I've kept a freshwater aquarium in the past but I recently received a new tank as a gift and am thinking about setting it up as my first saltwater system. The thing is, I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with it. It'll be quite a while before I actually set it up and start stocking, due to possibly moving in the not too distant future, so I have plenty of time to make plans and get all the necessary equipment.
I'm looking for ideas and recommendations, on everything from equipment to potential stocking. Here's what I have so far:
This 60g glass tank with stand, 48"l x 13"w x 24"h:
Marineland® 60 Gallon Heartland Aquarium Ensemble - Black - Aquariums - Fish - PetSmart
An Emperor 400 power filter:
Emperor Power Aquarium Filters - Filters - Fish - PetSmart
An old 10g tank that I plan to set up as a quarantine
I also have a thermometer, hydrometer, and an unopened bag of Instant Ocean.
So, obviously there's a lot of stuff I still need. My basic plan is to combine the power filter with a protein skimmer (what are the best brands for my size tank?) and an aquascape of live rock. Along with regular water changes, will that be enough filtration? I'm also planning on getting two power heads for circulation and to help keep the water aerated. Might I need to include an air stone to keep the water oxygenated?
List of things I know I need:
2 power heads
Aragonite, maybe live sand
I've read up on a number of fish species that might be good for beginners and have found a few I'm particularly interested in. Here's a list, I need some help narrowing it down to a reasonable number that can be supported in my setup and that won't harass each other:
Any blenny, especially black or red spotted
Wrasses, maybe fairy
Possibly a pair of clownfish
I'm really interested in invertebrates, especially crabs and conches. I'd also like to keep corals but I understand they're harder to maintain than just fish. Would my tank size and setup be appropriate for them? I imagine I would need to get better lights, but I'm mostly concerned right now about whether the filtration would be adequate. At this point I think I'd be willing to sacrifice all but one or two fish if I could have a really cool invert tank, just not sure how that would work.
I know this is a really long post but I'm totally new at this and there's a lot to consider. Like I said, I'm not looking to set everything up very soon, probably not until sometime next year once I figure out my living situation, so I have plenty of time to take in any advice. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, I really appreciate it!