Hey guys! (Forgive me if this is long)
You may or may not have saw my post on the freshwater side of the forums regarding this but I won a Marineland 55g tank kit from a Petsmart raffle when I went there to buy some Prime. Lol. I was thinking ahead about stocking options for this baby in terms of freshwater but with the limits I have in terms of space nothing really interested me.
So now I'm here in forbidden territory: saltwater. Like most people I've always wanted to try it out but was always too afraid. This time, I might be willing to give it a try if you all think I can with what I'm working with.
I'm pretty much a headless chicken in terms of saltwater knowledge. I've done a lot of research but it still confuses me, especially the differences with what a standard saltwater tank requires compared to a reef tank. I'm 100% set on trying just a standard saltwater tank since this is my first time, and with that being said I'm confused with what equipment I need.
I have a wooden stand built and ready, my tank, and the heater (200W?) already, but what raises some concern for me is the filter it came with: a Marineland Emperor 400 HOB
bio-wheel filter. I've heard many things stretching from not needing a mechanical filter all the way to being told my HOB
would work just fine. I CAN NOT install a sump for numerous reasons, the main one being I simply don't have a spot for it. I've heard about the "nitrate factory" with HOB
& Canister filters so I'm hesitant to use either since I'm a college student who comes home bi-weekly for tank maintenance and I don't know if I could keep up with cleaning them.
I also plan to get a protein skimmer, and I plan on adding live sand. I also plan on adding live rock, but I've heard mixed opinions on how much. I know the go to is 1 pound per gallon, but if I don't need that much I would rather save the money, so please let me know your thoughts on that. I was told to start with 10-20 pounds of live rock and then add in dry rock periodically.
The last thing I wanna make clear is I plan on buying pure saltwater from the LFS
and storing it in buckets and heating them up for water changes, and having pure freshwater on hand for top-offs. Let me know if that's ok to do.
The stock I had in mind was this:
2x Ocellaris Clownfish
2x Bangai Cardinals
1x Royal Gramma
1x Flame Angelfish
1x Watchman Goby or a Firefish
1x Dwarf Puffer? (It was a cute little puffer at the LFS
that they said is compatible with my stock list, but idk if I would be pushing it)
Let me know if there are any issues with this or if maintenance would be too much for my biweekly schedule. Also, I have family at home who watch my tanks, feed, and top off but are unwilling to water change.
Thank you for your time and let me know if I missed any equipment or anything that I'd need.