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Old 09-25-2008, 01:32 AM   #11
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Your tank looks great however I am concerned that you may have jumped the gun and added corals too fast. Were those hitchikers or did you purchase them?? I have a few questions

1. Do you use Ro/DI water and mix your saltwater for 24 hours tested with a refractometer

2. Did you test for a cylce this usually takes 4-6 weeks was there the usual ammonia spike/ Nitrite spike/ Nitrate spike

3. What does your substrate consist of

4. are you using a protein skimmer and what kind of filtration and water flow do you currently have?

5. What are you planning to add livestock wise for your tank long-term.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:54 AM   #12
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Coral in the third pic looks like Xenia.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #13
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@fijiwigi - The hard coral on the right of picture 3 and the Xenia in picture 4 is what I added. Everything else is hitch hiker. The LFS said that those are both hardy and will be a good test to see if the tank is truly cycled, and if it can support coral life. Only paid $5 a piece for the small frags.

1) I am using RO water. I do mix my saltwater before hand, and though I do not use a refractometer, I took my glass hydrometer into the LFS, they calibrated it and I have a mark where it should be. The glass hydrometers are very consistent, so know that it is calibrated, it should do fine. I understand that a refractometer is still the best, but this is my first tank, so I don't want to dump too much into it just yet.

2) On the third day of the tank, I got a huge ammonia spike. In fact, the LFS thought I would start killing off the bacteria on the LR. They suggested I get fully cured, aged LR to help. You can tell from the pictures which of these are that. They helped quite a bit. Then my nitrites spiked a couple days after that. All should be well. I am now at 0 on both. Also, I was using Stability, which is live bacteria out of a bottle. That helped a lot as well.

3) My substrate is found here: Marine Reef Aquarium Substrates: Arag-Alive It has stuff that is supposed to help with New Tank Syndrome too.

4) From the pictures, you can see that I have a protein skimmer. It is the Oceanic BioCube skimmer. Rated for up to a 29g. Again, not the best, but it does what it was designed to do.

5) For the moment, I am pretty much stocked, except I want one more fish. Thought about a goby, but don't want to run into issues with the Emerald crab eating it. Again, I have 3 Mexican turbo snails, 3 peppermint shrimp, 1 emerald crab, and 2 percula clowns. I did jump the gun by adding everyone so fast, but so far ammonia and nitrites are 0. We shall see. (One of the reason why I tried to go as hardy as possible).

@clearerphish - Xenia is the forth picture, unless there are two different species of xenia.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:31 PM   #14
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Oh, my bad. 3rd pic looks like a pocillopora, which is an SPS coral and will need high lighting. It will probably not make it in your tank, but to greaten the chance of it surviving, move it as far up on the rocks as possible.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #15
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Nice looking tank. It looks as Scott said you have an asternia star. They will reproduce like crazy in the future. I have hundreds of them now.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:25 PM   #16
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I haven't seen the asternia star in about a week. I am assuming I may have accidentally crushed him while moving rocks. Stupid me.

Thanks for the compliment. I have much to learn. Right now I am testing the limits to gain knowledge. Is that not how we learn? Haha.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:15 AM   #17
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Hey nice tank. I also have a 20H, check out the link in my signature.

Curious - how's the oceanic skimmer working for you? I may have to invest in one.

Once again, very nice setup.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:15 PM   #18
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I agree they are star polyps. As a word of caution keeping the SG constant in the tank is very important. I see that the water level is about an inch from the trim. Make sure that you are keeping your water topped off with FW. (salt does not evaporate just water) As the water evaporates your SG will go up. You will want to do daily top offs on your tank.

Just a side note...you may want to slow down a touch. Getting a SW tank balanced and stable takes time. If you rush things you will end up with dead critters. Since you are right out of your cycle it is important for you to test your parameters regularly. Now that you have 2 fish in the tank your ammonia source is going to go up again. Make sure to do regular PWCs. I would suggest once per week or once every other week at a minimum.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:16 PM   #19
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The fourth pic is Xenia
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