Thought i was ready but.....
Well today i was thinking i was all ready for a saltwater reef tank, until i actually thought about it. For the people who dont know whats going on here
20 gallon tank
2 o. clowns
20 pounds live rock
2 HOB filters to start off with, when fish get bigger and when i do end up getting corals i will switch to an AquaC protein skimmer
Red or blue legged hermit crabs
turbo or margarita snails
130 watts of PC lights, 1 10,000k 65 watt and 1 blue antic
Instant ocean salt mix
Frozen mysis, frozen brine, live brine, saltwater pellet food, spirulna algae food
Mushrooms, polyps, i will only get these when i get a skimmer
Ok i have a few more questions
1. How deep of a sand bed should i get
2. How many gph should i be putting in the tank filtration and powerhead wise
3. Whats a good company of heaters
4. Could i fit 2 cleaner shrimps here?
5. How many water changes per week
6. Whats the ideal SG for a setup like this, i was thinking 1.023
7. What temperature for these corals and fish
8. What do i do i the tank is unbalanced?
9. What trace elements do i need and how much do i put in, do i need to do it frequently or only during water changes?
10. What are good algae and what is bad algae
Ok here is my order of work, if i am missing something or doing something wrong please tell me
Day 1: Position tank, install equipment, fill halfway with RO water, mix in salt, add live rock, fill the rest of it up with saltwater. Make sure all equipment is working, install hood and light
Day 2+: test water daily for ammonia and nitrites and nitrates, once ammonia and nitrites are at 0 and nitrates are at a detectable level, do 50% water change and move on to add fish. Lets say this is now day 20
Day 21: Add fish and clean up crew of snails and hermit crabs.
Day 22: Test water for ammonia and nitrites, if it is detected 10-15% water change daily until gone
Once mature add cleaner shrimp, lets say this is day 60 or something
Day 60: Add cleaner shrimp
Day 61: Test for any ammonia or nitrites, if detected 10-15% water change.
I will clean front glass and side glass of algae but leave the back glass to be covered in algae.
I will feed daily once,
Tuesday: Vege day, algae
Should i do it that way or should i just feed a little of everything each day?
Anything to say, say it, if you think everything im doing is wrong, say it.
2-3 sand bed. It won't be deep enough to process nitrites but it also won't give the headaches a deeper sand bed in a small tank can bring. Also will allow for burrowing shrimp and fish.
I'd look to have about 600GPH in a 20g tank with SPS, maybe a little less with softies, LPS and or weak fish.
1 small water change a week should do well, maybe 2-5g.
SPG, I prefer 1.025-26 for my tank. Fish only, run it around 23
Shoot for 74-79F, worry above 82F for long periods.
Unbalanced? Like how? Stand not level? Rock looks crooked? To many fishes for the filter?
You shouldn't need to dose anything if you actually plan to do weekly water changes. It'll all be in the salt.
Coraline is good in the tank. Cheato and caulerpa are good in the sump. Hair alage and cyano bacteria are bad news. Maidens hair, shaving brush, halimeda, dragons breath are all considered decorative algaes.
wow...r u sure deep sand beds r good? i have mine at only 2cms, the marine biologist i know said if the sand is more then 1 inch deep it causes build ups of this toxic gas that releases into the water and kills absolutly everything where as with a couple cms of sand it doesnt let it build up and it much easier to clean, is this true or what?cause ive heard it from many diff ppl inclueding my LFS boss guy...but in ur experience u might know more then them perhaps which would be very scarey,just 2-3 inches of sand is a big loss of space aswell.u r talking inches arent u?
cenimeters of sand do not provide a stable anought footing for rocks. you have chances of a rock slide if the rocks are not stcked right.
that may be true with straight sand not live sand. I have always heard that it is better, it is pretty much across the board, 1 lb/gal. So in my tank i have a 55 and 150 so i pretty much have about 220 lbs of live sand and that puts me at about 4 inches deep.
deep sand beds help lower nitrates if kept properly, the anox (anoxic? spelling please) bacteria eats nitrates and converts it to nitrogen which then leaves through evaporation into the atmosphere. But if the sand bed goes farther than anoxic conditions and converts to anerobic conditions, then deadly gases leach into the tank. So deep sand beds are only good if kept in good condition :)
Arobic (high or medium oxygen levels)
Anoxic (Low oxygen levels)
Anerobic (no oxygen levels)
im sure i have some spelling mistakes with the bacteria names so please tell my how to spell :)
Mush is hitting it home today.
The idea is that a 3 or less sand bed is a manageable sand bed and is not considered a DSB. A true DSB should be AT LEAST 6". The sand beds that can get people into trouble are the ones in between those depths. A 2" sand bed can easily be turned over on a regular basis, plus water will still flow through it. A 6" DSB is enough to allow the processes that Mush was explaining to actually happen. The depths in between do not really provide much as far as any waste conversion and can lead to stagnated areas.
Your friend did give you good advice in as much as telling you to keep your sand bed at a minimum and only for aesthetics. If you ever plan on keeping any wrasse, jawfish, etc... You will need a good sand bed for them to play in. It sounds to me that he either felt you wouldn't take good care of the sand bed or he had a tank crash once. A friend bought a new house recently and tore his tank down for the move. It was a 220g with an 8" DSB that had been running for over 7 years. One of the most impressive displays I've ever seen. It was a real shame to have to tear it down. His clam measured in at 22" across. I would think he would have had troubles within 7 years. Another point often overlooked is that with enough flow detritus won't settle in the sand. Way to often I read about systems with very little flow. Most are amazed at the idea of 20-30 times the tank volume for turnover rates.
You can see now how difficult every aspect of this hobby can have different view points and theories. It really depends upon what the intentions are for the tank. A fish only tank, I'd run just enough sand to look nice, a hobby reef 2", a full on reef with low livestock levels 6", low flow low - sand, high flow - DSB.
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