Call me crazy, but I'm new to the size and SW
set up, but I'm going all in (the poker player in me). I have kept (and maintained) fresh water tanks in the past without checking all of the water levels, etc.. Now after reading many articles over the last few weeks, I am understanding that I was actually playing russian rulette with my livestock.
So, I'm here, asking you kind folks to walk me through this big decision. I know it will take time (I have all of the time in the world), patience (another unlimited supply...ok, that's a lie, but for a beautiful set-up, I'm will to force myself to have some), and money (of course, everyone wants bang for the buck, or to save some, but I'm willing to spend...it's convincing my husband that might take some effort).
So, I have a 100 gallon tank...that's it! I have limited knowledge, although I've been studying everything and will continue to study until I feel that I won't be wasting my money and time. I have a list of items (I'll write them below to see if anything can be added or deleted) and I have a plan (although probably needs the kinks to be smoothed out with your help....oh! did I mention, I have a million questions, but will take them a few at a time.
So, my plan: buy my equipment at Reef quality (in case I want to go that way later and I probably will); set up tank with live sand, leave for a few days; add a few pieces of base quality live rock and a few dead prawns, let it cycle; add rest of base quality live rock, let it cycle; add rest of good quality live rock, let it cycle; add livestock slowly. What do you think?
So I have a few questions. What EXACTLY is a sump? I understand the theory of it, but what EXACTLY do I need for it? I have a 30 gallon tank that is empty, I was thinking to put this inside the stand, under the 100 gallon tank and use it as the sump.
Here's my list. All comments on brands, kinds, quality, pricing, ANYTHING is GREATLY appreciated!! Let me know if I don't have everything, or have too much.
Lid - (duh!)
300-500 watt heater (2-3 smaller heaters are better - are each 300-500 watts)
Skimmer (suggestions please)
Live Sand (4-5")
Refractor (what is this)
salt water test kit
Lights (Metal halide for reef, T5 and a metal halide is good for FOWLR
Reverse osmoses filter
Air pump (extra for oxygenation of water changes)
Wave maker (extra, can buy later if wanted)
Retuen pump for sump
Power head x 2 for sump (what is this?)
Additives (buffer, calcium)
Extras (fish net (check), buckets/containers for changes (check), hospital tank (want one, what's needed?)
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'm a good DYSer so I can make things or get my hubby to, if that's needed. Any money saving tips are appreciated.