New to saltwater.... HELP PLEASE!

melonheadorion

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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!
i have a 65 that i have not yet setup, because i decided to go slow, and try with just a 20g long, so i was right there with you. i am by no means an expert, or knowledgable, but this is what i have.

as a side note, the smaller the tank, the more work it is with parameters. if you have worked with fish before, it may not be a big deal, but just be aware.

20g long with a canister filter
20 pounds of substrate (if i remember right). i have a diamond goby that does nothing but sift sand all day, so more the better. however, if you like your substrate to be fairly smooth, you can forget about that idea, because he will change the landscape faster than you can fix it. he has chosen a rock to live under, and he has buried the whole thing. i also have 3 medium to large rocks. the more surface area, including substrate, the more beneficial bacteria, which is what you want

for my lighting, i originally had a standard led strip light, but later got a marineland advanced led. its ultimately just a standard white led light but gives you the ability to turn on blue ones as well. nothing special with this by any means as it is just a fish light basically.
test kits- you could go with an API, but you will hear many people talk about inconsistency with the readings. if i want a fast reading on something like nitrate, i use it, but i still have a level of skepticism with it, so i also have a red sea test kit.
for my stocking, i have 2 clowns, diamond goby, bi color blenny, clown goby, clearner shrimp, and a few snails/hermit crabs, and a bi color angel.
ultimately, stocking will be up to you, and what you think looks nice. for fish, you will be limited as to what you can put in. i find that the dwarf angel does pretty well in mine, but would not dream of putting anything on the larger side, into this tank because it would just be too big, but you can definatley get a good variety of fish in the tank.

for medications, i dont have any on stock, but as of today, i am going to be stocking up on some. the link in the disease part of the forums is good for that. it can be found here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/medications-to-keep-on-hand.213574/
 
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Lord baiter

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i have a 65 that i have not yet setup, because i decided to go slow, and try with just a 20g long, so i was right there with you. i am by no means an expert, or knowledgable, but this is what i have.

as a side note, the smaller the tank, the more work it is with parameters. if you have worked with fish before, it may not be a big deal, but just be aware.

20g long with a canister filter
20 pounds of substrate (if i remember right). i have a diamond goby that does nothing but sift sand all day, so more the better. however, if you like your substrate to be fairly smooth, you can forget about that idea, because he will change the landscape faster than you can fix it. he has chosen a rock to live under, and he has buried the whole thing. i also have 3 medium to large rocks. the more surface area, including substrate, the more beneficial bacteria, which is what you want

for my lighting, i originally had a standard led strip light, but later got a marineland advanced led. its ultimately just a standard white led light but gives you the ability to turn on blue ones as well. nothing special with this by any means as it is just a fish light basically.
test kits- you could go with an API, but you will hear many people talk about inconsistency with the readings. if i want a fast reading on something like nitrate, i use it, but i still have a level of skepticism with it, so i also have a red sea test kit.
for my stocking, i have 2 clowns, diamond goby, bi color blenny, clown goby, clearner shrimp, and a few snails/hermit crabs, and a bi color angel.
ultimately, stocking will be up to you, and what you think looks nice. for fish, you will be limited as to what you can put in. i find that the dwarf angel does pretty well in mine, but would not dream of putting anything on the larger side, into this tank because it would just be too big, but you can definatley get a good variety of fish in the tank.

for medications, i dont have any on stock, but as of today, i am going to be stocking up on some. the link in the disease part of the forums is good for that. it can be found here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/medications-to-keep-on-hand.213574/
Ok thanks man, sounds like an awesome tank!
 

adittam

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I would recommend either of these for a great HOB filter (you definitely want a filter that is rated for a much larger tank than 20g; it will help with both flow and give you more room for media in the filter).



The aquaclear has been the gold standard for HOB filters for years, but the seachem has some awesome features, especially the ability to skim the surface of the water.

As far as livestock goes, you might want to consider ordering your livestock from a vendor that does the quarantine for you, since you aren’t able to have a QT tank yourself. The initial cost is higher, but you’ll save that money by avoiding bringing in a disease that kills all of the fish in your tank. A reputable source that’s run by a member here is:


One of my favorite fish so far is my bicolor blenny. It is so much fun to watch cruise from rock hole to rock hole, and he watches you the entire time (tail spot blennies are very similar and stay a little smaller).

As far as lights go, if you want to grow coralline, you need a light that can support corals also. Put another way, coralline won’t grow for many months, but once (if) it does, you know your tank can support corals also.

Feel free to take a look at my build thread for inspiration (click on the build thread badge under my name on the left). It’s a little bit bigger than 20g, but it’s also sumpless and definitely a budget build. Good luck!
 
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Lord baiter

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I would recommend either of these for a great HOB filter (you definitely want a filter that is rated for a much larger tank than 20g; it will help with both flow and give you more room for media in the filter).



The aquaclear has been the gold standard for HOB filters for years, but the seachem has some awesome features, especially the ability to skim the surface of the water.

As far as livestock goes, you might want to consider ordering your livestock from a vendor that does the quarantine for you, since you aren’t able to have a QT tank yourself. The initial cost is higher, but you’ll save that money by avoiding bringing in a disease that kills all of the fish in your tank. A reputable source that’s run by a member here is:


One of my favorite fish so far is my bicolor blenny. It is so much fun to watch cruise from rock hole to rock hole, and he watches you the entire time (tail spot blennies are very similar and stay a little smaller).

As far as lights go, if you want to grow coralline, you need a light that can support corals also. Put another way, coralline won’t grow for many months, but once (if) it does, you know your tank can support corals also.

Feel free to take a look at my build thread for inspiration (click on the build thread badge under my name on the left). It’s a little bit bigger than 20g, but it’s also sumpless and definitely a budget build. Good luck!
thank you for the help my friend
 
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