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Old 07-20-2015, 05:52 PM   #1
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Beginner Clown fish Tank

Hello everyone,

I've had a 20 gallon freshwater tank with tropical fish for several years but recently relocated and am hoping to try my hand at saltwater in that same 20 gallon now. I'd like a pair of clown fish and since it's only a 20 gallon I know that I probably can't add much more than that. Any special tips or recommendations as far as setup, equipment, etc? I'd love to hear all of your opinions. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:13 PM   #2
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Beginner Clown fish Tank

First thing first, what type of tank do you want? A reef, a fowlr, or a fish only?

After this is decided, time to look at the basic hardline of it. First filtration.
For a 20g, you don't have to have a sump, a oversized aquaclear that is rinsed daily is great.

A skimmer is a either or here. If you do weekly water changes, you should be fine. If your looking at a longer time between water changes, a hob skimmer would be a good investment.

A good quality heater is a must as well a high quality salt mix.
I use instant ocean reef crystals but standard on stand ocean is fine.
Api liquid test kits are a life line
A refractor or a hydrometer is needed.
Live sand, about a pound per gallon.
Rock, you can by dry an cure it. Save some money that way.
Of course a ph buffer if yours is not naturally around 8.0-8.3
Various odds an ins like 1/4 inch tubing, reef glue, spare mixing cups

As for stocking, two clowns will be fine in that size tank but I wouldn't add any more free swimming fish as they are damsels. I would add a shrimp an goby pair first then add the clowns. Maybe a type of cleaner shrimp an a few hermits
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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Oh! Also a ro/di unit can be a great investment too. If not that, look at your local stores for ro water or see if your aquarium store sells saltwater
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:27 PM   #4
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I'm thinking it'll most likely be a FOWLR tank. Since I won't have any fish in it initially I was thinking I would probably just get the rock to help with the cycle process before I actually get my clownfish. Great suggestions on the shrimp or hermits...I'll try to add those first. I don't want to crowd the clownfish. I plan to get a bigger tank down the road but this I'm making the clownfish tank my first project at the new house.

I've heard good things about the skimmer, but from a cost perspective I might wait a bit to add that and just try to be really consistent with water changes until that point.

I don't know much about refractor or RO/DI units...any info you can provide here?

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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Beginner Clown fish Tank

Alright a refractor an a hydrometer are in all an all the same thing, except a refractor are a lot more accurate. I myself use a hydrometer in my nano, never had any problems. What both of these do is measure the salinity in your tank or while your mixing water. You only want it around 1.20 I think.

A ro/di unit it a series of chambers that water runs through. These remove everything in the water, make it safe for salt. It also removes phosphates an anything else you don't want or could make a hassle of saltwater.

Also when you go with what to feed your fish, go with frozen if possible. Less phosphates also, so less algae blooms.

People have made diy skimmers that work very successfully, I never have but that might be a valid thing to check in your research
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:33 AM   #6
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Good ideas. I'm hoping to get to the store in the next week or two here so I can start getting some things set up!
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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Beginner Clown fish Tank

Sounds good. Also if you order equipment online, you can also get a lot of it cheaper. Like my eshoppes 75g skimmer is a buck $150 in my LfS but found it for a $100 shipped so look around too!

Saltwater is not as hard as people make it out to be as long as you do the proper care an equipment into it
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for that tip! I'll probably try to get a few things from the LFS but hadn't really bought much online before. I'll see what I can find!
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:42 PM   #9
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Bulk reef supply, pet solutions, dr foster an smith, Amazon, an eBay are my usual haunts for aquarium equipment
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