View Full Version : 20L new build questions

09-10-2013, 03:28 PM
Hey all I've been lurking around on the site for awhile and am finally going to jump in and get a tank going now that Petco is having their sale. I'm looking at doing a 20L with a HOB and some type of LED lighting. For the HOB what size are people recommending? I figured I'd modify it from one of the DIY threads. Also as far as lighting goes what LED's would work for this size tank? I'm planning on not doing a canopy so a clean look would be nice. I have looked at doing maybe one of the Kessel's or I've noticed a lot of people suggest the AI Hydra's but the AI stuff seems a bit above my budget at the moment. I'm thinking mostly of softies with a couple fish for deciding on the lighting. Any thoughts/advice on setup would be welcomed as I'm just starting to try to put together a system. I'm slightly on the fence about doing a 40gb but figured that might be the next step up after doing a 20L for awhile.


09-10-2013, 11:50 PM
Hi Justin and welcome. Like you I started with a 20l but no corals since I was just breeding percula's. One thing I will let you in on is that you will end up doing more water changes with a 20 than with the 40. My bio-load wasn't as much at first but I added the max fish ratio and was constantly having to keep my nitrates in check as they spiked a lot.

Whisper power filter works OK but a canister filter with three baskets works best for HOB. I just got a prizm from someone so if you'd like you can have the BC Nano Protein Skimmer I have laying around now, but you'll need to get new suction cups for it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 4

09-11-2013, 01:24 PM
Thanks. I'm thinking of doing a CPR Aquafuge HOB with a modified AQ 70 since both are on sale at Marine depot. My other thought is to try to a 29 with a 20 sump with a glass holes overflow though I'm not super excited about drilling a tank. Figure drilling a $29 tank and messing up is at least a cheaper mistake than usual. Once I figure out my tank situation I will definitely be deciding on a protein skimmer.

09-11-2013, 01:32 PM
I have a 20 L that is already drilled that I am selling. It has never had water in it. There is a pic in my sale thread. It would probably be cheaper than buying and drilling everything.

09-11-2013, 02:05 PM
Does it come with the overflow? I was looking through the sale threads and I don't see a thread? I'd be interested if it meant I don't have to drill a tank though I'm leaning a bit towards the 29 just for the extra leeway.

09-11-2013, 02:24 PM
I'll echo Delta and say go as large as you're willing to go... Don't get me wrong, I love nano tanks (my last tank was under 20 gallons) but my bio load was low. Skip the HOB if you can avoid it, drill it (very easy and lots of people willing to help you do it), plumb a sump and get a skimmer and fuge going. Easier to clean, easier maintain, and better water quality. It might sound more expensive, but it is best to buy your equipment once instead of 2 or 3 times as you learn what works and what doesn't.

09-11-2013, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the input Calvin. This is why I wanted to post before I went buying things to make sure I do it right the first time. So a 29g tank with a 20 would probably work out better? This now opened up the what size glass-holes overflow would work best. I was thinking the 700 GPH Overflow box would work best as I think the nano dientes seems like it would be at it's max.

09-11-2013, 03:42 PM
You don't typically need more than 10x your tank volume going through your sump, so that would be either 200 gph or 290 gph depending on tank size... Always, always get more overflow than you need else you run the risk of flooding your tank. The overflow will only dump as much as you give it, so if you give it 200 gph it will flow 200 gph, but if you give it 1000 and it's only rated for 700 you will flood your tank. Make sense? Personally I think 700 GPH is a bit excessive, but it is your tank. :) If you click the picture in my signature bar you can see what I did for my 18 gallon.

09-11-2013, 04:19 PM
Excellent point! Guess the Dientes one might work out better. Went through your build and I have to say I'm impressed, if mine turns out a quarter nice as that I will be happy.

09-11-2013, 06:41 PM
Thanks and Good Luck, I'm sure what ever you decide it will turn out nice. :) There are a unlimited ways to setup a tank, this is just what worked best for me and what I wanted in a tank. Keep us posted with what you decide!

10-21-2013, 01:27 PM
I will say I use the aqua fuge mod on a picotope and a 10 gallon and it works well. Intank makes nice chambers to go in but I just use the pieces to finish the mod. I only use cheato and do water changes every 2-3 weeks. Both have a DIY air stone skimmer. I use a daylight cfl bulb and the cheato grows well.

10-21-2013, 01:28 PM
It isn't the most slightly setup though. I'd trade it for drilled if it wasn't already set up, well maybe not the pico.

Correction to above, I have modded aqua clears, not aqua fuges.

I did have a 20L previously, one of my favorites but it was a FOWLR. I used a CPR aqua fuge on the back. It was perfect.

Lighting LED - DIY will be the least expensive but maybe not the sleakest without a canopy unless you build a nice enclosure or retrofit. I had a retrofitted Odyssea, initially was the 4 bulb T5 light and fit the tank very well, covered most of the top so my kids didn't put much in it. AI Nano or Kessil 150 should be enough for that but cost will definitely be more with the AI even used.

10-24-2013, 01:50 PM
Yea so far so good but the tank is still cycling. I plan on weekly water changes and I did score a small LED light setup for the tank but I'm still deciding on how I want to hang it. I'm debating using shelf brackets attached to the back of the stand as I don't really want to mount anything to the wall/ceiling.

10-25-2013, 08:21 PM
If you wanted metal halide lighting, I'd recommend something like a Sunpod since it can sit over the tank. I know the hanging over the tank is better for the light distribution but not always feasible. Heat is definitely more with the MH as well as electricity costs. I have really liked the coral colors with T5s over LEDS. MH has been better for growth for me.