Hey guys. It makes me really sad that my reef of over almost 2 years went ignored for about the last 9 months while my divorce has been ongoing. I won't get into the reasons for the divorce but we'll just say it's better for me and my two boys and leave it at that. I had the 29 Gallon reef for a couple of years if memory serves me right and I watched it grow and mature over time. I had a couple of scarlet shrimp, an emerald crab, some rock star fish, two true percula clowns, a strawberry dottyback, several hermits, a few snails, and several soft corals. It was a lot of work to maintain but I loved it and I always tried to get my now-ex to at least learn how to do it should I not be able to take care of it. It's been about 9 months since I've had access to the aquarium and the skimmer hasn't been cleaned and is surely completely non-functional [it was tiny, needed regular cleaning]. The water certainly hasn't been changed - I know that at least the two shrimp have died and the corals are all in really bad shape. It looks like I'll be getting access to the tank maybe within the next month to a month and a half and I'm hoping, if I can scrape the money together to set up a new tank, that I'll be able to rescue what is still alive in the 29 Gallon. Right now I'm looking at the Cobalt C-Vue 45 which will give me a larger water capacity as I won't, at least in the beginning, be able to have a sump or external skimmer or anything of the sort. The additional water should help me keep the aquarium more stable between maintenance I think. I checked one of these out at the local reef shop and thought it was a really sharp setup. It does have drillable glass - as it's a reef tank - but does not come pre-drilled. I don't think trying to drill it while filled is a good idea [if the glass were to crack I could end up with a shower + shards of glass] but I know that at some point I would like to move from the in-back filtration to a sump with a decent skimmer for the size. I was thinking I should drill the tank when new and empty and then plug the holes so that when the time comes that I can install a sump that I can just shut off flow, possibly drain off a little water to empty the back-sump/put a bucket under the holes, and remove the plugs and pipe for the sump. In short even though I won't have the funds for a sump right away - I would like to be prepared for it to save work/labor/having to drain and put strain on the inhabitants when the time comes. It's been a while since I've had a reef or set one up - so if I can do this I am hoping to get the tank set up as soon as possible with a few pieces of live rock and to let it run by itself for a month before I move anything in. I'm definitely open to suggestions / recommendations / advice. I was hoping to do some live rock / fine sand. I know fine sand can get blown around and such but I really like the look of it and don't mind the maintenance. I hadn't planned on getting anything that would relocate the sand [i.e throw it all over my rocks, corals, etc] but if you have any advice/suggestions beyond fine sand I'm all ears as well. I definitely don't want to go with a bare glass bottom [I just hate the way it looks]. At any rate I've got to head out as my shift at work is over and I have to go pick up my kiddos. I'm open to any advice and suggestions you may have - I really want to rescue what is still alive in my old tank as I feel so terrible for them. Thanks.