Hello all! I'm setting up a 55 gallon as my first marine tank, and wanting to go the whole 9 yards. I'm going to seed the filter with existing fw
established media, then slowly raise the salinity so as not to kill off the BB. Then I am going to add live sand (how many pounds do I need?) and 25lbs of fully cured live rock. I will be getting 4 T5 strip lights, and I'm seriously considering laying down the cash for a Fluval G6 filter (any opinions on the best non-sump filters?) and I will be getting a protein skimmer (again, suggestions?). I figure with established filter media, my cycle should take maybe 3 months? I'm aiming for: dkh
of 12, salinity of 1.022, temp of 24 degrees Celsius (76 Fahrenheit), and a pH of 8.1 (I'm guessing I'll need to add a reef alkalinity supplement).
So: what are everyone's opinions on all of the reef supplements (alkalinity, trace minerals, calcium, etc)- are they necessary? What do you use? Do you have to add them every time you do a water change?
How often do you do PWCs and how much?
After the cycle is complete, I want to add mushroom corals. I hear they're the easiest for beginners, and I also adore the look of them. My coral selection (please comment and make suggestions!!) is:
Fluorescent green mushroom
Lavender or hair mushroom
Green striped mushroom
Is this too many corals (1 of each) if they're spaced out? How far apart should they be? And how do I go about harvesting frags when they start to grow large?
This is the clean up crew I'm thinking of (again, please comment and make suggestions):
1 lettuce sea slug
4 dwarf blue leg hermit crabs
6 Astraea turbo snails
2 nassarius snails
4 dwarf red tip HCs
8 cerith snails
4 peppermint shrimp
2 emerald crabs
2 banded coral shrimp
1 brittle sea star
1 pincushion sea urchin
1 sea cucumber
Is this too much? I just want a) a pristine tank, and b) a variety of everything
And then the fish I would like:
1 yellow banded possum wrasse
1 scissor tail dart fish (optional)
2 ocellaris clownfish (mated pair)
3 blue/ green reef chromis
1 yellow prawn goby
1 court jester goby
1 diagonal bar prawn goby
1 citrine or green clown goby
1 black banded convict goby
1 hi fin red banded goby
Can you tell im obsessed with gobies? Lol. I tried to pick only hardy, small, reef safe, peaceful fish, but obviously experience is the best form of knowledge when it comes to living things!
Sorry for the long post. I just want as many opinions and suggestions as I can get!!