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    What Do I Need for A 20 Gallon Saltwater tank?

    Discussion in 'Marine Products and DIY' started by jusmad, Feb 27, 2007.

    1. jusmad

      jusmad MFK Members

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      i want to start a saltwater tank but not sure what i need to being. please help a saltwater newbie out. thanks.
       
    2. ewurm

      ewurm MFK Members

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      I recommend live aragonite, live rock, a power filter, a protein skimmer, good salt (such as instant ocean), and at least a 20 gallon tank. Smaller tanks are tough to maintain water quality.
       
    3. Andrewtfw

      Andrewtfw MFK Members

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      I recommend a lot of reading and experience with a larger SW tank. Short of that, input from other people in terms of their experiences in addition to equipment suggestions. In general, there is a larger cost factor than that of an equal sized FW set-up. Most of the fish/inverts are still being pulled out of the ocean. Try to go with captive raised fish/inverts. They may cost a bit more, but are well worth it imo. Best of luck. -Andrew
       
    4. haywood

      haywood MFK Members

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      I am just starting my first saltwater tank like you except mine is a 46 gallon bowfront. What you need depends on what you plan on putting in the tank. If you are doing fish only all you really need is the salt (I was told if you arent doing coral it doesnt matter what brand salt you use), good filters and possibly a protein skimmer, hydrometer to measure salinity, saltwater test kit, carib sea sand to keep the ph buffered, heater, thermometer, and maybe some lava rock which can eventually turn into live rock. I think that's about it.
       
    5. swingsetredemption

      swingsetredemption MFK Members

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      If I were you the first thing I would consider is a bigger tank for a few reasons. One being a 20 gallon tank is going to be pretty hard to keep a good water quality and two being most fish that make good first fish will need more room than 20 gallons. Most literature recomends at least 30 gallons for a salt water set up. If you already have a 20 gallon tank you could use that as a quarantine tank or easily make a sump (wet/dry) filter out of it. I would most definatly encourage a quarintine tank though and the basics to maintain that tank, (filter, air pump, heater, and thermometer.) For your display tank I would go with a wet/dry or canister filter, again you can easily make your own wet/dry filter. A few power heads, heater, thermometer, live rock,(the more the better), substrate, hydrometer or if you are feeling spendy a refractomeater, testing supplies, salt, adequate lighting, and most of all lots of time and reserch. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you jump the gun.
       
    6. santoury

      santoury MFK Members

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      Back in the day I had my first saltwater tanks - they were : TWO 10 GAL TANKS : I'm not kidding. I jumped in cold. I went to the store, bought Instant Ocean, and set up 2 10 gallon tanks with ordinary gravel and mixed the water according to the salt mix bag. I added triggers and eels, and frogfish to the tanks. Oh and a puffer too.

      Granted, I did buy "hardy" fish, but that's because that's what I wanted. And they thrived! In my own experience (others may not be lucky) it was as simple as keeping a freshwater tank, only with salt in it. I had these set up for about a year. Now looking back, I didn't really care about their eventual size, it was just a little project for a short while. Everyone was happy during this time. (And yes, everyone was tiny)

      Now having had many more years under my belt, I would never do this again, except as a hospital tank or a short-term baby tank, which they were.
       
    7. jusmad

      jusmad MFK Members

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      I am plannig on only keeping fish inthis tank...Unfortunately keeping live coral or rock in an aquariums in Hawaii is illegal. What are some good books that i can read up on. Will a twenty tor a thirty still be hard to maintain if I only keep fish? thanks
      oh yea i forgot to mention that saltwater can be obtained from our waikiki aquariums. they give you the same quality water that they place in their tanks.
       
    8. swingsetredemption

      swingsetredemption MFK Members

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      Just read up on the internet. MFK is a great place to learn. I researched for about 6 months before acctully setting up my first saltwater tank. As far as taking the water from your local aquarium...if it's free it's good. The aquarium I intern at does the same thing but sells it for like 49cents per gallon. Don't forget that the water you are getting from them is water that has been ran through their systems so you are risking taking in some bacteria that you may not want.
       

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