So I've been researching this and reading for a while. At first, my goal was to build a 75+ gallon reef tank with various species(coral, eels, clown fish, etc.), but after reading I realize this might get costly and potentially risky. So I've picked up a 10 gallon tank that I'm going to start with live rock and potentially some snails or crabs, and eventually add a fish or two(approx. 1 month after fillup). Now that you know my plans, tank size and stocking goals, here are my questions.
What accessories do I NEED?
After skimming through a couple books and reading at least 20 how-to's this is my list.
-(2) 100GPH powerheads
-(1) air pump(i didnt read about these anywhere, but am familiar with FW tanks and I thought this would be required?)
-(1) basic light(I read that lighting is not so crucial in FOWLR tanks)
-hydrometer w/ temp gauge
One of my ideas is to use a 5gal bucket as my "sump" and use my 2 pumps specified for sending and returning of the water(the bucket will hold my filter + heater), is this not practical? What would the optimal, money-saving way of doing this be? I'm trying to save some money here because this 10 gallon is just for my learning, I plan to step up to a 50+ gallon tank in the next year or 2.
I have priced out some of this on bigalsonline.com, is this a site you guys recommend? If not, point me in the right direction. I plan to go to a local store to purchase my salt, distilled water, sand, live rock and fish. But I'd like to do my hardware shopping online(I find this to be cheaper, especially where I live).
A piece that really confuses me is the protein skimmer, will my 10 gallon need this? A detailed list of all the pieces I need for a first-time successful FOWLR tank would be amazing, but any advice is gladly taken.
This is my first post here, my name is Nick Anderson and I live in the Chicago area. Hopefully my first tank will be a good one!