(for those not interested in reading, I tried to mark out specific questions w/ #ís)
I live in Hawaii, and anyone who has lived in Hawaii knows that the regulations on owning an aquarium are so heavy and thick, that they basically deter people away from creating a successful tank (a double edged sword). And rightfully so, although thatís another story completely, and Iíll keep that brief.
I completely understand the importance of making it known that Iím following every Hawaiian law and regulation, and that I have the utmost respect for these laws and regulations. The laws and regulations in say, somewhere like Florida, may not exactly match up with the laws in Hawaii.
Seeing as how very little is imported, very little information about advanced aquarium keeping in Hawaii is known. Hawaii is pretty much king to crushed coral substrate with gravel filters and biowheel filtration systems. I want to part from my previous ways of aquarium keeping, and try something Iíll have a little more success with, and will also be much more rewarding. However, this means much of my aquarium will have to be done unconventionally, and will likely take a little longer to do. But time is not an immediate concern (5-6 years down the line, maybe
So I ask the members of Aquarium Advice, to help me a tad here and a tad there, to help me form my tank, basically from scratch. I have two 55gallonís sitting in my house Ė I decided to start out in the middle ground as far as size is concerned, because I donít want a 100+ gallon disaster.
Iíve talked w/ FishFreek previously in AAís chat, and heís been very helpful, we came up with several solutions for things such as live rock and live sand, which cannot be purchased online.
My live rock will eventually become live rock, itíll be base rock seeded w/ ocean algae .. and my sandbed, will be seeded w/ live sand from the ocean, preferably a decent amount off shore of course. (1.)
I came to realize though, that itís not likely Hawaii has imported sand, and the sand offered at hardware stores is left outside all day, and shoveled either into bags or into the back of your truck when itís bought. Assuming I go there and the sand doesnít look horribly dirty and what not, will this suffice? Is there a way to wash the sand?
Secondly, my cleanup crew. Due to the fact that sand is not commonly used in Aquariums in Hawaii, itíll be difficult to form a cleanup crew. (2.)
Snails and Blennies/Gobies can be acquired, will this suffice, or will I need hermit crabs and the like as well?
Does anyone have experience with the following species of Blennies/Gobies? I assume the majority of Blennies/Gobies feed heavily on algae and these are some species that I can likely get a hold of.
1. Scarface Blenny (Cirripectes vanderbilti) (this would probably be my preferred choice, although Iíve seen several big ones in the wild, and perhaps the several fish books I own are wrong when they list itís size)
2. Zebra Blenny (Istiblennius zebra)
3. Golden Green Goby (Priolepis aureoviridis)
(Iíll list several more if the above wonít do the job of a cleaner effectively)
Do cleaner shrimp put enough of a dent in the waste to be relied on?
The last thing I want is a slop of a sandbed due to the fact that itís not being properly cleaned.
Anyway, I felt Iíve already said a bit too much. Iíd be thrilled if I at least stirred some interest and could get some help. Any and all advice will be helpful. And instead of making multiple threads, Iíll keep all my questions to one thread. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
I apologize for itís length, but itís not something that can be covered in several sentences :P