Highly suggest keeping your HOB
filter on the tank. You could just use base rock to cycle it with raw shrimp but it will take longer to cycle your tank. If you go with pool sand (hard to find in Iowa lol) I would add one bag of live sand and mix it in to help with the cycle. Base rock is beautiful. My parents had a saltwater a long time ago (over 25 years) and when we started saltwater we got the base rock! Some live rock would really help! We have a fuzzy dwarf the minimum is 30 gallon. But if you decide to do that you can't put anything else in the tank, besides a clean up crew. They are moderate care, i personally would suggest easy care since you are just starting. Also nothing smaller than they can fit in their mouth (full grown) Eels get big and won't work for your tank. Eels are escapes artists!!! The entire top would need to be completely sealed. He would end up in your HOB
filter or on the floor. That's with an appropriate sized tank. If you put him in something smaller he will try harder to get out. I would do the clown fish and 6 line. We love our clownfish! They are a lot of fun to watch. Ours are about to spawn for the first time
saltwater is amazing!!! But trust me it is not cheap. We have spent $2,000 on SW
in the past 8 months! Good luck!!!!!!