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Old 01-26-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
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Maintaining tank parameters etc.

Hello all, have enjoyed the advice you have given in the past.

I now have a 20g saltwater tank set up with 20 pounds of live rock and 4 ocellaris clownfish. I had planned for two, but the store happened to offer the other two free along with the first two because they are removing their saltwater section. A few questions:

1.) Four clowns in 20 gallons... will this be too much to sustain? I don't plan on adding any more livestock. I have two snails and a crab in there as well.

2.) What should I be testing and how often? Right now, I test everything occasionally just because I do not know how often. I use strips for ammonia and ph and test a few times a week when I think about it, but not sure how fast or slow these might change? I use a cheap plastic gauge for testing salinity.

Now that my tank is set up and seems fine (fish are eating, 0 ammonia, 2.21 salinity) please let me know tips for sustaining this. For a 20 gallon, how often should certain things be tested? How often (and how much) should water be changed? And how important would it be to now invest in a more accurate salinity reader?

Any advice about any of this (or anything I didn't mention) is welcomed... thanks!

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Or how often to change filters? I have been a long-time freshwater cichlid tank owner, but new to saltwater and have heard about how much more "picky" saltwater tanks are comparatively.

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Ok first off you will most likely have issues with 4 clowns in a 20g. They don't play well together. I had 4 in a 6 foot tank and after a month or so the one pair almost killed the other 2. It usually dosn't work in a big tank so your chances are worse in a tank that size.

Ok, as far as testing, ditch those test strips, pretty much useless. get an API liquid saltwater master kit for like $20. It is way more accurate and cheap too, you get all the tests that you need.

I would change out 4g-5g a week or so, it's quick enough to do and will keep your tank in good shape.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot!

By the way... the 4 clowns are getting along as of right now. Really no fighting, maybe that will change eventually? I certainly hope not.

Something I thought about - how often should I change a filter in a saltwater 20g? And I have heard people talk about "cleaning" filter instead of just changing them but have also heard that cleaning them kills the helpful bacteria built up in it. Any advice?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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Right now, it's essentially a Harem environment. The biggest one is probably female, and the 3 others are likely male or indetermined. As they grow, the behavior will probably get rougher and more aggressive. At the very least, a pecking order will be established and the one on the bottom will be hard pressed to survive.
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