start 55gal ish, lots of live rock. let cycle for a month or so. one invert, snail, hermit crab ect.. per gal. stay away from crushed coarl bottom. remember a refugeium chetah grass. good lights, i have 8 t5 and enjoy them.do lots of homework on what u want and if their compatible. it gets expincive fast.u get what you pay for so if u go cheap, expect cheap results. quilty food , i only use rods reef food good stuff! take ur time... good luck hope i helped a little.o no canister filters!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO NO NO aka nitrtogen trap!!