PDA

View Full Version : 20 gallon or so reef tank


mwl76
04/30/2011, 06:00 PM
i have two tanks as of now, a 20 gallon freshwater and a 29 gallon biocube fowlr. I would like to convert the 20 gallon tank into a saltwater reef tank. What do i need for the tank? i am planning on a lot of live rock, anywhere from 1-2 pounds, probably closer to two, per gallon.

Wigg
05/01/2011, 08:51 PM
I have two 29 gallon freshwater tanks. One is planted and has fish, and the other I recently bought. I want to turn the latter into a simple reef tank with two or three small fish and a clean up crew, and perhaps someday, have an anemone with a clown or two.

This will be my first saltwater tank so I'm unsure of where to start and which components I need to buy first to just get some water in my tank to start cycling. I plan to cycle for at least two months before I put anything other than sand, small live rock frags, more rock and copepod starter in my tank. I hope I don't make anyone squirm in discomfort while reading this due to my naivety.

At the moment, all I have is the aquarium, stand, and the following bits:

Tank and stand:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752310&utm_source=googleproduct&utm_campaign=5072120&utm_medium=cse&mr:trackingCode=EFDF2C64-C881-DE11-B712-001422107090&mr:referralID=NA

Light:
Aqueon 8,000K Full Spectrum Daylight 17W T8 24"

Filter:
Marineland 30 Gallon BIO-Wheel
http://www.amazon.com/Penguin-150-Bio-Wheel-Power-Filter/dp/B0009IODZ6

I have one 100W and one 50W heater. (I'm using the 100W for the freshwater at the moment.)

And a few minor gadgets.


I would like to know whether I should start cycling with these components to get my bacteria and coralline algae started, and which reef-tank item I should buy first (keeping my budget of $200/month in mind) a filter, skimmer, lighting system or something else? I'm trying to avoid putting any of this on credit cards, and as I'm in college, I'll only have three months to completely set this system up. My max set-up budget (minus the cost of the tank and stand) will be $600.

I have been looking at buying a 24" hood with 4X24W HO T5 lamps (2 actinics and 2 10Ks) with 4 blue LEDs. I am wondering if this will be sufficient to grow zoanthids, ricordeas, and some other easy-going growers. I am unsure of how to calculate an appropriate quantity of lighting per gallon. My tank is around 18" deep and is 30" across. My lighting budget will be ~$100, as will be my filter and skimmer budgets. If there are any options for items of quality for less money, please let me know. I will gladly look into them.

I am most interested in canister filters and aspirator skimmers. I have read "backpacks" are not as effective as their counterparts. Am I wrong to have a a stigma about hang-on units, or is it warranted?

I will be looking into powerheads. May I have a few suggestions for brands, quantity per tank, and speeds. I would also like some input about the necessity of additional components such as UV Sterilizers, autotopoff systems, and calcium reactors for a small tank.


I have wanted to get into the hobby for several years. I am hoping my budget will be enough to build a 29 gallon successfully. I want to find the best options available for my small budget, and since this is both a hobby and a learning experience, I don't mind using ingenuity to solve some problems and doing some DIY work.

If anyone has any suggestions, comments, or fair-warnings of the dangers of this hobby, I would greatly appreciate it.


Thank you,

The Inquiring Novice

Texas A&M University
Class of 2012

DreTheReefer
05/02/2011, 07:41 AM
If you want an economical solution get a eshopps hqng on skimmer and you could try aquatraders t5 lights they aren't the best but works with a budget.

sneaton
05/02/2011, 08:38 AM
you dont have to cycle....get biospira with established live rock:beer: and add fish that day

RocketSurgeon
05/03/2011, 03:26 PM
If you want an economical solution get a eshopps hqng on skimmer and you could try aquatraders t5 lights they aren't the best but works with a budget.

I have aquatraders T5HO's. Works within a budget. Skimmers are not required on such a small tank. Save your money in this area.

you dont have to cycle....get biospira with established live rock:beer: and add fish that day

Nothing good ever happens in this hobby fast! Slow down and take it easy.

Buy a nice test kit and refractometer. Buy a nice heater.

Buy about 20 to 30 lbs of live rock and a power head.

http://i862.photobucket.com/albums/ab184/MrRocketSurgeon/AQUARIUM/10_GALLON/1301412424.jpg