Help With 20 Gallon Setup

2006fuzz

So I've decided to venture onto the dark side, lol. I'm looking to set up a small, nano almost?, saltwater tank. I'm only looking to house a pair of occilarus clownfish, hopefully an anemone, and some sort of clearers (thinking only snails or crabs). Ideally it's going to be a 20 gallon, which brings me t my first question;

1. Is there anything wrong with buying a non cube tank? I see biocubes and nano cube tanks amrketed for saltwater, but is there anything wrong with using something like a 20 gallon hex from Aqueon?

They seem like a decent size and an interesting shape for clownfish. I'm a student, so cost is also an issue so I intend to slowly build this up. The stand will be homemade. The 20 gallon hex is a kit, which comes with a power filter and a hood with LED lights.

2. Will the stock hood + lights be suitable(even for short term)? And with the filter, is there any point in running it? And/or should I get a power head? What's the optimal GPH turnover I should aI'm for?

3. ATO and protein skimmer. So for a 20 gallon, as long as I'm around i'veread that both of these I could go without. But for let's say a 2 week stretch, I'd need atleast an ATO right? If I used a power filter would that help at all with the lack of protein skimmer? And for ATO, is there a cheap DIY setup, like a 5 gallon pail with an airhose on a drip, like when acclimating fish, running into the tank?

In the long run, an ATO(if the DIY doesn't work out) and a protein skimmer is on the list, but funding is going to be tight initially once the live rock and the tank itself is purchased.
 

Coradee

Giving this a bump up for you
 

aaron0g

Sorry for the delayed response, tank shape is preference more than anything but I wouldn't go taller than wide as just like fresh water oxygen exchange is related to surface area.
Stock filter and lights . . . Lights fine if going fish only with live rock no corals, and the pump is very dependant, you are aiming only to eliminate dead spots in the tank unless adding corals, again an upgrade would be needed if thinking corals. An Anenome will outgrow that size tank and needs great water conditions and good lights, the clowns if tank raised will be happy without one.
Don't skip an ato setup, a cheap kit will be better than a diy one, too much or too little on a small tank throws the salinity out and is often the cause of a tank crash. As for a skimmer, regular water changes will do but it acts as a 2nd layer of protection removing waste before it breaks down helping to reduce the need for as many water changes.
As for snails and crabs lots to choose from but research first.
Final bit of advise for a reef tank to thrive it requires pacience, research and money. Good luck
 

Nart

Definitely recommend an ATO if you are going to be away for 1-2 weeks.

Protein skimmer is not needed in a nano. The same can be accomplished through weekly water changes.
 

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