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Old 01-31-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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Going to LFS tomorrow....need help tonight

I have a 20gal. tank that I have been using as a Freshwater tank which I would like to turn into a Saltwater tank. It is a standard 20gal. tank, the hood has been replaced; however it is only a standard one from Walmart. I have a heater for the tank, filter...but what else do I need to start ....be very specific please. My main concern as far as equip right now is the lighting...I want to have enough lighting to eventually keep coral. This is a stupid question but for lighting hoods that fit light strips do they also fit light bulbs?? I'm guessing not And while on the topic of coral I have heard that some coral can sometimes be found on LR, and if there is a chance of this I really want to have the right lighting setup from the beginning instead of waiting til later when I want to purchase coral. I want the best chances of whatever is on the LR to be able to survive and thrive.....anything good anyway. Ok guess that is all, hope someone can write back tonight!

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Old 01-31-2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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Well lets see here.
To keep corals it depends on what type of corals you would like to have. Low light corals can live with flourecent how ever some corals require intense light which usually calls for a MH system. (im looking at gettin a MH system my self and its lookin pretty pricey but i want more coral options in my tank)

You may also be confined to what u can have do to your tank size also. 20gal is on the smaller side for just starting. You will have to keep an eye on your salinity due to evaporation and such. But it can be done

Im still learning myself but this is what i have found to learn. And im going with the MH system. Ull have more options in the future in my opinion

I would recommend thinking things thru before buying stuff read read read dont rush it


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Old 01-31-2006, 09:19 PM   #3
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Ok well I dont want to go to expensive on the lighting right now, maybe just enough to adequately light a few small easy growing corals or at least to support whatever maybe be on the LR, right now it is being like only be a 15 watt light strip. Are all light strips of the same length also the same in wattage? Like I have an 18" strip thats 15watts....are there higher wattage 18" strips out there? I'm no electrician as you can see haha. Tomorrow at the LFS I am just going to concentrate on getting some sand (probably live), and i need to at least check prices of lighting if it looks like I am going to need more...and its looking like it. By the way I have noticed pictures of tanks that have a hood that seems to clamp on the side of the tank and is suspended alittle above the tank, what are they called and where do u get one, they are cool looking. Oh also going to by the salt....might come in handy ya think haha. What water do I use though, not tap right? What about grocery store bought (jugged distilled)? Oh and what other equip, I've read something about protein skimmers and powerheads (which are what exactly??). Also would like to know what good prices on these different equipment are, I'm mainly going to check prices tomorrow and get a good feel for what I need and budget, but if I see something at a good price/quality will go ahead and buy.
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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You want to look at PC lighting. Not too much $$ but can produce enough light for corals.
I would look at a Min of 130 watts on a 20, more is better.
Lr should be you nuber on priority not LS. Sand is good but you can use some reef safe play sand and save some $$ and look into mor LR. I would start with a min of 20-25 lbs of LR.

I would do another week of reading and researching before buying anything for the tank. read, read and read some more before jumping in. Rushing into this will only cost you more in the long run.
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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Old 01-31-2006, 11:02 PM   #5
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I would suggest scrolling up to the articles and reading a few of them. The articles and this site will help you greatly. You will find out a great wealth of info. here. Also be very carefull about what you here from your LFS. everyone has their own opinions. The best thing you can do is listen and use your best judgement. I would also recommend reading the cycling your tank article. While you are cycling your tank you can read, read, check prices on your equipment. Make a tank plan. Find out what you want to keep research their requirements and go from there. Do ALOT of research.
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:41 PM   #6
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i would suggest for a light. Get the coralife aqua lunar light 130 wt pc that would give you pretty much enough light to put softys and some lps in there. But if i were you i would do alot of reading on this forum and learn as much as you can before you tank the dive. Once u do and you do it right you will love it.
never count on nothing, that way you'll never be disapointed!
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:50 PM   #7
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IMO, you should set up a salt tank for 6 mo before getting any corals. you'll have a lot more idea of what you want to spend your money on by then. in the meantime, read this board a lot.

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