10-08-2009, 08:41 AM
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You can have a successful 20 gallon saltwater tank, so long as you are willing to work within the limitations of the tank. The first piece of advice I have for you is this. Forget everything you know about freshwater. The biggest problem people have in doing saltwater tanks is that they have learned what they can "get away with" in freshwater. These same mistakes will cost you dearly in a marine system. If you do it right, don't push the limits, and take it SLOW, you will have a successful system.
I agree with the basics of this tank. You want live rock and live sand, with a protein skimmer to complete the filtration system. You do not want ANY other form of filtration on a marine system. The use of mechanical filters, hang on filters, internal filters, canisters, undergravels, etc... these all degrade water quality in marine systems. This concept is hard to understand and requires some knowledge of marine chemistry, but it is critical that you accept this part of the hobby.
As you do your research feel free to post any questions. You should start by reading some of the "build" threads in the Pictures and Videos area of this website.