First off all I have always wanted a Salt Water tank with sea anemones. Two years ago I got a 45 Gallon tall, acrylic tank off of ebay with the stand for $80. I made it a tropical tank with aggressive Oscars and Kenyi This tank is perfect, and the fish are easy to care for. I said to myself, the next acrylic tank bargain that comes around, it will be salt water.
So last week I got a 30 gal
. Acrylic w/stand, and heater, for $46. And off I went to Redondo Beach Petco. The fish lady had me purchase a specific gravity meter, salt, large Penguin filter, bacteria, and 2 bags of crushed coral (one fine like sand, and one larger like tiny sea shells), aqua-safe, air pump, and air stone (6 inch long). I was told that I don't need a protien skimmer, if I make regular water changes.
Before I put salt in the tank, I ventured over to a store called Fumi's in LA. The guy there sold me 10 pounds of live rock, and 8 damsels: 2 black, 2 blue, 2 yellow tail, 2 four stripe. He told me to put the rock and the fish in the tank a few hours after mixing in the salt. After doing some reading on the web, perhaps this was not the best thing to do?
I then went to Petco in Glendale to search for lighting. The fish guy "Earnest" told me that all I needed for a 30 gallon reef tank, was one single bulb fixture, and a 18 watt Zoomed Reef Sun Bulb. So I bought it. Again, after reading on the web this advice was probably not the best.
I am returning the light and fixture today, and have purchased a JBJ FORMOASA 2X65W POWER COMPACT FIXTURE ONE 10K BULB ONE ACTINIC for $75 on ebay. I should have it by this weekend. Until then I have a the 15 watt aqua ray bulb on the tank (from my fresh water tank).
So far, the fish are doing well. They are all alive and very active, and the rock is starting to grow red pigment in spots all over. I hear that is a good thing, right? The first few days I had to change about a gallon of water a day to keep the Gravity down. It has been stable at 1.022 for the past few days now. I heard, I need to wait for 3 weeks before doing anything.
Before you answer any of my questions please take into account that I am "extremely cheap," and always prefer the cheaper way out.
What do I need to do now?
Is there anything else I need to add to the water?
Will the rock be harmed by a few more days of low light?
How long before I can add Anemones?
I want to add 4 of those "Finding Nemo" fish, two orange, and two yellow. Is that too many fish?
When can I put a starfish in?