So i figured instead of generating a ton of noobie threads, it's time for me to create my own tank journal. As I've already mentioned in my "welcome" thread, my tank is a 45 gallon acrylic that is a hand-me-down from my sister who took a shot at reefing a long time ago but eventually gave it up. Btw, I saw my sister the other day and was asking her some stuff about her experience as a reefer and as it turns out she was also a member of this forum! Cool stuff! Anyhow, this being my first shot at the reefing hobby, I don't plan on blowing a lot of coin on my tank except on the essential (ugh reef led lights). I have to be true to myself, I do have a tendency of starting hobbies and falling out of it (mountain biking, golfing, bonsai gardening, statues collecting, and the list goes on). Hopefully, reefing being closer to keeping "pets" than just having a hobby will keep me invested for a long time. My strategy is to start thrifty and then spend more and upgrade as my love and knowledge in the hobby grows. About my tank. From what I can tell it's a 45 gallon acrylic by TRUVU. It was badly scratched up when I pulled it from my sister's garage storage, but I've managed to sand and polish the front glass clean. The sides of the tank has some pretty deep scratches but where this tank is going to be placed that won't matter as much. I was also lucky enough to score a TRUVU platinum series sump from craigslist, I think it can hold about 20 gallons. Unfortunately, at this time my tank will be relegated to our garage. This is due mainly because we just bought a trilevel townhouse and the wifey will not risk any water spillage on our hardwood flooring. This is probably for the better since I'm not that confident in placing 700 lbs of water and rocks on the 2nd or 3rd level of our home. Since it's a new home and our garage is still fairly clean, I've claimed a small corner of the garage to be my very own tank viewing section. After doing a lot of reading on this forum, it was great to find out that i'm not the only garage reefer around and that it's possible to do successfully. My ultimate goal is to raise corals of course. Will probably start with softies but hoping to go stony corals eventually. As for livestock, I am all in for a pair of mandarins! I don't care if I get anything else to swim in my tank as long as I have these colorful beauties! (well i'll most likely have clowns because they're mandatory right?). I actually find the issue of having a steady supply of copepods for this fish as a fascinating challenge. I've scanned this forum for this subject and I can't wait to start seeding my tank and sump with pods in prep for the mandarins! Which brings me to my next subject.. where i'm at with my tank. Still no water in tank, unfortunately. Boy this hobby really tests your patience. I've got my rocks curing and I'm constantly doing mods to my tank, stand, and sump. This past weekend I did plumbing, it's the first time that I've gone to the plumbing section of Home Depot and I've never felt more manly lol. It's been a lot of fun though and it's a nice feeling when you see things coming together. I think by this weekend (barring any booboos or last minute birthday parties that my wife drags me to) I should be aquascaping and maybe, just maybe pouring saltwater into tank! Wish me luck guys!