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Old 05-24-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
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20 gallon fowlr tank.

Ok so i am mostly a freshwater fishnerd lol. But my mom and step sister really like saltwater. I have plenty of extra tanks laying around but not money lmao. Also have a bunch of filters laying around. I want to go cheap but not so cheap i lose everything i have in the tank. What all do i need? I just want about 20-30lbs of live rock with 1-4 small fish and/or a crab. What all do i need and how hard would it be to maintain. I know it is better for a starter to start with a 55 because its easier. But like i said not enough money now that im also setting up a 150 cichlid tank. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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Also, would i have to mix my own salt water, or could i just buy the already mixed at petco?
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Here's some cheapo advice while still getting you into a saltwater tank. Go with a Fish Only With Live Rock (FOWLR) system. The rocks you add will provide all the biological filtreation you need and the HOB filters can be used as a place to put additional medias, such as phosguard or something to remove excess nitrates (resins) later.
Now for the big money saving advice. No need to upgrade lights, and any T8 that you have will do fine. Don't buy "live Sand". I seriously wonder how much bacteria can still be alive in a bag of dry sand. Get the cheaper sand and it will become "alive" over time. The same holds true for Live rocks. although with rocks, there is a benifit to buying live rocks, as your cycle time can be reduced or even eliminated, if money is an issue buy dry base rocks. Again, over time it will become live and you won't be able to tell it apart. Depending on your LFS, dry rock is about $30-50 for 30lbs and Live rock will run around $150-300. Ouch.
Don't buy biospira or other tank starters, they just add some bacteria to the water column and you want it on the rocks/sand. But you probably already have an opinion on that with your freshwater experience, and in this matter there is no difference.

Don't cycle the tank with a fish in either. Not only is it cruel to the fish, the damsels that most stores sell for this purpose are very territorial and aggressive. Hard to catch afterwards as well. Use a cocktail shrimp from the grocier.

Lots of crab options for that tank, and the CUC should include a few hermits. Porcelin and emerald as well. Liveaquaria is many of our Preferred website for livestock info.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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Ok! Thanks for all the help! So imlooking at about $60 to start it right? Just sand and rock? O ya. And the water im just going to get already mixed. This will happen prob in about two months i just wanted to get info and research. So i will get 25-30 pounds of base rock and sand. Will pool filter sand become live eventually?? .
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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If i did use my 55 gallon would i need to buy a skimmer? Those get pretty expensive haha. But after all my fish get big enough for the big guys they will go to the 150. Ik it would be more expensive cuz of more rock but if i do choose to use the 55 then it will be in a couple months till i can get it up. But if i would have to have a skimmer then that is a no to the 55.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=". Will pool filter sand become live eventually?? .[/QUOTE]

yes. [extra characters for length]
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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If your only doing a FOWLR you do not need a skimmer

before you even start you already just lost your budget
rock and sand alone will be close to a $100.
than figure salt
a decent hob a pair power heads heater figure another $300.or so
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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I already have x2 hob filters. But thats good about no skimmer. Ya ik im lookin at about $100 for non live rock and non live sand. I will let them become live if it takes a two month cycle.
Edit: i also have a heater
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Powerhead might be needed as well. Depends on circulation. 2 HOBs may be goos buy idk.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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The two hob are aqueon 55/75 for up to 90 gallons
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