I have had an incredible stroke of luck. My lovely wife was talking amongst her group of toddler mommas and one of the other women had a husband who was looking to unload his fish tank. His 90 gallon salt water set up. The cost? Get it out of his house. That's right, a 90 gallon set up with sump and skimmer for a little bit of manual labor I'd have to do anyways to get it to my house. The downside is that the only person who I can ask about it is my wife who is not all that up on the mechanical aspects of fish tanks. According to here its as long as my 55, deeper, and taller. So it might be a 75, but from the pictures it looks like a 90.
1) The stand is apparently in a bad way. It's one of the old standard fish stands which likely means plywood. The stand either needs some TLC or total replacement so I'm told. If my wife thinks its rickety then its probably really bad.
2) The fish in the tank are... well they're there. I'm not that wild about the idea of taking in someone else's fish. Sure, they're nice fish for sure, but I'd rather build a tank from the ground up how I want it, not tailor it around a couple of fish I get saddled with.
3) Major cyano outbreak. Apparently it's pretty stinking bad. In fact the red algae is a big part of why the owner is giving the tank away, he just can't deal with it anymore and wants it out of his house. The story is that it was his son's tank, his son got married, the tank did not go with the son.
4) I don't know if they have an RO/DI system or even if they do if it would go with the tank.
So... I've got some issues.
The first is that stand. I have no doubt that I can make a stand, I'm not worried about that. The problem is that if I don't build the stand before I bring the tank to my house this is no longer a tank move, it's a total breakdown. I could build the stand ahead of time but I'm not sure what the time line is for getting it or when I could build the stand anyways. Of course I get the stand just when not only is my wife going to be undergoing surgery but my daughter will be soon as well. Both are a week, easy, out of my life during which exactly nothing will be accomplished. This issue with the stand is the leading reason why I'm giving serious thought to not trying to save the tank as is.
The fish, I'm 90% certain that they're going back to the fish store for credit. They're nice fish, but they're not the ones I picked out and if I do have to break down the 90 gallon I've got nothing I can do with them... sort of. Easiest thing to do is going to be to simply take them back, hopefully for some store credit, and call it a day.
The cyano outbreak is scary bad. Bad enough that the thought crossed my mind to not even try and save the live rock, just let it all die and take the cyano with it. This would make for a relatively easy, stress free tank move. Bring everything over. Use the existing stand for firewood. Store all the equipment while I build a new stand. Later on when I'm ready bring it all back out, get some new live rock, use the existing stuff for base rock and start over. The downside is that live rock can get expensive fast. Enough liverock for a 90 gallon tank can get REALLY expensive. Saving what's there would definitely be preferable but with cyano that bad I dunno if I want to start out trying to fight something like that.
So I think I have a couple of options.
1) Just take the equipment. Take the fish back to the shop, let the live rock expire. Use the sand for fill dirt. Burn the old stand. Just hold onto the equipment until I'm ready to get a new stand built and start over from scratch. The downside is that this is probably the most expensive route as I'll need to buy all new live rock. The upside is I can build the stand at my leisure and start over from scratch when I'm good and ready.
2) Try and save it. This means building a new stand, or just accepting the old one. I have a bad feeling about the sand I've seen and am strongly leaning towards getting new sand no matter what. This has the benefit of not needing any new liverock. The downside is that the liverock I'm saving is covered in cyano to the nines and I get to start out my salt water experience fighting it, lots of it. So much of it the last guy was willing to give me more than $1,000 worth of tank and gear just to not have to deal with it anymore. I also have to do something about the stand NOW.
Option 1 is actually pretty attractive. It's the lowest stress option and I can get my hands on a lot of equipment without having to immediately put it to use. I would love a 75 or 90 gallon tank, I think its just the size I want for saltwater. I also get to start from scratch, which I enjoy. The downside is the cash, its the most expensive option.
Option 2 is attractive from a cost standpoint, not having to rebuy a couple hundred dollars of liverock. That's huge. Especially since I'm not exactly overflowing with discretionary income anyways.
What would I do with the tank if I go with option 1? Well right now I know I don't want to get into the issues of a reef tank. That's a given. I don't have the cash to deal with it. I would either go with a FOWLR set up or even... dun dun dun, African Cichlids. I know how to deal with freshwater and making a cichlid tank would be simple and far lower cost than going salt water.
I guess ultimately this all comes down to one question. Do I want to save the live rock and fight the cyano? Any advice? Hopefully I can upload a picture later today.
FTS including stand: http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/r...k/March159.jpg