02-26-2009, 08:32 AM
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Welcome to the forum!
As for the whole cycle process Pasfur can give you much more insight on it but i can lay down the basics.
The cycle is getting the correct bacteria in the tank to grow. Diatomes are a sure sign that the tank cycle is complete, but you can also get this checked out by testing your water and seeing the Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia lvls. They are going to spike, then drop to 0 one then another. Once this is complete your diatomes will start to grow in.
You did well to wait for as long as you did before you added any more fish to the tank. Damsels are ok, but they will get increasingly aggressive as they get larger, so you may want to look into getting rid of them. Rou really shouldn't have added any fish until after the bloom of diatomes, but it's done and i hope they survive. Since they were already in an established tank and not shipped halfway around the USA and put into an LFS, they should be healthy.
The SG of the tank should be 1.024-1.026 for a "REEF" now for a FOWLR it can be lower then that. i'd personally would say 1.018-1.020. I have kept many fish at that lvl of salinity and have had much success. Others can give you more insight on this matter though as i'm mainly a reefer rather then a FOWLER'
you really need to get yourself a decent skimmer. This will aid you in the long run and increase the amount of success you have in this hobby. I didn't see if you have a sump/refugium, but if you do then that's where you want to put the skimmer, if not, you need to look into getting one or you'll need to get a hang on back skimmer.
No bio-wheels, no canisters, no hangon filters, skimmers will do this work and will not cause any potential harm to the tank.