Hi. My name is Russ and I live in Salina Kansas. I have had fishtanks of all sizes and manners, freshwater speaking. There was a time when I had 7 tanks in my living room. Then I got married. Now I have one.
It's a 55g community freshwater tank. It's been running five years with no difficulties whatsoever. I think that is because I discovered the beauty of large gravel. I used white marble, primarily used for landscaping. By lining the bottom with that and using only fake plants I can keep it clean and fish happy with little effort. I also have a great water purification system on my kitchen sink, so adding/changing water is easy too. Salina water could kill an elephant.
I have wanted a saltwater tank ever since I was 10, but never had the time or security to start one. The time has come.
I started with a brackish tank 2 years ago. Bought 2 green puffers and have had good success with them. I have slowly raised the salinity while learning the tricks to keeping all the other parameters in line. The fish, in the meantime, have doubled in size.
The salinity is now at 1.025 and all is well. I am on a fixed income, so I have to be frugal. I have a large pile of landscape sandstone that I am currently turning to live rock. I added sand and mud (12oz) to start the process and figure to have about 30# of live rock when I set up my 55g tank in spring. I will add more sandstone to that and let it grow more.
While I have been doing a lot of reading, and talking to "my guy" at Petco (the only store for 100 miles) who has many tanks and told me how to create the rock cheaply. But I certainly will look seriously at all the advice I can get.
Now I am looking into fish. Trying to decide what to get and how many of each. I want only peaceful fish, and am thinking on either FOWLR
or maybe having frogspawn coral, as I have heard that clowns like it, and it's easy to care for. Still not sure.