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Old 09-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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best beginer set up?

I have a 20gal and want to start a saltwater tank. I've always been interested in having a sw tank, but had always heard they were very difficult. I have found recently that they actually seem to be easier than fw. I was thinking of a reef tank with clowns and other compatible fish. I was wondering if a reef tank would be a good starter or if i should do a fowlr first and go to a reef tank later?
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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I'd start fowler, then maybe try reef. 20 is kind of a nano tank, so keep it in mind for stocking.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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If you are thinking about going reef in the future get lighting that will support the types of corals you are wanting. As for stocking your tank will be much more stable if you understock. Keeping the salinity stable is the hardest part with a small tank ATO is a good investment. Get a refractometer to test the SG.

Them most important thing is to go slowing nothing good happens in saltwater fast.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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yes the lighting is one problem i've been considering. i am actually on a lil bit of a budget now and the lighting for the coral seems pricey... especially since i like the led lighting... so if i just put in the lr (as much as i would if i were to do coral) and cleaner crew with a few fish, i could add coral later when i can get proper lighting? or do the fish themselves need a lot of light? i actually dnt even have a hood or lid of anykind right now... do i NEED one?
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
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Doing fish only means that you can use ANY light you have. Even a stock hood light will be enough for the fish.

You can always upgrade your lighting when you have a chance. You will be kinda limited on your stocking of fish though, a 20g doesnt go very far as far as fish. lol Any fish you really wanted to have?
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I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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well my kids want clowns for sure... i was thinkin maybe a blue tang as well but idk if a 20g is big enough for one. and ive been having bad luck finding compatible fish for a small tank... i would like a fire angel but have been told they wont get along with the clowns... i want bright and colorful.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Yeah, the tang for sure can't go into the 20g, no matter how small you buy the fish. They require a 6 foot long tank! As do most other tangs unfortunately.

I think you can get away with a pair of clowns and maybe 2 other small fish.

here's a link to some nano sized fish along with their requirements as far as tank and diet

Nano Fish
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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Blue gangs really need a 6ft tank. Smallest 6' tank is a 125 gallon. Also the flame angels are not reef safe if you are ok with that. Check out liveaquara.com for lots of useful fish info.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #9
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is that including cleaner crew? i thought id be able to get around 6 or 8 small fish in there... what if i only did a few small lr's and no plans for coral? could i get more fish then? also another noobie question i have is other than an overflow sump system, whats a better filtration system? i found a "waterfall" type side mount filter for up to 30g at petco for $30 would that b sufficent for now?
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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you dont count cuc when stocking your tank, their bioload is extremely small, and since they eat other matter that would become ammonnia and turn it into pellets that can be easily vacuumed out with your maintenance they are a non-issue.

6 of even the smallest of fish would be overstocking a 20gal.

Lr is your filtrataion system of the tank, as is the sand, they will help your water to stay pristine by having more in there... not to say youhave so much your crowding your fish, more is best. you can have a successful tank if you follow proper maintenance without any lr, but you'd still top out at about 2-3 fish, such as 2 clowns and goby or blenny.
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