I am a semi-experienced Freshwater caretaker, but saltwater is a whole new ball game to me. 3 Days ago I set up my Fluval Spec 5
Salinity - 1.024-1.025
PH - 8.0
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm
Nitrites - 0 ppm
Ammonia - 0 ppm
3 days ago I added 5 1/2 - 6 pounds of live sand, yesterday I added 5 1/4 Pounds of live rock. Today I have added 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and nothing else. I'm letting everything stay as it is for awhile until I see how the cycling turns out considering this is my first time working with live sand, and live rock. So far it seems good. I've had these clownfish for 2-3 weeks in a QT, and they've been doing great. So here where my questions begin to come in.
I treated the water with water condition first, then followed with salt. The salinity is perfectly at 1.024-1.025. I am wondering if there is certain chemicals I should be adding daily/weekly/monthly etc.
Currently the setup is the original filtration with the exception of chemi-pure in place of the charcoal. I have heard of many people from the fish stores I go to, who have successfully used this tank to create beautiful fish & reef tanks that have done really great for a long time. Yes I realize the smaller the tank the more care. I am comfortable with that. I learned freshwater care from having a 10 gallon, I am doing the same for saltwater.
So back to questions. I am waiting most likely 2 months before adding anything else to the tank. At the moment I have 5 1/4 Pounds of live rock, and 5 1/2 - 6 Pounds of live sand. I intend on adding about 3-5 more pounds of live rock at any given point. However for the remainder of the 2 months will not be adding anything living.
I'd like to know what chemicals I should be using during these two months with just the live rock & clownfish. I will be doing 10% water changes weekly, and changing out the chemi-pure every 4 months (as suggested by directions on packaging). Should I be doing anything else during this time? More frequent water changes? Chemicals? Certain feeding?
Second thing I plan to do is I want to add 1 Starfish, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, and either a slug or snail (maybe both). What would I need for them? Any chemicals? Different food (Clownfish eat mysis shrimp), anything I will need to change of my routine after the 2 month period, cycling and addition of them?
Finally the last stage of my entire plan. Upgrading light drastically and Adding corals & anemones. I want to have two anemones, one suited for the clownfish, and one that isn't very aggressive, but bold. I also would like to add various corals, mushrooms, and whatever else I can to make this tank absolutely stunning. So what would I need for corals? Chemicals? Different water changes? Equipment?
If someone could break me down a list for each stage of what to do that would be wonderful. I really don't want to mess this up, and I really want to learn what I can.
So as a refresher
Stage 1 - Clownfish Care
Two Month Break
Stage 2 - Starfish, Cleaner Shrimp, Slug & Snail Care
2-3 Week Break
Stage 3 - Add Corals, Anemones
I would appreciate any and all help. Thanks so much everyone.