Having second thoughts? I think with all the livestock it's a pretty good deal. Not ideal filtration and you might have to upgrade the lighting at some point if you want to keep more demanding corals, but the tank/stand/canopy looks nice.
A wet/dry isn't really a desirable type of filtration if you plan on keeping corals. The bio-balls etc will create a nitrate problem which are undesirable when keeping corals. You'd be better off doing a sump and put the skimmer, heater, etc down there.
That was my opinion about the sand, yes. I would start with a new 1" sandbed and seed it from the old sand. A cup or two will be fine. Your thoughts on the damsel would be mine. I don't like those little buggers and they'll more often than not pester your new fish. The brittle would probably do better in a bigger system anyway. I would save the money on the wet/dry. It will be basically the same amount of plumbing either way. Check out this link. Just a glass tank and a couple of baffles and you're good to go.
Looks like a great deal, canopy and stand looks like a very clean setup. You may need to fiddle with the canopy if you are going to go with MH's or not and switch em out for T5HO's depending on what you want to keep of course. Id be all over that one.
I bought it. And although it's got some wear, and some swell from 8 years of moisture, it's in decent shape.
It's not hardwood, it's MDF with a melamine covering on it. I am most likely going to have to go to work with a Syringe and some KrazyGlue to get the lifted areas glued back down. No harm though. The stand has screw posts for leveling, and it leveled well (without water yet.)
I moved it home without spilling more than about a cup of water, and the only damage i caused was pulling the backsplash plastic piece off the back of the tank (old silicone.) I am going to scrape the old off, and just re-silicone it.
Anyway, I kept 50 gallons of the original water, all the rock, and fostered the damsel and the brittle stars (one brown one blue) to the LFS. I went and bought 20 more gallons of pre-mixed SW and i have it at home in jugs.
I have the LR in two 25 gallon rubbermaids with a powerhead in each pointing toward the surface. And it's doing nice. Salt is a little low at .021 but I hope the .023 I bought will average it out to something nice. I can always supplement later with additional salt.
So after the tank was moved and mounted, I took the sand out, dumped it into another 25G rubbermaid with 50 lbs. of new sand, and have the fluval 404 running in there skimming the dust and debris off. (they recommended rinsing at the LFS, but i figure since I am not reusing the fluval, I could just let it do the work for me. It's 4 stage, (Carbon, Mesh, Balls, Ceramic Disks,) so overnight it did a good job of cleaing up the water bucket. Pretty clear. (even though i had no power from 9 p.m. - 1a.m.
So, last night I got the tank moved up with the help of a buddy, and a surprise storm with 100mph winds blew in. NO POWER ACK ! ACK ACK ! OH NO ! I had been having second thoughts and a great deal of buyer's remourse so i figure this was the big Bossman's idea of telling me I shouldn't have bought it.
Anyway, I am out of town on business so the wife is going to babysit and make sure everything stays aerated and cool. I will refill the tank when I get home, check for leaks, and hook up my new equipment (see my thread I am about to post on that, there are questions there for you guys.)
Thanks to everyone for the advice, the encouragement and the help. I could have never got my first one going without the RC folks, and will undoubtedly lean on ya'll for this one.