I posted most of this in the about me section on my profile, but it cut quite a bit of it off, so I will repost the entire text here (admins, I don't know if there is an easy solution to this, but there wasn't quite enough room to add all the information about my aquarium).
First though, a little background information about my experience with aquariums: Since I was a baby, my family has always had an aquarium in the house. My parents kept freshwater fish throughout my childhood and I took up the hobby at a young age. When I was 11 or 12 years old, I took piano lessons from a woman that had a marine aquarium in her house. I was immediately hooked by the beautiful fish and knew that I had to start saving my money to start my first marine tank. My very first marine aquarium was a twenty gallon tank with a single powerhead and power filter. This was before the time that live rock was so common. I kept a single Oscillaris Clown that lived for almost two years, and when it died, I temporarily gave up the hobby.
Recently, I've rediscovered the joy of keeping a marine aquarium with added excitement due to the advancement of the hobby with regard to the equipment and widespread knowledge of the biological filter system by means of live rock. I bought a 72 gallon tank with the basic necessities, but was in too much of a rush to get the expensive and often fragile fishes that I found to be so beautiful. I neglected to quarantine ANY of the fishes before I put them in the display tank and had a pitiful 15 pounds of live rock to support a 72 gallon system. I also had no protein skimmer at this point. Eventually, the inevitable happened: I had an outbreak of Ich which killed every last fish. I took down the tank, cleaned it, and vowed to start over, do my research, and do things right this time. This is what I have so far:
72 gallon bow front, Marineland C-360 canister filter, Coralife protein skimmer (LOVE IT! completely recommend it--once you get past the initial task of priming it for 72 hours and dealing with the subsequent micro bubbles) , three powerheads including one with a sponge filter to use as the biological filter in the quarantine tank when needed, 65 pounds Fiji Live Rock with 30 more pounds of decorative show pieces on a Fed-Ex truck somewhere between Fort Lauderdale, FL and me
48 inch Hellolights four bulb, T5 high output bulb fixture (two 10,000 K
's and two Actinic's). No sump or fuge yet, but I'm definitely looking into it (advise me, please, especially a way to do it inexpensively). Currently no fish, as my tank JUST finished cycling TODAY (1/18/09) (longest cycle ever for me. . . almost 8 weeks! My last tank cycled in about a week) plus I'm going to be adding some semi-cured live rock soon, which will almost certainly cause a second, hopefully smaller, cycle. Once that's completed, I'm planning on starting with a pair of Percula Clowns and possibly a Magnificent Anemone, if water parameters permit. Later, I would like to add a Threadfin Butterfly, Royal Gramma, Lemonpeel Angel, some kind of Tang, and a Cleaner Wrasse as well as some random inverts, such as Clams, shrimp, snails, maybe even polyps etc. . . Please feel free to advise me on any of the information I've provided here. I love learning and am looking forward to getting to know the hobby even better and getting to know some of the members on the forum. If you see a potential problem with anything I've posted here, PLEASE don't hesitate to let me know about it.