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Old 04-15-2004, 11:44 AM   #1
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want to start a tank Need advice

I want to start a twenty gallon tank with live rock in it. But i want to spit tewenty pounds in half to ten of twelve pounds of live rock and sand. I am going to buy a tank in a few weeks but i need to know how long to let the tank cycle before introducing the rock. Is a 20 gal a tank for a beginer. What type of filtration do i need and what type of heater and what is the best tank type to get for a live rock.

12 pounds of live rock
3 pounds of live sand

?? how long to cycle before intro. species??
?? what type of filtration if any??
?? water current?? What aout it do i need it??
??Types of fish available??
I was thinking about two yellow tailed damsels but what else.
Clowns?
How long before i intro. species??
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Old 04-15-2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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three pounds of live sand is not much at all for that saive tank. I dont' think it would cover it all ! I got 55 pounds for my 55 gallon and it's approx a 3 inch sand bed...

As for filtration, that depends on what you going to put in the tank kinda. If you want fish with live rock I would suggest approx 1-2 to 2 pounds of rock per gallon.

2 powerheads for flow would work great.

There are tons of fish. What do you want? Peaceful? Aggressive?
Don't add fish untill all your levels have levdled out after the peaks.
Approx 1 month.
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Old 04-15-2004, 01:02 PM   #3
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Welcome to Aq Ad.

Definitely increase the lr and ls. On the size of the tank, my advice is to get the largest you can afford. The larger the volume of water the easier it is to maintain the levels of Ph, NO3, NO2, Am (by the way, make sure you have test kits on your list). The larger size will also keep that bigger tank syndrome away longer so that you can get experience with your tank.

Also, plan for more light sensitive species or not. Do a lot of research before you bring anything home. If you know what you are going to want in the future, you can get the basics right away and work your way towards them instead of having to get a whole new system.

One more thing, find a good lfs that you can trust. But always be sure to do your research here first. My first lfs seemed very knowledgeable and helpful, but all I got out of him was "that good in your tank." I listened and now all I get is advice to remove things from my tank from others.

You will enjoy this hobby, but be patient and plan ahead.
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:28 PM   #4
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even if the species was to be a light sensitive species why would it mater with all that live rock they have plenty of hiding space away from the light right???
I think your right about the ls i should put as much as the tank gallon is

20 gal., 20 pnds.
it is very importand right?

and the lv issue my retailer told me yesterday that if i bought a twenty gal i should place twenty gallons lv.

Also i went to look at tanks found a 20 gal at a reptile store and one at the fish store but the one at the reptile store just as good???
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:08 PM   #5
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most reptile tanks aren't sealed...
As for the rock, the amount isn't for the fish to hide its the amount to keep a good bio filtration going.
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Old 04-18-2004, 06:11 AM   #6
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I started with a 30 gal tank, and have had a tough time maintaining consistant water. I think that a larger tank provides more stability to the system.
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:45 AM   #7
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I started with and still have a 20 gallon tank. It can be done if you're willing to put the time into the maintenance. I have a 20 gallon long tank which is what I would recommend, it is longer and shallower with more surface area to air contact (very important). In my 20 gallon I have about 25-30lbs of LR on top a shallow sand bed of about 30lbs if I recall. My main filtration is the LR and for flow I use 2 maxi-jet powerheads, a 600 and a 900. I also use a Red Sea prizm skimmer with carbon in it.

As far as maintenance, I have auto topoff hooked up to keep up with the evaporation and I check the water chemistry at least 2-4 times a week dosing calcium and alkalinity as needed (not as important for fish only)
As far as fish go, you are kind of limited with a 20 gallon to smaller fish. Ocellaris and percula clowns are good choices, I would stay away from damsels as they get mean and territorial and will claim the entire tank as their own.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:09 AM   #8
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Most of the time, the larger the tank the easier it is to take care of. This is because the water parameters can't go as haywire in as quick of a time.
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:27 PM   #9
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everybody has pretty much hit the various cautions on begining with a small tank. My only comments are these; Bigger tanks are easier to care for, but require more financial investment and more floor realestate. Smaller tanks require more personal investment but less floor realestate. If you have a busy life style or travel often (even for just a few days at a time) I would recommend a larger tank as it can handle itself for a day or two if you're too exhausted from work or play to keep up on the tank. But if you have a fair amount of personal dicipline then a smaller tank can be just as beautiful.
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:33 PM   #10
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Well put, Billy.
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