Well, my salt water tank is underway. Thanks for the advice from everyone so far, most recently with my goby. I actually coaxed him out into plain view for about 30 seconds today so hopefully with another week of routine and clever feeding he should feel more comfortable in the tank.
Anyway, onto the topic at hand. My tank is a 24gal aquapod. My plan is to have primarily coral and a few inverts. I will probably have no more than 3 fish (all at or around 1 inch). The aquapod sits at 80degrees during the day with the heater off. It seems the proximity to the lights is keeping the tank warm. The heater is still present to prevent major drops at night with the lights off.
I have heard 80 isn't a problem for corals and inverts but can cause problems with oxygen content for fish, but with the low fish load I don't believe this will be a problem.
However, acclimation is interesting. I have tweaked my tank to be similar to the water conditions of my lfs
and did a 1.5hour drip acclimation with the goby. The salinity/ph/etc all matched up nicely after that point, but the temperature was completely off. The warmth of the tank water is no match for the heat capacity of the water the fish arrives in and the amount of time it takes to drip.
What I did with the goby was, after I had matched chemicals with a drip, was to do a series of 1cup water exchanges into the acclimation water from the tank to slowly bring the water temperature up.
Does anyone have a tactic that will work more effectively? I am new to drip acclimation and seem to be doing ok with it but it has been awkward every time I have tried.