Good evening all,\n \nMy first post in what looks a great forum. I look forward to participating here.\n \nThis past year I have come back to the aquarium hobby (been away since school days) and have had a lot of fun in putting together a freshwater South American cichlid tank with live plants and all. It has gone well, thanks in large part to an amazing LFS, and I could not be more happy with all the first time things for me (like live plants) which have gone well.\n \nI would like now to branch out into saltwater reefs, and seek some general thoughts. My LFS is great and will be there to guide me, but I have had a very hard time finding nano-reef info online and wanted to get some opinions here if I may.\n \nAt present I am in an apartment, and a second large tank is not only impossible- but since I plan to move in about 16 months to a permanent home I do not want to get anything too big going only to tear it down so quickly.\n \nI also want to start with the smallest investment possible while also getting the appropriate setup to properly house invertebrates and fish.\n \nGiven all that, I am thinking about getting an Oceanic 29G Bio-Cube and adding the protein skimmer plus maybe a heater (my apartment gets into the high 60s at night during the winter- hence the heater.)\n \nI have access to great cured live rock, and the plan was to set up the tank next week- add about 25-30 pounds of well-aged cured live rock plus live sand- and then once cycled add my other items.\n \nMy general stocking scheme plans (which would be gradual based on what water testing indicates the tank can handle in increments) are as follows,\n \n1. Live rock with some soft corals attached plus live sand.\n2. A percula clown with a long tentacled anemone.\n3. Either a yellow watchman (goby I think it was) or a goby paired with a companion shrimp.\n4. [U]Maybe[/U] a third fish- but if so a very small one.\n5. Emerald crabs (the live rock with corals I have access to also has some good algae growth.)\n6. A sand sifting star or a small conch for the substrate.\n7. [U]Maybe[/U] a Harlequin shrimp- I am still pondering whether I want to sentence a chocolate star to its death every 2 weeks by adding it to the tank- and have to keep watch and remove them once they die.\n8. A feather duster.\n9. Depending on the outcome of #7, 1-2 other small invertebrates- at least one a shrimp that serves some cleaning function.\n10. A few small Trochus snails to help with algae.\n11. Small fragments of 1-2 live hard corals to grow out- the LFS has a whole tank of them at reasonable prices.\n \nI would be grateful for any general feedback you can offer on the overall concept or on specific issues. In particular I hope for feedback on the Harlequin shrimp idea. They are very beautiful, but I worry about the amount of waste released into the tank as one slowly consumes a starfish.\n\nOnce I move into a home, I will be able to set up a large reef tank that could accomodate all that I am testing out now. And if not, I will do the right thing and get all these creatures to good homes.\n\nThe goal now is to try and start small- but keep it varied if I can to begin the learning process. I seek guidance on getting a good balance between learning in real time with as many things as possible versus not biting off more than I can chew- or overstocking the tank.\n\nThanks for any thoughts!\n\nTom.