first off...dont use any chemicals in your water..
2nd..i like gravity at 1.024 (and i keep it there..all the time)
3rd...dont trust LFS
..(u will get stung)
4th...dont use tap water
5th...decide how you want to cycle your tank (shrimp is fine...or....
use live rock and sand to do it(and chuck in flake once a week)..approx 1.5 pound rock per gallon ) u dont need both..
personally i threw away my hydrometer the first time i used it !
get a refractometer off ebay or something) (u will not regret it)
mix up your water and salt in buckets and get the gravity right BEFORE u put it in tank
confused yet ? i trying to make it easy for u ere and SAFE for the fish
now buckets is a different issue all together..cause you cannot use any old bucket!
use a food safe bucket.. example..use a bucket you would eat your dinner out of !
as for PH
...dont even worry about that yet ) it should be there naturally..or a buffer can be added when it is fish ready !
what i am trying to get at mainly is try to keep away from puttin any chemicals in a marine setup!
if you do it right..you will have a trouble free..healthy marine environment..
2 words...RESEARCH and PATIENCE
could be 2 months before you put any fish in..so you plenty of time )
good luck and enjoy the hobby)