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Newbie Aquatist Suggestions Appreciated


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Hey, i have a couple questions, i have been researching a bit about starting an aquarium and i have a couple questions


1) What is a good Newbie Tank size? (i intend to get a saltwater tank)

2) Is it a good idea to purchase things online, ie LR, to save money?

3) My Plan for 20g: Tank 20g AFA

Heater 150w EBO Jager

Powerhead Maxi-Jet 900

Live Rock 25bls

Ballast Workhorse 5

Lighting 55w PC 6400k Lamp

55w PC Actinic Lamp

Salt Instant Ocean 50g


Any suggestions for the bare essentials? (w/o livestock, which i'll decide on at a later date)

4) I really need an affordable hood because i have cats however is still want somthing that looks good, not just some plank lying on top of my tank, i dont want my whole setup to look bad because i dont have a good hood, any suggestions?

5) How essensitial is a isolated tank for add on live stock? and is there a cheaper way of doing this w/o stressing the fish if it is essential?

6) Is sand a good idea for a 20g tank or is it too expensive for it's astetic benifits?

7) Does it really depend on the live stock wheater i use tap water or not or is it always a better idea to purchase water?

8) Does music stress fish? I am thinking of putting the tank in my room and i have quite a bit of bass and i like loud music will this stress the fish? (i hope it doesnt but i think i would) Sorry for the newbie question

9) What are the best fish for me to get as a beginner thinking of getting a 20g salt water tank i want my fish to be astetically good looking and hopefully not too aggressive aswell as hopefully easy to maintain, hardy. what would you guys suggest?


Thanks in advance for your help!

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1. What ever you have room for.

2. Yes. Check the Vendor & Trader Feedback section.

3. Sounds fine maybe more LR.

4. Affordable and Asthetic ?

5. I don't have one. A small tank with an airstone will do when needed

6. Sand is good you can use play sand and then get some live sand to activate it.

7. Tap water is fine aslong as you run it through a Reverse osmosis filter.

8. Fish don't have ears

9. Clown Fish or Gobies


You will need a clean up crew also. Hermit crabs, snails

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The fish might not have ears but they are sensitive to vibrations and the such. All sound is, is vibrations so I would be careful not to have to much bass around them just to be sure.

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Start here http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/ for many of your questions answered and some good beginner information.


Shad and West have good points in their posts. Here is just some of my thoughts.


*Depends on what you have room for, what size you can commit to, what you want to keep, etc.

*Many people purchase online. Check out your lfs and see what is available first as you may find all you need and priced within your budget.

*A good book for reference.

*There are a lot of places that sell complete hood systems or you can have a DIY hood done by yourself or someone else. There are many DIY hoods that look nice and are much cheaper then bought ones.

*I have a quarantine tank simply for precautionary measures. I do this (as learned the hard way) because sometimes your lr and/or corals can come with something you don't want in your main tank. Putting them in quarantine, (for a few weeks to watch closely) after your main tank is set up, will help you determine if there are any unwanted pests and such and save you hassles in the long run (from having to treat the whole tank, instead of just the new stock). This tank does not need to be large or set up all the time. *Sand is a natural filter and will work well in combination with your lr.

*Depends on your area. I have seen some use tap water with no problems, but most use RO or RODI water to keep down on the nuisances that would come with tap water.

*Depends on how close it is to the vibrations, I would think.

*Depends on your likes, dislikes and the size of the adult fish. I cannot suggest a fish, as I keep corals with inverts and a cleaner crew.



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i didn't see any test kits on your list.


also, use a couple minijets for water movement instead of one huge maxijet


ebo jager heater is great choice, but for a 20, a 75w or 100w will provide plenty of heating power


that's it, since everything else was answered pretty well

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The only suggestion I have for a cheap asthetic hood with sufficient lighting is to do what I did. Build one. I built a canopy with 61W of light for about $80 but I used nice wood which added a lot to the cost. Do a search on DIY canopies. If I can build one then you can too as long as you can get a hold of a mider saw.

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