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Starting a nano tank?

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So after my first tank I am now very much addicted to this hobby. I currently have a tank that is just slightly over 60 gallons... but it isn't enough! There are still so many fish I want ;___; Woe is me.

So I am considering in a few months maybe starting up another smaller tank. I'd love a larger tank but I honestly think our landlord might actually kill me if I did (he said when we signed the lease that he didn't care about anything in a cage/tank, only about cats and dogs, but I don't think he expected our tanks to be a 55 and a 60.... I think he was thinking more along the lines of a 10. Luckily it doesn't have anything against fish tanks in our lease...)


We have a LOT of extra tanks in storage at my boyfriend's dad house ranging from 10's to 60's... I'd love to take our 40 hex home and make that a saltwater but we don't really have a spot for it, so I was thinking either a 20 long or maybe looking around to see if we have a 29. If not, Petco's $ per gallon sale gets me one for $30 bucks so... not too bad.


I have plenty of sand and crushed coral substrate from my 60, so that should be essentially free to fill a new tank with substrate, and I think I can probably get the live rock for free (or at least several pounds), and if not then it is only around $3/lb for me since I work at a local fish store. Saltwater is also free for me.


So would all I have to pay for essentially be a filter, heater, light, and circulation pump? Do I even NEED a circulation pump in a smaller tank, or would that mainly be useful if I put corals in as well?


How many of you use skimmers, or would recommend doing so, on a 29 gallon tank? 



I really in particular would love to have a white banded pygmy wrasse and a gumdrop coral croucher. Also maybe a longnose hawkfish or something, I adore hawkfish... either way, any recommendations on starting up a small tank? Am I underestimating the cost? I know my larger tank cost a decent amount to set up, but I had to purchase a skimmer, the substrate, rock, etc... what would you guys recommend for lighting as well on the 29? I would also need to have a cover on it, since we have 3 cats that I don't trust, and wrasse are my favorite things in the world so the tank is bound to end up with a wrasse in it somehow... 


Does 4-5 small fish seem about right for a 29 gallon?



Any input you have is certainly welcome! I can't afford to do this until after probably January but it never hurts to start planning ;)

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