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Old 12-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Question I need reef start up advice!!!

In advance for any help you can give me.

I have a 10g nano reef that I started months ago and had to use the rocks that I cultured to help with my puffer tank so the tank ran for a few weeks with absolutely nothing except the worms that had leeched out in it. I was running a very crappy set up and my hubby jokingly put steamer clams in it and said "At least now the worms have company."

Well now I have gone through the process of letting the water clear and started to aquascape what I hope will be my coral and CUC only tank. I'm not interested in anything exceptionally fancy, I will probably stick with button, mushroom and leather corals and maybe an anemone and some feather dusters.

This is my set up-
40g whisper HOB
30g tetra HOB
60g total rating for air pumps (3 from 2 separate air pumps, for now)
400gph circulator
1 150w heater set to 82
2 100w back up heaters preset to 78
glass versa top cover
marineland LED light (stand alone)
normal 10g (20")
10lbs dolomite chips
10lb marine sand (not live)
5lbs of live aragonite
10lbs of live oolite
approximately 65lbs of live rock
15lbs of crushed live rock

I lost the cute little crab when one of my rocks fell- I have no clue how that happened, all I can think is maybe a clam or something. The clams are doing great, but I noticed that I really don't have as much life as I feel I should, and I think it's from being cycled with rocks in and then being ignored for a few weeks to having more live sand and rocks, not to mention boxed real ocean water. I think I may have stalled this cycle too (like I did puffers, kinda). PLEASE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS NEEDED. All that being said with the addition of the new live oolite and live rock my tank was too cloudy to aquascape, so I figured that I would let the tank do its thing- all things normal in the chemistry department, though slight dip in ph (8.0 instead of the normal 8.3-5) but no nites out of spec and .20 for ammonia- in my mind this kind of seemed like it was a normal thing, crab (RIP) and clams doing great, but I don't see any worms or anything creeping around. I went to bed the night everything was cloudy and woke up to a completely crystal clear tank, so I set the 2 big pieces of rock together into a cave like structure the way I pictured it when I bought the pieces. I didn't see any worms. Last night I put an almost all the way eaten clam from my darling puffers latest tank mate massacre I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but in my mind I'm thinking it might start a mini cycle that I can stabilize and add my CUC- please critique this because I'm a complete reef newbie and I know I messed myself up and need some advice I need input on what my best bet on CUC members and best time to add them, and is it possible that since I never stopped running this tank that I may be a little closer to my goals then possible? My tank is now 4 days old and all readings are perfectly in check. I use Kent Tech-CB Part A and Nano Reef part B and Purple Tech before lights out and only use Real Ocean water for change outs and top off with distilled water/ conditioned water combo. Am I on the right track? I have some coralline starting to come in- but I don't know how it's possible, and my water has been stable for all but the first day, didn't even fluctuate when I resculpted the live rock, the only diatoms I see are the ones that I have been removing the area of sand and replacing it with live oolite and crushed coral through a pvc pipe- thank you guys for opening my eyes to that one!!

PLEASE REEF ENTHUSIASTS help me out on this one, I still don't see worms like I think I should, but I also have in my mind that I have a dsb and very cavernous Fiji cultured live rock, plus I don't have anything for them to really eat- hence the half eaten clam/ maybe I'm stuck and not cycling right. It does appear that all of the stringy stuff has been pulled away and there is a what looks like a spaghetti worm hole on the other side
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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Exclamation About the pictures

The first 2 were within the first day, the 3rd picture is from yesterday and the 4th from today. All my readings are right on the dot and have been there for a couple days now. Does this seem like I'm ready for a CUC? I want this to be hearty corals only, with NO FISH- though I may change my mind if it fits with the clean up crew and my tank parameters.

My only other saltwater experience is with my puffers saltwater FOWLR, which I algae fixed my way to a phosphate nightmare... I sincerely thank anyone that can help walk me through this a little bit!!

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advice, cycle finished?, reef, start

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