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Old 12-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
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20g reef and I need guidance

New to the site, have lots of experience with FW, currently only have my lonely Betta tank running.

But here we go- I picked up a Marineland 20g that is 24"L-12"W-16"H
It did come with a LED day/night hood which I'm currently making watertight to make sure no moisture whatsoever can get to the LEDs

And it came with a BIOwheel 150

I planned on using LR filtration but was wondering if that 150 would be enough or do I need to add a powerhead/wavemaker on a tank that size? and what other equipment?

In the end I'd like to have my CUC, one maybe two mid-top swimmers, and maybe some shrooms, zoas, nothing too crazy. Basically the most basic reef I can do, less is more, right?

any and all advice is welcome, THANKS!
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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The LEDs you got with the tank are most likely not high powered enough to grow corals. Unless they are explicitly labeled "reef-ready" or you can get a model number and figure out some specs on them, i wouldn't chance it. Reef capable LEDs are a bit pricey, but pay themselves off over time with saved electricity and bulb life. T5 lighting can be had for much cheaper but will cost more in bulb replacement and electricity over time. For the basic setup youre talking about you can most likely get away with a 2 bulb 24" fixture. But you may want to get a 4 bulb so you can grow more light demanding corals in the future without the need to replace your entire fixture. google "odyssea lighting" for some basic but certainly functional lights. There is no worse feeling then seeing a coral you really want but cant get because you tank wont support it, so plan ahead to prevent future regret.

The filter should be enough flow to keep everything moving around and oxygen in the water, but just barely enough. Think about the ocean, its not barely moving, its going crazy! I would get at least a small powerhead to aid in circulation. For basic models, check out the marineland maxijets or for slightly more the hydor koralias. I have 2 powerheads, a HOB skimmer and filter in my 39g, and everything is happy, it just takes a bit of time and fidgeting to get all of the corals into positions they are happy with.

The filter will only be slightly useful here, a better choice would be the aquaclear HOB filter, or any filter that can make use of other types of filter media. They have seperate compartments so you can add different types of filter media, which is really handy for things like nutrient export or running a phosphate/nitrate removal media. You may be able to do these things with your current filter, but not as easily and not as efficiently.

All in all you can most likely get by with just upgrading the lights, but you'll thank yourself later for making the right purchase the first time instead of having to make multiple purchases down the road.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #3
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I'm definitely the type of person to do it right the first time. The LED setup it has is only 42 white, but I think i'll just do an upgrade in LED. As far as the HOB goes, it has the carbon filter slot and only one additional slot for other media, and I'll look into the hydro koralias. Now with the skimmer, I've read where people say to get one made for a tank bigger than what you have? any advice on that?
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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I have a Marineland Bio-wheel 350 on my 29g FOWLR.

So for your 20g you could just upgrade your 150 to the 200.

Amazon.com: Marineland Penguin Power Filter, 30 to 50-Gallon, 200 GPH: Pet Supplies

If you want moderate lighting I'd go with
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting
or
EVO 24 LED Reef Bright

High Lighting
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting
or
EVO Quad 24 LED Reef Bright

And for corals a power head be needed like
Amazon.com: Hydor Koralia Nano 240 Aquarium Circulation Pump, 240 gph: Pet Supplies

Smaller Tanks don't need a protein skimmer. I know of many reef tanks up to 50gal with only LR, HOB filters, and powerheads/circulation pumps

Here's an idea on the fish you can have
Nano Fish

And last this very useful tool,
"How Many Fish?" Aquarium Stock Level Calculator
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:11 AM   #5
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now that is service! Thanks, I was just looking at that same powerhead so I think that one is a winner. Anything else I might need equipment wise?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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I noticed the stock calculator does not include height. So according to this, a 40 can support the same load as a 65 and a 75 can support the same load as a 110. That doesn't seem correct to me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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You may want to look into the Hydor Koralia Nano 425 rather than the 240. I have both and ended up going with the 425 in the 12g I'm setting up, as the 240 seemed to barely push any water. Just a thought as the 425 is only a couple of dollars more.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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@Oscar The following article talks a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of the "per gallon" rule and "per surface area" rule.

http://aquadaily.com/2009/01/23/how-...-in-your-tank/

Also for SW fish in regards to general swimming behavior the length and width is the most important dimensions of a tank. Hence why I say the latter rule is more accurate. If we are talking about active swimming species.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qube View Post
You may want to look into the Hydor Koralia Nano 425 rather than the 240... Just a thought as the 425 is only a couple of dollars more.
Truth. I been thinking the same. You want your tank to have a total GPH 20-30 times the size of your tank for a reef. So 200gph filter + 250gph would give you a little over 20+ times. though there will likely be some loss so you might end up a little under. If you did two 250's which is my suggestion or one 425 it should give you an adequate flow for a full reef.

Though some corals don't like that much flow, so it depends on what kind you want.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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I see, are there any coral in particular that you DON'T recommend?
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