New to saltwater.... HELP PLEASE!

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
Hello everyone!
I'm new to saltwater but have some experience in keeping freshwater. I Would like to start with a simple fowlr 20 gallon. I wish I could get a bigger tank but my renting lease wouldn't allow for anything bigger.

So first question.

•lighting
What type of light should I get for a fowlr tank? The tank dimensions are of a standard 20 gallon (24×12×16). I have an led light that is fixed to the tank hood but I don't know if it might cause brown algae to grow but I would like something to grow some nice Coralline algae

Second question

•filtration
What would be a good filter choice for a tank this size? I found some cheap wave makers on Amazon for the current but I'm not sure what a good filter would be.

Third question

•medication
Is there any meds I should have on hand in case of some outbreak? I can't have more then one tank in my house so a qt is, unfortunately, out of the question.

Forth question

•test kit
Any test kits recommended by anyone? More specifically something that doesn't break the bank

Fifth question

•sand
I heard that its best to start with a very shallow sand bed but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea if I wanted sand sifting/burrowing fish and crustaceans. One of the longest things I wanted was a pistol blind shrimp and goby, I know they need something to dig in but how deep should the sand be?
And that leads to my last question

•stocking
I would like some ideas of what would look nice in a tank this size. Highly wanting a pistol shrimp and Tony but I'm open to any suggestions and by all means the more option, the merrier!

Thank you all in advance!
 
Last edited:
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

lapin

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,562
Reaction score
16,705
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin
Thx! I wonder why you have tabs I don’t have!?! Which AI device do you have?

Hello everyone!
I'm new to saltwater but have some experience in keeping freshwater. I Would like to start with a simple fowlr 20 gallon. I wish I could get a bigger tank but my renting lease wouldn't allow for anything bigger.

So first question.

•lighting
What type of light should I get for a fowlr tank? The tank dimensions are of a standard 20 gallon (24×12×16). I have an led light that is fixed to the tank hood but I don't know if it might cause brown algae to grow but I would like something to grow some nice Coralline algae
Fish really dont need much light . Your light should work
Second question

•filtration
What would be a good filter choice for a tank this size? I found some cheap wave makers on Amazon for the current but I'm not sure what a good filter would be.
The live rock will act as as part of a filter system. You could use a canister type if you have one from your fresh water days
Third question

•medication
Is there any meds I should have on hand in case of some outbreak? I can't have more then one tank in my house so a qt is, unfortunately, out of the question.
This is a crap shoot. If you cant QT then what ever you stick in the tank will spread disease if it has it. Treating the whole tank is possible depending on what you have in there ( snails and other inverts do not do well with some meds)
Forth question

•test kit
Any test kits recommended by anyone? More specifically something that doesn't break the bank
Salfert for basic stuff. Ammonia , Nitrate. A fish only tank does not need much other than water changes
Fifth question

•sand
I heard that its best to start with a very shallow sand bed but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea if I wanted sand sifting/burrowing fish and crustaceans. One of the longest things I wanted was a pistol blind shrimp and goby, I know they need something to dig in but how deep should the sand be?
And that leads to my last question
I like 2 inches, with mounds and almost bare spots.
•stocking
I would like some ideas of what would look nice in a tank this size. Highly wanting a pistol shrimp and Tony but I'm open to any suggestions and by all means the more option, the merrier!

Thank you all in advance!
Pick what you want. Try to go on the small size.
 

Pistondog

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
6,321
Review score
+0 /0 /-0

JayA

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
181
Reaction score
181
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Wilton, CT
I have the following stock in my 20g: YWG/pistol shrimp pair, fire red shrimp, striped blenny, yellow tail damsel, two ocellaris clowns. some snails and crabs, an anemone and few corals
 
Last edited:

RobertTheNurse

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
827
Reaction score
683
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
The only thing I'd recommend is a better light, you want to mimick somewhat of a stable ecosystem. Something with a ramp up and down would be nice. If you ever run into algae issues (which you will) limting parts of the spectrum is something you want want to do. Doesn't have to be anything crazy. An AI 16HD would probably be too much, but, I really good light. Also make things look pretty :)
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
Fish really dont need much light . Your light should work
Would it be able to grow coralline algae? I don't have any specifics on what type of light it is but I think it might be to bright
The live rock will act as as part of a filter system. You could use a canister type if you have one from your fresh water days
I don't have a canister filter, just a very cheap HOB. Any specific brand I should go with for a canister?

I like 2 inches, with mounds and almost bare spots
Oh ok, sounds great! Thanks!
 
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
The only thing I'd recommend is a better light, you want to mimick somewhat of a stable ecosystem. Something with a ramp up and down would be nice. If you ever run into algae issues (which you will) limting parts of the spectrum is something you want want to do. Doesn't have to be anything crazy. An AI 16HD would probably be too much, but, I really good light. Also make things look pretty :)
Ok thanks man! I will definitely look into that
 

thatone08

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
736
Reaction score
4,411
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
plainfield
Look at the. Budget reef tank videos on YouTube. Light doesn’t matter if your doing fish only, an hour our two of basic light when viewing and checking up on the fish is fine, for the most part, you can keep it dark. You don’t need anything expensive. HOB is fine, just change the pads out regularly.

also 1 to 2 fish at first. Only 1 if your not doing clowns. Water changes weekly. I use the Red Sea kits and I like them.
Reading are pretty accurate.

meds- if you plan to add coral I would use something that says it’s reef safe. Someone else would be better qualified for this question.

sand1-2 inches if you gonna do a goby and pistol. Maybe higher in a certain spot. Don’t worry they’ll move it.

fish- clowns, goby, shrimp. don’t forget your clean up crew.
 

thatone08

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
736
Reaction score
4,411
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
plainfield
Hello everyone!
I'm new to saltwater but have some experience in keeping freshwater. I Would like to start with a simple fowlr 20 gallon. I wish I could get a bigger tank but my renting lease wouldn't allow for anything bigger.

So first question.

•lighting
What type of light should I get for a fowlr tank? The tank dimensions are of a standard 20 gallon (24×12×16). I have an led light that is fixed to the tank hood but I don't know if it might cause brown algae to grow but I would like something to grow some nice Coralline algae

Second question

•filtration
What would be a good filter choice for a tank this size? I found some cheap wave makers on Amazon for the current but I'm not sure what a good filter would be.

Third question

•medication
Is there any meds I should have on hand in case of some outbreak? I can't have more then one tank in my house so a qt is, unfortunately, out of the question.

Forth question

•test kit
Any test kits recommended by anyone? More specifically something that doesn't break the bank

Fifth question

•sand
I heard that its best to start with a very shallow sand bed but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea if I wanted sand sifting/burrowing fish and crustaceans. One of the longest things I wanted was a pistol blind shrimp and goby, I know they need something to dig in but how deep should the sand be?
And that leads to my last question

•stocking
I would like some ideas of what would look nice in a tank this size. Highly wanting a pistol shrimp and Tony but I'm open to any suggestions and by all means the more option, the merrier!

Thank you all in advance!
Also weekly water changes at a minimum. And watch your nitrates, or the algae will find a way.
 

dedragon

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2,540
Reaction score
1,988
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Would it be able to grow coralline algae? I don't have any specifics on what type of light it is but I think it might be to bright

I don't have a canister filter, just a very cheap HOB. Any specific brand I should go with for a canister?


Oh ok, sounds great! Thanks!
HOB over cannister any day of the week, imo.

Lighting is fine but wont grow much coralline, a bit more expensive will be nicrew 50w led or orphek or3 bar both on amazon.

+1 salifert for cheap and effective (dont buy api). Ammonia, and nitrate is all you need. And a refractometer and calibration solution for salinity

I would ask reefers on the forum that live near you about water quality as you may need access to rodi water
 
Maxout

RobertTheNurse

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
827
Reaction score
683
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Agreed on FOWLR, but, imo lighting is one of the most important tools in this hobby. And like I said, I agree if fish only its LESS important. But, as we all know, what I said and wanted at the beginning of this hobby is NOTHING compared to what I wanted. Spend a few to have efficiency, opens doors later on if you wish to add a piece of coral. It'll save you money, help your habitat, and look far nicer than a bland white light lol imo

Oh and Welcome to the hobby!!
 
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
Agreed on FOWLR, but, imo lighting is one of the most important tools in this hobby. And like I said, I agree if fish only its LESS important. But, as we all know, what I said and wanted at the beginning of this hobby is NOTHING compared to what I wanted. Spend a few to have efficiency, opens doors later on if you wish to add a piece of coral. It'll save you money, help your habitat, and look far nicer than a bland white light lol imo

Oh and Welcome to the hobby!!
Thanks man! Yeah that sounds logical. I definitely want corals down the road.
I was looking at some of the lights mentioned and WOW I'm not wanting to spend that much (not yet anyways) on a lighting fixture.
I was looking around for a bit cheaper option and found this all I want just for now is something for a little coralline. I love the look
 

Anchor

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
978
Reaction score
1,134
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Zimmerman, Minnesota
so far most of what is said looks good.

Coarline.. this is going to depend on your lights.. You can get away with a t5 fisxture, maybe a chinese black box, and maybe that thing you have pictured above.. I do know it does not take as much light as you think. You tank is going to be really ugly the first 4 to 6 months though if you insist on coraline algae.. to compensate for less lighting time you need better lights. if you have lower value lights, you can leave em on longer. This may lead to lots of unwanted algae.

You will likely have a brown diatom phase first. then greening of the rocks, then algae outbreaks.. etc.. Going to have to learn lighting schedules to get what you want. You can develop some pretty virulent types of algae, reds, fuzzy red, all kinds and types show up when and where you dont want them.. Ugly happens..,

Fish, No tangs in a tank that small.. just cause it is small in the store doesnt mean it should go in your tank.. KNOW what you are buying before you buy and why you DONT want certain fish.

For a 20 gallon FOWLR think Blennies, Gobies, Clowns (aqdd last), Snails, certain wrasses, etc.. I like to sit close to my small tank.. its not for viewing across the room. SO my small tanks get smaller fish.. Firefish,

All fish jump.. or at least think of it that way. If you can put your pinky figer through it, the fish WILL jump out there.

HOB filter works.. Do weekly 2 gallon water changes. Feed fish sparingly..
 

corey904

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
78
Reaction score
38
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
jacksonville fl
Hello everyone!
I'm new to saltwater but have some experience in keeping freshwater. I Would like to start with a simple fowlr 20 gallon. I wish I could get a bigger tank but my renting lease wouldn't allow for anything bigger.

So first question.

•lighting
What type of light should I get for a fowlr tank? The tank dimensions are of a standard 20 gallon (24×12×16). I have an led light that is fixed to the tank hood but I don't know if it might cause brown algae to grow but I would like something to grow some nice Coralline algae

Second question

•filtration
What would be a good filter choice for a tank this size? I found some cheap wave makers on Amazon for the current but I'm not sure what a good filter would be.

Third question

•medication
Is there any meds I should have on hand in case of some outbreak? I can't have more then one tank in my house so a qt is, unfortunately, out of the question.

Forth question

•test kit
Any test kits recommended by anyone? More specifically something that doesn't break the bank

Fifth question

•sand
I heard that its best to start with a very shallow sand bed but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea if I wanted sand sifting/burrowing fish and crustaceans. One of the longest things I wanted was a pistol blind shrimp and goby, I know they need something to dig in but how deep should the sand be?
And that leads to my last question

•stocking
I would like some ideas of what would look nice in a tank this size. Highly wanting a pistol shrimp and Tony but I'm open to any suggestions and by all means the more option, the merrier!

Thank you all in advance!
Ce
Thanks man! Yeah that sounds logical. I definitely want corals down the road.
I was looking at some of the lights mentioned and WOW I'm not wanting to spend that much (not yet anyways) on a lighting fixture.
I was looking around for a bit cheaper option and found this all I want just for now is something for a little coralline. I love the look
i actually have that light and I used it for about 2 months until I got into higher end corals
Great for beginner corals but I would recommend an ai prime
 

dedragon

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2,540
Reaction score
1,988
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Thanks man! Yeah that sounds logical. I definitely want corals down the road.
I was looking at some of the lights mentioned and WOW I'm not wanting to spend that much (not yet anyways) on a lighting fixture.
I was looking around for a bit cheaper option and found this all I want just for now is something for a little coralline. I love the look
If you have prime these are $80https://www.amazon.com/NICREW-Aquarium-Dimmable-Spectrum-Saltwater/dp/B083XYR64W/ref=sxin_9_ac_d_pm?ac_md=3-2-QWJvdmUgJDEwMA%3D%3D-ac_d_pm&cv_ct_cx=nicrew&dchild=1&keywords=nicrew&pd_rd_i=B08CK4NMSF&pd_rd_r=857d62fd-e989-449a-82fa-281f5fecae7d&pd_rd_w=0IyWM&pd_rd_wg=wS33t&pf_rd_p=1996aa5c-bfb7-40b7-b677-a9bfb33f2c53&pf_rd_r=Q7T3M0V5H2XRE2429E4Z&qid=1624418984&sr=1-3-22d05c05-1231-4126-b7c4-3e7a9c0027d0&th=1,
much more powerful but the orpheks at 150 (130 during a sale) are easy to upgrade and are a more trusted brand. the one you linked is best for softies in that size tank, the depth of the tank is important here. For fowlr and just softies that light is perfect, just not as great coloration and upgrade path from there imo
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

davidcalgary29

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
957
Reaction score
921
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
Why not consider a Fluval Evo AIO? Their 13.5g is a perfect starter tank -- I have two of them -- and it's pretty good out of the box with only a few mods needed to make it a great little tank. While the pump needs to be upgraded, and the mechanical filtration (translation: crappy sponge) needs to be immediately thrown away, the stock lighting is good enough for some SPS.

I currently have a mixed reef with two orchid dottybacks in one of my Evos. You could have a very nice tank with a pair of them to go along with a goby and pistol shrimp pair.
 
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
If you have prime these are $80https://www.amazon.com/NICREW-Aquarium-Dimmable-Spectrum-Saltwater/dp/B083XYR64W/ref=sxin_9_ac_d_pm?ac_md=3-2-QWJvdmUgJDEwMA%3D%3D-ac_d_pm&cv_ct_cx=nicrew&dchild=1&keywords=nicrew&pd_rd_i=B08CK4NMSF&pd_rd_r=857d62fd-e989-449a-82fa-281f5fecae7d&pd_rd_w=0IyWM&pd_rd_wg=wS33t&pf_rd_p=1996aa5c-bfb7-40b7-b677-a9bfb33f2c53&pf_rd_r=Q7T3M0V5H2XRE2429E4Z&qid=1624418984&sr=1-3-22d05c05-1231-4126-b7c4-3e7a9c0027d0&th=1,
much more powerful but the orpheks at 150 (130 during a sale) are easy to upgrade and are a more trusted brand. the one you linked is best for softies in that size tank, the depth of the tank is important here. For fowlr and just softies that light is perfect, just not as great coloration and upgrade path from there imo
Yeah I think I'm just going to get the light I linked just to start out with. I forgot to mention that this tank isn't staying up for very long, 12-14 months or so. I will upgrade most definitely in the future
 
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
Why not consider a Fluval Evo AIO? Their 13.5g is a perfect starter tank -- I have two of them -- and it's pretty good out of the box with only a few mods needed to make it a great little tank. While the pump needs to be upgraded, and the mechanical filtration (translation: crappy sponge) needs to be immediately thrown away, the stock lighting is good enough for some SPS.

I currently have a mixed reef with two orchid dottybacks in one of my Evos. You could have a very nice tank with a pair of them to go along with a goby and pistol shrimp pair.
That does look nice but I already have a stand/tank already (trying to control myself and be a little bit conservative with my money for the time being)
 
OP
Lord baiter

Lord baiter

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
33572
so far most of what is said looks good.

Coarline.. this is going to depend on your lights.. You can get away with a t5 fisxture, maybe a chinese black box, and maybe that thing you have pictured above.. I do know it does not take as much light as you think. You tank is going to be really ugly the first 4 to 6 months though if you insist on coraline algae.. to compensate for less lighting time you need better lights. if you have lower value lights, you can leave em on longer. This may lead to lots of unwanted algae.

You will likely have a brown diatom phase first. then greening of the rocks, then algae outbreaks.. etc.. Going to have to learn lighting schedules to get what you want. You can develop some pretty virulent types of algae, reds, fuzzy red, all kinds and types show up when and where you dont want them.. Ugly happens..,

Fish, No tangs in a tank that small.. just cause it is small in the store doesnt mean it should go in your tank.. KNOW what you are buying before you buy and why you DONT want certain fish.

For a 20 gallon FOWLR think Blennies, Gobies, Clowns (aqdd last), Snails, certain wrasses, etc.. I like to sit close to my small tank.. its not for viewing across the room. SO my small tanks get smaller fish.. Firefish,

All fish jump.. or at least think of it that way. If you can put your pinky figer through it, the fish WILL jump out there.

HOB filter works.. Do weekly 2 gallon water changes. Feed fish sparingly..
Very good to know, thank you my friend
 

When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?

  • Past few days

    Votes: 13 9.4%
  • Past few weeks

    Votes: 31 22.3%
  • Past few months

    Votes: 53 38.1%
  • Over a half a year

    Votes: 19 13.7%
  • Over a year ago

    Votes: 23 16.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
GTA Reef
Top