Originally Posted by n1zjd
Right now all I know is I have a tank full of saltwater with some live sand and live rock. I know, this doesnt sound promising right?
Honestly, if everybody would just start with live rock and live sand, then everything would be so much easier. I can't think of a better way for you to get started.
I would leave one of the hang on filters running empty, just for water circulation. This also gives you a place to put a bag of activated carbon if you want. I just throw a bag in my sump.
You can use the other hang on for your quarantine filter. You will need to get this quarantine tank in place within the next 2 weeks. A 10 gallon, bare bottom, with a heater and the hang on filter, will be all you need. You should be able to pull this off for about $20. You will need to slightly modify the hang on. Post a picture of the hang on so I can give you some ideas.
Over the next couple of weeks you can expect to be extremely frustrated because I will keep telling you every day that it is not time to add livestock.
You will see some growth on the live rock, and hopefully will see copepod and amphipod populations begin to thrive and spread. I suggest looking at the same spot in the sand bed for about 5 minutes until your eyes adjust and you begin seeing the little things that you did not see before. After you learn to recognize them, you will see them easily. You want these populations of micofauna to really have an extended time to flourish without predators in the tank, such as hermit crabs, snails, and fish.
In about 2 weeks you will see the diatom bloom hit. It will hit almost overnight, a brown algae that covers everything. It will go away almost over night as well, usually between weeks 3 and 4. You can add a small portion of your CUC when you see the diatom hit. Keep in mind, your tank size will only support 5 or 6 hermit crabs and 3 or 4 snails. The LFS will try to sale you far more than this, but you don't need it.