Hey all. I'm new to the forum, but I've been researching and reading all of the advice for a few months. 8)
I've kept a FOWLR
tank for about three years with a fairly descent level of success. I’ve had my casualties just like everyone else, but how else do we learn but from experience?
I’m looking to migrate from a FOWLR
tank to a mini reef. My tank stats are in my profile. I want to post my plans-thoughts so more experienced reef keepers can let me know if I’m heading in the wrong direction. One last comment – I'm trying to keep my expenses low, so no extravagant suggestions if you know what I mean.
1. Purchase a Bak-Pak 2 skimmer. I’ll install it once it’s received since my tank is 3yo already. Comments on my choice? I want to run it in a 10 gal DIY
sump (to add water volume and hide hardware) at a later date, but I'm taking baby steps for now. I’ve been maintaining my tank with very frequent RO
water changes, but I recognize the need for a skimmer. I found a LFS
that has a Seaclone 100 for 99.99 and I am tempted to jump at it. Bad choice? I really want the Bak-Pak because it seems pretty versatile and I’ve read it is more efficient. Suggestions?
2. Add a second power head for water circulation. I have one oscillating Penguin head that sits about 3 inches below water level and breaks the surface nicely. I will probably buy another and place it towards the bottom to push water through the LR
. Would that be sufficient for proper circulation?
3. Bring my LR
stock up to about 30 Lbs
4. Upgrade my lighting to two 40w Current-USA PC
’s. Total 80W for the 20 tall. Is this enough for a 20 tall? Should I add more juice due to the tank depth – 24 inches?
5. Determine what type of live stock I can support with my setup and begin to stock the tank. Understanding I can’t hold much in a 20, I’ll have to choose carefully. Any suggestions with the setup I’ve described?
I do have some other general questions:
-Should I consider converting my current CC
substrate to LS
? My CC
is clean and looks good. Will it be sufficient? Does it cause issues with certain types of corals?
-Will adding a sump be worth the hassle? Actually, the hassle is fun, but how beneficial will the sump be since it will only add about 6 gal
to my total water volume?
- Is 30Lbs of LR
sufficient for a 20G tank?
- Being somewhat inexperienced, I’ve only monitored my ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and PH
levels for the past three years. What additional parameters do I need to monitor to keep a healthy reef tank?
I guess that’s about all I can think of right now. Sorry for the long post, I tend to be wordy..
.. Thanks in advance for any advice.