20G SW set-up, what do i need?
This will be my friends first SW tank and he has been doing research and reading for the past aouple months about it. So far he hasthe tank, heater and a HOB. What else is he going to need? i know you need protein skimmer, lighting and what not. But i dont know what to look for and which one to get. Any links to products you recommend i get would be great or at least the name so i can search for it. Lighting is an issue also. idk what i need. So i need more knowledge on what i need. I also know some say not to put a HOB filter or any filter on it for that matter except a protein skimmer yet everywere i look, including books say you need some type of mechanical filter such as a caniser or HOB. Also what water tester kits do you guys use? Any input would be greatlly appreciated.
What kind of live rock is best and is there a specific amount (pounds) that i need in a 20G? Also is live rock and live sand neccessary and what depth of sand do i want?
The marine hobby is a rapidly advancing hobby with a lot of outdated and incorrect material circulating, especially in books and on old internet articles. The use of mechanical filtration is not a horrible concept, provided you clean the filter pads almost daily. Failure to clean the pads causes detritus accumulation, leading to rising nitrates and phosphates. Most reef keepers do not use mechanical filtration at all, because phosphates cause huge problems. In FOWLR tanks, such as yours, the use of a mechanical filter could provide benefits, IF YOU CLEAN the filter pads DAILY!
Any sand bed should be less than 1'' depth, or between 4'' and 6'' depth. At less than 1'' you will not have detritus buildup, but you will also not have effective denitrification. For ideal denitrification, you want 4'' to 6'' depth. Depths of >1'' and under 4'' tend to accumulate detritus without providing substantial denitrification benefits.
Your system should be set up as any other system. Live rock, aragonite sand, and a protein skimmer would be the ideal and easiest method for you. For a protein skimmer, I would suggest any of the following:
Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Seaclone Protein Skimmer 100 - 17 3/4 in. high | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
If you have a sump system, then this would be a better choice:
Mini G Series Skimmer | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Each of these skimmers could handle a slightly larger aquarium, say up to 55 gallons in size.
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