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Old 01-28-2005, 10:25 AM   #1
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new tank advice

This is my second tank. I did a saltwater fish only tank a few years ago. Here is what I am thinking planning for this tank

20 Gallon (is that too small? my last tank was 65 and I thought it was to big)

Just a protein skimmer & heater LR for filter

very fine crushed coral base

(should I add live rock here or cycle with something first.??)

About 30 lbs of live rock (never used LR should I be worried about a hitchhiker problem or just let it fly?)

My plan is maybe 4 fish at least two of which I would like to be gobies.
a cleaner shrimp or two
Some snails
some hermit crabs

Are there any good live plants you can use in Saltwater.??

Any advice would be great I am going to get started tomorrow
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:44 AM   #2
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The 20 gallon will be a challenge for someone not familiar with SW upkeep. Your previous experience will help but the bigger the better. If you do go w/ a 20 gallon it would be best to get a 20 long because the layout will give more swimming area, a bigger substrate bed and more top surface area for oxygen exchange.

The LR will be great for the filter just make sure to have 1.5-2 lbs LR per gallon. I used my LR to cycle the tank it went great. I added the hitchers and all. I have removed some crabs since but no problems yet.

I would recommend a dsb to help in the denitrification process. You could use a sand substrate. The CC will give you problems later with high nitrates. Detritus will get trapped and unless vacuumed regularly it will convert into the nitrates.

Good luck
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 01-28-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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I heard sand was better but have never used it. Does it have to be live sand.? I was thinking about 1 - 1 1/2 inch bed.. so how hard will a 20 Gallon tank be.? how much improvement would I get if I go up to 30.? I dont think for right now I want to go over 30 but my plan is after my house addition gets completed this summer I would start up a 60 + gallon tank. Thought the 20 would be a good starter to get me ready..
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Old 01-28-2005, 12:14 PM   #4
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the 20 will be fine just needs more attention. Water changes and tracking of peramiters are much more important as a small problem will cause large effects in a smaller tank. Any sand bed will eventually become live from the bacteria that will grow there. The denitrification process will require no oxygen and must be deep into the bed to get this. The 1-1.5 sand bed will work if you just want the looks of sand but wont help in this process of riding the tank of nitrates.
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 01-28-2005, 12:27 PM   #5
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How deep should the bed be.?? I want to do this right so all suggestions are welcome..

so let me see if I have the cycle correct

add substrate - add salt water - then I let sit or add the live rock.? That is the part I am hazy on. My last tank I let sit until temp was correct and substrate dust settled then added 4 green chromas to cycle. They seemed to do the job.. Or should I not ad the LR and add some hermit crabs and snails to cycle
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:23 PM   #6
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!! A 2-3inch sand bed will be just fine. I would go with about 30ls of sand. Nice choice on using LR as your main filter media. Plan to have between 30-40lbs of it. You can add it at the beginning to help jump start your cycle. Check out www.liverocks.com for the best acu-cultured LR around. Wonderful customer service to. If you get cured LR, you may want to do some water changes through out your cycle. This will keep ammonia levels low and preserve most of the benifical life on the LR. It may, however, prolong your cycle. All good things come to those who wait. Good luck...Lando
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