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Old 07-13-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
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what will I need

Thinking about setting up a 20 gallon salt tank. Lots of info here but it can be confusing. First of all, I know 20 gallons is a bit small but I'm only going to have a fowlr setup. First question, how many power heads should I have in a tank this size? I was looking at a 500gph one and was told that one would be enough. Second question, with live rock and live sand, is a hob filter needed? Again, some people say yes and some say no. And lastly, for now....do I need a protein skimmer for a tank this size? Thanks for any info. I'm sure I'll have lots more questions. I live in Orlando Florida and I'm lucky enough to live about 3 miles from world wide corals so getting info from them is easy but wanted to hear what anyone on these forums has to say...
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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I can see how it's confusing, so many different ways to set up a tank. If it was me I would run a skimmer and a powerhead only with live rock and sand, that's how I run my 55 only I have 2 powerheads. You could also do a powerhead and a hob filter if you like, either way would be fine for a fowler. What do you plan to stock it with?
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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with a fowlr you could get away with that 1 powerhead you want about 20lbs live rock, a hob filter is not required but i would suggest a protein skimmer, it is not a must have but i wouldn't run a tank with out. you would also need a light for the tank. sand is not necessary but i like having it in my tank
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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My grand daughter of course wants clown fish. Are they a hardy fish to start with or would something else be better
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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It is confusing because there is not always one correct way to go. FOWLR are much more forgiving than reefs though. I think that a skimmer is the better way to go, but a hob will work. Filters will need to be cleaned regularly as the build-up of waste will increase nitrates. IMO, skimmers are a little easier.

One power head will be fine if you can get it so that there are no dead spots. Dead spots allow waste to build up and lead to nitrates.

Clowns are very great as a starter. You will want to get Ocellaris Clowns as they are going to be okay in a 20g. Others are better in a 30g or larger. They sell tank-bred too, which is kind of cool in that they should not have any parasites/disease and they were not taken from the wild. After damsels (which are mean) they are probably the next best for being hearty. In a 20g, you are not going to be able to add two many more fish. In case you did not know, clowns do not need anemones to be happy, but its a cool relationship. You just want to add anemones early in the game, as they want a very established aquarium to thrive.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:57 AM   #6
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I agree definitely the ocellaris clowns. Smaller and more peaceful. For that size there are some cool gobies and firefish that should work. I would stay away from damsels unless thats all you want with your clown.. they can be agressive and harrass peaceful fish like gobies and cardinals to death.

Like others said protein skimmer isnt nessesary, especially a small fowlr setup. You will remove all you neee during water changes and a lot of small skimmers are ineffective... still, if you have the money they cant hurt.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:49 AM   #7
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thanks for the info. If I do use a hob filter, would I use the same media in the filter that I normally would use for a fresh water tank or would I use something different?
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
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Saltwater is funny.. you honestly dont need a filter. You can use filter media like carbon or whatever you want.. just more surface area for beneficial bacteria to live.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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thanks...I guess the extra water flow wouldn't hurt either. Sounds like water movement is more important in a salt water tank then it is in a fresh water setup..
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