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Old 09-17-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
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New 20 and 30g salt water tanks

Hello all. Well I have had great results with my 70 gallon bowfront fresh water tank and have decided to try my hand at salt water. I am starting a 20 and a 30 gallon tank. I would go with just one big one but the wife is dead against another big tank so I squeezed in 2 smaller one's. Still got a lot of grief but hey. I am going to post the step by step results as I go, so hopefully I will attain some good advice through this forum by some experienced salt water keepers. Both tanks started just with the water and salt, mixing the salt to the recommended levels of salinity. The 20 gallon is long and against a window ( curtains low sunlight) and it gets cold here in the winter so i have to small heaters at either corner. I have 2 Koralia nano's 425 gph at either end of the tank and light it with Aqua Life T5 HO Marine 1 -10,000 k lamp and 1 - 420 / 460nm lamp. The 30 gallon has one heater as it is in the living room and a Koralia 750 gph pump, with a marine land LED day / night light setup. I may have to get different lights for the 30 gallon we will see. Both tanks had salt added with the jets on for 3 days. I then added sand, 20 and 30 lbs respectivley. I pre washed the sand but still got a cloudy water base. I checked the salinity again and 2 days later added 21 lbs and 25 lbs of live rock to either tank. I will be adding a skimmer into each tank in a few weeks after the Nitrate and Ammonia levels are at thier proper lvls. Should I get a clean up crew in the tanks before adding fish? What type of fish should I use to get the tanks going, I can always buy them and then give them back to the store I purchased them from when ready to add fish I want in there. Is a 30 g tank too small for a spiny puffer?
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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Hiya! Welcome to the forum!

Did you add salt directly to the tank? In the future you will want to mix it outside of the tank. Also when adding water you should aim for the rocks or put a plate inside the tank to disperse the water, you dont get a sandstorm that way.

Have you read this article on cycling your salt water tank?

Cycle your salt tank

You can use the dead shrimp as mentioned or use pure ammonia in a bottle.

The only other issue i see is the single 750 koralia. Probably would have been better to add two of them or two 550's. Proper flow and what not.

And I have good news, you don't NEED skimmers on these small tanks if you don't want to. With proper water changes and stocking and appropriate feeding you won't need any.

Do you plan on corals? That might be where you want to spend your money then, on lighting upgrades.

Hope that helps!

Good luck, keep us posted!
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
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 09-17-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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Woot

Hey C thanks so much, I will def get the shrimp from the market method and not have to worry about harming the fish. I didn't know that the cycling part was harmful to them. Poor fish living in a swamp lol , I wouldn't like it either lol. I was wondering about the 750 , just thought because the tank is kind of equal square that the one would be enough, Ill take your advice and get another jet, probably a 550. Thanks again Tj
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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Glad I could help.

Also glad youre gonna save some fish some torture, in this day and age there is no reason to really cycle with fish anyway. The live rock you have will also hasten the cycling as well.

Just make sure you have a liquid test kit so you can monitor the tank and know exactly when your cycle finishes so you can start adding livestock.


You want the API saltwater master test kit, comes with hi ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests. Everything you need and about $20 on amazon.
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
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 09-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #5
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Update 20g nano

So far so good. 2 black and white clowns (jack and jill) 1 firefish goby, 3 green chromis, 2 blue legged hermit crabs, cleaner shrimp, 2 nephthya leatus, branching montipora, green galazy coral, 2 xenia, australian cultured pineapple brain, 1 turbo snail, devils hand, 2 candy corals, rose brain.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:36 AM   #6
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What have I become????

Ok, so I think I have a serious problem. I am totally addicted to this hobby of FISH! I started out with a 27g bowfront with a few fish. Fresh water. Wanted something bigger so bought a 70g bowfront with stand. Then bought a fluval chi tank and added a fighting fish. Cat got the fish late one night. Spent over $400.00 on freshwater fish and another $300.00 on fake corals, heater, rock, plants for the 70g. Decided I didn't like the fake look, so took out the fake coral and added real tree parts, plants, ect. Pay by the pound for that stuff at the lfs. Ok now I wanted to get into salt water tanks. Bought a 20g long and started that up $80.00 sand $40.00 salt. $200.00 worth of live rock, $300.00 in fish, $90.00 skimmer, and $1000.00 in corals and such for that tank. Then bought a 35 g with another $300.00 worth of live rock, $90.00 for the skimmer, and $90.00 for sand. Then purchased a flame angel, yellow tang, and emperator angelfish another $300 they will go into the 70gr tank i just converted to salt when it's ready, will be a fowlr. The 35g will have corals and such in it. I sold the 27g bowfont and the fluval chi with the plants and fish from them and the 70g for a fraction of what I paid for them. Today I bought brine shrimp eggs and made a hatchery so I can eventually get a mandarin fish and feed it. This is the most expensive dam hobby ever. I take home 7 grand a month and am suddenly very broke lol. Does anyone else feel this way, or is there something wrong with me. All I know is that when I get home and look into the tanks...it just calms me and wow seems worth it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:46 AM   #7
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not to mention the money for the dam fans!!!!
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:48 AM   #8
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Yeah. Very expensive. I just paid 1121.89$ for LED Lights for my tank. And in a month I must have spent 600$in coral. And only two fish are in my 90 gallon.
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