Dear AA members,
As you may know from my frequent postings, after a 20 some year absence from the hobby, my son's third birthday was the perfect opportunity to buy that aquarium that he didn't even know he wanted.
I bought him (myself) one of those ready to go 20 gallons kits complete with hood, heater, AC150 filter, plastic plants and an instructional video.
Things went well for about 6 weeks with an assortment of cichlids from the mixed tank at the lfs
until disaster struck.
After a major water change I ended up killing all the fish. It seems that they have been lacing the Toronto water supply with high quantities of chloramines and the dechlorinator I add only ended up separating the chlorine from the ammonia--at least that's what I now think happened.
At the time I was concerned that a cleaning bucket had become mixed up with fish bucket and I had Mr. Cleaned them. So I did what any father would do who had recently caught the fish bug. I went out and bought my son an even bigger aquarium and let the 20 languish in the garage.
But then I thought, what a waste of space. Sure I could use it as a QT
tank (which in retrospect probably would not have been a bad idea) or I could use what bits and bobs were left over from the original set up and see about setting up a quasi nano-reef fowlr
aquarium at the office, which brings us in a very roundabout way to the subject of this post.
I have the 20 gallon set up and heated. Circulation comes from the aforementioned AC150 (with two foam inserts and a packet of that purigen stuff). To the mix I added 20 kilograms (maybe 15 after rinsing) of playsand about 10 pounds of base rock and 6 lbs or not particularly lively looking look rock bought locally.
Concerned that there might not be enough circulation with the live rock, I added a small powerhead aimed directly at the live rock. (If I can work out shipping and customs with www.liverocks.com
for the small order I wish to place, that is where I am going to go. Thanks Zack.) Salinity is spot on. PH
is a bit low. And ammonia is rather high owing to my floating a few labs that didn't make it in the big aquarium.
What do I do now: sit pretty and wait until the ammonia comes down. "Invest" in either a proper canister filter or upgrade the HOB
to an Emperor? Add a skimmer? More powerheads? Was deadfish cycling before adding the small amount of live and bass rock a mistake? Shoud I remove the media from the AC150. And if it is just a waiting game for the cycle to cycle, how long ought I expect to wait. (The 55 fw
took nearly 5 weeks with it being moderately stocked at the time.) I know my lighting is insufficient for corals at the moment, but I thought I could let that wait.
My stocking plans at the moment are up in the air. I thought I would just select one or two nice show fish and leave it at that.
And how are the fishies doing in the 55? Haven't lost one in two months. As my son would say, their great.
All the best, my friends and any advice extra welcome,
Bored in Toronto, Jeff