Tenative 20 gallon long SW
OK guys, hear me out. This is 100% planning for the future. Although I've had FW tanks most of my life, I am only about 1.5 years in doing it "Correctly" by myself. That being said, Its time I start researching SW to be sure I'm prepared for the future. The soonest I would start this tank (if I even do) would be September, although I wouldn't be surprised if it takes longer for me to start. However I believe that you cant be too prepared for anything.
I would like to plan everything way before hand, that way I can research the specifics of what I want to do with my tank and not just sw in general. I want to plan setup, prices, stock and the future. I know that the larger the "easier" however, reef tanks can be very expensive as im sure you all know, and I will defiantly not want to put out the money for my first tank to be anything larger than a 30gallon. I say 20 long in my title because I think they look nice, but if there is good reasons to do a 30 gallon, that fine with me.
I figure creating or buying a small sump would be a good idea to help prepare for larger tanks, so I would be willing to "do what i need to do" in order to incorporate one.
I would like to start FOWLR but be able to add corals to get the idea of the care and expertise needed to care for them. So whatever fish/inverts I start with should be coral safe. I love all sorts of inverts, so im excited for snails, shrimps and crabs.
So I figure I will need:
The Tank, stand and sump
Live rock and sand
Lights (again, assuming I want to incorporate some corals at some point)
So will a 20 gallon long work? What size sump? What kinda stock can I have? How can i incorporate some corals down the line. Im gonna get into specific examples for equipment to get a price estimate and see if what is find is OK
Thanks everyone for the time and knowledge you share! :-D Oh, and any good books on SW i should look at?
a 20L would work, infact i personally would prefer it over a normal sized 20. for this size tank a 10 gallon sump would work, but if your going to go through the trouble of doing that, you might as well make it another 20L as it will double your water volume and the room you have to work with. a skimmer alone would fill a 10 gallon sump, not to mention the heaters, refugium and anything else you wanted to include there.
a few things off the gate to look into, glass-holes for an overflow kit, marco rocks for dry rock, and i would prob. use hydor koralia powerheads ( ecotech or tunzes if you can afford them )
your going to need liquid test kits for alk, cal, mag, ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, a thermometer for temp, and a refractometer ( check ebay ) for salinity at the minimum.
not to much for fish will work with a 20 gallon. a pair of clowns and a goby and your stocked ( along with your snails, shrimp and corals )
your also going to need a RO/DI unit, seperate containers for sw and freshwater, an extra heater and powerhead for making saltwater 24 hours in advance.
Two things to add. I assume moving a SW tank, especially with corals is crazy work. But with proper preperation and knowledge, I assume everything should go well. Also, the idea would be to eventually, way way way down the line, move the contents of this tank to a larger one. I know none of my equipment will carry over, but fish, corals, inverts, rocks and sand. Is this normal to do?
Ill take what info you gave me and think about everything and come back with more questions I'm sure!
Things you need for a Salt Water Aquarium:
Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhickers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way oyu go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter)
Multiple Powerheads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph powerheads.
Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volumeSaltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Tets for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
Rubber kitchen gloves
Fish netTwo, clean, never used before, 5-gallon bucketsAquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
Heater rated for your size tank.
Marine SaltSaltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurateAquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, etc.)
Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed cora. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
And yes, all your Live Rock and Substrate will carry over to a new tank. That will also help it cycle faster.
yes, things will transfer over into another tank but i can suggest setting up the new tank before transfering then slowly ( over a week or two, if not longer ) transfer things into the new tank for the best results.
as for books, i recently picked up marine fishes by scott w. michael, corals by julian sprung and the new encyclopedia of the saltwater aquarium by greg jennings. so far out of the 3 i enjoy marine fishes and corals the best but google.com will be a great research tool.
right now i have a 20g long sw tank at my wifes school. i have no protein skimmer, so i do more water changes. for pumps and power heads im running a Hydor Koralia 425, and i have an aqua clear 50 on the other side of the tank to help move water and balance things out. for inhabitants i have 2 ocellaris clown fish, two yellow tailed damsels, and one algea benny. plus about 18-22 yellow tip hermit crabs, and a pin cushion urchin as my cuc. only thing i can suggest is to use R/O water! im having a terrible time with green algea because my phosphates are too high even with a phosphate removing in the filter. other than that go for it!
as far as the lights go. Almost everything im seeing are not hoods. I definitaly need something with hood as I have horrible horrible cats lol. any examples of what could work?
Id have to find a stand that could hold another 20 long so the sump is enclosed :/
usually you gotta build the hood if thats what your looking for. really isnt hard, just make a wooden frame and i suggest siliconing the joints before giving the inside a few coats of paint to help keep water moisture out.
you could also get thick cut glass for the top and just have your lights ontop of it
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