The Reef Tank banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I am about to setup a new reef tank and wanted to ask some questions?
- Tank: 20 gallon
- Can I use beach sand instead of bagged sand sold at aquarium stores?
- Is it good to use double filtration? (Marineland 150 and 200)
- Power Head?

Thank you,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
hey and welcome to trt!

its great that you are here asking questions before "diving in".....lol

depends on the beach. some places have rules governing collection of sand/rocks from the beach. it also depends on how "clean" the stretch of beach is, as well. for example, a beach right down the shore from a big port, id san no. in general, though, I still wouldn't suggest it. for a 20g tank, you really don't need much sand at all and buying a small bag of dry sand should be pretty cheap.

filtration can be a large conversation on this forum....lol. in general, filtration for saltwater tanks in general, and reef tanks in particular, are simpler than their freshwater counterparts. mechanical filtration(hob filters, canisters) are usually not used in saltwater. we will get to why in a bit. filtration in saltwater, especially in a 20g, can be very minimal and easy. live rock coupled with good in tank flow(powerheads) and periodic partial water changes should be able to keep your water in great shape.

its a difficult concept to get your head around, I know, but filters can do more harm than good in saltwater.

it has to do with the nitrogen cycle and where the various reactions take place. ammonia is converted to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate in the presence of oxygen. this happens pretty much everywhere in the tank. the surface of the rock, the glass, and inside any filter. however, nitrate is converted to n gas only in anoxic, or low oxygen, areas. these areas are usually found only deep in the pores of live rock. now, as you can imagine, inside any sort of filter, youll have a turbulent, oxygenated environment. great for ammonia->nitrite->nitrate, but no further. the better option, imo, is to allow the detritus to just float around and settle in a low flow area where it wont rot as quickly. you can then remove it with your periodic water change.

powerheads. how many/what flow will depend on what type of coral, if any, you want to keep. there are 3 basic types of corals....soft, lps, and sps. think of the environment that each is located in in nature. soft corals are usually found in the lagoonal areas and like lowish flow, while sps are found on the reef crest and like high, turbulent flow. lps range kinda in between and some like more some like less.

in general, i usually think that 30-40x tank volume per hour is lowish flow, 40-70x is mid range, and 70-over 100 is high.

check out the reef keeping made easy thread. it is full of good info! it is a loooong, but good read and will help ya think of questions to ask. its the "easy" link in my sig.

the one piece of equipment i suggest that is a non negotiable item for a tank is an ro/di unit. water quality is everything in a saltwater tank and tap water just doesn't cut it. nitrates and phosphates may lead to algae issues and copper, even in very low concentrations, will kill any invertebrates. www.spectrapure.com is the gold standard and the 90gpd refurbished unit is the one ya want. at $130, it is the best deal in the hobby!
 

·
zacharY
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
hey and welcome to trt!

its great that you are here asking questions before "diving in".....lol

depends on the beach. some places have rules governing collection of sand/rocks from the beach. it also depends on how "clean" the stretch of beach is, as well. for example, a beach right down the shore from a big port, id san no. in general, though, I still wouldn't suggest it. for a 20g tank, you really don't need much sand at all and buying a small bag of dry sand should be pretty cheap.

filtration can be a large conversation on this forum....lol. in general, filtration for saltwater tanks in general, and reef tanks in particular, are simpler than their freshwater counterparts. mechanical filtration(hob filters, canisters) are usually not used in saltwater. we will get to why in a bit. filtration in saltwater, especially in a 20g, can be very minimal and easy. live rock coupled with good in tank flow(powerheads) and periodic partial water changes should be able to keep your water in great shape.

its a difficult concept to get your head around, I know, but filters can do more harm than good in saltwater.

it has to do with the nitrogen cycle and where the various reactions take place. ammonia is converted to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate in the presence of oxygen. this happens pretty much everywhere in the tank. the surface of the rock, the glass, and inside any filter. however, nitrate is converted to n gas only in anoxic, or low oxygen, areas. these areas are usually found only deep in the pores of live rock. now, as you can imagine, inside any sort of filter, youll have a turbulent, oxygenated environment. great for ammonia->nitrite->nitrate, but no further. the better option, imo, is to allow the detritus to just float around and settle in a low flow area where it wont rot as quickly. you can then remove it with your periodic water change.

powerheads. how many/what flow will depend on what type of coral, if any, you want to keep. there are 3 basic types of corals....soft, lps, and sps. think of the environment that each is located in in nature. soft corals are usually found in the lagoonal areas and like lowish flow, while sps are found on the reef crest and like high, turbulent flow. lps range kinda in between and some like more some like less.

in general, i usually think that 30-40x tank volume per hour is lowish flow, 40-70x is mid range, and 70-over 100 is high.

check out the reef keeping made easy thread. it is full of good info! it is a loooong, but good read and will help ya think of questions to ask. its the "easy" link in my sig.

the one piece of equipment i suggest that is a non negotiable item for a tank is an ro/di unit. water quality is everything in a saltwater tank and tap water just doesn't cut it. nitrates and phosphates may lead to algae issues and copper, even in very low concentrations, will kill any invertebrates. www.spectrapure.com is the gold standard and the 90gpd refurbished unit is the one ya want. at $130, it is the best deal in the hobby!
+1^ to all of that. Are you sure you want sand? A tank without sand is way easier to keep clean. If you do want the look of sand but also want the low maintainance of a BB (bare bottom) tank, you can look into making a FSB (fake sand bed). It won't be cheap and takes some work, but I'll definitely be using one in my next tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the great information. I'm still learning all about saltwater tanks and it could be challenging, but it's a great hobby. I am definitely going to use sand from the store. I am only going to put fish for now. Question? What fish do you recommend to start. Appreciate the information since it's really going to help.

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
take a look at www.liveaquaria.com. they have a lot of great fish on their site and do a really good job of laying out the care requirements and tank size requirements.

go through and come up with some ones that ya like. post them here and we will give you our thoughts on em'.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top