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Old 02-05-2014, 09:48 PM   #1
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My First Saltwater Tank - 20 gallons

I want to start my first FOWLR aquarium. I have the aquarium tank 20 gallons, and Marineland HOB filter already. What else will I need? I want to use sand...Live sand as the substrate.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:36 PM   #2
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Haha you are just like me I've had my tank for four weeks this Sunday you will for sure need a heater and set it at 74-75 you will also need a hydrometer and a thermometer I have a API saltwater master test kit for things like ammonia extra filter cartridges and that is a good place to start after a week or so get your water tested and if cleared by your fish store you can add a couple of snails and hermit crabs I started out with a scarlet legged and blue legged crabs along with two turbo snails but you might want to put less because your tank is a little smaller than mine I would also do live rock as well as the sand trust me it helps a lot after three weeks of running the tank and 2 weeks after adding the crabs and snails check the water again if good and cleared by fish store the add 1 fish I added a clown goby and he is doing just fine then you can start adding fish every 2-3 weeks
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:11 AM   #3
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I would recommend adding a powerhead as well and use a refractometer for measuring salinity. Do you want it to be a reef? If so then think about using ro-di water, no tap water for a reef tank you will also need powerful lighting for that.
I would suggest around 20 - 30 pounds of live rock (rock first, then sand) to start the cycle. You can use pure ammonia or a raw shrimp form the grocery store for that. Check out the articles on here on how to set up a salt tank, there is great info on how to cycle a tank properly...
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bectan01 View Post
I would recommend adding a powerhead as well and use a refractometer for measuring salinity. Do you want it to be a reef? If so then think about using ro-di water, no tap water for a reef tank you will also need powerful lighting for that.
I would suggest around 20 - 30 pounds of live rock (rock first, then sand) to start the cycle. You can use pure ammonia or a raw shrimp form the grocery store for that. Check out the articles on here on how to set up a salt tank, there is great info on how to cycle a tank properly...
+1.
IMO i would never add inverts after 2 weeks... doesnt matter what an LFS says.
as for having your water tested before buying anything, without some form of ammonia to start/ keep the cycle going, the water will almost always test "ok" (0 trites, 0 trates).
keep in mind that niTRITES and niTRATES are the byproduct of the breakdown of ammonia. hence if you dont have an initial ammonia source, no trites or trates.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:53 AM   #5
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Thus why my LFS said to get the inverts to start the cycle it's been 3 weeks of having them and they are doing just fine on of them molted the other but it is your preference I just find it boring looking at an empty tank but it is good to be patient which I am so try what you wish just make sure that if you do go down the same route that I did to make sure not to over feed and watch what they don't eat I'm extremely careful with my little guys feeding habits so maybe that's why things are working out if the do die though it's ok because it will help your cycling and they are only like 4-5 bucks that you would loose if they were to die but like I said my crabs and snails are doing great hope it all goes well
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:00 AM   #6
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That's pretty poor advice from your LFS, I would find another one if you can! Using inverts to cycle a tank is dreadful advice. Best advice is to do plenty of research before buying, cycle properly and stock slowly. Ask on here, unfortunately some LFS give shady advice to make a sale but the knowledgable people on here are just wanting to help
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:03 AM   #7
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Oh I know but like I said they are doing just fine nothing is wrong my tank is happy and healthy
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