Warning: Long Post...
So, I am strongly considering picking this hobby up. I have done a lot of research into so far - which has led
to, well, more questions, heh. In any case, I am getting closer to actually diving in - the last step being actually purchasing gear and going for it. This is where I am stuck.... Which brands, etc should I be looking at...?
Before this gets too long winded - yes, I am searching the forums and reading other build threads, so I am doing research, but would appreciate some additional direct advice. Pointing me to other threads is much appreciated as well, though.
OK, so question time. (EDIT: Browsed the sticky for particular brand referrals, so I will take those in mind - if there are particular brands to recommend outside those, or more details, that is also much appreciated)
~34 - 36g FOWLR
that will become a Reef Tank once I am a bit more acclimated to it all. Really the focus will be reef / corals, but I understand that maybe a beginner should start without that.
- I am finding prices around 250 for the tank + stand. Alternatively I can buy a 30g from Craigslist for 300, no stand, but fully functional tank with 2 fish + 20lbs of live rock. It would still require some more components, as it was someone's refugium previously.
- I am thinking LEDs, but what brand? Anything in particular for a 30-36g tank?
Live Rock / Dry Rock
- Questions Answered. Will get approx. 40% live rock, the rest base/dry rock.
- I have heard good things about 'Reef Octupus'. How does this stack up against the recommended brands listed in the sticky?
- Questions Answered.
Sump / Refugium
- Was thinking to use a 10g tank here with some custom glass work - just need to find where I get custom glass panes....
Overflow / return pump
- I am lost on this one. Looking at other people's build threads, I was shocked to see $200 pumps, etc... Is this the right amount to plan here? Again... any brands to look out for?
- Was thinking a simple 10g tank again, some basic airpump and filter.
- Necessary or can I upgrade to this eventually?
Heater / Testing Kits / other peripherals
- Questions Answered, but tips appreciated.
- OK, this aspect does confuse me somewhat. I have found the filtration units - but where do they get hooked up? Just to my faucet? Is this difficult to install?
Budget: In the range of $1000 - $1500 would be ideal. The cheaper, the better of course!
Intended livestock: Umm, undecided really. I love inverts, but understand that sadly sea slugs are a no-go. I will likely try and get some sea hares and lettuce-leaf ones though. Some sea stars / brittles - as long as the stars play nice. Some cool shrimp would be fun... but none of these are really "high-light" creatures, so I am somewhat open to suggestions here. Sea horses would be amazing - but researching them it seems they like to be only with their own species (which could be ok if they get along with some inverts), and prefer things a bit colder? Again, ultimately I would like to grow some soft coral, but will work up with a fowlr
setup first, so whatever is suggested, please be reef safe.
I hope I haven't offended anyone with how open all of this is - I am still doing research, but figured it would not hurt to ask and see what some direct feedback would be!