Sooo... we just had most of our freshwater tank wiped out with a case of Neon Tetra Disease that came with cardinal tetras from LFS
. In discussion with LFS
, a well-run store that paid us back for all our deceased fish, has suggested that we dismantle the tank, disinfect everything, and start over to ensure that the protozoans are gone. In doing further research, this seems like a wise decision.
ANYWAY, I've always wanted a saltwater (reef) tank, and feel that now might be a good chance to convert our existing tank over to salt. I've done loads of research, and my brother-in-law has 2 large, impressive reef tanks, but I have a few questions that I'm still confused about.
Tank is a 26gal bowfront (a little small, I know, but it's what I have to work with), with 2 HOB
filters (Aquaclear 30 and Aqueon 20) and a digital integrated thermometer/heater (Fluval E 100W). I'd like to put down a 1-2" sand bed.
Advice is greatly appreciated!
Live rock: brother-in-law has offered me some live rock from his established tanks. I've also read conflicting viewpoints that it's best to start dry and establish your own bacteria colonies to prevent disease spread?
Sump: I get that it increases the working size of your tank. Do I need a sump? What else does it do? If my tank isn't drilled, can I create a sump? Very confused on sumps and EVERYONE has a different opinion!
Refugium: Create in HOB
filters? I get why a refugium is a good idea, but am a little fuzzy on how to make one. Where does the filter medium go if the HOBs are refugium? Which leads me to the next question:
To filter or not? Could one of my HOB
be a refugium and the other a filter? Why does freshwater need a filter and it's not entirely necessary in salt? Because of the biological filtration from the live rock?
Power heads: does the flow coming from the filters count towards the 10x water volume, and/or is it possible to overdo flow?
Protein skimmer: sometimes people say not necessary for tanks <30gal, but does it make life easier?
Lights: OMG I have never been more confused. I get that my fluorescent bulb hood has to go, but I am straight up confused about lighting. Brother-in-law swears that metal halide is the only way to go for reef, but I'm interested in other opinions. LED
Critters: the only critter I'm totally set on is a peppermint shrimp. I also like the purple/blue and yellow guys, obviously I need more saltwater fish research!