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Old 06-16-2010, 11:12 PM   #1
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(newbie) I need help setting up my sw aquarium plz.

Hi,
Im a newbie to the sw world, I have 2yrs of experience with fw fish but i've wanted a sw aquarium for a long time. I've done research and know that a bigger tank is better but I feel like I still need help and will be using a 20gl tank for now because I dont want more then I can handle. If anyone plz help me STEP-BY-STEP on setting up my new aquarium I would really appreciate it . Here is an example of what I want my ending result to look like:
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:19 AM   #2
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Read these

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

We have a series of articles to help get you started
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Well believe it or not, say a 55 gallon would be alot less stress and testing than a 20 gallon tank. When you work with a higher water volume, your mistakes are a little more forgiving. I had a 12 gallon nano (like the one you pictured, and I had to test it almost daily because of the low water volume) Someone will suggest you use the 55 gallon "starter" tank.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:37 PM   #4
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+1 to milhous
The larger the volume of your tank, the more buffer room you have to make mistakes. You can go longer without doing PWC if need be, worry less about bio load and a bunch of things. At minimum I would recommend a 29g AIO tank. Or I actually prefer the dimension of a 50 gallon tank to a 55, but both would be a good starter tank with a canister filter/sump as well.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:30 AM   #5
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yeah, just an FYI Chino, everyone told me the same thing when I asked aboutthe 29G BioCube. And yeah they're right. My 40G w/ 10G sump is a lot easier to maintain (epsecially algae) Now I'm seraching craigslist for a nice 125G to start up one of these years.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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Hi Chino!

First thing's first; Welcome to AA!

Now on to your tank...
1) The tank you see there is actually not really what you want. I had (still do, just modified and made better) a tank like that. It's bad for a few reasons. One, the gas exchange is poor leading to pH troubles, and Two, the lighting is almost always terrible. Mine had two fluros over it. I bought a great T5HO (HO = High Output) light unit and seen the difference. So try for a plain old glass tank, which cuts out those problems.

2) Are you aware of the costs? Depending on the quality of the things you buy your tank will probably cost you at least $1000 once you've set it up and got some fish and corals. Lights, salt, live rock, sand, heaters, powerheads and livestock. It adds up quick. Searching places like eBay and Craigslist can get some bargins but somethings will never be cheap.

3) In terms of step by step, first you need the tank. Unless you already have it. If not why not go for a bit more and buy a 30G or even 40G. It makes it easier because the larger water quantity makes the levels more stable. Once you have the tank you need everything else. We can't help you with everything else though until you have the tank because we don't knwo what's good for your tank!

So good luck. As well as reading the links Mike (melosu) posted above why not checkout some other build threads of small tanks and learn from similar stories. Good luck.

Mitch.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
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Hi everyone thanks for the advice I really do want to get a bigger tank but I would rather start with the 20gl that I already have.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
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Ok since you have it then you'll need the basics first. Here's a shopping list for you.

- Heater of appropriate size.
- Two powerheads. I recommend two Koralia Nanos.
- Enough salt to make up at least 30-40G.
- Test kits for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate, Calcium and Alkalinity.
- Dry argonite sand for your sand bed. Enough to make it around 1" - 1.5" deep.
- Some water purifier. Prime is a good one.

After you pick that stuff up we'll go from there.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
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how come nobody suggested live rock?.....well, I will, be sure to get some Premium live rock if you can afford it and make sure it is fully "cured"....because curing base rock( a cheaper live rock) is a time consuming and smelly process. you'll want aproximately 1.5-2.0lbs of live rock per gallon so in your case thats about 20-40lbs of live rock
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:58 AM   #10
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Because you need all the mechanical stuff before you can buy rock for the tank.
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