I started working on this aquarium over a year ago. My vision was to build a reef aquarium. I've had tropical fish for years but comparing that to a reef aquarium is like comparing a skateboard to a car.
It's been slow going because I'm teaching myself. I've got a bunch of books on the hobby, research online and even go to youtube for information. The only decent pet store that I have access to is 1.5 hours away. This place does nothing but SW
and while they have been a good resource, I need some additional help.
So I found myself here.
My goal is to begin buying live rock next week. This is the equipment that I have so far - if I am overlooking something, please let me know:
-Marineland 60 gallon aquarium (48w x 13d x 24h) and stand.
-Perfecto glass canopy x 2
-Odyssea Metal Halide Light / 12 lunar LEDs (2 250W bulbs - 1500k)
-Seaclone 100 protein skimmer
-Instant Ocean Hydrometer
-Lifegard digital temp with alert
-Zilla power center timer 8 outlet power strip
-Reefmaster test kit (calcium carbonate, phosphate and nitrate - I think I bought the wrong thing and need something to test amonia too).
-Hydor Koralia circulation pump flow rate 1500 400 GPH
-Two 150W heaters
-Blueline Aqua Pump
-CS Overflow Box (of course I bought a tempered glass tank, ugh)
-Aqualifter Vacuum Pump
-Ecosystem Refugium Sump Del 2410 (24L x 10w x 12h) 10 Lbs of miracle mud and a bunch of bioballs with basic flourescent lighting.
-I have the plumbing to connect display tank and refugium and they (petstore) built me a manifold for returning water with 3 outlets.
Here are some issues I have:
I don't know what type of sand and salt to get. I've read that I should have a mixture of fine and coarse sands for inverts. Help? Are some salt brands better than others?
Can anyone suggest bucket sizes to mix the saltwater in? Since I can only filter 24GPD, I'm thinking I don't need a huge container but I'm not totally sure.
I think I need to cut the legs off my refugium stand? It is only a few inches shorter than my display tank. The sump is too large to fit in the compartment under the tank and I'm not sure how far the drop needs to be. I'd like to work with what I have rather than buying something else.
I bought a Corallife Pure-Flo II - 24 G/Day 3 stage system water filter. It just arrived today but I don't think it has a DI
function on it. Is this going to give me the kind of water quality that I need for corals and inverts? I thought it was RO
but upon closer inspection, I don't think it really is. It says it gives 99% pure water...
Just a logistics question...? How do you get live rock home? Do you bring buckets to the store? Will a 1.5 hour ride home be ok? There is a closer petstore that sells live rock but it looks really furry and brown. I'm thinking that I don't want that.
I have a bunch of other questions but this is getting to be a lengthy post. I hope someone can give me a few pointers. I haven't had much time to check out all the cool animals I could get because I've been consumed with the mechanics of all this. Totally burned out on the research and planning and want to move forward!
Thank You for reading.