Ok, some good progress. Any feedback is appreciated. I am going to just ramble on like as if this were a journal, hope that's okay.
Sold the saltwater tank that I was unhappy with, but I kept some live rock and plants that I want to put in a new tank at some point. (Also I have more pieces of dried out rock ready to add to a tank.) I believe they will survive pretty lousy conditions, so I can wait a while. They are currently in a 5g tank with no filtration or lights.
I feel like just having to dissolve up the salt is a pretty big task, unless I get a small tank. But I want one that is not too small so the water is more stable and so that I don't feel like upgrading later on. I have plenty of other non-aquarium things to do, so I feel like it would be wiser to not get another saltwater tank at all, but I am not sure I can resist if a nice looking used one comes along. And I want to keep those silly bits of rock/plants for some reason. So I am thinking a 38-50 gal would fit me best, but I might not be able to resist getting 50-75 gal or even 90 or 110 if I see one of those that's nice.
I wonder if those plant things can survive in brackish water. Or, if not, I might give up on keeping them. A brackish tank would probably suit me better than a marine tank. If I find some brackish inverts and fish that I love. I think there is a 4th and possibly even 5th option for a type of tank?
Freshwater. I have decided that 125g is a size that fits me best.
I like the tank, I just have to rehome the pleco and probably the Tinfoil Barb
too. Since I would really like to have bunches of schools of little fish. I would love if all or most breeds in my tank had offspring regularly. But I don't know if this is realistic, I don't know how much time and energy I have to devote to caring for the babies. I don't mind if most of the babies don't survive though.
I plan to switch to sand and then those 4 ugly UGF tubes won't be there. I am wondering if I should reconsider switching to sand, but I'm pretty sure it's a good move. The "pebbles" on the bottom do look so nice, but sand will look nice too, and I can get loaches I believe. Also the tank will be more "mine" if I make this change, it will make it even more different from what the previous owner's tank looked like.
The stand is bare wood which annoys me, but maybe I will get it painted nicely sometime. It looks so plain and thrifty as it is. However, most stands would probably bother me because they would make the tank lower to the ground. This stand was handmade and is made to be extra tall.
The real benefit to this stand would be if I wanted to place my couch in front of it. A friend of mine has cautioned me that it is dangerous to sit right there, or especially lie down or sleep with the tank right there, in case it were to break. But that seems unlikely. If I were to place the couch in front of the tank, I also don't want to drip tank water on the couch much, so I would want to leave plenty of space behind the tank and to the sides.
A bigger issue about placing the couch by the tank is that it would look 50 times better if I rotate the tank so that it is against the other wall. Then when you walk into the house or down the stairs or into the room, you would be facing the tank which would be so much nicer. I didn't do it this way simply because of the beam supports of the house facing the other way. I even had two post jacks installed in the basement but I made them too far apart, so my tank is only on one of them. The other wall would at least be an outer wall, and 125g isn't as big as some tanks.
So I am thinking of where I want to move the tank so that once I empty out the gravel I can move it into its new position before adding sand and water back. As mentioned, one big factor is whether or not I want to risk putting the tank along the support beams, it would be supported only by 2 beams I figure. I could risk it but still keep the tank above one of the post jacks -- IF I had the tank near the room entrance or IF I had the tank basically in the middle of the room sideways. The post jack would not be in the middle. Could look pretty unusual to people when they see the layout, but it could be very nice actually, to put the couches/chairs/tables all around with the tank being 'centerpiece'.
Or maybe just go with the original plan, tank against the current wall, and new tank going next to it, each on one post jack and supported by as many different beams as possible. When you walk in you can't see the tanks well, it's kind of 'backwards'.
Whatever I plan out, I want to have a plan for where my saltwater/brackish tank would go. And I guess I should be running at least couple smaller tanks for hospital/nursery/food/whatever. Or maybe a sump doubles for this purpose if it's a saltwater setup with a sump? Also I could possibly just net off areas or use those hanging clear boxes when needed. Trying to make it less work - running the smaller tanks seems to add a bunch of work.