So this is what I'm looking at. I'm trying to list ALL of the stuff I will need, aside from fish, food, etc. If anyone has any suggestions or anything, I'm all ears. : )
Needed up front:
Overflow kit x2 (pipes, etc, for each overflow)
To add after a few months:
Protein skimmer (Berlin?)
Pump for skimmer
Some notes/questions on the above...
Looking hard at the 180-gal
MegaFlow. Not sure if this will add up to too much $$$ and I'd be better off with the 125.
I think my husband and I may try to build our own ...
I don't know how I feel about this idea.
I understand that the top made for the MegaFlow is just a glass top, not really a hood. Someone recommended that I forget the top and and run open, beneath the canopy. (The canopy is a must -- we have two cats!) Do the benefits of gas exchange outweight those of salt creep? Other issues?
Thinking either a couple of Rubbermaids or maybe a used 55-gal
tank if I can find one cheap. A very nice guy at an LFS
(nice as in, he told me to buy my skimmer online rather than through his store!) said he'll take my tank and put in the dividers and everything to make a proper sump for $40. That or I will try to do it myself if I can figure out how to do it.
guy mentioned above basically admited that his prices on tanks and stands are nothing special. However, he says he can get great deals on pumps and lights, knock-offs rather than name brands. He says he'll get me some super knock-off light fixture; I think it was this-- a blue actinic, a 12,000k fluorescent, and 2 moonlights. $150 per 36" fixture, total of $300 for the 72" tank. I love the idea of moonlighting and have had that on my "wanted" list from day 1.
I'm thinking a bunch of base rock and maybe 40 or 80 lbs of live...? (If I recall correctly LiveRocks.com prices are best if you buy in amounts of 40 lbs.)
One in the tank, one in the sump? I'd like to have absolutely everything in the sump, but Fenner recommends one in the tank as well.
I'm told this isn't needed immediately, that it can wait a few months.
Should I plan to add activated carbon into my sump somehow when I'm ready to start adding fish?