WELCOME TO AA!!!
Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.
, it is generally to go bigger, on the tank. If you are just starting out, I would go with the biggest your budget/space can handle. The reason behind this is, smaller tanks have less room for error. In other words, if the water goes out of whack and you don't detect it fast enough, you could loose your tank.
I am thinking of probably live sand?
IME, I started with CC and decided to convert to LS
, that was quite a task. You will want to decide early what kind of substrate you will use. People like the look of CC, but it becomes dirty and limits your substrate stirrers and other critters.
Is there something I should know about live rock and sand as well?
, there is cured/uncured/base. Cured is what your LFS
has (hopefully) in the display tanks, with life and beneficial bacteria growing on it. (this tends to be a little more expensive). Uncured is "freshly shipped" rock that will have die-off due to exposure to air/shipping (great stuff to help start and possibly reduce the period of your cycle). Base rock is "dead" rock that can become LR
. Generally, this is the cheapest.
just buy the dry stuff, not the kind that already has water in it. I tend to think a lot of the beneficial bacteria is still alive after setting on the shelf at room temp, with no O2
I was offered a "kit" at the store but I figure a kit is just like a pre-built computer.
Exactly, sometimes you can get a great deal, but most times, not at the LFS
. I use the LFS
to see what they have and then buy it online.
My house has culligan water filtering since we live in the country and have very hard water. Would this be okay to use or would I need to make a large purchase of water from a store?
Not sure about that filter, but I am on well water and don't have any problems. You can probably have your LFS
test the water for you.