since his opoinion is just that, and is somewhat true, being as it is the standard to keep larger and is easier, but not exactly a MUST
I remember that the initial recomendation here for beginners was/is don't start wityh anything less than a 55gl - just for stability. I'm hoping that they guy was just trying to help you out in the long run.
I don't usually like to try to make it a habit to argue with a shark (you will rarely win) but this time I have to. As stated in the origional post, this guy didn't state his opinion. Opinions can be argued. This guy stated (what beginner aquarists or hobbiests would consider) a fact. This guy said that a reef tank in less than a 55 cannot be done due to the size of the tank. We all know that this is a load of crap. The guy flat out lied to someone who didn't know any better. He could have said "I wouldn't recommend...", or "...are much more difficult", but he didn't (according to the post). Now I wouldn't email the guy, but I'm sure there are some people on these boards that feel strongly enough about their nano and small reefs that would. Just my opinion.
Maybe the LFS hasn't had any success with a smaller setup. Sometimes the LFS only sells what he's able to maintain, not good business, but they may lack the education to teach others to be successful. I wish all the LFS would be required to visit this site, maybe they'd learn what we already have. Does the LFS use the products he sells or sells just to sell? That's how I make my choices when buying from a LFS.
I would have to agree with Volitan...My LFS said that he wouldn't recommend anything smaller than a 55gal...So I bought a 55gal...I have been extremly happy with it, aside from a few newbie setbacks, my system has been flourshing(sp). There is a difference in an opinion and telling someone that it can't be done...In my opinion he was interested in trying to get as much money out of someone as he could....just my .02...
BTW since I have setup my 55gal, I now have one 10gal nano that is going great, been up about 3months....I also have another 10gal that I am going to setup today!! :) I love this hobby!!
I love my LFS. He has tanks ranging from 5gal to 300gal setup for display and he almost exclusively deals in saltwater and corals. Many times the owner has disagreed with opinions on this board and always shows examples of why he disagrees. He is good enough to steer me away from trends and keep me on the beaten path of success.
Support your LFS if it is good. It's hard to spend 30 minutes examining a fish before you buy it on the internet!


New Member
Listen, it's his store, so he can do pretty much whatever he wants... Striker's experience with his LFS pretty much sums it up... "I don't deal with anyone that has a tank smaller than XXX gallons because its bad for business..."
If he sells you the tank, he has a certain responsibility (if he wants to stay in business) to help you be successful. If I owned the store and felt that a tank under a certain size was too difficult for beginners, then I wouldn't sell it to you either. The owner knows damn well that you're going to come back and complain if everything in the tank dies, and maybe he just doesn't feel like listening to that. Instead of assuming that the guy is out to overcharge you, perhaps you should consider the possibility that he's trying to help you out. In my opinion, if you know enough to run a salt-water reef tank in a 25 gallon or smaller, you shouldn't need to ask your LFS for advice anyway. Just buy what you need and set it up yourself.
Just my $.02...
Where in the city are you? I am also new to saltwater (long time freshwater). Maybe you might be interested in trading at some point or going in on mail orders? I can be reached at jegnyc@yahoo.com. Take care...
Just for JCI we went to this store,(not our reg.lfs. to price LR only I have everything I need to start a reef tank 3 times over.
he asked for what we mentioned reef in a 55
only then he tried to sell us a new 100gal!!
$1700.00 w/$900.00 light!!!! still did'nt get
price for LR but light for 55 $500.00 <img src="graemlins//yell.gif" border="0" alt="[yell]" />
my 20 has been going strong for 9 months, no problems other than 1 fish lost due to ick treatments (gramma), and other than that my tank pretty much takes care of itself. it's wrong to say it can't be done with a 55, cause obviously it can. that guy needs to choose his words better or face the fact that he doesn't know what he's talking about. "in my opinion" and "you can't do it" is two different things. maybe you can prove him wrong and then see what he has to say. maybe it was an honest mistake on his part, but i doubt it. sounds like a salesman to me. "just my opinion!" :D
I had a 55 which was replaced with a 75 due to a leak. Outside of the 13 inch width, there were no problems with the tank, but boy that extra 5 inches makes life a lot easier.
Oh yeah, my LFS owner wanted to know why I didn't want another 55.