20 Gallon Tank Budget ReefGear

Jallen42
Member
Hi all, I have a 20/29g tank on the way it’s for free and I’m just gonna try a FOWLR system to see if I can keep thinstripe hermit crabs (caught in the ocean) before I try anything more in the tank (will try corals if the crabs will allow that then further possible a fish) I was here to see if people had recommendations for gear that is affordable like a decent R/O system. For a light I have seen good things on the a80 (I think) Kessel light and I know I am going to invest in a refractometer instead of the hydrometer. In my area (missouri) the temperature gets very cold in winter and decently hot in summer 90-100 would a chiller be necessary my house stays around 70° I still need test kits for all the different minerals and currently still researching on sumps because I have never done one and don’t know how to setup it up too but if there is any decent equipment that’s affordable to setup the tank I would appreciate it!!!
 
Jesterrace
Member
The Aquatic Life RO Buddie RODI System is portable and runs $60 from Amazon. It does 50 gallons per day and for your size tank should be plenty. Replacement cartidges are more expensive and not as long lasting as the ones for more expensive units and it will produce a fair bit of wastewater (ie 1 gallon of RODI to 5-7 gallons of waste water). You could also go with the 4 stage system from Bulk Reef Supply for $150. More expensive up front but it produces 75 gallons per day, has cheaper and longer lasting cartridges and produces less waste water (ie 1 gallon RODI to 3-4 gallons of waste water).

As for the Kessil A80, it's an unpopular opinion with all the Kessil fans out there, but IMHO it's not a good light FOR THE MONEY. Not saying it is a bad light by any means, just saying there are better options for the money. The Kessil A80 will set you back $154 shipped with the gooseneck mount from Amazon. The problem is that the light is only 15 watts and is ideally suited to tanks around 10 gallons or less and lacks even a basic timer, so you need to add that to the cost of the light as well. Conversely the AI Prime 16HD with the gooseneck/flex arm mount will set you back around $235 shipped from MarineDepot.com. It is well suited to grow Softies and LPS on the tank sizes you mentioned and even some SPS (although I do not recommend SPS Corals for beginners). It is 59 watts (nearly 4x the Kessil), Fully programmable out of the box and has the ability to do things such as borrowing power from the light spectrum you aren't using and giving it to what you are using, Having a timer that includes such things like auto-adjust for Daylight Savings time so you get a much nicer timer than any cheap one you could buy for the Kessil, Ability to Ramp Up (ie simulate light intensity of sunrise) and Ramp Down (ie simulate light intensity of sunset). Bottom line you get a much nicer light for the additional $81-$82 spent with the AI Prime 16HD vs the Kessil and one that is much better suited to the size of tank you are looking at.

As for the chiller, you won't need one as long as you keep the house cool in the summer. I get similar temperature ranges as you do in my area and I haven't used a chiller in going on 4 years now. Worst case scenario you can put some bottles of water in the freezer and then on a really hot day you can place them in your tank and it will cool the tank enough to maintain the temp.

On a tank of your size there is no need for a sump. A solid HOB Filter will do the job (ie Aquaclear 50 or 70 or Seachem Tidal 55 or 75). I ran HOB on my 36 gallon bowfront with no real issues.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jallen42
Member
Do y
Jesterrace said:
The Aquatic Life RO Buddie RODI System is portable and runs $60 from Amazon. It does 50 gallons per day and for your size tank should be plenty. Replacement cartidges are more expensive and not as long lasting as the ones for more expensive units and it will produce a fair bit of wastewater (ie 1 gallon of RODI to 5-7 gallons of waste water). You could also go with the 4 stage system from Bulk Reef Supply for $150. More expensive up front but it produces 75 gallons per day, has cheaper and longer lasting cartridges and produces less waste water (ie 1 gallon RODI to 3-4 gallons of waste water).

As for the Kessil A80, it's an unpopular opinion with all the Kessil fans out there, but IMHO it's not a good light FOR THE MONEY. Not saying it is a bad light by any means, just saying there are better options for the money. The Kessil A80 will set you back $154 shipped with the gooseneck mount from Amazon. The problem is that the light is only 15 watts and is ideally suited to tanks around 10 gallons or less and lacks even a basic timer, so you need to add that to the cost of the light as well. Conversely the AI Prime 16HD with the gooseneck/flex arm mount will set you back around $235 shipped from MarineDepot.com. It is well suited to grow Softies and LPS on the tank sizes you mentioned and even some SPS (although I do not recommend SPS Corals for beginners). It is 59 watts (nearly 4x the Kessil), Fully programmable out of the box and has the ability to do things such as borrowing power from the light spectrum you aren't using and giving it to what you are using, Having a timer that includes such things like auto-adjust for Daylight Savings time so you get a much nicer timer than any cheap one you could buy for the Kessil, Ability to Ramp Up (ie simulate light intensity of sunrise) and Ramp Down (ie simulate light intensity of sunset). Bottom line you get a much nicer light for the additional $81-$82 spent with the AI Prime 16HD vs the Kessil and one that is much better suited to the size of tank you are looking at.

As for the chiller, you won't need one as long as you keep the house cool in the summer. I get similar temperature ranges as you do in my area and I haven't used a chiller in going on 4 years now. Worst case scenario you can put some bottles of water in the freezer and then on a really hot day you can place them in your tank and it will cool the tank enough to maintain the temp.

On a tank of your size there is no need for a sump. A solid HOB Filter will do the job (ie Aquaclear 50 or 70 or Seachem Tidal 55 or 75). I ran HOB on my 36 gallon bowfront with no real issues.
Do you build the inside to be a refugium or just the standard HOB all of this truly was the information I was searching for!!
 

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