An adventure it sure was. -_-
First off, i am doing it again lol. Still got that itch
As for what i would have done differently..
I would have not purchased rock from drsfosterandsmith. Their rocks are FILLED with way too much mud and gunk and decay. Plus.. they state you can tell them what size rocks you want, and i asked for baseball sized pieces as a general guideline to the type of rock that i wanted and they sent me 4 gigantic boulders.. clearly that is what i asked for right?
The rock kept my entire 55G tank dirty for the three months i had the tank. I did almost everything i could which involved thoroughly cleaning the sand and tank, but somehow every time i cleaned both, more dirt and grime just seemed to fill the spots i cleaned like i had never cleaned it in the first place.
Also, i would have not purchased nassarius snails because they destroyed just about everything in my tank, coral, feather dusters, the glass, etc.. They also tried going after my emerald crabs.. but the crabs were too fast for them. And i know they were going after the crabs because the snails were following the crabs wherever they went. That story came to an end when i captured all 8 snails and through them in a bucket of ice cold freshwater.(call me crazy.. )
To finish it off.. i would have never bought that size tank. I only bought it because it was a great deal on the tank and alot of other stuff that came with it. First off.. the tank dimensions are just garbage. 48x12x21Tall Those dimensions are terrible because the tank is too tall.. and too skiny. Which made scaping a real PIA, and even after a ridiculous amount of variations i still couldn't get the rocks to look nice.
The Nova Extreme Pro was an awesome light, and i recommend it to anyone with a 4foot tank that is pretty deep. The HOB
skimmer i had which was the Reef Octopus BH100, was awesome and worked like a charm so i would also recommend that skimmer to anyone.
Oh.. i also would have made the stand a little nice lol, because it was a nice table that i modified with a couple 2x4's which made it look ugly as heck..
All in all, it was a nice experience, but there's a ton more things i would have done differently, and will do differently when i start my new tank back up in 6 weeks.(Summer break which is 3 1/2 months
I did 15% water changes weekly, and my nitrates were around 10-15ppm(Dropped from around 25ppm right after the tank cycled). When the tank was up of course.