WELCOME TO AA!!!
Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.
I started my first tank with CC and sand. The sand settles under the CC. I ended up removing the CC, I didn't like having to clean it, it also limited my clean up crew and any other sand sifting critters.
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
I have been told by my local store to add LR
later and by 4 damsels to cycle the tank.
Go to your local grocery store and buy two raw/unseasoned/unfrozed shrimp and throw in the tank. This is a much more humane and cheaper way to cycle your tank.
You can add the LR
, at this time, but will probably get die-off, due to the toxic levels that will be present in your tank, during the cycle. I would just wait until the cycle is complete to add your LR
From here on out, I would suggest pre mixing your water for at least 24= hours. This is how I do it:
Sat-test salinity of water
Sun-remove old SW
, clean equipment, add premixed SW
This allows me to adjust as many parameters to the tank's, like pH, temp and salinity. I would not recommend adding salt directly to your main, it can cause problems.
I would also recommend a refractometer
over the hydrometer. It is easy to use and way more accurate.
You can also ditch the bioballs and replace them with LR
rubble. Bioballs tend to becom nitrAte factories.
You also might want to invest in a QT and another ph. That hex shape reduces the amount of surface area and will effect your pH.
I would leave off the skimmer until your cycle is complete.