Although I'm not new to aquariums (have 3 planted nanos, 2g, 5g and 8g with fertilizing, pressurized CO2 and etc) I've decided to step into the salt water thing.
I'm from Europe, and I manage to get my hands on a Dennerle Nano Marinus 30L (8g) kit.
The kit included:
1) 4kg (9 pounds) of sand
2) 24W light (an all in one lamp, 3 small neons are white and 1 is blue).
3) some reef trace elements and shrimp food sample and so on.
4) desimeter and salt.
5) the Dennerle BioFilter 4 in 1 which is just an internal pump with sponge + a sourface skimmer.
They recommanded 2 startup methods:
1) either start with live sand (discarding the one in the pack), live rock and real sea water - faster method.
2) start with provided sand + RO water + provided salt, wait a week, add Live Rock, wait more weeks and so on.
I've decided to take a shortcut and I started with method 2 but with a twist. I added a fistfull of live sand I got from the LFS, and without waiting a week, I also added 4kg (9 pounds) of LR. 6 hours per day of light.
The Live Rock was not from an established aquarium, but the LFS kept it in something like a wide 'tub' with lots of water running over them and under poor light. I guess for all the hitchhikers to die ? It has coraline alge on it though.
The live sand (small quantity, maybe 200 grams ?) was from their display tank for corals.
It's been going for few days, here are some pics:
For now I've made some beginner mistakes:
1) no bacteria put in yet.
2) don't know if I made the right choice putting a dead blood worm (I have some frozen food for my fishes in the planted tanks, so I put a dead worm to rot and help existing bacteria to grow). However, the worm is still in there after 2 days (lost some of its red color though) so I concluded that maybe the live rock is free of bristle worms which would have exited to consume it.
I'm learning though and will read lots of posts from the boards.. (I've already read the articles before buying).
Edited by viulian, 28 February 2012 - 12:56 PM.