First saltwater tank and i have some questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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First saltwater tank and i have some questions

I have a 20 gallon tank that i want to set up as a saltwater reef tank. I have to keep it in my room and i have no space to put a stand. I would have to keep it on top of a bookshelf so that eliminates the possibility of a sump. I don't fully understand the purpose of a sump and i'm not sure if it is completely necessary. I also know that most protein skimmers need space for the tank it fills up so i was wondering if there is a tankless protein skimmer of good quality. I have three lfs in the area so getting live sand an rock won't be a problem. I'm 15 and have a summer job so I don't have much $$$ but I'll be able to save up and buy the components separately. If u think Id be better off with a freshwater tank speak up but ive grown up in the ocean and have always wanted an aquarium. My sister has multiple freshwater tanks but I just don't find them nearly as beautiful and entertaining as a reef system.

If u could shine some light on my situation or have any suggestions id greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 04:56 PM
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An aquarium less than 30 gallons is considered to be nano aquariums. Nano aquariums do not require sumps, uv sterilizers, or large external protien skimmers. The prizm protien skimmer is a small protien skimmer that will fit your needs. it costs aroun 70 dollars. Although i would not reccommend you obtain your first corals yet you may set up your tank to reef standards and then add corals after you've had some experience already with fish. I have a ten gallon nano aquarium and it runs smoothly with the prism. If you decide to keep corals I would reccommend you start with an aquarium that can keep soft corals, mushrooms, zoanthids, and LPS. SPS corals require intense light and perfect water conditions. I would not reccommend these for you just yet. For the corals I mentioned above not including SPS I would reccommend a power compact fixture. Satellite dual bulb pc's are affordable and provide enough lighting for the corals. If you have any other questions please pm me. good luck
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I just got back from my lfs and i spoke to who seemed to be the owner. He showed me the Marineland Emperor 280 and 400 hang-on filters and said that was all i needed along with a powerhead if i planned on making it a reef tank.
If u have ever used one of these filters, please tell how u liked them. Also, any suggestions on cheap but good light fixtures?

Thanx aquakid 4 da advice
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 06:34 PM
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as far as i know, these "hang on" filters aren't the best way to go, protien skimmer and some live rock and live sand should be all you need to keep the tank clean, as well the occasional water changes.

from what i understand they do make hang on protien skimmers, or adapters...not sure of the brands though.

welcome to the forum!
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motica1 View Post
I just got back from my lfs and i spoke to who seemed to be the owner. He showed me the Marineland Emperor 280 and 400 hang-on filters and said that was all i needed along with a powerhead if i planned on making it a reef tank.
If u have ever used one of these filters, please tell how u liked them. Also, any suggestions on cheap but good light fixtures?

Thanx aquakid 4 da advice
This is nothing short of pathetic. This LFS owner clearly has no knowledge of marine reefkeeping systems. No, an Emperor 280 or 400 is not what you want on a reef. In fact, if you gave me this filter for FREE, I would not use it on any marine aquarium. My blood is boiling right now. Ridiculous advice.

In a reef environment, your goal is zero nitrate, and stable alkalinity & calcium levels. This is achieved with a protein skimmer, live rock, live sand, and supplements. The Emperor will work against your goals by pumping nitrate into the aquarium, and processing organic waste biologically, causing a depletion of carbonate and introduction of phosphate.

By the way, with all due to respect to Aquakid... and a good overall post above.... I would stay away from the Prism skimmer. The cost does not justify the performance. There are other more effective skimmers in the price range.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 10:03 PM
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Hey, I'm 15 and a reefer too. I'll give you a basic rundown of what you need, because you LFS sucks. Don't ever take their advice on anything. I never do.

In a 20, for filtration, you need:
-2 powerheads, at least, for the tank size.
-Sand
-Enough LR. You want about 1.5-2lbs per gallon. For example, my 40G has around 70lbs.
-Water changes, every week to every other week.

You don't need a skimmer or a sump in a tank that size if you do your WC's. Your filtration is powerheads, LR/LS, and WC's.

Also, how experienced are you in fish keeping? If you have very little experience, you should go FW. Even if you aren't, you need to spend months and months of researching SW and how it runs.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 10:10 PM
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i didnt even read what cody and pasfur have said because i hear them say it over and over again, so +1 to what they said.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 10:12 PM
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I do the same with all of us. You, me, Pasfur, SKAustin when he is on, Kells, the like.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-30-2009, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cody, me and my sis have had 3 freshwater tanks that have all been successful and r thriving. I've gotten bored of freshwater and have always wanted a SW tank. I've been reading up for two days now and I'm not in a rush. I just want to have as healthy of a tank as possible. What r ur fav powerheads?
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-31-2009, 01:22 AM
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Koralia Powerheads. For a 20G, you might want a #1 and a Nano.
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