Well, I got the tank up and running now. Again, it's a 55 gallon FOWLR. I have a dual water filter on it (Aquatech I think), standard lighting (so far, but soon to be 2 50/50s). I also have 40 lbs. of live sand w/3 lbs. of actual sea sand as the substrate. I also have apprx. 25 lbs. of base rock and 11 lbs. of live rock together in the tank now. In the tank are 1 Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel (about 1 in. long) and 1 Ocellaris Clownfish
(about 3/4 in. long). The fish are very beautiful although look very lonely in such a large space. I'm going to wait till I'm through with the cycling before I add anything else. I've been up and running for 11 days now and the live rock (and even some base rock) and the areas where I scattered the 3 lbs.of sea sand are covered in brown algea now. My wife and I have removed 3 small bristleworms so far and continue to look for more. We also have a few small glass anemones, but will get rid of them when they grow a little more (or when I add a few Peppermint Shrimp, they can snack on them).
Conditions after 11 days are:
Temp: steady 78 degrees
Do all these conditions sound about right for where I'm at in the cycle?
Fish are doing great and the little Clown has, of course, become a favorite. Strange thing was that when I got them, the Clown wouldn't eat very well. I was told by the store owner where I got him (at the Coral Reef on Kingston Pike in Knoxville TN...great guys there and I highly recommend them BTW), that he was bred locally and hand fed. Well, it never dawned on me what that meant. It took me about a week for me to wake up (and I'm usually a pretty quick witted fellow too). I feed them a frozen preparation of processed shrimp usually mixed with some flake food and a drop of garlic juice to arouse their appetite. As I started to dip it out from a tablespoon with my finger the little Clown came straight to me and started eating like a little pig. As long as the food appeared to be coming off my fingertips he would eat well. Duh! Hand fed?! The light went on! Now, he comes up to the top of the water to greet us whenever we raise the lid and he notices us standing there. Seems like he's about to come completely out of the water to greet you. A super great little fish! So far the Clown and the Damsel are doing super.
Thanks for all the help friends. It was great appreciated and look forward to hearing your thoughts on my new aquarium.