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What can I fit in 20G?
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Joined: 27 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.27(Tue)15:25    Post subject: What can I fit in 20G? Reply with quote

I have a small space at home where I can fit a 20G tank someone gave me. I had a saltwater tank years ago and would like to set this tank up as a saltwater.

Given the size, I plan to keep it simple; a couple clowns and maybe one or two other hardy types like Damsels.

My question is how to determine how much a tank will support and is it possible to introduce any coral to a tank that size (OK, that's 2 questions)?.
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)11:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a twenty, and have been keeping three small sized fish in it. I may be pushing it a bit, and maybe two would be better. Clowns would be a good pick. In my personal experience, when I mixed my clown with a yellow tailed damsel, the damsel showed a lot of aggression towards the clown. The clown did not seem particularly bothered, but I'm guessing for the long term, the stress could not be good. I am not sure if this is typical behavior or not, but damsels in general do tend to be aggressive. You may also want to try a firefish. They should do well in a 20 gallon. Personally, in my tank, I have one clown, a dwarf angel (which may be pushing it, but so far he seems to be fine), and a firefish (but he died over the weekend, not sure why). The clown I have had for almost a year, the firefish for about 8 months, and the dwarf for a few months. Talking to others on this board, some feel that clowns should be kept only in pairs. So you may try two clowns, and a firefish. I'm sure others can give some of their opinions on fish selection. You are definately a bit limited, as the tank is quite small.

As for corals, undoubtedly, if you are willing to put in the research, time, and the money, you can turn your 20 into a nano reef. Mine has mushrooms, anemones, frogspawn, torch, hammer and a bubble coral, and they are all doing well.
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Joined: 06 Mar 2003
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of also getting a saltwater tank, and I'm scared of the costs to set it up.
Can you estimate how much money all this is going to cost you?
Are you going for a fish only setup of a little reef?
What equipment are you buying? Live rock & sand?
Corals? Inverts?

I would apreciate any info,
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)13:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

well my guess for a fish only 20g you could get away with only about300$ 20g-20-30$ power heads(2) 30-40$ Liverock40-55$ livesand-30-50$ lighting 40watts 50$ bulbs-50-60$ thats a pretty good minimum of course you add little pieces of equitment and salt and you got it. thats a minimum fish only.
32g planted community
7.5g Nano Reef
1 four legged wonder napper
2 winged demons
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Joined: 27 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)14:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't looked into any of the costs yet and don't have a clear idea of what I'm going to set up.

I was hoping to have a few corals, but given the cost and difficulty of keeping it going, I'm thinking of going with a fish only tank.
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Joined: 05 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)19:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would a simple Over-the-top Filter work for a 20G?

Like an Aquaclear, any of those biowheels types or Ehiem's Liberty filters.

Also I'm wondering if I would ABSOLUTELY need anything aside from whats on the following list.

Aquarium salt
Crushed Coral
Filter (type?)
20g aquarium
SW test kit

I know Protein skimmers are important as is Live Rock but do I absolutely need it for a Fish only aquarium with like 2-3 Clownfish or Gobies?
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.05.28(Wed)22:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

save your self the trouble and go with agronite sand instead of crushed coral. It'll save you nitrate headaches down the road.

By salt you mean marine salt not the stuff in the little milk carton?

I'd go away from the Bio-wheel's there Nitrate factories. I know saltwater fish don't mind nitrates as much as corals do, but still why put any exra stress on them. Leave the nitrates to the freshwater fish.

You don't need a protien skimmer on a tank that small. Just do pretty regular water changes and you should be fine. Every other week should be good.
Don't buy the fish before you know the fish.
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.29(Thu)10:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to add lights, powerheads, maybe a protein skimmer, live rock, and assorted types of food. Maybe an algae magnet and a net. And just because you might not think of this, a power strip, since you'll have a lot of stuff to power. Also maybe an appliance timer. So that you don't have to think about turning the lights on and off. I'm just rattling things off the top of my head. I might have missed a few things. Just in case the aquarium doesn't already come with a cover, you might want one. Lot's of fish have been known to be jumpers. As for the test kits, you'll want to be sure to get one for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, definately. You may want to also add phosphate. Also, instead of getting a cheap hydrometer, you may want to go with a more expensive refractometer. I hear the hydrometers are not very accurate. Not a must, but a lot of people recommend it. A bucket, for mixing saltwater. Maybe some pipe cleaners. I'm sure others can add to the list. Good luck.
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.01(Sun)12:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

The expensive parts are the lr and the lights if going reef but with a 20 gallin you can go with pcs and get away fairly easy. With pcs on a 20 you can go with most coral types. As far as skimmers go they are a big help especially to a beginner but that is someting that can be bought later on. I had a 38 gall for almost a year and had no problems but I did a small water change every week to help that and went almost a year on my 75 with out a skimmer. There are even tanks that run totally skimmerless.

a paif of clowns would go great in that maby consider a small goby of some type if you go with a 3rd fish. But I wouldnt go over that for fish. You could go with a shrimp or pair of them also. You can go with some of the good beginner corals like polyps, leathers, or mushrooms. Maby a feather duster or 2 for variety. Inverts add almost no bioload to the tank not like a fish does. If your worrid about the cost of corals you can try and buy frags cheap they frags will grow. I got a purple mushroom rock with a single mushroom now I have about 15 of them.

It can be a expensive hobby but the hardest and most expensive part is setting up and getting fish depending on what kind. As far as cost that depends on what you want. What size tank are you looking at? Fo go with regular standard lighting no extra cost. Sand you can buy dry sand, several pounds for a few bucks. Also maby to substite to save money you can get someting like lace rock and seed it with some real lr, same with the sand get the dry seed with a pound or 2 of live. Skimmers theres ones for 60 $- really expensive ones. I believe prizms are one of the best low end skimmers available. I also know of someone that found dead (lr) that picked it up really cheap and re seeded it with live and its just fine now.

I would say your filter would be fine for your fo. The emporers and penguins are good filters for a hob filter. Also with them you can choose to use carbon if you want or remove the bio wheels which some people do, plus they give the tank good surface agitation. Means more oxygen in the water.

Instead of cc I would go with sand. CC you have to vaccum to keep it clean sand you don't. In your test kit make sure you get ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, and alkalinity those are the most important. Also you may want a small pwr head or 2 for circulation for a small tank the mini jet ones would suit that size tank very well. You can get away without the skimmer just remember regular water changes. As far as the rest of your list it looks good.

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