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The beginning, 20 gallon mixed reef

Posted 12/12/2009 at 12:43 PM by maysorum
Updated 12/12/2009 at 12:48 PM by maysorum

Hello, I've been lurking and reading for almost two and a half years and have finally decided to start my very own tank thread.

I, like so many before me, entered this hobby with a small tank. I did not to listen the advice I had heard time and time again, which was: buy the biggest tank you can afford. I should have listened. At the time, I really wasn't sure that I would enjoy reefing and I was afraid that I would be a terrible reefer. Despite these fears, in January of '09 I took the plunge and got my first tank. Alas, two days later I broke my fibula, which put me out of commission for a few weeks. Maddeningly, I sat on the the couch staring at my new tank all boxed up in the hallway.

In the meantime, I acquired a 30 LB piece of Marshall Island rock from Mike (Herefishyfishy). I kept the live rock in a rubbermaid container with a heater and powerheads until I could get the tank set-up. It was clear from the moment I brought the live rock home that I was hooked for life. I was fascinated by all of the hitchhikers. I used to sit and examine the rock for what seemed like hours (and still do). After a few weeks of recovery, I was finally able to set the tank up and here are the specs:

- 20 gallon with internal overflow and sump
- 30lb Marshall Island live rock
- 1.5 bags of CaribSea oolite sand
- MP20
- Elos E-lite on timer

I cycled the tank for a month or so until my parameters were spot on. I got many of my first SPS, LPS, and Zoanthids from Ben (Classclown). All creatures were growing, showing great polyp extension, and coloration. As for maintenance, I tried to keep it really simple by doing weekly water changes. I ended up changing approximately 40-50% of the tank water per month, which is about 2.5g per week. The water change schedule kept all of my parameters in-line.
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