GSP tank set up help?
I currently have an empty freshwater 30 gallon tank that used to house a Convict Cichlid who has been moved to another tank. I'm looking to buy and keep 1 GSP in there and wanted to know what stuff I'm going to need for him as I convert the water over to brackish and eventually fully marine. I've had freshwater fish for ages but saltwater/brackish is completely new to me, but I'm gonna put my best foot forward :) I'm aware GSP's are not beginner fish and require loads of upkeep, which I'm willing to provide. So. Here is what I currently have in my 30g.
*30 gallons of cycled ammonia-free water with a PH of about 7.3-7.5
*One 55gal AquaClear filter with carbon, sponge, and biorocks
*1inch of normal (blue and white) gravel.
*1 terra cotta pot without the bottom (sanded, no sharp edges)
*1 piece of driftwood about 13'' long with a tapered 4'' gap between the inside top and bottom of tank.
*1 small "house" tank ornament (really ugly but it was a gift ><)
*1 tiny yellow fake felt plant (again, ugly but a gift)
*1 in tank thermometer
*standard tank hood with light that came in the kit
Can you simply list what I will need to additionally buy and what I cannot use from my list? I want an engaging enough environment to keep him happy but I'm not sure about plants as its going to be going from fresh-->brackish--->salt and don't want to be spending money on plants that are going to die later on. I've had plastic plants before and they got full of algae and fell apart when I tried to clean them. Can I create a nice environment with just rocks? Is live rock even ok because of their lack of scales? How much should I get? Can I breed pond snails to feed him in a spare 1gal tank w/ algae wafers? Can they eat beefheart cubes? Any other crunchy foods I could breed and feed him to keep his beak down?
Sorry for all the questions, I just wanna make sure everything is perfect for him before he moves in! Lastly, where can I get these guys and is it safe to buy them from the internet? I live in New York.
*Please keep in mind I am a college student and I have a budget lol Any price saving tips are much appreciated!