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spencelee10 04-06-2011 05:31 PM

new to salt water
I currently keep a 10 gallon freshwater that's been up and running for about 4 months and its going well. I want to start a salt water tank and I've been researching for about a month. I want to keep a 20 gallon high reef tank with a firefish goby and 2 ocellaris clowns. I just want everyone's advice on the best way to go about it. I understand base rock and live rock. I understand filtration and powerheads as well as lighting or most of lighting. I do have a few questions. Can someone explain live sand and what the best substrate options are. Also what's the best lighting fixture for low to moderate light coals (zoas, mushrooms, and leathers)? Finally would a 29 gallon b worth 20 dollars more?

spencelee10 04-06-2011 09:10 PM

Also what role does a hob play in the marine aquarium? I've read they are as essential in salt water as they are in fresh water and I've also heard that a fully developed reef system doesn't need a filter at all and is self sustaining all it requires is pwc

jsmith 04-06-2011 10:39 PM

Im new to the saltwater hobby as well but those close to me whom have had great reef tanks for many years swear by hob filters from aqua clear.

carey 04-06-2011 10:42 PM

I just upgraded my 29g to a 55g but I was using an aquaclear50 and a protein skimmer as filtration. Worked out excellent.

At 20g you wouldnt even need the skimmer, the ac will be fine and your live rock of course.


joy13 04-06-2011 10:59 PM

Honestly doing a 29 gallon is better than a 20 gallon any amount of water volume you can add will make for a more stable tank. If you are looking for a way to save money in the long run don't cut corners because you are going to upgrade so you can do more.

If you use an aquaclear filter make it into a fuge it isn't that hard and makes it more like a hang on the back sump if you use a 110.

Light you could do a lot with a fishneedit light you will want 4 tubes get 2 blue and 2 white 2Ft/4Bulbs fixture You will want to upgrade the bulbs when the time comes to change them out. It will make a big difference but for starting out the bulbs they come with aren't bad.

For sand don't use crushed coral that is a nitrate factory.

Two very important things no one should do without is a refractometer and a good test kit like API.

Remember if you take your time and do it right the first time it will make it a lot more fun.

If there is a local forum that is a great place to find the best deals it seems like someone near me is either taking down a tank, downgrading or upgrading. Check craigslist as well.

spencelee10 04-06-2011 11:44 PM

Well I only have room for a 30 inch tank so I was thinking 20 high 20 long or 29. I don't kno which is better 20 high or 20 long because I'm not sure if depth or surface area is more important in salt water. I looked at the fishneedit lighting and really liked it. Will that b alright for lower light coals? I use an ac 20 on my freshwater 10 gallon and yeah there much better than anything else. Will I need a dump or refugium for a tank of this size?

joy13 04-07-2011 12:17 AM

It will depend on the fish you want in your tank if you want tall or long. With the the 2 clowns go for the longer tank so the firefish will have its own little territory hopefully. As the clowns get older they will get meaner and more territorial they become. The 29 gallon is still a better choice it is 9 more gallons of water which is nearly a third more. Remember when you do an aqua clear filter you can dial it down so the flow is very low. I have both a 70 and a 110 I know that if I was starting another tank I would use the 110 if it would fit even if it was on a 10 gallon.

With that light you should be able leathers. mushrooms, zoas and even LPS very easy. Lower light SPS can work to as long at they are up high.

As far as the skimmer personally on a smaller tank it makes more sense to do more water changes. It will help keep the tank more stable.

spencelee10 04-07-2011 10:04 AM

What should I do in terms of powerheads? Type, gph, placement.

spencelee10 04-07-2011 03:09 PM

And also what amounts of base rock and live rock should I go with? And what is the best base rock

xxwolfpackof1xx 04-07-2011 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by spencelee10
And also what amounts of base rock and live rock should I go with? And what is the best base rock

1-2 lbs per gallon check out Marcos rocks great prices on base rock about 2.95-3.20 per lb n free shipping

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