Welcome to Aq Ad.
Definitely increase the lr
. On the size of the tank, my advice is to get the largest you can afford. The larger the volume of water the easier it is to maintain the levels of Ph, NO3
, Am (by the way, make sure you have test kits on your list). The larger size will also keep that bigger tank syndrome away longer so that you can get experience with your tank.
Also, plan for more light sensitive species or not. Do a lot of research before you bring anything home. If you know what you are going to want in the future, you can get the basics right away and work your way towards them instead of having to get a whole new system.
One more thing, find a good lfs
that you can trust. But always be sure to do your research here first. My first lfs
seemed very knowledgeable and helpful, but all I got out of him was "that good in your tank." I listened and now all I get is advice to remove things from my tank from others.
You will enjoy this hobby, but be patient and plan ahead.