Thanks for all the advice and welcomes.
Didn't mean to give the impression that I was only relying on the LFS
to test my water.
I test my own everyday with an AP Saltwater Master Liquid kit but since Big Al's tests for free I like to use them to double-check my own readings.
I also keep two tankfuls (20g) of storebought RO SW
in reserve for any emergency water changes that might be needed.
Even tho the water tested perfectly at the 2 week mark I still did a 40-50% PWC
just to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately after I set it up I didn't get to test it for the first few days because I was out of town so I didn't get to see if it experienced a hard cycle.
Supposedly, if you believe the marketing, by using the active bacteria to kickstart a tank it can cycle in as little as 24 hours... while I don't know if I believe the hype at least it will continue to help convert the NH3
in the near future.
Although I took the precaution (lazy shortcut?) of starting with 100% LS
, cured LR
and Biozyme, I'm still living the philosophy of "Hope for the best but expect the worst".
I'm under no illusions that I won't wake up to a dead tank tomorrow morning... and if I do it's just another learning experience before I get enough under my belt to set up the 55-90g tank.
Speaking of which, I did lose the featherduster yesterday.
I think I stressed him too much by moving him around.
He popped his top and then the shrimp wouldn't leave him alone.
I checked his tube today and he must've crawled off to die or be eaten.
Luckily Big Al's got in a fresh batch of some really big, pretty ones so I replaced him with one twice as nice.
We'll see if this one lasts more than two weeks...
Anyway, as for the water readings, they haven't fluctuated too much over the last two weeks.
They've remained at a consistant pH: 8.0, NH3
: 0ppm, NO2
: 0-.25ppm, and NO3
I wanted to get the pH up just a little bit so I decided to add a little baking soda tonight.
Any advice on buffers, etc. to get and keep it up where it should be?
Thanks again for all the advice.
I've spent weeks just lurking here and the wealth of info is tremendous.