OK-so my original reason for wanting an aquarium is a saltwater setup for seahorses. Obviously for someone with no experience, reading on how to do it was all greek to me. So I started with freshwater. No worries-I'm not planning on an immediate saltwater-I know when I'm in too deep (pardon the pun
) *No seahorses or other fish are in any danger*
I understand seahorses would be WAYYYYYYYY down the road after being very good at saltwater..and that's wayyyy down the road after being very good at fresh.
Soooo we (Dbf and I) were in, suprise, my local big box (but reputable, all from farms supposedly no wild caughts) LFS
(I'm there so much I know all the staff, it's really very sad) and finally found an OH SO helpful employee!! He spent about an hour with us going over the basics of saltwater, but from a big picture perspective (Which I have not found on the internet-and I'm a big picture person, need the whole picture to then zero in on details)
So I'm pulse checking-I'm going to relay what he said. Can you all advise if there are huge errors here, or things missing I should know?? Obviously way more research is in order before we start a saltwater but I need to ensure I have an idea of where to start...
So what he said was, you don't need a filter under 55 gallons. What you want is two powerheads at least, to create a back and forth current, live rock at -at least 1lb per gallon. The live rock is your filter. (He also said you can start with 50% or more established live rock and the rest unestablished but ready live rock i.e. no bacteria colony yet, but the right type of rock, and let it colonize). He said you would need a protein skimmer too. Then you would let your salinity and temp stabilize and start adding fish.
He said water changes weekly and you get it ready the day before (if you want) to let salinity stabilize, and you'd want a heater in the bucket that is being prepared.
He also explained a sump tank that would have algae in it, but not necessary.
This seems very simple...Issues? I think I have a better idea of how they work but I think I'm still missing a big picture overview understanding. Feel free to post links if it saves you typing. I'm still a bit lost.