Brief background: 49 year old native Floridian who moved to San Antonio about four years ago. After so many years in and around South Florida and the Gulf Coast, being more or less land locked left me yearning for the clear water and coral reefs of the Keys. A thought occurred: Bring the reef to me! I'm new to this hobby. By new I mean I don't have a clue. A long, long time ago I had a 20 gallon freshwater tank that tetra's must of thought was a fish hospice - they basically came to my tank to die. But I've been lurking R2R and others for a while to start gaining the knowledge I'll need to plan this out. Here's the game plan: We have a wet bar in our house that we never use. It basically is a dumping grounds for the kid's backpacks and books after school. My wife had wanted to convert it to lighted display shelves on the family room side and a closet behind. I suddenly thought to myself that the wet bar has a water supply and a drain - I could do a built in reef tank with a small fish room...what a great way to ease into the hobby as a noob! Here's the room: Wifey was open to the idea with one condition: She still wanted to put lighted display shelves so I had to incorporate them into the plan. The kids and I did a little blue tape designing complete with fish (don't worry it's not a tang...) to get an idea of what we could do with the space: I figured I could do a 90 gallon mixed reef with two display shelves below and one above. I also wanted to build a small salt water mixing station in the room behind As I started putting together a budget one thing became very clear...this **** was NOT going to be cheap! My wife is great: when I mentioned that I thought this was too much money to spend she said "You never spend money on yourself - splurge for a change and do what you want to do". I, of course, immediately replied "Side chick?" but evidently she was just talking about the aquarium. Alright - I had a green light and a bank account...just need planning, time, and sweat. I ripped the countertop and front drywall out the very first day to ensure I wouldn't have a change of heart. I'll be using this thread to document how it all works out. I'm actually a bit further along as I write this so I'll need to catch up the posting over the next few days. Here we go!