I made a lot of mistakes. I bought equipment I didn't need and pennypinched where I shouldn't have which meant I had to double buy some things. I have many air pumps and powerheads extra that I don't use because I made the ultimate mistake of starting with an undergravel filter. I also lost many, many fish to ich because I skimped on the qt
tank(big mistake IMO
). It's all trial and error and it's better to err on the side of caution. Read, read, read can't be emphasized enough and never buy something if you have not researched it's needs. Get a test kit that at least tests PH
, nitrite, nitrate, and amm. The other tests are nice but not exactly necessary unless you have problems or a certain animal that depends on certain elements(i.e. ca
for clams and corals). I have been set up for appx 18 months and just bought the ca
, and po4
kits. If a site says that a coral or anemone need high lighting it usually does for long healthy life. There are many cool corals and anemones that do not need high lighting and some that even need very little lighting. Reefs can be custom designed to suit your budget but remember that you may not be satisfied for long with the lower lighting animals so if it's just a matter of a few bucks difference, definately splurge on the better lighting, it will save double spending in the long run. just my 2 cents.