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Coral Vue Hydros

20 gallon long project


marcandre

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Although i love the look of my fluval edge, i am beginning to get annoyed by the added difficulties provided by the design of the edge.

I am thinking of increasing in size and starting a 20 gallon long tank. It doesnt seem like a bit upgrade but compared to the fluval edge, its about 3X bigger! I am sure my clowns would love the added place.

 

Since i am in no rush in starting this tank, i want to get equipment slowly piece by piece. This is where i need help.

If you were to start a 20G long, what kind of equipement would you get (Powerheads? Lights? Filtration? Skimmer? I dont want an overflown system because i wish for it to be silent!

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20 gal with no sump/fuge, depends on your budget, but i've had sucess in the past with prizm hob backpack skimmers. If you have the right ammount of live rock, and keep up with water changes, then you'd have a nice berlin system. As for lighting, theres been some great threads about led builds. They really seem like the way to go. The big trick without a sump is to do a great job hiding equipment profiles with your aquascaping. Heaters can really make a nano tank look synthetic if not placed correctly. Let us know what you come up with!

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I am working on designing an intank AIO refugium for a 20L as we speak. It will take up no more than 6" on one end of the tank resulting in 24" of display tank length. It will be like what many of the 5.5 nano tank guys build. It will be 3 chambers with room for filter floss/pad, Chaeto, Chemi-Pure, Carbon etc. A place for the heater and powered with a MJ900/1200 pump. I believe with only 20 gallons unless you do major feedings and very heavy stocking Chaeto and weekly water changes will handle nutrient export and a skimmer will not be needed.

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Seano Hermano

Hiding equipment is definitely key to aesthetics. I have the Hydor nano Skim and I love it. it skims very well on my 29G reef tank (w/ 10G sump) and would blend in nicely with a black background if you run it in-tank (mine is in the sump). You could run a refugium, as HOB, if you want. What I would do is to buy and AquaClear HOB filter and mod it into a refuge. Then add a submersible led light and some chaetomorpha.

 

A shallow sandbed of about 10 lbs will be approx. 1". It won't give you problems with nitrates (as long as the sand is fine) and nassarius snails can easily turn it over, keeping it looking nice. Rock will depend on the type of aquascaping you want. You could have anywhere from 10-25 lbs.

 

Practice weekly water changes and light stocking and have fun with it.

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Thanks for your advice,

I am actually very surprised about what people thinking about nano skimmers. My small Fluval Edge has been going on for a little over 2 months and i thought i was crazy not using a skimmer. I guess i will not be needing a skimmer as i practise religious water changes 1-2 a week.

 

I am however contemplating modifying an aqua clear filter into a small HOB refugium.

 

What about powerheads? I currently have the koralia nano. Great for my 6g but probably lacking a bit of power for a 20l. Would you think 2 koralia nanos set up at opposite ends of the tank with the AC filter in the middle provide enough water circulation?

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Thanks for your advice,

I am actually very surprised about what people thinking about nano skimmers. My small Fluval Edge has been going on for a little over 2 months and i thought i was crazy not using a skimmer. I guess i will not be needing a skimmer as i practise religious water changes 1-2 a week.

 

I am however contemplating modifying an aqua clear filter into a small HOB refugium.

 

What about powerheads? I currently have the koralia nano. Great for my 6g but probably lacking a bit of power for a 20l. Would you think 2 koralia nanos set up at opposite ends of the tank with the AC filter in the middle provide enough water circulation?

 

I have a 20 Long with two Koralia Nano 425's at each end aimed somewhat towards each other and an AC70 on the back, and I think the flow is pretty good.

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I have a 20 Long with two Koralia Nano 425's at each end aimed somewhat towards each other and an AC70 on the back, and I think the flow is pretty good.

 

Great, i also think it would have a good flow. A nice balanced flow thats for sure.

 

What would be a good lighting option? My tank will not be focused on corals but rather on fish. (Some kind of FOWLR but with some small zooanthids and some shrooms). I was thinking of either using a Marineland 36-48" LED Double Bright Lighting System or go with some metal halide set-up...

 

again thanks for your input!

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My tank is doing good with weekly waterchanges, sumpless with a AC70 full of chaeto and I have a koralia 750, and 2 nano koralias, 240&425 and an extra HOB filter that I use occasionally for carbon/filter floss. Has a lot of flow and isn't overwhelming if aimed right and I still manage to have dead spots though.

 

I think its hard to focus more on fish, coral are awesome, but on mine I have a 150W DE MH with a Phoenix bulb in it. I love it so far :)

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I have a 20L that's been going for ~1.5 years. never had a skimmer on it. Nitrates stay at 0 with religious water changes. I may miss a weekend, but if so I double up the next week. I went for a lagoon setup so only have an AC50 modded into a fuge. There is a Koralia nano 425 on one side and the AC50 on the other for flow. I have a 250w SE MH about 20" off the water. This gives high light in the middle and tapers off to lower light at the sides. I have mostly softies, but also a favia and Blasto. Obviously, you would want more flow for any more demanding LPS or SPS. All of my coral has grown significantly and on colony of zoas started with 4 or 5 heads and is now completely grown over an entire rock.

 

I don't really subscribe to the popular berlin style of filtration. I am a strong advocate for a more complete natural system incorporating lots of macro for nutrient control in the water column. I have no proof of this, but from simple observation it seems to me much more stable and able to handle fluctuations better. Anyhow... Just my $0.02 and what has worked well for me.

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Great, i also think it would have a good flow. A nice balanced flow thats for sure.

 

What would be a good lighting option? My tank will not be focused on corals but rather on fish. (Some kind of FOWLR but with some small zooanthids and some shrooms). I was thinking of either using a Marineland 36-48" LED Double Bright Lighting System or go with some metal halide set-up...

 

again thanks for your input!

 

I run a fishneedit 4x24 T5HO 30in. fixture with just the stock 2x10K and 2xActicnic. I like this fixture a lot and that it's 30in. long it fits the 20Long tank great. The bulbs are still 24in. in length, but there are really no lower light areas on either side of the tank. The stock bulbs that come with the fixture are not the greatest, but will get the job done until you can upgrade those. I plan on swapping the stock bulbs out with ATI bulbs in the next couple of months.

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Things have finally taken off.

I just ordered my 20l (30x12x12) tank from the LFS!!

 

I discussed my plans with the LFS guy but he seems very skeptical about it working...

 

The only thing we seem to agree on is the required flow. Both of us agree that two powerheads is a good option for a long tank. I will probably buy a Tunze 6025 Nanostream and couple it with my koralia nano

 

As for filtration, he does not believe that an AC70 modded into a refugium with some cheato would work. He believes it does not provide a good environment for practical cheato growth due to the high flow in the filter. His best filtration device that he proposes is a Tunze 9002 skimmer. I am not doubting the effectiveness of a skimmer but i am worried about the the potential noise it will make. This tank will be in my bedroom therefore i do not want to hear any annoying noise....

 

When it comes to lighting, he proposes a 24inch HAGEN T5H0 Glo. This light does look good ith a blue and a violet bulb in it but i am skeptical about whether it provied enough light for a nice bright tank. I have seen T5H0 light setups that have 4 bulbs (while that one has 2) and are cheaper. Doesn't more bulbs equal to more light? I was also thinking about doing a DIY LED set up

 

By me going to the LFS and asking some questions, i thought i would come out with a clear idea of where i am going but the plan back fired on me and now i am even more confused...

Decisions decisions... I NEED HELP!!

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I'm setting up a 20g long, it's cycling as I type. I've seen literally 100's of threads with AC70's used as fuge's on nano tanks. Your LFS guy is right, if you use the stock impeller, the flow will be too strong, defeating the idea of pod's multiplying. Most swap out the impeller with a smaller one, either from a AC20 or AC50. I plan on using an AC20 impeller as I have one to spare.

 

As far as light, right now I have a 2x24w T5HO by catalinaaquarium.com. Fixture is great, solid built, great company (I actually own 4 of their fixtures). I plan on using the 2 bulb, last week I bought ATI blue + and coral + bulbs for it, very nice combination. I plan on using this fixture until I feel it's not doing it's job, putting off enough light. A 20g long is only 13" high, 2 bulbs might be enough light.

 

If i was you, I would def go with a 4 bulb T5 fixture, but make sure the fixture comes with switches/cords for each bulb. Catalinaaquarium.com will modify any fixture they make, adding switches, cords, shields, hanging brackets for a small additional fee. If I buy another fixture, I'll have them make me one with 3 switches/cords, so I can have one-two-three or all 4 lights on at a time. LIghting options are always best.

 

I'm also investigating LED fixtures, but their costs are way high. Maybe in a year or so.....

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If you would have the choice however between a modded AC70 with the AC propeller or going with a nano skimmer such as the tunze, would you go for it?

 

DIY LEd kits really arent expensive. The one i was looking at had 24LEDS (12 white and 12 blue) and was only 100$ and that includes all the wiring and the heat sink

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I am not good enough to DIY anything electric.....but the Par bulbs are on my list, not sure I like the look of them tho....

 

I looked at the Tunze skimmers, decided to go with the AC70 for now, can always add the skimmer later. It doesn't have to be either/or, it can be both.

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Well you can take the advice from a retail seller with a grain of salt of course! I designed my AIO 20L refugium wall and CNC machined it yesterday and siliconed it into the tank today. I will not be using a skimmer in this tank and I do plan on having it stocked with SPS. Do not be afraid of putting together your own LED light kit. I ordered an AquaStyles 24 LED dimmable kit yesterday to go over my 20L AIO tank build. I'll post a full account of the light build once I receive the kit.

 

20LFuge1.jpg

20LTop.jpg

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Yes i know, i am always careful when i talk to retailers. I rarely buy stuff on the spot without researching it before. I like your refugium! Looks nice and clean. Won't go that route however as i want to be able to see the tank from both sides as well as the front. I am still debating between the AC70 refugium or the skimmer. I am leaning more towards the skimmer but i am worried about the noise. I will continue researching...

 

The Aquastyle 24 is exactly the DIY led kit i was looking at. Looking forward to your thread about your LED kit build and assembly!

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wow, i am becoming one of those indecisive person that i usually dislike!

 

but i have no clue what route to go... HOB refugium or skimmer...

The inTank media rack for the AC70 looks amazing but so does the Tunze Skimmer with the inTank top

 

I like the options provided by the AC70 such as putting filter floss, cheato, purigen, carbon, etc but from my readings, a skimmer is truly the best at removing wastes from the water... tough choice!!!

 

Anyone willing to help me a bit more? I am passing at the lfs this week-end to purchase what i decided

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wow, i am becoming one of those indecisive person that i usually dislike!

 

but i have no clue what route to go... HOB refugium or skimmer...

The inTank media rack for the AC70 looks amazing but so does the Tunze Skimmer with the inTank top

 

I like the options provided by the AC70 such as putting filter floss, cheato, purigen, carbon, etc but from my readings, a skimmer is truly the best at removing wastes from the water... tough choice!!!

 

Anyone willing to help me a bit more? I am passing at the lfs this week-end to purchase what i decided

 

I would go with the AC70 personally. It'll provide you a solid avenue to run carbon, or any other media you end up needing as well as chaeto. As you said before, if you find a need, you can add a skimmer later. I personally wouldn't run a skimmer on anything 20g or less. Look online before buying at the LFS tho, as my ac70 was only like $35 shipped on amazon, and i have never seen an LFS price close to that.

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idontwan2know

The flow objection to an AC70 fuge isn't valid. There are a number of ways of lowering the flow, whether by turning the flow control down, trimming impeller blades, replacing the impeller with a smaller one, or even replacing the whole pump with one from a smaller AC.

 

I had some of the same questions you did for my 15 column and I decided to compromise and mod an AC110 and put an Aquatic Life skimmer in there. Plenty of fuge room and a skimmer that might not be as efficient as the Tunze but will still be more than adequate for a nano tank. And all for less than the Tunze by itself.

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