I've just decided to make the leap form freshwater into saltwater...I've been learning a bit from this site and here is my idea for my love rock and 1-2 fish tank.
-1 cleaned 15 gallon long aquarium
-2 20-40 gallon aqua tech power filters
-a powerhead I bought at Walmart, i'm not sure of the model
-2 50 watt heaters
-I know I'll be needing to buy a hydrometer, and a ph testing kit
-I also plan on buying 15 pounds of live sand and I'll be getting RO water from a local pet store. A cheap salt brand would be greatly appreciated.
-In terms of lighting, I'll be getting the Current USA Nova Extreme T5 24" system from my LFS for $60.
I'm going to start with mixing the marine salt and the RO water with the powerhead in a 5 gallon bucket. I'm presuming that I'm going to be checking the salinity to make sure its about 1.025 each of the 3 times I put the saltwater in my tank. After putting on the filters, powerhead, heaters, and adding the water, I'm going to let the tank run for 3-5 days.Then, i'll add the sand and let that run for another few days while keeping the system at the appropriate temperature, ph, and salinity levels. With love rock, I figure I'll use about twelve pounds with another few pounds of "dead rock" thats cured from my LFS. I'm going to wait 4-6 weeks with everything running and siphon out any dead matter on the bottom of the tank. Any input on the lighting during the 4-6 weeks and afterwards is appreciated too (i'm thinking about 8 hours a day with the 24 watt actinic blue lamp and 10 watt white bulb). An employee told me the fixture was for sale and would be perfect for most low-medium light corals. After I can get the nitrite and ammonia levels to zero, and maintaining a ph of about 8.4,I'll add 1 small clownfish and another small fish that stays small if I can. I'll also get a small shrimp and I believe I'll need some snails as well. A water change every other day or every day seems to be the usual. Should I do 10-20% each time?
Thank you for any input, I know I should buy a book or 2 soon to get a better idea of this awesome hobby.