Now, remember I said I had some hiccups and problems? I finally got the tank to the point where I can FINALLY turn the return pump on and start cycling, getting things moving ahead. I bought Carib Sea Floor special Reef Sand. Of course, I rinsed it well – so I thought – a few handfuls at a time with a strainer. Poured the sand into the saltwater I had mixed in the tank for a day or two, left circulating to ensure a good mix. And…..MILKSHAKE! Now, I was prepared for it to be cloudy. My first tank was white, but in a few hours it was almost completely clear. After 24 hours…..MILKSHAKE! I cold not clear the tank up. I had the skimmer running, I hooked my Ehiem canister with floss – changed every day – put floss in the sump, tried everything! No good. So, I drained the tank and filled it again – with R/O, of course. Ran all the filters, etc, still no good. I thought I had rinsed it well, but apparently you need to rinse this for a few days ☺ So, I drained the tank AGAIN. Took out all the sane. Used a shop vac to get all the milky water out. Rinse the **** out of the sand and put it back in FIRST. Then, fill with water, slowly. Still cloudy, but this time it cleared up. I have NEVER experienced this before. So….I’m all good, no worries now, right? hehe
Well, here’s the part that killed me. 12 hours after I started the new tank running, my old tank CRASHES! The temp went to 93 degrees and boiled almost everything. It was soup! I lost 18 of my 21 corals – some exquisite pieces – all my shrimp, my gorgeous Purple Firefish, all the snails, etc. - at least $800 worth of livestock. Of course, the only thing I could do to try to save anything was to take it out of the old tank and put it in the new tank. I literally grabbed what I could and dumped it in. Thank the powers that be that the new tank was good to go or I would have lost everything.
Fortunately, the live rock had the bacteria in it to handle more than the fish that were left, so I had very little – if any real cycle. What made it? My two clownfish (Bozo and Bubbles) my Ornate Leopard Wrasse, my Serpent Star and 3 corals. ☹ I was devastated. Nothing like a little drama to test the blood pressure!
So, two weeks later, all my paramters are perfect. Nites, Trates, Phates, Ammonia, etc. All ‘0’. Had it tested for me to double check. The scaping is done and I’m ready to go. Gonna let it set for a while, obviously, then move ahead and try to forget the losses.