I think I kept a reef tank for about 7 years back in Oregon and Hawai'i. Then life came, i got busy and out it went. I don't like bigger tanks, ghetto DIY is ghetto and the selection of coral in Hawai'i was very bland.
I've been in Texas a few months and NEED a hobby. I've kept 1 gallon pico tanks using natural sunlight and inter-tidal critters and bigger 50 gallon setups with some really basic SPS. I've been out of the game two years and want to get back into it cheaper than not. I live in Northern Austin now and not Hawai'i--so I'm going to need to mix my own saltwater and buy my animals.
What are the generic smaller nano setups now a days?
Is it basically the same stuff from a few years back with better LED lighting? (I've done the whole Cree routine, but I'm guessing there's cheap fixtures now and want to keep it simple.) Any recommendations if I'm going for a budget build, am experienced, want low maintenance, and like a clean look? Finally I probably know the answer--but if I get LR from a LFS and get it quickly into a new tank won't cycling be maybe 4-6 weeks tops until i can add some softies? Thanks for the info! Josh