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Old 10-25-2005, 02:49 PM   #1
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New To Marine - Gravel and a few other questions

Hi there, I bought a 20 gallon tank a couple week ago with a penguin 150 filter and ordered in some live rock as well and hoping to get the tank cycling in a couple weeks. Basically I am wanting to set up a fish only tank to start off to see how I enjoy it with a couple damsels and a percular clown fish (spelling??). I still need gravel, a heater, a protien skimmer, Salt, and a Hydrometer.

My first question is what type of gravel do you reccommend? I would prefer sand because I like the look, but my LFS only carries crushed coral, is one better that the other? Does any offer benefits? I have heard crushed coral raises the PH? Would sand get sucked up into my penguin filter? What about what they call "live" sand?

Second question is a protien skimmer recommended? I am sitting on the fence about it, but if it will make starting off easier then its worth it, I am looking for something cheap for a 20 gallon though, I dont need a fancy one, will it still be very beneficial? What price range would a cheap one run?

My third question is for the size I have I was told I should go with a powerhead or a protien skimmer, I do not need both?

My last question is brand names, when buying a heater or a protien skimmer is there any brands you would recommend? Or do they all work well? I was thinking a submersible heater because it would be more hidden?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Old 10-25-2005, 03:06 PM   #2
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I prefer live aragonite sand. The reason for this is that the tank cycles alot faster. Crushed coral, however, will become live given about 2 weeks.

For a 20 gal tank you could get away with not having a skimmer. But it's always a good idea to have one. My mom has no skimmer on her 24gal nano cube and it does just fine. Someone else can recommend a skimmer for a tank of that size but I have no clue.

In a 20gal......I would go with a maxi jet 400 or 600

As for heaters.....any of the titanium tube types are what I prefer the most. However, with a tank that small, a visitherm stealth heater 75W would work fine.

Lastly I would advise you get 20-30 pounds of live rock. IMO fowlr tanks are always better than fish only tanks. Plus, you could always upgrade your lighting and go for a reef tank later down the line.(which you will BTW) Good luck!

37 gal all glass
50lb LR
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
nano arctica chiller
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Old 10-25-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
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Also make sure you research the damsels.....I ended up skipping them 'cause they have a reputation for becoming nasty buggers with age.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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right on with the heater the titanium are not suppose to break and cause a tank crash.

i would suggest a sand bed of 3 to 5 inches deep this will help along with the recommendations dragonforce said for the amount of lr. sand is better than crushed coral due to its sharp edges that will micro do not like so go with sand and its looks better imo

for a skimmer i have a prizm but its nothing compared to my cpr. so permium aquatics does have a prizm on sale for 60 bucks i think, thats the one i have and it will skim but i wouldnt use it for a delicate reef system. but for my fish only tank i do.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:18 PM   #5
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Thanks alot for the replies, I will go with sand, I think it looks nicer anyways. Will probly be back in a few weeks when I have my tank finally cycling!
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