Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Project1 03-30-2010 03:15 PM

newb here with a question or 2
hi guys!

im pretty new to the salt water scene but have a few years in the fresh water. my salt tank is cycling but i got live sand and rock in there (info i picked up from the site thanks!) and i noticed a bunch of filter feeding critters on there and one is a deffinate feather duster. So i was wondering if i need to put food in for these guys or what. thanks for the help!


Kellsindell 03-31-2010 10:16 PM

Many will tell you to supplement feed them with phytoplankton, but i think that's like adding pure phosphates into the tank. Just make sure they get plenty of light and they should be ok during the cycle. If you are really worried about them, add something like CoralFrenzy to the tank, but because you are cycling, i wouldn't worry about it too much. IF they die back, they'll be back later.

What size tank is this?

Project1 04-01-2010 03:29 PM

i have a
44 gal corner tank
with 36watts of light
10gal sump(cause thats all that will fit down there
protien skimmer
and a hob filter with puragen or however you spell it as of the first week and a half i have had no amonia and little to no phosphates
calcium has been at340 and my alkalinity is a bit high but its cycling so im sure it will go down with the consumption of the calcium

anyway the fish store that i trust to go to gave me some frozen plankton stuff and said to put a small bit of it in a week. so i mean i find a new filter feeding coral on my live rocks just about every day so its pretty neat. im a bit worried that my cycling is going so smooth though every fresh water tank i have cycled has had a few day amonia spike but i have about 20lbs of indonisian live rock and 10lbs of live sand mixed with crushed coral some sand

Pasfur 04-04-2010 08:05 AM

In a marine system with established live rock it is not at all unusual for the ammonia and nitrite to remain zero and never go up. Because of this we frequently talk about a tank "maturing", as opposed to cycling. You should watch for signs of a mature system.

You will notice that a diatom bloom hits after about 2 weeks. After a few days to a week it will go away naturally. As it does, you should begin to notice some coraline algae growth, assuming you have correctly monitored and adjusted both your alkalinity and calcium levels.

You should also begin to see a lot of life in your sand bed, and even on the glass of the aquarium. Look for coperpods and amphipods, which are very tiny microfauna that resemble little tics and worms. It takes a trained eye to notice them, but when you do hopefully you will see these populations begin to rapidly spread. A thriving population is an indicator of the maturity of a new system.

You will also notice that Nitrates begin to DROP. We would prefer to see nitrates level out at zero, but this may take several months. Don't get discouraged because you don't have to wait for this to occur before you add livestock, but recognize that dropping nitrates are a sign of a healthy and stable system.

These things are the key to understanding when a newly set up marine system is ready for livestock. The diatom bloom is the big early indicator, so be on the watch for it. Trust me, you will know it when you see it. Everything will take on a rust color almost overnight.

By the way, your calcium and alkalinity levels are not balanced. What exactly is your alkalinity testing at? (post in DKH if you would, because it is what we all use here for consistency.) What salt mix do you use?

Project1 04-06-2010 03:11 PM

well seeing ass all have in there that came on the rock are feather dusters and a few polyps and a mantis shrimp which im putting the trap i was told to build in tonight to remove him to another tank. but little to no calcium has been used up but that was a few days ago ill post the new readings today. thanks for the maturing info ill be on the watch for the rust color good thing you told me about that because i would have fliped.

Project1 04-06-2010 04:11 PM

ok here are my test results

salt mix- instant ocean

water gravity- 1.021

water temp-78

i use the api reef master kit with a additional api ammonia test kit

calcium- 360 at 10 drops

alkalinity- 179ppm and dkh is 10

phosphates- 0 zero

nitrate- 0 zero

ammonia- 0 zero

and heres a few pics of the tank

njudson 04-07-2010 09:31 AM

That's some nice looking rock but you may want a bit more.

Project1 04-07-2010 03:51 PM

oh im worken on it got 2 more pieces today that are really nice

Pasfur 04-08-2010 07:56 AM

The readings look good. 360 ppm and 10 dkh are both right inside the target range. Nice job.

I like the looks of the tank. Hopefully you can develop the reef structure and still keep the visual appeal of the rock being centered like you have it. It looks great.

Project1 04-08-2010 08:39 PM

thanks pasfur! i need to bond what i have together were it is right now is perfect for the base i was wondering if anyone had suggestions

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