Well, my daughter has specifically asked Santa for two clownfish for Christmas. This has given me the perfect excuse to start an aquarium, something I have wanted to do for years. Of course, with my husband deployed it is always good to keep busy
After looking around (and having many a sales person try to convince me to do FW
to no avail) I finally purchased a 28 gallon tank, got the sand, filter, circulation pump, water treatment something or other, salt, and some ghastly looking "jewels" in pink and purple that my 4-year-old princess insisted on since she couldn't get the pink gravel (went with live sand instead).
Of course, I had initially wanted a 10 gallon tank and even had the perfect place for it. Now I came home with a much bigger tank and nowhere to put it
I decided to go to Wall-Mart to see what they had... I got a nifty looking writing desk thingy that would look okay in my living room. Anyhow, I got it home, tore open the box and sat back looking at it. I suddenly remembered that, well, the tank was a little heavy... water is definitely heavy (remembering from school that 1 liter = 1 kilo and there is about 4 liters in one gallon, not to mention the, what, 40-ish pounds of rocks... some quick guesstimation math quickly led
me to realize that I would end up with a broken writing desk, shattered tank, and a flooded living room
). So, I went back online and found a pretty decent looking stand at Petsmart (of all places). It kind of looks like wood, would do okay in my living room (yes, I care about the aesthetics - especially when I have to look at it all the time). So, that's how far I've gotten. I need to put the doors on the cabinet and THEN I can finally proceed.
I have a couple of questions, actually, I have a ton, but let's start with what's relevant right now. Do I need to rinse the live sand before I put it in the tank? Should I assume that the rocks at my local salt-water dealership are cured, if not, can I just put base rock in and wait for them to become alive? I'm going to try the dead shrimp cycle (somebody posted a link to it) - has anybody used this method and found that it works? I hate to put the little fish through more stress than necessary. Also, what in the world do people put as a back scene on their tanks? I don't really want to have a clear view to the filtration unit and whatnot. When I'm done with the shrimp cycle (the actual technical terminology per me), I'll probably put a couple of crabs, snails and maybe a goby. I'm not counting on putting anything delicate in the tank until after Christmas (two clown fish and a shrimp). Of course, I have big plans to upgrade it to a reef tank once I have everything established, so anything going in has to be reef "safe".
Thanks in advance for any comments and ideas!