Let me start by saying that I bought this set-up used about 10 weeks ago, I think, and at that point the tank had been setup for (4) years. I moved everything to my apt, and the only fish that came with it were the (4) green chromis.
I did see a very small mini cycle from some LR
dieoff at the very beginning, but within literally 3 or 4 days, the parameters were perfect.
As far as sand, I can honestly say that I have no idea, again it came with the tank, and furthmore the previous owners "claimed" that the sand was from a tank that was running for the previous (6) years before that one, and they transferred the sand there.
When I lost my flame, I did test my water and all params were in check.
The only thing left for me to believe at this point is that in betwen adding the PH's and the diamond goby kicking up the sand, the combination caused a release of some bad junk hidden in the sand. The flame and the royal may have just been to fragile to adapt, while the chromis, wrasse, and goby were more hardy and survived the intrusion.
My water parameters still look great, and I'm doing another pwc
on Saturday to get trates even lower - they were at 20 before last Saturday's pwc
Thanks for the input.
Oh and I'm not 100% sure that my Chromis is preggo, she's been hanging out behind the overflow box with her bf. Plus ther belly is getting even bigger, about twice the size of the others, and her orange spot is very noticable. I've been trying to capture a pic, but to no avail at this point.