So, I want a salt water tank. I've been looking, reading, researching, and forum perusing for a week+ now, and I've decided it's time to commit (murder, on my wallett). In my mind, the mini-ecosystem that a Reef tank provides is the only way to go. Now, I've never had a SW
tank before, though I have kept a FW
one. So, this is gonna be a breakdown of each category I can think of and what I've learned/semi-decided on thus far. I'm looking for specific opinions, brands, retailers, etc.
What I have-
That's it. Everything else I'm buying, and I'm one for doing it right the first time. Now I guess I'll work my way through the categories. Oh, and a little bit more about the kind of tank I'd like to have- I want live rock, a fair amount of it w/ a LS
base. I'm in the north east so the Home Depot play sand should be the good stuff (I'll check when Igo look for the stand/it's parts). Now, I think 100# of sand should give me about 3 inches of bed, then, what I'm hoping, is that I'll be able to find someone in boston that I can get some LS
from to seed my tank, or, if nothing else, find a LFS
to get some from. I'd like to have anenomies, and all the little beasties that come w/ liverock as long as they're friendly-ish. A few fish (maybe a mated pr of clowns) etc, but I know that won't be for months, til after everything's stable etc. Really going for the mini-ecosystem here. Anyway, onward & upward.
Yeah, I know, I'm working my way up for the things I'll need for my tank. Probably not much to say here, though would folks recommend an open stand or a cabinent type? If it's open, I could drap cloth around it if it were unsightly. After I get a stand, I'll need... No idea how much it'sgonna run though...
So, I'll need those before anything goes into my tankl I think refugiums would fit in this category, though I know the least about them? Difficult to set up/stock? Can I work with other methods til I get things stable then add it? I'll need a protein skimmer? Brand? Capacity? Anything I should look out for? Also, power heads, gotta keep the water moving, how many, what capacity/flow rate? Anything else I'm missing? Nope, no idea how much this'll run either.
I'm thinking one of those nifty Via Aqua titanium heaters would be cool... or warm. How many watts? Should I not go for this choice? My ambient is 68-72 deg. $50 for a heather is generous, I think?
Yup, lights are good. Soo, I'm gonna need a brand new system, I have no illusions that a LFS
hood w/ 1 40w t12 will work. MH
or high output florescents? What brand, how many watts, etc. I'd prefer not to spend more than 250, maybe 300 if it's going to be necessary/really worth it.
So, I hear they're useful? *ducks* I was thinking digital pH meter, kH
, Ammonia, Nitr(i/a?)te kit. Oh, and a hydrometer.
Now I need water, so-
looks like I can get a decent one for under a hundred bucks, 6 stage, w/ a 4 gallon tank. Need to know anything? How much is it needed?
Ocean in a bottle
One brand just as good as the other? I'm thinking Instant Ocean?
So, the playsand should go in before the water, right? But, I want it to be a bed of LS
, so I put it here. How much LS
to adequately seed 100# of playsand (3" bed)? Should I used LS
if I can find it, or get a kit to seed it? Do I need anything other than sand?
Now the fun part-
So. I understand that if I get enough LR
, I won't need to go through a 6 week cycle? How's that work? Anyway... I'm seriously considering 40# of Gulf and 40# of Keys from LR
.com- I'm really, totally into all the hitchhikers, would there be a way to maximize survivability? Also, is the hard limit of LR
at 2#/gallon of tank capacity? Is it worth getting the more colourful but less lively Keys rock, or should I just go for totally gulf? I was thinking some from each, maybe 50/30 would be good for bio diversity? Ideas? Also, maybe I could pick up some Fiji rock for more diversity, or is it not worth it? Also, could I add it afterwards or what? Maybe 50/30/30 of gulf/keys/fiji for 2#/gallon. Or just more Gulf & Keys from LR
.com instead of getting the Fiji from some place else? or just stay w/ the 80#? I don't know... Anyway, can 80# (min I'll get) cycle the tank w/o all/many of the hitchhikers croaking? Oh, and LR
.com is the place to get it, right, I understand they cut deals for large orders/forum folk? And they don't sell LS
anymore either... drat.
I suppose I've covered what I can think of. The only other thing would be fish, but that's months down the road. Oh, what should I feed the LR
/hitchikers/tank anyway? Will anenomie hitchikers exist/survive? Coral? Stars?
Ok, let's see how many people jump on this. I totally want you opinions, preferably backed up
It was this or a new computer, and, well, I think I'm proverbally hooked...
Last, anybody in the Boston area for an LS
seed or something like that? Or local LFS