Does this build list look acceptable?

christopher27

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Im planning on a 20 gallon nano tank with a few corals and some clowns

Im planning on getting a standard 20 gal tank with a hood off of craigslist, probably long
Filter-Penn plax canister filter (smallest size)
Heater-Jager Eheim 75w
Light-Aquatop nano red R2 (Ill have zoas and other high light corals about 7 inches underneath and lower light corals near the sand)
Powerhead-Sunsun 528 gph (opposite side of tank from most corals)
Test kits-Salifert (Ph, phosphates, alkalinity, calcium, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia) will be testing twice a month and when I get new livestock
Rodi unit is still undecided

Is there any issues or better suggestions for any of these things for a reasonable price
 

Jesterrace

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I would highly recommend the long over the standard 20 gallon for several reasons:

1) It increases stocking options for fish as they value horizontal swimming room
2) the more shallow depth is better suited for light penetration for coral growth
3) Easier for maintenance

As for the rest of the list, I would strongly encourage you to stick with HOB versus Canister Filter. Canister Filters are the most problematic means of filtration for marine tanks as they tend to trap the nasties and build up nitrates. For ease of maintenance I would recommend an Open HOB (ie Fluval/Aquaclear or Seachem Tidal) as it's very easy to clean and maintain when needed and can be used for a wide variety of filter media or be easily modified into a refugium for biofiltration.

As for the powerhead I wouldn't recommend it if for no other reason than it doesn't have a magnetic backing. Suction cup powerheads can be a pain to get mounted properly and as well they are more prone to popping loose especially as the rubber ages in the tank. If the powerhead detaches it can create a sand storm if you have a substrate or worse shoot a bunch of water out of the top of your tank. If you spend a bit more you can get the magnetic backing which will hold the powerhead in place even if the suction does fail. Something like this would work and isn't much more than the SunSun:

https://www.amazon.com/FREESEA-Aquarium-Circulation-Magnet-Suction/dp/B07NVDG6RZ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Magnetic+backed+powerhead&qid=1573271840&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2

The light IMHO is too weak to do what you want and it only works on rimless tanks for the mount. It also definitely won't cover a 20 Long for what you want. I would go with one of these over that Aquatop light: https://www.amazon.com/HIPARGERO-LED-Aquarium-Light-Saltwater/dp/B0727V8C5Q/ref=sr_1_4?crid=UEKOACW3JAQ0&keywords=hipargero+led+aquarium+light&qid=1573272231&sprefix=Hipar,aps,188&sr=8-4
 
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christopher27

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Jesterrace said:
I would highly recommend the long over the standard 20 gallon for several reasons:

1) It increases stocking options for fish as they value horizontal swimming room
2) the more shallow depth is better suited for light penetration for coral growth
3) Easier for maintenance

As for the rest of the list, I would strongly encourage you to stick with HOB versus Canister Filter. Canister Filters are the most problematic means of filtration for marine tanks as they tend to trap the nasties and build up nitrates. For ease of maintenance I would recommend an Open HOB (ie Fluval/Aquaclear or Seachem Tidal) as it's very easy to clean and maintain when needed and can be used for a wide variety of filter media or be easily modified into a refugium for biofiltration.

As for the powerhead I wouldn't recommend it if for no other reason than it doesn't have a magnetic backing. Suction cup powerheads can be a pain to get mounted properly and as well they are more prone to popping loose especially as the rubber ages in the tank. If the powerhead detaches it can create a sand storm if you have a substrate or worse shoot a bunch of water out of the top of your tank. If you spend a bit more you can get the magnetic backing which will hold the powerhead in place even if the suction does fail. Something like this would work and isn't much more than the SunSun:

Amazon.com : FREESEA Aquarium Wave Maker Power Head Circulation Pump with Magnet Suction Base for 20-100 Gallon Fish Tan : Pet Supplies

The light IMHO is too weak to do what you want and it only works on rimless tanks for the mount. It also definitely won't cover a 20 Long for what you want. I would go with one of these over that Aquatop light: https://www.amazon.com/HIPARGERO-LED-Aquarium-Light-Saltwater/dp/B0727V8C5Q/ref=sr_1_4?crid=UEKOACW3JAQ0&keywords=hipargero+led+aquarium+light&qid=1573272231&sprefix=Hipar,aps,188&sr=8-4
I don't have enough room for the 20 long, so ill just go mid height (tall tanks are a pain)
And I only plan on a clown or two, damsel, and a cleaner goby

Is the light you recommended enough to cover the entire tank?
I assume im going to put the zoas somewhat directly under the light with 7 inches between the zoas and the surface level? (ill move them up slowly as to not kill them) I heard the lighter color the zoa the more light they like
What would you recommend for placement of candy canes, duncans, gsp, and frogspawn?

Im glad you recommend hang on back because I actually have a spare tetra 40 and some spare unused biomedia so I won't have to buy a new filter

New questions:
Do you have any recommendations for affordable RODI units? is the spectrapure 90 gpd a good option?

Is it ok to have two heaters in the tank so if one fails it doesn't cause a crash? probably 100w?

Does the water need to be topped off every day with fresh water even with a lid that covers the whole tank?
 

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Skip the Damsel. They can be nasty community tank mates, especially in smaller tanks.

Some good options for a regular 20 gallon for fish are the following:

Possum or Pink Streaked Wrasse
Firefish
Clown Goby (unless you get SPS Corals)
Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish
Tailspot Blenny

The light I recommended should cover a standard 20 gallon. Zoas prefer medium flow and light so they should be fine with wherever you place them in that tank as long as it's not in the direct flow of the powerhead.

For the Duncan and Frogspawn the lower part of your tank would probably be best. Can't comment on the GSP as I don't have much knowledge with them.

As for RODI honestly it all depends on your budget, the Spectrapure is pretty highly recommended so if you can afford it, get one. If budget is a concern the Aquatic Life RO Buddie can be had for as little as $60 but for the long run the SpectraPure would be a better choice.

Two heaters is good but not in the tank itself as they can be prone to overheat. What I do is have one in the tank and a backup in a box ready to go.

Honestly the evaporation factor all depends on your individual setup and climate in your area. It's a bit more money but it will save you the hassle factor of constantly monitoring if you get an auto top off system (ATO) as it automatically tops up your tank for you with RODI water you have in a jug and then you just fill the jug weekly.
 
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christopher27

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Jesterrace said:
Skip the Damsel. They can be nasty community tank mates, especially in smaller tanks.

Some good options for a regular 20 gallon for fish are the following:

Possum or Pink Streaked Wrasse
Firefish
Clown Goby (unless you get SPS Corals)
Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish
Tailspot Blenny

The light I recommended should cover a standard 20 gallon. Zoas prefer medium flow and light so they should be fine with wherever you place them in that tank as long as it's not in the direct flow of the powerhead.

For the Duncan and Frogspawn the lower part of your tank would probably be best. Can't comment on the GSP as I don't have much knowledge with them.

As for RODI honestly it all depends on your budget, the Spectrapure is pretty highly recommended so if you can afford it, get one. If budget is a concern the Aquatic Life RO Buddie can be had for as little as $60 but for the long run the SpectraPure would be a better choice.

Two heaters is good but not in the tank itself as they can be prone to overheat. What I do is have one in the tank and a backup in a box ready to go.

Honestly the evaporation factor all depends on your individual setup and climate in your area. It's a bit more money but it will save you the hassle factor of constantly monitoring if you get an auto top off system (ATO) as it automatically tops up your tank for you with RODI water you have in a jug and then you just fill the jug weekly.
Do you have any fish recommendations that could help with algae/pest control?

How much water needs to evaporate before it causes salinity problems?

Is the tetra whisper 40 too much for a 20 gallon saltwater? Do I replace the sponges with something else? Should I lesson the carbon in the socks? (there is quite a bit of carbon, probably meant for the recommended 30-40 gallon tank)

The light you recommended isn't available on amazon.com and has 70$ shipping on amazon.ca
Where can I find it for a decent price (hopefully free shipping since I live in canada)
 

saltwater60

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$70 for descent light is not a bad price. In a20 gallon your fish stocking list will be difficult and limited. Best to stick to snails, crabs, and possibly a small urchin for algae control. Snails and crabs should do the trick in a 20 gallon tank n
 
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christopher27

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saltwater60 said:
$70 for descent light is not a bad price. In a20 gallon your fish stocking list will be difficult and limited. Best to stick to snails, crabs, and possibly a small urchin for algae control. Snails and crabs should do the trick in a 20 gallon tank n
Its a 60 dollar light with 70 dollar shipping, im not a fan of urchins, but im gonna get a few nasarius snails, a fire shrimp and possible a watchman goby
 

Jesterrace

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christopher27 said:
Do you have any fish recommendations that could help with algae/pest control?

How much water needs to evaporate before it causes salinity problems?

Is the tetra whisper 40 too much for a 20 gallon saltwater? Do I replace the sponges with something else? Should I lesson the carbon in the socks? (there is quite a bit of carbon, probably meant for the recommended 30-40 gallon tank)

The light you recommended isn't available on amazon.com and has 70$ shipping on amazon.ca
Where can I find it for a decent price (hopefully free shipping since I live in canada)
Tailspot Blenny for Algae Control, Pink Streaked Wrasse for Pest Control. As for water evaporation it's tough to say, in a tank of that size even a 1/4 of an inch can raise your salinity a fair bit. Hence why you need to have a refractometer and need to test salinity levels.

As for lighting, wasn't aware that you live in Canada (which unfortunately is one of the two worst places I know for the hobby). I will see what I can find:

The Chinese Black Box lights are arguably the best bang for buck type lights. You can get the Philzon label one for $85CDN from Amazon and it will grow pretty much what ever you want in a reef tank:

Phlizon 165W Dimmable Full Spectrum Auqarium LED Light Fish Tank LED Reef Decoration Light for Saltwater Freshwater Fish Coral Reef: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies
 
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christopher27

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Jesterrace said:
Tailspot Blenny for Algae Control, Pink Streaked Wrasse for Pest Control. As for water evaporation it's tough to say, in a tank of that size even a 1/4 of an inch can raise your salinity a fair bit. Hence why you need to have a refractometer and need to test salinity levels.

As for lighting, wasn't aware that you live in Canada (which unfortunately is one of the two worst places I know for the hobby). I will see what I can find:

The Chinese Black Box lights are arguably the best bang for buck type lights. You can get the Philzon label one for $85CDN from Amazon and it will grow pretty much what ever you want in a reef tank:

Phlizon 165W Dimmable Full Spectrum Auqarium LED Light Fish Tank LED Reef Decoration Light for Saltwater Freshwater Fish Coral Reef: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies
Living in Canada does really suck for getting into saltwater, the closest place to me to buy RODi water is almost an hour away. And the systems I have noticed are not cheap.
What country is worst?

I think I might be able to order the lights international from the official hipangero website, its like 110 canadian (which is a tad bit expensive) but ive seen the par readings and they look great for LPS and soft corals

Im hoping to get a lid which reduces water evaporation the most because I don't want to have to replace the filters in the rodi system often, they are like 90$ for all 3. Topping the water off in itself isn't a huge bother and ill do it like 2 times a day or whenever I notice its a few mm under level, How many gallons on average can a filter go through before replacement? (I just need a general range)
 
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christopher27

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christopher27 said:
Living in Canada does really suck for getting into saltwater, the closest place to me to buy RODi water is almost an hour away. And the systems I have noticed are not cheap.
What country is worst?

I think I might be able to order the aqua knight international from the official hipangero website, its like 110 canadian (which is a tad bit expensive) but ive seen the par readings and they look great for LPS and soft corals

Im hoping to get a lid which reduces water evaporation the most because I don't want to have to replace the filters in the rodi system often, they are like 90$ for all 3. Topping the water off in itself isn't a huge bother and ill do it like 2 times a day or whenever I notice its a few mm under level, How many gallons on average can a filter go through before replacement? (I just need a general range)
 

saltwater60

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christopher27 said:
Its a 60 dollar light with 70 dollar shipping, im not a fan of urchins, but im gonna get a few nasarius snails, a fire shrimp and possible a watchman goby
Wow that shipping is insane.

Not sure where tour finding $90 for ro filter changes. You can get away with just an RO and skip the DI. You can find filter change kits on amazon for like $45-$50 but that’s the USA.
 
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