This is a discussion on noobie needs some help. within the Saltwater Fish forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; -->
It is true that many people set up aquariums without using live rock. In my experience over the last 15+ years in keeping marines, ...
It is true that many people set up aquariums without using live rock. In my experience over the last 15+ years in keeping marines, these people rarely have any level of sustained success. Live rock is the stability of your system, and fish are much more difficult to sustain in aquariums set up without live rock. I believe over the long term you will find live rock to be the less expensive option.
On a 20 gallon aquarium you won't need an expensive skimmer, but you do want something that is high quality, because you will save a lot of money in the long run. A good skimmer will dramatically reduce water changes, as well as save you money on buffers and calcium supplementation. I would suggest the Coralife hang on unit: Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
This is the most cost effective unit for under $100 that you will find. Most of the other hang on designs are rather ineffective in comparison.
thank you and as a mater of fact i think i'm getting a whole new set up off craigslist soon so i don't need to convert my freshwater tank. i'll make another post about it. give me your opinion, Pasfur, you really seem to know what your talking about.