I will be starting my first saltwater aquarium

Gracelovesbettas

I am going to start my very first saltwater aquarium and I’m using a 20 gallon long tank. I need help with choosing a filter. Please recommend a budget filter I could use. Please guide me and help me do my best. I have done my research but I really don’t want to mess anything up. Please feel free to give tips and recommend other things beside filters (trying to keep a low budget)
 

AggressiveAquatics

I am going to start my very first saltwater aquarium and I’m using a 20 gallon long tank. I need help with choosing a filter. Please recommend a budget filter I could use. Please guide me and help me do my best. I have done my research but I really don’t want to mess anything up. Please feel free to give tips and recommend other things beside filters (trying to keep a low budget)
I have never set up a saltwater tank or had experience with one but one thing I do know is saltwater tanks ain’t low budget
 
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Fishproblem

I am going to start my very first saltwater aquarium and I’m using a 20 gallon long tank. I need help with choosing a filter. Please recommend a budget filter I could use. Please guide me and help me do my best. I have done my research but I really don’t want to mess anything up. Please feel free to give tips and recommend other things beside filters (trying to keep a low budget)
Hi there, and welcome to fishlore! congrats on starting your build. I'm starting saltwater for the first time too, and it's super fun!

If you're up for a long read, one of our members documented her entire journey starting a 20 long saltwater tank just like yours, and kept it reasonably affordable, as far as saltwater is concerned! you can go through the entire thread here Stella's Salty 20g | Nano Saltwater Tanks Forum | 281733

it's chock full of really great information! a popular budget filtration option is a modified aquaclear hang on back, converted to a refugium. you can find some great diy info on how to do it (not very hard at all) if you just google "diy aquaclear fuge". people also use it for mechanical filtration as needed.

What kind of set up are you planning on? fish only? fish only with live rock? a full reef? the additional recommendations will definitely depend on your goals
 
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Gracelovesbettas

Hi there, and welcome to fishlore! congrats on starting your build. I'm starting saltwater for the first time too, and it's super fun!

If you're up for a long read, one of our members documented her entire journey starting a 20 long saltwater tank just like yours, and kept it reasonably affordable, as far as saltwater is concerned! you can go through the entire thread here Stella's Salty 20g | Nano Saltwater Tanks Forum | 281733

it's chock full of really great information! a popular budget filtration option is a modified aquaclear hang on back, converted to a refugium. you can find some great diy info on how to do it (not very hard at all) if you just google "diy aquaclear fuge". people also use it for mechanical filtration as needed.

What kind of set up are you planning on? fish only? fish only with live rock? a full reef? the additional recommendations will definitely depend on your goals
Thank you so much will definitely be reading it. I am planning on either fish only with live rock or a full reef.
 
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Fishproblem

Thank you so much will definitely be reading it. I am planning on either fish only with live rock or a full reef.
Of course! I read through so many pages of that thread to catch up and followed along to the end. It was a huge inspiration for me to try getting into saltwater. And very cool! Then I'll definitely offer a shortcut to some of the most practical advice I've seen or gotten on here: set up your build for the tank you want long term, not the one you'll have right off the bat. It's less money in the long run to get the light that will sustain corals well than to go through two or three subpar lights. Same for any other gear. Three cheap powerheads over two years costs more than one good one. That said, if you're on a budget, buy used when you can and when it makes sense! I've found awesome gear for really cheap on facebook marketplace and craigslist that has allowed me to spend more money where it counts (for example, I'm sure you can find an aquaclear in great shape used).

otherwise, just do your research and check in with more experienced people whenever you can! this forum is great for that. I dont know anything at all yet, but there are a lot of members on fishlore who are very knowledgeable and eager to help.
 
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Gracelovesbettas

Thank you so much this was very helpful. Time to sit down relax and read a bunch! Hahaha I am very excited to start this journey
Of course! I read through so many pages of that thread to catch up and followed along to the end. It was a huge inspiration for me to try getting into saltwater. And very cool! Then I'll definitely offer a shortcut to some of the most practical advice I've seen or gotten on here: set up your build for the tank you want long term, not the one you'll have right off the bat. It's less money in the long run to get the light that will sustain corals well than to go through two or three subpar lights. Same for any other gear. Three cheap powerheads over two years costs more than one good one. That said, if you're on a budget, buy used when you can and when it makes sense! I've found awesome gear for really cheap on facebook marketplace and craigslist that has allowed me to spend more money where it counts (for example, I'm sure you can find an aquaclear in great shape used).

otherwise, just do your research and check in with more experienced people whenever you can! this forum is great for that. I dont know anything at all yet, but there are a lot of members on fishlore who are very knowledgeable and eager to help.

Thank you so much this was very helpful. Time to sit down relax and read a bunch! Hahaha I am very excited to start this journey
 
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aquachris

Good luck, recently started mine too.. I have a 75 gallon with a green spotted puffer and a couple mollies. Since he does well with the mollies I'm debating on trying some clownfish. I use live rock, powerheads/wavemakers, a canister filter, and a Tunze 9012 protein skimmer that can go right in the tank.


1606927312929.png

I find a lot of saltwater people will tell you this will never work.. but it does for me... Anything can work, it depends on the amount of work you put into it.

I do want to try the aquaclear 110 hack for a refugium sometime.
 
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Gracelovesbettas

Good luck, recently started mine too.. I have a 75 gallon with a green spotted puffer and a couple mollies. Since he does well with the mollies I'm debating on trying some clownfish. I use live rock, powerheads/wavemakers, a canister filter, and a Tunze 9012 protein skimmer that can go right in the tank.


1606927312929.png

I find a lot of saltwater people will tell you this will never work.. but it does for me... Anything can work, it depends on the amount of work you put into it.

I do want to try the aquaclear 110 hack for a refugium sometime.
A lot of people recommend doing the aquaclear refugium for beginners so I think that’s what I’m gonna be starting with. Thanks for the advice
 
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Fishproblem

I find a lot of saltwater people will tell you this will never work.. but it does for me... Anything can work, it depends on the amount of work you put into it.
since we're talking filtration systems... what do you use for media in your canister, and what's your maintenance routine on it?

my dad ran a 175 mostly FOWLR (if i can recall, it only had one big anemone and no or few corals) on two big canisters for years. I've gotta pick his brain a little about the setup, but he did really well with it, with healthy long-lived fish. Tank never crashed, he ended up selling the fish and converting it to FW when my sister and I got a little older cause he needed to spend more time on us than the tank
 
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aquachris

since we're talking filtration systems... what do you use for media in your canister, and what's your maintenance routine on it?

my dad ran a 175 mostly FOWLR (if i can recall, it only had one big anemone and no or few corals) on two big canisters for years. I've gotta pick his brain a little about the setup, but he did really well with it, with healthy long-lived fish. Tank never crashed, he ended up selling the fish and converting it to FW when my sister and I got a little older cause he needed to spend more time on us than the tank
I just use sponge in it and a bag of small live rock that broke off from my other live rock. I clean it out about once a month like some filters in used aquarium water. I do about 15 to 20 gallons replacement water once a week or two.

I have probably 100 lbs of live rock in the tank so that's the main filtration.
 
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Jesterrace

I am going to start my very first saltwater aquarium and I’m using a 20 gallon long tank. I need help with choosing a filter. Please recommend a budget filter I could use. Please guide me and help me do my best. I have done my research but I really don’t want to mess anything up. Please feel free to give tips and recommend other things beside filters (trying to keep a low budget)

SeaChem Tidal 55 or Fluval 50 HOBs would be good choices for that tank and they are pretty reasonably priced (The Fluval is cheapest from Petsmart's website via site to store).

The best way to do low budget is fish only. You can use any light for the tank and don't need a super beefy powerhead either. I would recommend either an adjustable flow powerhead/wavemaker from Jebao or a Hydor Koralia 3rd Gen Powerhead in the 1350gph range. Above all don't go with the really cheap suction cup ones as they wear out over time with the mounts and then you have a powerhead breaking loose in your tank. Magnetic Backed Powerheads are the way to go as it keeps them in place regardless for years.

Even with fish only I would say an RODI system is highly recommended to avoid potential algae issues (ie Green Hair Algae, Cyano bacteria) so either get an RODI system or get RODI water from a reliable source (ie trusted LFS).
 
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