Alright, so I've been convinced. Time to start planning and hopefully move into action in the near-term (before the wife changes her mind - lol)
I have an Oceanic 46 gallon bowfront aquarium that's been setup for FW
for the past 1.5+ years. No meds have ever been placed in this tank, and it was new when I got it. This is the one I plan to convert to SW
as my learning tank, with hopes and dreams of having a large in-wall system should I ever be successful at buying my own house. I intend on a mixed reef of corals, would prefer to not limit myself here (we'll discuss this later). For fish I haven't decided on much, except I insist on working towards having a green mandarin. I understand the maturity requirements of a tank before having one, so I know it won't be the first fish I buy. I would be interested in hearing ideas about how to prep the tank as quickly as possible to accomodate one (buying billions and billions of pods
I plan to build a stand for it, as the current stand won't accomodate a sump or anything larger than a canister filter underneath the tank. I'm no carpenter, so the stand will probably be a rectangle stand, even though the tank is a bowfront. I intend to build the stand to approximately 40" long (TBD for sure), and 40" high so the tank sits up nearer to eye level.
I have tons of questions and requests for advice or recommendations, so we'll go in pieces. These are the things I'm currently debating on.
I had convinced myself to go with a 36" 6x39W TEK lighting fixture, based on how pleased I am with the TEK fixtures. I've read conflicting stories online about what limitations I'll have with this amount of light vs. going with a 2x175W or a 1x250W MH
fixture. I've read the SPS
and clams won't be doable under the 6x39W fixture. Opinions?
Drill the tank or hang on back? I don't know right now for sure that the tank is drillable. If it is, it will most likely only be the back glass, as I'm assuming the bottom piece is tempered glass. I've read mixed stories about nightmares with HOB
style overflows, to stories about them being rock solid for years running. I like the lack of presence of a HOB
style overflow, in that the box inside the tank doesn't extend all the way to the bottom of the tank, taking up desirable real estate.
As I'm working to design my sump (questions later, phase 2 - lol) what type of skimmer should I be considering for this setup? assume about 20 gallons of volume in the sump. I want an in-sump design for the skimmer.
This will most likely be my first purchase. I'm debating what kind of rock, Fiji, lalo, combination, etc. Opinions?
I'm also debating going 50/50 base and live or not. That's being driven obviously by cost, but I think I'd be disappointed with the appearance of base rock for the time it takes to get covered in coralline.
The idea to get this first is to get it here and in a can curing while I'm working on the rest of the stuff.
That should be good for phase 1 of my questions. As I get these sorted I'll start asking more about other topics.
Thanks! I'm excited, my wife is even excited, and my bank account is ready for some pain.