Looking for things to purchase for my new tank!

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jun 28, 2011
Hello, I'm carlos, or thatfishguy. Little back story here...

I had a 10g nano tank with a scooter blenny and roughly 8 nassarius snails, 4 nerith snails, and 1 turbo snail. It was stocked with 20lbs of live rock, 12lbs of live sand, and no coral. I recently migrated it into a 20g long (dear lord it looks x1000 times bigger..) and I now have...

1 Scooter Blenny
2 Nassarius Snails (rest didn't make the transfer. :/)
1 Turbo
1 Feather Duster
27LBs of live rock
24LBs of live sand
1 Aquaclear 50g DIY fuge. Has a baffle on the front, a piece of live rock, and I stick my heater in it. I plan to get some chaeto sometime soon.
1 Flourescent light switch

Now, for the point of this topic, I have roughly... 400-600 dollars to invest in equipment and livestock to guarantee this tank runs great! I know an obvious answer would be get a bigger tank, but I live with my grandmother and she wouldn't allow it. I have a 40g breeder tank in my room I could turn into SW, but the problem with that, is my room gets about 90-95 degrees during the day. Phoenix is hot, and my room was an addon, so no AC -_-

Anyway though, I work at Petco and get a discount, so anything I should pickup there will definitely be considered. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of getting..

An RO unit 'cause I use tap water
A bigger aquaclear filter for a larger fuge?
Some better live rock (mine isn't that "live")
A digital thermometer
HOB protein skimmer
T5 HO light (I eventually want to turn this into a reef, but I don't want a light that will heat the tank up quickly, or cost over 125 USD)
New powerheads (only have about 200gph of flow in here.)

Any advice would be great. :) I'm also curious as to some neat stocking lists. I was thinking...

1 Yellow Watchmen Goby + Pistol Shrimp
1 Scooter Blenny
1 Royal Gramma
and maybe two false percs? I could always rehome the blenny because he could simply do better in a bigger tank.
Get some PC bulbs. Not very hot, quite energy efficient and can support most softies and some LPS (I have mushrooms, palys, zoanthids, clove polyps, candy canes and a frogspawn under mine). I have a 2x36 watt 50/50 10k PC bulb fixture over my 24 cube. But if it gets 85-90 in your room and you have no AC a reef is out of the question. I mean, you could dilligently add frozen water bottles, but I don't think you'd want that.

If your tank hits 82 for prolonged periods of time the corals will die off. When it is 78 in my room tank is only at 80 under the PC bulbs so they're a good bet. Not sure if you meant your tank goes to 85 or not.
Well, I currently have an oscar in that 40g breeder, and his water is freezing. I used to heat it, but he got annoyed, and for some reason digs the cold water. It's kept at like, 74 I believe. But with SW, I know you need to maintain the temperature, and I'm not sure the extreme heat of arizona + running a heater would create an equilibrium of sorts, it would just exacerbate the heat problem.
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