Thanks Nick! I purchased most of the equipment for the big tank but need to finish the stand. I've been working on a related oyster reef fish project and have been out collecting on my free time for the most part, hence the delay. I'd like to get it set up asap though, so if we get a rainy weekend in the next month, then I'll work on my stand then. I also think that I need to add an electrical line for my basement where the sump will be, because where I want to put that sump (on the other side of the wall from the tank that is in the rec room), there are no electrical outlets.. I can set the tank up sumpless until then though. Once I get the electrical work done (and need to save money for that), then the plumbing is next.
I purchased an RO/DI unit and will set it up later too, after I get the electrical work done, because I want to build a water changing station near the sump as well. For not, I have well water and am just using it straight in the tank (along with water conditioner products). My thought is that any extra minerals might actually help the Ulva, macroalgae, and widgeon grass growth. I'm confident that when I set up the big tank, that the lighting will be sufficient to grow any plants that I put in there.
I think that I will have a pretty heavy bioload eventually in the big tank (about 100g) so that there is enough nutrients for plant growth. I want blennies to dominate the tank. But, if I had to put together a stocking list, it might look like this:
15 striped blennies
8 naked gobies
a bunch of grass shrimp
maybe a mud crab
some fish for the upper water column, ideally a spotfin butterfly fish and/or a striped burrfish and/or planehead filefish
If I catch any clown or green gobies, then I'll put then in the tank too. If I catch a feather blenny (Hypsoblennius hentz), then I may or may not add him to the tank. I might opt to put him in his own tank. It would depend on how well it gets along with the striped blennies.
As far as the grass goes for the 20g long, it seems to be greening up again and sprouted a seed pod yesterday, so it seems to be making a comeback. On my next collecting trip, I'm going to bring home some substrate to aid in the root growth. So far, I haven't added much from the Bay yet.
Here's a pic from the other night, the biggest blenny in the 20L that is almost 2" long now: