Welcome to AA
A 30 gal
will be easier to move so that sounds fine. The smaller tank will also be cheaper to setup with lr
costs. Keep in mind that you will be limited to about 6" to 8" of adult fish length.
liveaquaria.com has a great nano fish section
Anywhere between 2"-4" of sand is fine. Where do you plan on getting your "live" sand? If from a lfs
make sure it's from a tank that has corals to avoid copper contamination, otherwise I'd just get all aragonite sand.
to cycle the tank is all you will need if it's uncured lr
and has enough die-off to get your nh3
to 2-3+ ppm
. I'd get 50 to 60 lbs of lr
I've used the Penguin 1140 (300 GPH
) for over 15 years (same one) and it's worked flawlessly. It does vibrate a little and can cause some noise with it's default hanging hook but if you supper glue some rubber stoppers against it there is no noise. I'd put one on each side of the tank in the back and point the deflector towards the middle front of the tank to get good convulsing currents.
The Coralife Super Skimmer 125 is a beast of a skimmer and unless you are also going to have a 10+ gal
sump I'd avoid the HOB
method for this skimmer on such a small tank personally. The Bak Pak Skimmer 2R
or Aqua C Remora Pro
would be better options IMO
I assume you are talking about mobile inverts like hermits, snails, shrimp. You can add either inverts or fish or both after the cycle. The inverts have a small bio-load and I'd get about 6 hermits/snails to start off with making sure to drip acclimate
them for a couple of hours. I'd hold off on any shrimp for 3+ months to give your tank time to stabilize.
I'd only add 1-2 small fish every 3+ weeks to give your tank time to adjust. A qt tank
is highly recommended.