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Old 02-19-2014, 04:03 AM   #1
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Question 20 long for saltwater tank?

I know bigger is always better but I'm thinking of converting my 20 long into a fish only saltwater tank. What all would I need for a tank of this size and what fish would be best for it? I thought about a pair of clowns since I've heard they are pretty hardy fish but would like to know what other options are there.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rpgmomma8404 View Post
I know bigger is always better but I'm thinking of converting my 20 long into a fish only saltwater tank. What all would I need for a tank of this size and what fish would be best for it? I thought about a pair of clowns since I've heard they are pretty hardy fish but would like to know what other options are there.
Bigger is better in terms of stability, more water usually means less surprises in water quality and spikes in your levels.

Here is what I'd recommend if you plan on only keeping a few fish and growing no corals.

Filtration;
- A canister filter rated for 40-60g aquariums (I have a Penn-Plax Cascade 700)
- 12-20 lbs of live rock (Should give plenty of hide spots and carries beneficial bacteria "BB" to keep your tank stable)
- 20-25 lbs of live sand (about a 1 in. sand bed)
- An additional powerhead for water flow and natural filtration (Koralia 425)

Other;
- You will need a heater and a thermometer (ideal water temp is about 78 degrees F)
- Also, you'll want a decent lid to help slow down evaporation
- When it comes to the lights, if you're not doing coral, it's all about what look you like, some cheap led's from the pet store will look great in my opinion. If you want to do corals later look into some 2-4 bulb T5 fixtures.
- The other obvious thing you'll need is some saltwater, which when you start out the easiest thing to do is just by some premixed from your local fish store.

Outside of what I listed you shouldn't "need" anything else to get your tank running and healthy in a few weeks.
If you have decent water flow and plenty of live rock and sand you technically don't "need" the canister filter as the bacteria on the rock and sand do a lot of the filter work for you, I use a can filter for two reasons, it increases the water volume as well as keeps my water crystal clear, which to me is important.

Hope this helps!

Darrell
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DRock View Post
Bigger is better in terms of stability, more water usually means less surprises in water quality and spikes in your levels.

Here is what I'd recommend if you plan on only keeping a few fish and growing no corals.

Filtration;
- A canister filter rated for 40-60g aquariums (I have a Penn-Plax Cascade 700)
- 12-20 lbs of live rock (Should give plenty of hide spots and carries beneficial bacteria "BB" to keep your tank stable)
- 20-25 lbs of live sand (about a 1 in. sand bed)
- An additional powerhead for water flow and natural filtration (Koralia 425)

Other;
- You will need a heater and a thermometer (ideal water temp is about 78 degrees F)
- Also, you'll want a decent lid to help slow down evaporation
- When it comes to the lights, if you're not doing coral, it's all about what look you like, some cheap led's from the pet store will look great in my opinion. If you want to do corals later look into some 2-4 bulb T5 fixtures.
- The other obvious thing you'll need is some saltwater, which when you start out the easiest thing to do is just by some premixed from your local fish store.

Outside of what I listed you shouldn't "need" anything else to get your tank running and healthy in a few weeks.
If you have decent water flow and plenty of live rock and sand you technically don't "need" the canister filter as the bacteria on the rock and sand do a lot of the filter work for you, I use a can filter for two reasons, it increases the water volume as well as keeps my water crystal clear, which to me is important.

Hope this helps!

Darrell
Awesome sounds easy enough. Would a 55-75 HOB filter work? I'll have to keep an eye out on a canister filter being on sale. Suppose amazon would be the best place to buy one of those.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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I run an aqua clear 30 on my 20 but I also have a skimmer. The only thing I run in my hob is purigen. Other than that all filtration is rock, sand and skimmer
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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You can definitely use a HOB, I prefer the canisters because generally speaking they are quieter and you get multistage filtering with them. Check amazon for the Cascade 700, last time I checked it was on sale from retail at $144 down to $73.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:39 PM   #6
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I am not a big fan of canisters on salt water tanks. In theory all you need is plenty of flow and live rocks. I also wouldn't recommend a tight fitting lid - open tops are preferred for better gas exchange. Check out live aquaria.com for fish selections and compatibility, in the nano section
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:47 AM   #7
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I use a 20 tall for my reef tank, and it's great for starters. Look for Evansimp here on AA, he had the TOTM a few months back for his 20g long reef. It absolutely can be done, esp if it's FOWLR.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone! I don't want to get into the coral thing until I get comfortable just having a saltwater tank. After a lot of thought though. I and my boyfriend have been talking about converting our empty 29 gallon into a saltwater and using the 20 long for something else. Most of it's talk right now though. I just wanted to know my options. I'm sure I would treat the 29 about the same as the 20 long. Just have a bit more room.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:11 AM   #9
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Like you said in the beginning, bigger is always better
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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Don't ever let anyone discourage you from getting a small saltwater tank. Just be sure to have proper filtration and keep up on your maintenance. I have a 10 gallon salt with a black and white ocellaris clownfish. I do a 40-45% WC every other week. 6 months, zero issues.
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