I am just returning to the hobby (I have a history of NMA (nano marine addiction)) after receipt of a 125g aquarium. I was considering getting some great powerheads, a few heaters, step ladder and making a nice hot tub for myself to brave the looming upstate New York winter.......but have decided to take the hypothetical plunge, rather than the literal plunge feet first.
After an intense furniture relocation effort, I finaly have made room for the monster which is to be delivered tomorrow. Oddly enough, I have always drooled over large tanks, but been content with setting up biologicaly plausible mini reefs consisting of a few small but charming inhabitants. I find myself daunted by the task of figuring out what, other than myself of course, to put in this salty playground.
Substrate first: I have inherited 3 five gallon buckets filled with fine-coarse argonite sand (I am unsure of how live it might be at this point)
Building my reef base: I am seeking a low-cost base/rubble rock prefferably from a cultivated source. Marcorocks has been recommended to me. Does anyone have any insight on thier products or a suitable alternative?
The display portion of my reef: I am at a complete loss on this one. I love the idea of the synthetic coral inserts...less reef eating fish, lighting, current and feeding issues. They seem rather pricey and was wondering if anyone has any of these artificial beauties? I have heard they are porous and can grow coraline and sponges beautifully...
Fast forward.....(pretend the massive hardened salt-lick block of instant ocean has been mixed with RO
, substrate, base and reef display are aquascaped and tank has been cycled..creepy crawly cleaning crew happily working away..and add an extra week or two for good measure)
Inhabitants: Having been confined to one or two nano-fish in the past, I am thinking that I would love a shoal. Threadfin cardinalfish and bluegreen chromis come to mind. My LFS
guy actually snorted =( suggesting that it would be a real pity to fill my monster with "crappy" fish. I refrained from mentioning that a crappie is a freshwater game fish...sigh. Has anyone seen a school/shoal of these little guys? Are they as "blah" as this gentleman would have me to believe? Does anyone have any suggestions as to an interesting alternative?