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Old 04-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #1
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Saltwater newbie

Hey everyone. I'm new to saltwater and wanted to start a topic so I could get everyone's input. My plan was to do a fish only tank, but after seeing everyone's tanks with coral I think that's what I want to do. I started a 20 gal tank around 3 days ago. I have 20 lbs live rock and 20 lbs live sand. The equipment I have now is a HOB aqua clear 50 filter, heater, aqueon 700 powerhead, and a T8 fluorescent light. My plan is to do soft corals and at least 2 clownfish for the kids. I'm open to suggestions for everything else. Also what else do I need for the corals? The tank is cycling so I have time to figure it out before getting livestock.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:27 AM   #2
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Here is a pic of my tank so far.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:13 AM   #3
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Looking good, I'd add a skimmer to the set up, and stick with only two clowns, they get territorial, esp in smaller settings

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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Is your rock agains the back wall?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:43 AM   #5
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I've been thinking about a skimmer. What size would be good?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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On the rock It's not touching the glass case I wanted room to clean the glass
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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x2 on the rock location, is it against the glass? also i would go with at least 30lbs of rock for a reef, you can get smaller "filler" sized rock to fill in the gaps on the rocks to hide the seams in the larger rocks to make it look more natural and also add a few more pounds of rock to your tank without adding a huge chunk on top making the scape look odd.

you can also get a small skimmer for your tank like the aquaticlife 115 i ran that one on my 29g bedroom reef tank and had great success with it so on a 20g it should do even better, it pulled consistent dark skimmate and my water parameters were always spot on.

for lighting that t8 is not going to support corals your going to need a good light, i suggest the 120w dimmable led fixtures, im running two of them on my 75g reef and i have sps and lps with no trouble at all, plus it gives you full customization over the color of light you want in your tank, more white, or more blue, or full white and blue, its all up to you, the light covers 24" of water and about the same depth of water, so one fixture would be perfect for you.

link--> Aquarium Protein Skimmer: AquaticLife Internal Mini Skimmer 115

link--> 120W Dimmable LED | eBay

as far as livestock, its all up to personal preference but theres plenty of pretty colorful, hardy, and active fish you can add to you tank, that you and your children can enjoy, heres a few of my favorites ive had great luck with and are very hardy fish, plus they just "pop" in a reef tank, active and playful, plus theyre colors are bright and striking.

links-->

Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Ocellaris Clownfish, Tank Bred
~~~~~~~~~~
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Bicolor Dottyback
or
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Purple Dottyback
or
Purple Stripe Dottyback
~~~~~~~~~~
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Firefish
or
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Firefish, Purple
~~~~~~~~~~
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Six Line Wrasse - Reef Safe Wrasses
or
Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse, Wetmorella tanakai
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #8
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You really don't need a skimmer on the size tank. Wc's are easy on nanos and that's one less piece if equipment to buy and place in the tank. 20-25% changes weekly will give you all the nutrient export you need, and the skimmer won't make your weekly maintenance any easier (it's actually just one more piece of equipment to clean). Just my $.02 though on that. You could also do more than a pair of clowns, 2-3 other small peaceful fish would be fine, but I would introduce the clowns last as they can be jerks.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:34 PM   #9
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On the rock I'm a little confused. Should I put the rock against the glass or keep away from the glass?
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #10
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Give your self a couple inches so you can clean the glass
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:04 PM   #11
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I have my rocks up against my back glass. Being unable to clean all of the algae off the back glass bothered me until I painted the glass black. Now, not only do my coral and fish colors 'pop', but you don't see any of the algae growth...to the point that I never clean the algae off the back glass!
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #12
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I have all my rock work against my glass, I never bother cleaning my back glass because my tank is about 1" from the wall and I have no way to reach my hand back there, just paint the back glass black and you'll never notice, I like the look of a coralline covered rear glass. Just give yourself 2" from the sides to use a magnet cleaner for the glass
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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You could definitly fit more fish in there!
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:05 PM   #14
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Saltwater newbie

Alright, here to clarify some things.
1.) No skimmer is required, it is unnecessary and expensive. Water changes will support your nutrient export completely
2.) The amount of rock you have is perfectly fine. Just because you plan on having a reef doesn't mean you need more. Actually, often time FOWLR fish have bigger bioloads then reef safe ones.
3.) In order to support any photosynthetic creature your lighting needs to be upgraded. Tao panels are the best for the buck. One will do you good.
4.) I don't keep my rocks on the glass whether the back is painted or not. I feel safer with the scape knowing it doesn't have to rely on another structure to be
stable,

5.) You can have more fish then 2 clowns. The most common amount is 3., but if your system is really that reliable after some time (6-12 months) a fourth fish is possible.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:04 PM   #15
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Not saying just two fish, only no more than two clowns

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Old 04-30-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the information. How long do you normally wait after the tank is cycled can you add corals?
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:21 AM   #17
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Also with this size of tank is a cleaning crew good. If it is what kind? I really like snails and hermit crabs. How many would be good and what kind?
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:51 AM   #18
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What are some good lights to get so I can read up on them? I would prefer something that can be clamped to the tank because I don't really want to drill holes into the ceiling or wall.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:52 AM   #19
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I love my aqua illumination LEDs!
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:59 AM   #20
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Those are nice but way too expensive for me
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