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Old 07-19-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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Saltwater startup: 20G

Ok well, i know everyone says go bigger because you'll have less water problems and it will be more forgiving if some problems are to arise.. but i dont have that kind of money anymore lol. So i really want to start a saltwater tank with my 20G tank. Its been used at least 9-10 times before.. so it is a cycled tank. As is the filter. So given the fact that i have a 20G tank and a filter.. what else would i need for the saltwater tank? Im trying to take it slow and go little by little. So by something here and there instead of spending all my dang money on it at once. So its really like a project.. just building it up little by little. Also, i figure since its only a 20G tank.. ill only need the minimal of appliances to have the tank running. So what do you guys think? And what are some things i would need when i first start up the tank?
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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For starters no matter how many times the tank has been used, if it was empty it has to be cycled. Its not the tank that cycles, its the water.

Besides that everything else depends on what you plan on keeping. If you have livestock that require high flow, you will need a powerhead. A heater is a must. Possibly a chiller depending on your surrounding temp. Thermometer, And its always good to have a nice protein skimmer.

But for the next few weeks the water and filter will be fine while you cycle your tank, FISHLESS. In the mean time you can collect everything else you think you may need.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:48 PM   #3
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FWIW smaller saltwater tanks can be almost as costly as larger ones. Especially if you want a reef tank.

If you do fish only or FOWLR then you'll be limited as far as fish go, in a 20g. Just keep that in mind. In SW you can't keep as many fish, even if small, in the same size tank as FW. That goes along with keeping everything stable.

I have seen some sweet 20g reef tanks though!
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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A twenty gallon tank can be done. You`ll still have to cycle the tank. Read this

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html

As far as equipment read this

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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Mike, I swear you have a link for everything!
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
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I agree. It can be done, but bear in mind that it will cost nearly, if not as much, what a larger tank will. The tank itself is really the cheapest part of a SW system. Counting livestock, we easily put about $1000 into our 20 and it was set up as "bare bones" as you can get. Read the links Mike posted. Keep in mind that a cycled FW filter will do nothing but create an ammonia spike and start a cycle in SW. It takes A LOT of diligence to keep everything alive in a 20 and like I said in our upgrade thread, I really wouldn't recommend starting so small unless you are very experienced and/or OCD like me.

What are you shooting for? Reef, FOWLR?
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Mike, I swear you have a link for everything!
I like to have proof with what I`m saying. LOL
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:25 AM   #8
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Well thanks for all the feedback guys.. and ya i want to make it a reef tank. You can have fish in a reek tank though right..
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:39 AM   #9
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Yup you can have fish in a reef tank. I agree with HN1. I got my 20g high free and have put over a $1000 into it. If you do your homework (unlike me!) it's actually easy/fun to setup and watch.
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:44 AM   #10
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**** thats a bundle lol. What section of setting it cost you the most?
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