new 30gal fowlr
I've had my 30gal tank set up for about 3 weeks now and i just want to make sure im on track with the cycle and im not missing anything. Few things about whats in the tank....Whisper 20-40 filter with just a sponge thing in it that helped take the sand out when i started it and i have been cleaning it every other day, heater, powerhead, a seaclone 100 protein skimmer that i havent been running because i thinks its too big (was given to me by a family member for free)....when its on it makes so many little bubbles that the tank gets "cloudy" from the bubbles, 18lbs of LR, 2 pieces of "dead" rock that my mom found in florida on the beach and a peice of a brain coral skeleton that she also found, when i bought the LR there was 2 emerald mithrax crabs on it...one died a few days after and the other seems to be doing fine...he picks at the LR a lot....and some type of a hermit crab but it hasnt moved since i bought the rock...but I know its alive because it retracts its legs and stuff, we put a molly in it to help it cycle, and theres 2 peppermint shrimp and a snail in it.
I've been testing Ph, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites everyday and all is at zero and Ph is at 8.2
Everything has turned brown this past week......Is this the diatom bloom??
Am i on the right track for the cycle?
Is there anything else that i should be doing?
You got two hitchhiker emerald crabs and a hermit on a piece of live rock?
I was planning on getting a smaller protein skimmer once my school money gets in which should be in anytime soon, so I'll get one then and the other two tests.
Yes i did. I was very suprised when they came out, and that they made the long ride home with no water in the bag.
You are doing good. Yes, what you are seeing is the diatom bloom. I agree, this is a very important time to begin testing for alkalinity and calcium, adding a buffer and calcium supplement as needed. I use Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH and Kent Marine liquid Calcium Chloride. You need to start this NOW. You are at a critical stage in the long term health of your system. I could write 2 pages on this topic. In fact, I did: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...79/#post282311
As for the protein skimmer, you have a good skimmer for your tank size. Use it! Stopping the bubbles is easy. Just cut a piece of ladies pantie hose and rubber band it around the output. Water will flow through without problems, but the bubbles will stop. Simple and effective. I see no reason to spend money on a skimmer for a tank of your size when you already have a SeaClone 100.
Finally, I think you could use a bit more live rock, but this is a question that can not be answered for certain without seeing the tank. Can you post pictures? You might be fine as is. I also wonder how deep is the sand bed?
What is your intended livestock? I think the Mollie was a sweet idea. I've cycled many a saltwater tank with Mollies.-) I should point out that it wasn't necessary to have any fish in this tank for the cycle to occur. How is your ammonia & nitirte?
Im going to see if any of the fish stores around here have those tests today, i might have to order them though. As for my nitrites and ammonia, i just tested them and both are at zero. The sand bed is right around 4 inches. My intended stocking list is: 1 Flame angelfish, 1-2 Kauderns cardinal, 1 Ocellaris clown, 1 B&W ocellaris, Either the longnose hawkfish or the falcos hawkfish. Also i woke up to 9 baby mollies in the tank. If I move them to a freshwater tank will the water change kill them?
This is why a picture is so important. Lets discuss a few topics.
First, live rock. You need more. It is difficult to tell how many pounds of live rock somebody needs, because different rock will have different density, causing different pieces of the same size to weight differently. In your case, I feel that you need more rock for organic waste removal, and just as important, to continue building a more adequate size reef structure. The reef structure is important, especially in smaller tanks with smaller fish, because these fish will only settle into the tank and feel comfortable if they have an adequate reef structure to create territories and isolate themselves from the other fish.
I would suggest you order a 25 pound shipment of dry rock from Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock. I have had great success with this provider. I used Key Largo dry rock in my 180 reef. You can see what it looks like here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...d-21979/page4/. If you go deeper into the thread, you will see how quickly it becomes covered with coraline algae and becomes live. For the record, it appears that the middle 2 rocks in your tank are both Key Largo live rock. The pieces will have a similar shape and texture.
Next, lets talk algae. You need to take active steps to prevent algae from becoming a problem in the tank. One of these steps is to encourage coraline algae growth, as we discussed already. Another just as important step is to reduce the input of phosphates and organic waste decay. In your current tank, you need to do daily cleanings of the sponge filters attached to your power head intakes. Or, better yet, just remove the sponges completely. I recommend not using a sponge filter on the intake of any powerhead on a marine system.
Next, it appears that you have a venturi adapter running on the powerhead in the far right side of the tank. Why? If you do, the air bubbles will only cause additional salt creep. Remove the venturi air intake, and just use the powerhead for water movement.
Finally, is that a twin tube strip light? Is so, what bulbs are you using? I strongly encourage you to use one actenic blue bulb in the front and one 50/50 in the back. You will be amazed at the color improvement of your fish and rock.
The rock in the middle is just one big rock. I'll have to see if my mom will buy more rock for me since my school money isnt in yet. For the powerhead, I just used it how it came in the box. Am I supposed to take the air tube off? and the sponge thing? The light is a twin strip, with T8s. When i bought the tank the store didnt have single strips so i had to get the twin. I was planning on getting another single so i could have the blue bulb in it....we had the same setup with the 75 we used to have....a twin and one single.
I would also suggest not using the sponge, or at minimum cleaning the sponge every day. You need to plan this step, however. Right now the sponges are acting as a biological filter, assisting the live rock and sand in processing waste. This is not a good thing. Why? The sponge breaks down ammonia and results in nitrate, which is not what you want in a marine tank. However, if you remove both sponges at the same time then you may have a very short ammonia spike. I would suggest removing one sponge now, and the other sponge in 2 weeks.
An even better option would be to use the 2nd power head and sponge as a filter for a 10 gallon quarantine tank. Read this thread for a discussion on Q tanks:
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