01-27-2010, 10:17 AM
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I agree you are probably wasting your time, money and lives but will try to see if I can help. Sure you cant do a small 10 or 20 gallon? Your chances of success would raise significantly and they are still tiny tanks.
1. Quit adding fish
2. Anyway, you have a heater, some LR, and aragonite sand? Turn it on and let this run. You should have enough die off from the rock that you dont need to subject a fish to this. If anything toss in a piece of shrimp and let it decay.
--The brown stuff is a normal first stage of tank cycling, get used to it and it will be there a month or so but will eventually die off.
3. You NEED a skimmer. There are several small skimmers available for pico tanks. Never having used one I have no idea how effective they are, but one is needed, ask your LFS or look online.
The only thing I can come up with on the salignity thing is either yours or your LFS's hydrometer is off. If its one of those cheap plastic ones(I use one too) odds are its off as they are notoriously inaccurate.
Have you read any books on this subject? There are alot of good books describing every single aspect of this hobby, unfortunately rarley will you find them at B&N, those are usually crap books that give you horrible advice like saying cleaner wrasse are needed for every tank or mandarins are easy. The Consciencous Marine Aquarist is a bible of the hobby, you should get it, read it, learn it.
There are very few fish that will successfully live in this tank and puffers of any persuasion are not one them. Even clowns you are limited and they wont live their whole lives 10+ years in something that small. There are a couple gobies that might work if they eat flake. Citron or clown gobies, or maybe a bicolor blenny. At most you will have one fish. Sorry, that small a tank, its what you are stuck with. Personally I wouldnt even bother with this, but if I was, I would not have any fish. I would stick with a pair of fire shrimp or a coral banded shrimp and some hermits and snail or two.
Buy, at a minimum, a kit for measuring saltwater Ammonia, Nitrite, and nitrate. Only after all three have spiked and all three are back to zero should you even consider adding any fish. On a 55 it takes about a month for the initial cycle to be complete. Note that i say initial as a tank will not be completely stable for 6 months to a year. While you may not be able to measure whats off, if you have SPS coral, you will find out real quick when it is.(dont even think about SPS coral, it was an example)
What kind of lighting over the tank?
Sounds like you have chaeto macro algae in your filter? Why in your filter? Is there a light over it so it can do the photosynthesis thing? If it has no light, it will die.
Again i think you are wasting your time and money but if you refuse to listen to all the cautions we have given you and go ahead anyway with it, then hopefully you will listen to something I have said and it will help you.