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Old 06-18-2008, 07:51 PM   #1
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want to start a 20 gallon FOWLR

hey guys. i'm new to the whole saltwater tank craze but i would love to start one. ive been researching all weekend and figured ive sucked up all the info the net has to offer. i just wanted to get some advice on everything before i tear down my freshie tank (if i even follow through with this idea lol) i have a 20 gallon high that is currently my freshwater tank. could i make this a successful tank for my first experience with saltwater?

if i were to start a saltwater tank this is what i would need, right?

~20lbs of live rock
~25 lbs of aragonite sand
RO water
marine salt
is a regular filter okay?
powerhead
heater
is a 15watt light okay for a FOWLR?

if all this worked out after about a month or two i would add either two clowns or two chromis and some various inverts.

right now im still in my gathering advice stage and everything you have to say would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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added up all the expenses. don't think i can afford this LOL
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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Well, you probably can. You will have to wait for about 4-6 weeks for the tank to cycle, so you can buy things over that time. You can substitute LR and LS with base rock and dry sand, just seed the base rock with a small piece of LR.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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Chris make certain about your expenses man. I started my 20 gallon back in March not really knowing how crazy expensive it can get. Listen, all of the people on this site are awesome and really help a ton. But I know how it is especially on a tight personal budget. It IS expensive and does require that you make wise, and sometimes pricey investments. It's all relative of course. To some people, $500 for a good bowfront tank is nothing and live rock at $9 per pound is fine. I would suggest you take some days to "cool" off from the rush of buying the tank. Use the cooling off days to read, read, read about the hobby (the water changes, the chemical balances, the fish feeding, the water quality, etc). It's a GREAT hobby, but requires a good chunk of change and even more dedication. More than anything...patience! If you are genuinely interested and geneuinely have the bank to do it, waiting a few days won't kill you. Wait and see how you feel after 4 or 5 days.
My 20 gallon with the heater, light, hood, powerhead, filter, testing kit, salt (to mix and make saltwater), sand (I bought live sand) and I made the horrid mistake of using a fish to cycle with...all of that cost quite a bit. Then I added a 2nd powerhead, live rock at $9 per pound, and the livestock, you'll need a net, a scrubber, a siphon, buckets, and it's highly recommended you get a quarantine tank (which has to be maintained at the proper water parameters) and 2 extra heaters (for your water changes and the quarantine tank). Think it through, read, and decide.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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Excellent advice Clueless! I think you're going to have to rethink your signature line. Sounds like you DO know what you're doing!

Just wanted to add though that going the used route through want ads, Craig's list, etc, is a good way to cut the initial expenses. But just do your research BEFORE you buy stuff so that you buy the correct stuff and don't have to repurchase it a few months later when you realize you bought junk. That's what really kills people.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thanks clueless! summed it all up lol. ive been looking around for cheap LR and LS but no one seems to be giving it away i guess ill start a saltwater tank in a year or two when i know exactly what im doing and when i can probably afford it.

But is my idea of 2 clowns or 2 chromis right? or would it be smarter to go with a goby?

Thanks everyone
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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I have a clown, a yellow watchman goby, and a firefish. Honestly, that's about as many fish as you should put into a 20 gallon. Keep in mind that the goby likes his cave and likes to hide quite a bit. For more animated fish, maybe the clown and chromis, or firefish.
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