Thought I would write an update about what is going on.
After my last post I decided to go ahead and add some rock I got locally. The guy had it stored dry in his garage for about six months. I purchased about 30-40 lbs of it for $60. Some of it is really cool.
I figured it was completely dead, but after about two days in the tanks I had a small ammonia spike (about .50) and a huge nitrite spike (5.0 +). That began to cycle, and as it neared completion I added about 50 lbs of sand.
So right now I have a 4.5" DSB
, about 55 lbs of live rock, and the most recent test showed a 0 for ammonia and 0 for nitrite (didn't test nitrate, as I figured there would be some nitrites).
I'm going to let it sit for a week or so and test a few times to make sure the cycle is complete, and save my money. Oh, and wait for this blasted sandstorm to finally clear. This will be the last time I add sand to a tank with water and rock already in it. What a disaster!
What I plan to get first is a pair of clownfish. After that I might get a pack of inverts for a CUC.
More on that later.