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Old 03-21-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
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20 Gallon Limitations


Having this small tank is going limit me tremendously. Any ideas as to how many fish and how many pounds of live rock I can use? I have my damsel in there. I'm afraid I don't have much room for more Do crabs and shrimp count in the overall bio-load?
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
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You will ber quite limited in the fish stocking area, but you can add quite a few corals if you have the filtration and lighting for them. Shrimp and crabs do not count towards the bioload.

A reef tank has 1Ĺ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of capacity, or 30-40 pounds in your situation.

How long has this tank been set up?
Are you cycling the tank with the damsel?
If so, please attempt to bring it back to the store till you have cycled the tank using the fishless method (see the articles section on this forum).
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
You will ber quite limited in the fish stocking area, but you can add quite a few corals if you have the filtration and lighting for them. Shrimp and crabs do not count towards the bioload.

A reef tank has 1Ĺ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of capacity, or 30-40 pounds in your situation.

How long has this tank been set up?
Are you cycling the tank with the damsel?
If so, please attempt to bring it back to the store till you have cycled the tank using the fishless method (see the articles section on this forum).
HI cmor,

Unfortunately, yes...I am torturing a poor little damsel as I cycle my tank. I just started the process 4 days ago, and the ammonia levels are pegged quite high in just those few days already. I have to confess I hate the concept of torturing a fish for the cycling, but I am also not happy about starting over with live rock. I am leaning toward bringing back the damsle and starting all over again the more humane way.

I also dreamt of having at least one clownfish in my tank, and I understand the damsel and the clown won't get along well if I intro the clown after cycling. Is this true? With my 20 gallon, I intend to have at most 3 fish....I'd like at least to have the type of fish I want instead of being so limited.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #4
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is it really torturing the fish tho? unless the ammonia is really high? my clowns look very happy and they are cycling.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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Yes, it's torture.

There is absolutely no reason why folks need to cycle with fish, regardless of what bunk a LFS will say. When there's a better way that does not involve the use of fish, it's torture in my book.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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I agree Kurt. he is breathing fast and furious. If/when I buy the live rock today in place of the fish, do I need to dump all the water and substrate and start again?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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i dont think you need to dump the water. It is already cycling. In the future I wont use fish but I have already pledged to keep a close watch on my levels and their health
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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Cycle your salt tank
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #9
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I feel really silly. I just went back the pet shop and the expert guy there who set me up in the first place said I had bought "live sand"(???) already and that could've cycled my tank. Also, he is more than happy to take back my little damsel whenver I like and swap it for a clown fish once I have cycled my tank in 2-3 weeks. Does any of that sound right?
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #10
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Live sand "could have" cycled the tank... but it obviously didn't.

Cycling is the process of building up bacteria to meet the bioload needs of your tank. Live sand won't "cycle" a tank really, but it will provide an initial bacterial population that *may* reduce the length of your cycle. It all depends on how "live" the sand was.

In your other post, you say your ammonia levels are "high". That means the tank is cycling. The live sand may help it happen quicker, but you're still seeing an ammonia spike. Next will be the nitrite spike.
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