I got a 65 gallon RR tank from a buddy for free, complete with stand, sump, return pump, power heads, heaters...protein skimmer but no pump for it, lights but they are very poor so I will need to buy new ones.
There is no live rock, sand, or any living critters.
said they only sell base rock and cured live rock. They suggested I buy 40lbs of each then another 30-40lbs of crushed coral/sand mix.
I want to set this up as a reef tank and will be going on vacation this Saturday for 8 days. I haven't setup a new tank from scratch so I wasn't sure if I should get everything setup before I go on vacation so it can cycle and be 8 days closer to being ready when I get back, or do I need to hold off and do it when I'm back from vacation because of needing to do water changes or???
Would the lights need to stay off during this time?
What are your thoughts on how I should do this if you were in my shoes?
The plan is to setup a 20 gallon refugium with this and the 20 gallon sump.