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Old 12-31-2014, 01:04 AM   #1
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My first saltwater tank

Today 10:43 PMtbone5957
I'm thinking about starting a 20 gallon nano saltwater tank. I would like to have 1 firefish goby, 3 yellow striped cardinalfish, and 1 yellow assessor. I was wondering how I should set up the tank, what kind of equipment is needed/recommended, if these fish are compatible, how long I need to cycle my aquarium before I add the fish, and in what order to add the fish.

Any other advice is welcome, too. Thanks! (:

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Old 12-31-2014, 02:10 AM   #2
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To cycle a tank, you need to present an ammonia source. I prefer using a cocktail shrimp in some panty hose. Once your tests show no detectable ammonia or nitrites, you just do a water change to bring nitrates down before adding any fish. Takes about 3 weeks.

In terms of the fish, you might want to pick a larger tank or look at other options for livestock. The assessor can get aggressive without some room being the concern. It's close, but it could easily wreck havoc an easily spooked firefish to go carpet surfing.

I think the others are a great pick and you could just stop there in terms of stocking if you'd want.

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Old 12-31-2014, 11:45 AM   #3
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Ok maybe I'll go without the assessor then lol. Do you think there is another fish I would be able to put in there with the 3 cardinals and the firefish? Or would that be too much?

And what kid of equipment would you recommend as far as filtration, heating, lighting, and other stuff goes? This would vent first ever saltwater tank, so I am definitely looking for any kind of advice. And thank you for your previous comment!!!
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:41 PM   #4
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You could maybe do a yellow or black clown goby. They are really cute and stay tiny at like 1 1/2" long.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:25 PM   #5
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The name just sounds cute haha. Thank you!!!
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:23 AM   #6
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Nano tanks are fun. Just have to make sure to keep up with the maintenance as water prams can get out of hand quickly if you aren't on top of your water changes.

I have done 10 and 20gal nanos before, and here is the equipment I recommend getting

-15-20lbs of live rock (or base rock and live rock mix).
-20lbs of live sand (can use crushed coral substrate as well or other marine sand that isn't live, but I have had great success and results with live sand)
-Nano power head (Hydor Koralia Nano is one I have used and liked)
-A filter that does double the filtration amount of the tank size (since a 20gal tank, I would get a filter that is rated for a 40gal tank) I personally like the bio wheel filters HOB, but that is just a personal preference, others don't like the bio wheels for one reason or another.
-RO/DI system for water changes and top offs. You can use tap water if you want, but I find RODI is the way to go. My LFS sells RODI top off water for $1.00/gal and I only use maybe a gallon every other week so I find it easier to buy the water instead of the unit to make it myself.

Optional: I use Instant Ocean Bio Spira (Dr Tims makes a good one as well) live nitrifying bacteria to jump start everything. Not a need but I like the stuff and found it works well.

Cycling you will need to dose ammonia some way or another. Cocktail shrimp is a good way. If you use bacteria then you may never see it cycle as the bacteria will already be there ready to go. A good timeframe of a cycle without use of bacteria is about 3-4 weeks or so.

The firefish is fine, Cardinalfish are fine, I would not do the assessor. I would replace that one with a ocellaris clown.

Good luck, and make sure you keep on top of your water changes. I would either do 5-10% weekly or 20% bi weekly to ensure good water quality. This IMO is the most important part to do on nano tanks.

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