I am completely new to aquariums. I have never had one before until this past week. I have had friends that had nice looking freshwater, some with betas, others with some African Cichlids. I finally decided to start my own.
I started with a 10 gallon. I was told that this would be a good starter size. I bought two Oscars, a lace cat, and some Kenyii. Now...as you can see, I wasn't very smart. Since I bought these at Meijer (similar to Wal-Mart) they salesman didn't know jack. So I decided going to the LFS
and get some advice and accesories.
Upon telling the salesman at the LFS
about mixing the Oscars and the Kenyii, he strongly recommend me to separate them, that they would be too agressive, especially for a 10 gallon.
So I returned those and bought some Tropheus Duboisi's. Cool cichlid, I really like them.
Having two of those in a 10 gallon with one Lace Cat, and having the pH level adjusted properly, I ran into the thoughts of getting a bigger tank. There was a grand opening sale for a new LFS
, so I went there and got a decent deal on a 20 gallon High.
My current setup is two Duboisi's, one Mboko yellow, two yellow labs, and two lace cats. I am starting to think that it's too many fish for the 20gH. In fact, I know it is, and on top of that, I moved them in too fast. Even further, there shouldn't be any fish in the tank yet. Hasn't cycled yet. (been doing research).
I have been looking at creating a Nano Reef. This is my plan of action:
1) Taking the fish back (all seven).
2) Buying some Instant Ocean.
3) Buying some LiveRock.
My roommate has a 10gal nano reef that he just started a few weeks ago and is looking nicely. He has the water tests, the hydrometer, and all the "tools" needed. I think I would have to look into a PowerHead and a Protein Skimmer, but are those TRULY required for cycling a tank with LR
Next would be the lighting system so I could start growing cool looking coral. I am looking at a dual PC
strip, running at 130W, but dont have the money for it now. Will I have to have it for the LR
right away? Currently, I have an 18" 15W Marine-Glo flourescent. Would that be enough to cycle the tank?
And when I say Wait, I truly mean not putting anything but LR
in and low light soft corals in until about 4 months from now....
The ultimate question is whether or not I should go to saltwater. I like the cichlids, but everyone I talk to recommends 50 gallons or higher. I understand that they are only juveniles right now, and I could start a bigger tank later, but I think that would be more expensive than going to SW
I am more so interested in keeping with the higher maintenance of sw
because it gives me something to do. I enjoy change, and as my roommate said, "The freshwater is just growing now."