Progression advice

19 Jan 2009
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I have received my 6ft tank just over a month ago.

I would like to buy the best setup I can afford, and have decided to do this over a couple of months.

Unfortunately this makes the process very slow, but I don't want to buy crap because that is all I can afford right now. I would much rather take it slow and buy as good as I can.

So far I have gotten:

tank: 6ft in cabinet
sump: 2ft in bottom of cabinet
dsb: 2ft in bottom cabinet
sand: 60kg fine coral sand (already in)
salt: 20kg Pro Marine salt (already in)
return pump: Aqua one 3000l/h
plumbing done

Please help me to prioritise the next steps and tell me if I am missing something.

My next investments would be (each number is a month - in this order):

I suppose fish can be added directly after the LR, but I have not added it here as this will be an ongoing process.
  1. Powerheads
    I believe that powerheads doesn't need to be the most expensive I can afford. I would love to see if I can afford some sort of wave maker, or at least something that control currents. I would like a very healthy tank and looking VERY natural.
  2. LR
    to get plenty of Fiji rock to get the system going.
  3. Lights
    I have only started the research here and am not fully decided on what to get. T5 seems like the absolute minimum, but length, how many and what colour ratios should be, I am not so sure about yet. What I do know is that I would like the setup to create an hour dawn, 14 hours full light and an hour dusk. Then I would like to try the blue LEDs to give the moon effect. I would also like to run the main lights in reverse cycle witht he DSB light, which will be a normal florencent tropical fish tank light setup
  4. Skimmer
    I am borrowing a 'hanging skimmer' from a friend. I am sure this will do the job for the three months before I buy a popper one. I am sure this is better than nothing. I have no research on type and what to look for yet.
  5. Corals
    still a very open canvas here. I would like a nice veriety though, with plenty of colours and textures.
20 Jul 2008
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Skimmer first, the absolutely best you can get
Powerheads and lights are equally important, So get your lights the best you can but get some if not all of your powerheads
LR you can add as you go along, as and when you can afford, but try and get the best you can but Bio rock that you seed is just as good sometimes
once you have sorted all the other stuff out you can look at corals.

So, what lights, skimmer, powerheads are you planning