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Oh my mistakes...


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So, I am new to saltwater in the way that I have had a FOWLR tank before, but never looked at coral before or very many fish. In all honesty, the moment I wanted a saltwater tank was when I first saw a Lion fish in the LFS. I had seen them in aquariums I had gone too, but it hit me, I could have one at home; how cool!!! No judgements please, but my first tank was a 75 gal FOWLR... and all that was in it was the Lion! My freezer was stocked with Silverside and Krill. I was happy and loved watching "Nigel" as I came to call him/her. Never put a thought in other fish, invertebrates, or coral. Nigel was given to a good home with the tank and set-up (if you can even call it that) as I relocated due to being in the military. 


I am now home and will not be relocating anytime in the near future, so as of last year I decided to get "back" into the saltwater adventures; or so I thought. I bought a 40 gallon breeder tank, then built a stand. oohing fancy, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out being my first build. ok, slight side note, and I'm more then sure I'm going to get a good back lash for this, but I did NOT research anything on saltwater tanks the first time I got my 75 gallon. I relied on the advice of the LFS; sadly, I did NOT research when I started my 40 gallon breeder either.  :doh: I washed the crushed coral sub straight and placed it in the tank. Made the saltwater and added it as well as the live rock I had purchased. I then put the heaters in place and turned them on, then the filter. I have 2 over the back filters and a canister filter hooked up. Lastly, I added the prop thermometer and the power head. I waited as 6 weeks past, doing some water changes and watching the cycle levels. 


My tank was now ready to go, or so I thought; I returned to the LFS and ordered a juvenile loin. When I went to pick it up, the person at the LFS was not the person I ordered the lion from. This person change my whole tank experience for the better! He asked about my tank, what kind of set up I had, if I was using a sump, if I had any coral in my tank. I looked at him and said, "what's a sump?" I think my face showed more concern then I can ever convey on the internet, but after he laughed, he explained a good bit to me. Then he told me I should look online for a reef club in the area and join. 


So I went home with lion in hand and began to "drip acclimate" him/her while I jumped online to find said reef club. After finding PNWMAS and joining, I began to read some of the threads; I also joined Reef Central and read there as well. It was at this moment in time I had a panic attack. No sand, no sump, no test kit for my water, no skimmer,  and what the heck was this refugium thing? That alone was a science I am still figuring out... what the crap was I doing!!! The more I read, the more I realized i had NO CLUE what I was doing, *This is not a good feeling and is associated with guilt*.


I decided I needed to change my way of thinking as well as my little part of the ocean. I began looking on craigslist for a tank someone was getting rid of so I could turn it into a sump, and wouldn't you know it, lucky me found a 150 gallon for $100! With a stand, hood, a few pumps and heaters. I jumped on that immediately and when I brought it home I was asked if that was my sump.




I said it unknowingly, as if my mind had already formed a plan! I was just going to go with it for now. I ended up getting a 20 gallon long tank sump for my 40 gallon, the filters will come off, and I will take one more step in the right direction. The 150 sits on it's stand, all cleaned up and bare. I refuse to make the same mistakes twice... well... knowingly! LoL 


After all my reading, and continued reading, I know I want coral in the 150! I'm not 100% sure on what exactly I want as far as fish, invertebrates, and what types of coral, but I'm making a list. I have plenty to keep me busy; looking at LED's, closed systems and power heads for flow, sump set up, a skimmer, a ro/di unit, and a controlling system (similar to Apex). Yes, mistakes will be made; I will be more educated and now have great sources to ask for help before I just go off and do something. 


So, I have made some "you did what?!!" moments that I'm glad I can learn from and hopefully, anyone who reads this can have a good laugh or if you haven't bought your first tank, you can now scratch a few things from your list that have better results with a better understanding. I'm wondering, am I the only person who has made such mistakes? How crazy did yours get if any?



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