I have kept salt water tanks off and on for the past 18 years. I maintained a 100 gallon reef tank for about 8 years with a lot of success. Tore it down about 6 years ago (was building a house, lost interest etc...) but kept the tank. I had built a stand and hood for it but that has since been tossed. So thats my past.
Now I am ready to pull the tank out of storage and build a new stand/hood and get back into the hobby which brings me here. My wife has convinced me to go with a fish only tank which I have agreed to do this time around (mainly due to expense and amount of work involved with a reef tank).
I am hopeful that I can get some advice from you all on the "systems" I should consider as well as any other thoughts you may have. Budget is obviously a concern but I do realize that getting started again will not be cheap. If you are interested in helping please read on.
What I have: 100 gal
. Acrylic tank.. 60x18x20. Tank has always been well cared for and still looks new. Has a single overflow.... have misc. power heads, fluval canister filter, bio ball - trickle filter system, a skimmer that that should probably be replaced, lots of crushed coral sand and other misc "things". When I tossed my hood I also threw away all my HO
ballasts and end caps etc.. (yeah I know.. should have held on to those...)
Typical 2x frame construction... finish will be important to me but I have built furniture so while Im not going to spend a year building this thing it will not be a walmart style stand either. Trying to remember everything I hated about the old stand I built... Thinking I will use a 20 gallon sump but could go with a 10 or 15 too. I am not to worried about building the stand - should be straight forward but will welcome any thoughts.
I hated my last hood...It looked fine but was not well designed.. I built it with the fluorescent ballasts and tubes mounted to the underside of the hood... it weighed a ton and was a pain for my wife and I to remove every time I needed access to my tank. I am really looking for some better ideas here. I would consider hanging lights but it wont be a reef tank and I don't think my wife would like that look. so I think some sort of fluorescent system may be best again? I know there are lots of options out there - I just don't have experience with any of them. Would really appreciate thoughts here.
Trickle filters is an old technology... My reef tank really filtered it self - the main thing I did was run some skimmers etc... I would like some thoughts on a good easy way to filter a fish only tank. Assume some bigger canister filters combined with my trickle filter combined with a skimmer would work?
Not to worried about stock at this point - over the years I have kept the majority of all typical salt water fish/inverts etc.. but I am curious about the synthetic corals available now... I know thats probably blasphemy to any reef tank owners but again I am just looking for a fish only tank and don't want it to be an open sand floor and also don't want it to look like a few rocks were just tossed in.
Ok, I have written enough... please offer comments, questions, advice or if need be flame away.