In any hobbies there is no such thing as adequate, it all depend on your budget, how much money you afford to invest for your startup, and the monthly. Off course, the higher you can afford, the larger tank you can have, the better Protein Skimmer you can have, and a chiller or heater to regulate the water, 3 x metal halide, and quality sump pump & filtration products.
also i am still kinda confused on the curing process for a brand new tank, is it ok to just add sand, water, and all the live rock
Definitely not, just add water. For best resolution use RO water & mix with sea salt (Kent Marine, RedSea, Oceanfree, and major brands) look whether you need premium grade salt which comes with beneficial nutrients and minerals for your corals and fish. After mixing, test the salinity level (salt content). Add Denitrol from JBL or Kent marine reef startup solution, to stabilize the water for every 100 litres add 10 ml, normally it comes with a cup measure.
when the levels are good then i can add fish right?"
Yes, test the PH, KH, NO2, Ammonia, Salt content
For salt content test (salinity test) try this 1.020 Ė 1.023 (within this range you will see fish swimming happily)
KH drop at least 8 drops before the next drop change from blue to orange
NO2 (0 is the best but after feeding normally it is 0.1)
Ammonia (0 is the best normally is 0)
When the fish are in, make sure you know which fish food will not rapidly raise nitrite and ammonia contents and off course your fish enjoy eating. I tried a lot form tetra marine to JBL pellet. Iím planning to try Ocean nutrition to find what my fish enjoy the most.
Equipment you must have before you put the fish into your tank.
1.Either Sumptank or Canister Filter (recommended Eheim, Hydor, Tetra)
2.Protein Skimmer (recommended Red Sea, Nirox (economical), Dymax)
3.JBL filtration product if you go for canister or sumptank.
4.Powerheads corals and fish enjoy these provide oxygen and nutrients & minerals for corals (Hydor Koralia, Seio)
5. Option chiller/heater for country with 2 season winter & summer, if you are planning to have corals you need to regulate the temperature with chillers in summer and heater during winter. For fish only, you don't need these.
Iím still improving on my nano tank, watch my tank below. My msn is firstname.lastname@example.org
need any help msn me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8DI7kzR0DM