So I became very interested in having a saltwater aquarium about 2 months ago. I've spent endless hours online and have read a couple books on the subject trying to wrap my head around what I have come to realize is quite an involved hobby. I also realized no matter how much I study and plan, shits going to happen. It's been rather frustrating at times and my wallet has definitely decreased in size. And I haven't even purchased a single fish yet.
I've been working on a 75 gallon FOWLR
setup for the last 6 weeks or so. I purchased a glass aquarium on craigslist and found a good stand for it about a week later. I knew early on I wanted a clean looking tank so I drilled the back and ran plumbing down to a sump underneath. I'm definitely no plumber and I can't even begin to count how many trips I took to home depot getting that all setup. It took about 3 incarnations to get a smooth runnning system that didn't gurgle or sound like Niagara Falls.
In the tank I have two Koralia 750 powerheads. The lighting was given to me by the guy who sold me the tank. Its two fluoresce
nt coralife fixtures. one with a white bulb and one blue/night bulb. I plan on upgrading the lighting eventually but as I understand it in a FOWLR
tank the lighting is really only for my benefit so it's not a priority as of now.
I have about 90 pounds of aragonite sand in the tank and it is filled with tapwater currently just for testing out the plumbing/filtration system. an RO
unit is my next purchase along with a protein skimmer.
The tank drains into a DIY wet/dry trickle sump setup underneath. After being perplexed by sumps for a few weeks I ended up making a DIY sterlite system similar to the picture below...
Which brings me to my first set of questions. What media should I be running in this thing? I hear so many conflicting answers to this question. Currently, per the DIY instructions, I have a filter pad, phosphate reducing pad, and carbon pad in the top drawer and then bioballs int he second drawer underneath. (I only have 2 drawers in my setup) Considering I will soon have a protein skimmer, is this overkill? Keep in mind I need to have the top drawer filled with something to catch the water simply so my sump doesn't sound like a waterfall.
Anyway the drawers sit in a 30 gallon bin similar to in the picture. suctioned to the sides of the plastic bin I have 2 Aqeuon 150 watt heaters as a fail safe in case one fails. Also my mag 7 pump is in there as well to return water to the tank.
I guess that's about it for now. I've been going back and forth on what kind of rock to get for the tank. First I was thinking live rock but now I'm leaning more towards base rock from bulkreefsupply and perhaps a few pieces of live rock to seed it. Then it's on to cycling the tank.
I figure if things go well I will have a fish in this tank by 2017.
So that basically sums up where I'm at currently. I'm sure ill be here bugging you guys a lot in the near future.
Thanks in advance for putting up with me