Planning first saltwater; 20 long
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Planning first saltwater; 20 long

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Planning first saltwater; 20 long
Old 02-27-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
 
Planning first saltwater; 20 long

My goal with this thread is to get a realistic price point and equipment list so I can start budgeting and planning a 20 long saltwater build. This isnít anything I am in a rush for, as it may be close to a year before I can get it setup, but it is nice to know what to expect. I want to start with a FOWLR and when Iím ready move to some basic corals. I know this size is not ideal for a sw beginner, but Iím ok with the challenges of a smaller tank size. Iíve been researching and reading and want to get opinions and suggestions on what I think will be needed.

I will be using an ac70 fuge mod with chaeto and filter floss. No sump as space is at a premium. Iíd like to place the heater inside and Iíve heard the Hydor 50w will fit. Any others?

Iím thinking 2 Koralia nano 425ís for powerheads. Is this enough water movement? I will probably get a smaller or more inexpensive one for mixing water changes as well.

Lighting will most likely be a less expensive Oddysea fixture. 4x24w t5. Iím hoping this will provide ample light to try some beginner and progressively more difficult corals as time goes on.

I am planning a no more than 2Ē sand bed that will probably be all live sand. Also somewhere around 20-30 pounds live rock. I can source both of these from my LFS, and will probably only get a couple nice pieces of live rock to seed with to cut down on cost and macro for the rest.

Other items would be hydrometer, an RO/DI water source, salt mix, and a test kit. I already own the API freshwater kit, will this work for salt?

Not super important right now, but stocking plans are most likely a reef safe CUC, 2 clownfish, and a goby or blenny. Obviously a lot more research will go into these choices but not worried about it right now.

Will weekly changes be enough to get by without a protein skimmer? Am I missing anything crucial? Let me know what you think.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
My goal with this thread is to get a realistic price point and equipment list so I can start budgeting and planning a 20 long saltwater build. This isnít anything I am in a rush for, as it may be close to a year before I can get it setup, but it is nice to know what to expect. I want to start with a FOWLR and when Iím ready move to some basic corals. I know this size is not ideal for a sw beginner, but Iím ok with the challenges of a smaller tank size. Iíve been researching and reading and want to get opinions and suggestions on what I think will be needed.


I will be using an ac70 fuge mod with chaeto and filter floss. No sump as space is at a premium. Iíd like to place the heater inside and Iíve heard the Hydor 50w will fit. Any others?

Iím thinking 2 Koralia nano 425ís for powerheads. Is this enough water movement? I will probably get a smaller or more inexpensive one for mixing water changes as well.

Lighting will most likely be a less expensive Oddysea fixture. 4x24w t5. Iím hoping this will provide ample light to try some beginner and progressively more difficult corals as time goes on.

I am planning a no more than 2Ē sand bed that will probably be all live sand. Also somewhere around 20-30 pounds live rock. I can source both of these from my LFS, and will probably only get a couple nice pieces of live rock to seed with to cut down on cost and macro for the rest.

Other items would be hydrometer, an RO/DI water source, salt mix, and a test kit. I already own the API freshwater kit, will this work for salt?

Not super important right now, but stocking plans are most likely a reef safe CUC, 2 clownfish, and a goby or blenny. Obviously a lot more research will go into these choices but not worried about it right now.


Will weekly changes be enough to get by without a protein skimmer? Am I missing anything crucial? Let me know what you think.

when i did my 20g long i could only fit about 12lbs of live rock, tank couldnt hold any more due to the fact that its not alot of space. 2'' sand bed is find and u should only need one power head when u have a filtration system added or else your fish will be swimming throught a water cyclone. you fish choices are fine cause that si what i had in my tank and all of them survived. the onthing i could stress about is the cleaner the water you start with the better the results ur gonna have. other than that what type of light bulbs are u gonna use? i used a dual T-5 lighting system with a 14k coral growth light and a actinic light. if i had to guess the total cost of getting that tank up in running it was about $200-$300, but i had built my own lighting system for that tank.

good luck
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
 
Thanks Talon, I'll keep the amount of live rock in mind. I plan on using two white bulbs, somewhere in the 10k-20k range, and two actinic bulbs. I haven't done alot of research into what kelvin is best, or what actinic range I'll want. Bulb choices will wait until later.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
Thanks Talon, I'll keep the amount of live rock in mind. I plan on using two white bulbs, somewhere in the 10k-20k range, and two actinic bulbs. I haven't done alot of research into what kelvin is best, or what actinic range I'll want. Bulb choices will wait until later.
you really should use at least a minimum of 1lb of Live Rock per gallon, break the Live Rock up if you have to, but you must keep in mind, that is your filtration system, you do'nt want to skimp on that. Next, you want t skimmer that is rated at least twice your water volume, this you absolutely do not want to skimp on, this thing is your best bud in your system.
2 Koralia 240's will do ya nicely.
Water Pumps & Wavemakers: Hydor Koralia Nano 240 & 425
the lighting you are looking at wiil work even for the high lihgt need corals.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
you really should use at least a minimum of 1lb of Live Rock per gallon, break the Live Rock up if you have to, but you must keep in mind, that is your filtration system, you do'nt want to skimp on that. Next, you want t skimmer that is rated at least twice your water volume, this you absolutely do not want to skimp on, this thing is your best bud in your system.
2 Koralia 240's will do ya nicely.
Water Pumps & Wavemakers: Hydor Koralia Nano 240 & 425
the lighting you are looking at wiil work even for the high lihgt need corals.
So it is absolutely necessary to get a skimmer even for a smaller tank? I would like to get by without one for a couple reasons. One being space on the tank is at a premium because I want a clean look, it's probably going on a kitchen counter. The other concern is money. I don't want to cut any corners, and if need be I'll certainly wait a little longer to save up. However I would really like to go without one.

I'll be trying to get as close to my 20-30 lbs goal for live rock as I can. Breaking it up is a great tip as well. I'm also glad to hear that 2 x 240's should be ok for powerheads. This is in conjunction with the AC70 right?
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
So it is absolutely necessary to get a skimmer even for a smaller tank? I would like to get by without one for a couple reasons. One being space on the tank is at a premium because I want a clean look, it's probably going on a kitchen counter. The other concern is money. I don't want to cut any corners, and if need be I'll certainly wait a little longer to save up. However I would really like to go without one.

I'll be trying to get as close to my 20-30 lbs goal for live rock as I can. Breaking it up is a great tip as well. I'm also glad to hear that 2 x 240's should be ok for powerheads. This is in conjunction with the AC70 right?
Ok, you can get away with it, if....you have to do weekly water changes to export your nutrients in the water, if you see the Nitrates getting to high, start doing larger than 10% water changes to get them down. No need for the AC70, thats not really a water mover. Thats just a dead spot powerhead, not much power behind it. just use the powerheads, of your choice, i just linked the ones that are good, you don't have to use those.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
 
I am fine with doing weekly water changes, and can keep an eye on nitrate levels. I was going to use the ac70 as a small fuge with chaeto. This should help control/lower phosphates and nitrates correct? Also hoping it can be a small source of pods.

Also the Koralia nano's were what I was looking at anyways. Seems the price/performance is great with Koralia powerheads.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
I am fine with doing weekly water changes, and can keep an eye on nitrate levels. I was going to use the ac70 as a small fuge with chaeto. This should help control/lower phosphates and nitrates correct? Also hoping it can be a small source of pods.

Also the Koralia nano's were what I was looking at anyways. Seems the price/performance is great with Koralia powerheads.
Was reading the original post, said that sump was out of the question. I take it you plan on making a partition of some sort for an in tank fuge?
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:23 PM   #9
 
I will be modding the ac70 into a fuge. Something along these lines How to DIY an AC 70 fuge - Reef Central Online Community
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
 
Very slick!!
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