I'm brand spanking new to SW
aquariums and am looking into setting up a 75 or 90 gallon SW
aquarium. I have several questions I'm hoping I can get some responses to:
1. I'm considering either a 75 or 90 gallon tank. I was leaning towards the 90 gallon, but thought it might be difficult for me to clean the interior glass as I am an extremely petite person (5 feet tall) and don't have a lot of arm reach. Is this something I should be concerned about, or am I being ridiculous?
2. I'd like to use play sand in the aquarium. Can anyone tell me how many pounds of play sand I will need to provide a 2-inch sand bed for either a 75 or 90 gallon tank? And while I am on this subject, can anyone tell me if Yardright/Oldcastle/Southdown play sand is available in the Atlanta, GA area? I've called the local Home Depot and Lowe's with no luck.
3. As far as the tank goes, I was initially leaning towards acrylic, mostly because it is a lighter material, but the LFS
clerk is really partial to glass. I've read that acrylic is clearer, lighter, stronger, resists breaks, and is better insulated. I also know it can be scratched easily. Should I go with the acrylic or the glass? Can anyone give me an idea of how much an empty 75 to 90 gallon acrylic tank weighs? What about an empty 70 to 90 gallon glass tank? I know they weigh approximately 10 lbs per gallon when full, but I'd also like to know how much they weigh when empty.
4. For the moment, I'm leaning towards a fish-only tank, with the possibility of adding live rock later. The LFS
clerk indicated that I would need more lighting, would have to remove the bio-balls from the wet/dry filter, and I would have to purchase a chiller if I wanted to add live rock. Is he correct?
5. Do I need a UV
sterilizer? The LFS
clerk really was pushing that.
6. I'm assuming I need the following equipment at a bare minimum:
a. Wet/dry filter
b. Pump - no idea on this
c. Protein skimmer
d. Heater - at least 2
f. Powerheads - how many and what brand?
Am I missing anything vital here? Any suggestions on my setup would be greatly appreciated.