Would you say that your experence with your first two reef setups helped you out in setting up the 20 gal system?
Well I would have to say that yes exp. always helps but... I went at this as if I had no clue of what I was doing and My wife claimed the tank as her's so she was the overall primary care giver. But before I go into detail, I don't want to give the wrong impression to a Beginner. Do not neglect your tanks but I did this one.
Ok the tank was set up with the intention of how hard is this small system? I set the tank up and never tested it after the cycle. I loaded this thing up with [don't flame me] six fish for the first 9 months. loaded with rescues from the LFS
and a few of my captive breed frags. The Lighting was 3x28w pc
. No clams , no sps
, but everything else you can think of went in this tank over it's 18 months life just to see how corals reacted. There was no sump for the first 9 months. I got board and my wife say's hey all your tanks have a sump I want one! So I added a plain old overflow box[lifereef] and a plain old ten gal
tank I had laying around. So you could say the tank was at that point around 25 gals with LR
I belive the Macro gave it all the nutreint removal it needed. I did 2 gal
water changes every two weeks, and topped it off with plain old Ro
water. Never added any supplements at all. And I cleaned the glass once a week. that is all I ever did to this tank[well I should say all my wife ever did]
Is there a limit to the size of the tank that I can have with no filter or skimmer? 20G? 30G? 40G?
I agree there is no limit. But you must have system in place to remove nutrients from the tank. In my case with my skimmerless 20 and I still run a skimmerless 55 gal
that is 2.5 years old, I use natural Macro algae's for this purpose. The trick is a good nutrient export and LR
and good water flow. This will provide all the filtration you need with out all the mech. Stuff. Although it is my understanding that SPS
need really clean systems and have always belived that. Well I am testing that theroy out now with 5 captive raised frags in a tank that doesn't produce any skimmate to speak of with a crappy skimmer. So you could say this tank is Skimmerless as well.
Here is a pic of the 20 gal
. This was taken after I removed the orignal 6 fish and put in stuff I really wanted. But you get the idea!
But let me also add I studied a min of six months before I ever put water in my first tank. I put my systems togther from other's successes and came up with my setups from That. So my point is can a 20 gal
be run as easy as a large system. From My exp. I would say yes. But you must first do the research and come up with your own theroy as to what has worked for others and then aply that in real time. You can not do enough research! But also remember that with a small system, that small changes have big effects and with a larger system that it leaves more rome for error, this is why everyone recommends a tank 55 gal
or larger. It leaves more room for error. HTH
And just because I love to show off!
here is a pic of my 55 gal
skimmerless system. And you will want bigger if you love the hobby so go as big as you can on that fact.