That's the plan anyways. The back story is that the good LFS
in my area closed and a while back I learned that the "expensive" fish from the good place lasted years and the cheap fish from PetCo died in a few months. The LFS
place that I was going to is really the only place to go to that had a good selection of fresh water fish and with them closed my tank is thinning out. I've been wanting to do a salt water tank since before I even got this one, so this may be the push I needed.
Anyways, right now I have a 40g fresh water tank, as well as an empty 40g tank and an empty 120g tank. In theory I should use the 120g tank but I'd really be shoehorning it into my living room unless I put it in front of a window and I'd prefer not to do that. I understand that's a bad place for them plus I open that window all the time. On top of that, It would mean buying a stand for a 120g tank. Using the 40g tank means I at least have the tank and stand ready to go.
Anyways, I have some questions. I've read a ton of 'what you need' lists* but plenty of them contradict each other or are really old so I figured I'd ask here. The equipment I have for this tank is a HOB
filter, a canister filter (both over rated for the tank size), heaters and the tank/lid/stand/heater and a light (just a basic light from a pet store. I assume other than the tank and light (and I'm not even sure about that), there's not much that can be reused, though one person said I could reuse the canister filter.
So, off the bat I know I'll need sand (substrate), salt, live rock, powerhead(s). I plan to do this right and get a RO
unit. I've got no intention of buying water.
Some things I'm not sure about are using a sump/protein skimmer vs a regular filter (like my canister). I'm not totally sure what a sump is and I have no idea what a refugium is, but I see lots of people making them.
Regarding a sump, do people drill their own holes in their tank?
As for a sump pump, I see a huge range of prices $50 to over $200. I see some shut off when they run dry, do they ALL do that? Is that just a a feature of sump pumps? Without that, it seems I could just use my canister with all the innards removed.
Is a 40g (breeder) tank big enough? Should I do a 40g breeder with a 10g sump underneath? I'd guess that works out to about 40g total since neither tank is filled all the way. Has anyone drilled their own holes? I just assumed I could buy a tank with predrilled holes (Petco is running a $1/G special, but checking Petco and a LFS
, I didn't see any tanks with holes.) I assume drilling holes is just what you do. I checked some youtube videos, seems pretty easy...and I do have a spare tank (that needs to be leak tested) if something happens.
I'm sure I'll have more questions, right now I'm just trying to get a feel for what I'm in for. Since I already have the tank and stand, it seems the major expenses, as expected, will be a skimmer and the live rock. But I'll ask for recommendations on those later.
*Someone needs to check those stickies at the top of this forums, there's a lot of dead links.
ETA, I'm choosing FOWLER because my research tells me it's the easiest of the three. I don't particularly care for the look of live rock, but I understand reef is hard to care for if you don't know what you're doing.