Just a recap for those of your who don't know. I am a first time SW
tanker and have been overly diligent (my husband calls it anal retentive), to learn all I can and cycle properly. I finished my fishless cycle about 2 weeks ago and just added 4 scarlet hermit, a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 5 astrea snails, a clown, a Kaudern's Cardinal and a two eyed goby.
My parameters were perfect for much over a week, I was dosing to 4ppm and it was back at 0 within 12 hours. I figured I was more than ready to add fish. I added the fish/snail/shrimp on the 26th after doing a 90% pwc
the day before (I followed everything BY THE BOOKS). I am feeding frozen brine, I can't remember the exact name, but the one with veggies. The LFS
dude told me to feed twice a day, but I knew that was WAY too much so I feed once a day for the first few days and then was going to go to every other once there was enough in the substrate for my goby.
I had decided to check my water every few days in the beginning until everything is running smoothly, to be extra cautious. Thank God I am diligent (anal) because I check last night and my nitrates were SKY high (between 80 and 160 colours). I busted out the bucket and prime and got to work. It dropped to 20, which I'm not happy with still, but I didn't have time to do another large pwc
. I'm going to check again tonight and do another pwc
So, here's some funny things that have happened. First of all, I LOVE my goby! He's so adorable and funny! He has been making a den under a rock for the last few days and last night when I did the PWC
I was worried about him because I hadn't seen him in 3 or so hours, so I pulled up the rock and found him...not moving
I took the net and gave him a little nudge and saw that he was still breathing so moved him away from the den, replaced the rock and sat and watching him for a bit, contemplating euthinization, and realizing how I adored the little bugger already. Well, after about five minutes of lying completely still, and shallow breathing he swam quickly to the edge of the rock and hid there. I went to put my daughter to bed and when I came back there was crushed coral and sand flying everywhere as usual, as he began to dig out his den again
My crabs LOVE to smush themselves between rocks and they end up getting trapped, I let one sit there for a few days to see if it'd move out and it just stayed there, so I reached in to take it out and the SSC shrimp came barreling at my hand!!! I was shocked of the cojones on the little guy but thought "how bad could a bite from that little thing hurt?" and stuck my hand back in to save the crab. The shrimp again barreled at my hand and just started exploring me with him tentacles lol. He's just a friendly, nosey little bugger
(Who has already molted BTW
My lights still aren't on a full 6 hours, I'm working my way up. That was the only thing that I didn't fully research, I thought that I could just turn them on and that's it. So, I'm up to 4 hours a day now. I need more live rock and to aquascape. I need an emerald crab in there to clean up my long hair algae. I need a new filter, so I can move the old one over to a hospital tank, and a new power head so I can move it over too...but those will come in the next few weeks.
Overall, the whole family is loving the tank. Guests come over and sit and stare at it forever and our family has been watching it more than the tele...ok, not that much, but it's getting close
(here's some pictures if you want to see: Step by Step