Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Still planning but have questions (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/still-planning-but-have-questions-10054/)

grey 12-16-2007 12:47 PM

Still planning but have questions
 
I have been going through the messages both on this side and on the FW side and I noticed that it seems we all agree to disagree on certain things.

I finally decided a SW reef tank would be for me. So I have several questions as to what I can do with a 20 gal tank. (looking to buy books on saltwater keeping)

I am planning on a 20 gallon with live rock and live sand. As time goes on I plan to put in a yellow fiji leather, a chili coral, citron clown goby, golden basslet, red hermit crab and cleaner shrimp. I figured on that combo as all are said to need approximately SG 1.020 - 1.025, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temp. 72 - 78 F and they eat similar food.

Now my questions are: (planning on dry run to fish store shortly)

1.) how much live rock is suitable (pound wise)
2.) how much live sand
3.) best filtration, heating, lighting suitable
4.) is the above combination of animals suitable and/or is there any that might cause problems and need changing.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

grey

caferacermike 12-16-2007 02:59 PM

1. 10lbs minimum. Buy what you think will look nice as a decoration. Don;t just buy one round ball of a heavy rock, buy one huge piece full of holes, cliffs, etc.. or several small pieces. The goal is always to by rock that is lighter than it looks. Also make attempts to buy corals on rocks as the rock comes free. I've seen several occasions of a a 5lb rock full of green star polyps (perfect for your plan) sell for as little as $20.

2. I'd shoot for between 20-50lbs of sand. The deeper the more chance it will convert nitrite into nitrate over time. Less than 2" won't become a time bomb, more than 5" creates a natural "deep sand bed". In between is where people run into troubles. Add some pistol shrimp and a watchman goby and those 2 will keep it turned over so it can't trap waste.

3. Best filtration would be weekly 5g water changes, period. However you could add a 20g sump underneath with a quality skimmer, such as a Euro-reef, but not really necessary for that small of a tank. I'd be more worried about adding some Tunze Nano streams or Hydor Korallia stream pumps for circulation as long as you keep up the weekly water changes. Ebo-Jager are consider some of the better heaters, made by Eheim. I'd try to run a T5 4 bulb system over a 20g, 3x 12-14K and 1 actinic.

4. I think your list of critters is well thought out. I'd add about 2-30 more small blue leg, zebra leg, or red legged hermits to eat algae and waste plus several nassarius snails.

SeaSerpant 12-16-2007 03:41 PM

i say 1 pound of live rock per gallon

grey 12-16-2007 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caferacermike
1. 10lbs minimum. Buy what you think will look nice as a decoration. Don;t just buy one round ball of a heavy rock, buy one huge piece full of holes, cliffs, etc.. or several small pieces. The goal is always to by rock that is lighter than it looks. Also make attempts to buy corals on rocks as the rock comes free. I've seen several occasions of a a 5lb rock full of green star polyps (perfect for your plan) sell for as little as $20.

2. I'd shoot for between 20-50lbs of sand. The deeper the more chance it will convert nitrite into nitrate over time. Less than 2" won't become a time bomb, more than 5" creates a natural "deep sand bed". In between is where people run into troubles. Add some pistol shrimp and a watchman goby and those 2 will keep it turned over so it can't trap waste.

3. Best filtration would be weekly 5g water changes, period. However you could add a 20g sump underneath with a quality skimmer, such as a Euro-reef, but not really necessary for that small of a tank. I'd be more worried about adding some Tunze Nano streams or Hydor Korallia stream pumps for circulation as long as you keep up the weekly water changes. Ebo-Jager are consider some of the better heaters, made by Eheim. I'd try to run a T5 4 bulb system over a 20g, 3x 12-14K and 1 actinic.

4. I think your list of critters is well thought out. I'd add about 2-30 more small blue leg, zebra leg, or red legged hermits to eat algae and waste plus several nassarius snails.

Thanks Mike....
There is a place not too far from where i live called 'Aquarium Illusion' that was recommended to me by a friend.

I actually had thought of the Eheim heater (Jager 100 W Heater 12 inch UL Approved) and possibly needing a filter, but if water changes and the sand/rock will do the job it will save some money for something else.

Would a chiller also be advisable as it gets pretty darn hot in my apartment, that faces south, in the summer? Some days it can hit 30C/86F inside.

Those pumps you mentioned...how many would I need and which has the better track record or should I go for a combination of the two?

MattD 12-16-2007 05:16 PM

Yes, a chiller will be a good idea if that's what it's like inside your house. Big temp swings can spell disaster for your tank.

It will be difficult to control temp swings, your lights will also contribute to heat problems. Cooling is critical, I've found that a fan pointed to my tank with the feeding lid open helps unbelievably. It dropped my temp from 27C to 25C during the day, and it goes off at night (since the lights do). The stock fans were crap so I removed them from my unit.

Good luck.

@SS

1lb per gallon is an undershot, imo. Stock more like 1.5 lbs - 2 lbs per gallon for maximum filtration.

SeaSerpant 12-16-2007 06:11 PM

Aquarium Illusion is in edmonton. am i right? it's kinda off mayfield? i go there too. Have you seen the small 10gal display at the front thats what i want.

grey 12-16-2007 06:15 PM

Yes it is...I havent been there yet but plan to after new years

SeaSerpant 12-16-2007 06:20 PM

i live right near it too. they have awesome displays and they are all experts so they can help you. They have boths FW and SW fish. they have live coral and make tanks custom made. they make stands and lids and tanks and almost all you can think of for fish. They are solely devoted to it. i've chosen aquarium illusions for all my fish needs. some prices are a bit high but you can still get a good deal.

grey 12-16-2007 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MattD
Yes, a chiller will be a good idea if that's what it's like inside your house. Big temp swings can spell disaster for your tank.

It will be difficult to control temp swings, your lights will also contribute to heat problems. Cooling is critical, I've found that a fan pointed to my tank with the feeding lid open helps unbelievably. It dropped my temp from 27C to 25C during the day, and it goes off at night (since the lights do). The stock fans were crap so I removed them from my unit.

Good luck.

@SS

1lb per gallon is an undershot, imo. Stock more like 1.5 lbs - 2 lbs per gallon for maximum filtration.

Can you or anyone suggest a chiller (make/product) that would give me a starting point. I saw a few online but the ads were a bit confusing.

As for pumps..on a 20 gal, how much gph rate do I need. The sugguested Koralia nano puts out 240 gph while the smallest Tunze nano has a rate of 660 gph.

SeaSerpant 12-16-2007 06:43 PM

I don't know what you mean chiller. :lol:


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