Hello to all,
I have had a few simple fresh water tanks in the past with pretty good success. I had always gotten bored with what was available at the local fish stores. It has been a few years and, the bug has bitten me bad this time. I decided to make the leap and go for salt water. I bought a small full setup. It is a 20gal tall. It came with 10lbs of live rock, live sand, salt water, filter, heater, hood, light, and thermometer. I bought a water testing kit, hydrometer, scrubber for the sides, and siphon for cleaning. We are planning on getting 2 captive bred seahorses (h. erectus I believe), 2 harlequin shrimp, maybe a peppermint shrimp for the aiptasia, and maybe some sort of other critter. Basically, I want to try to make it as reef like as possible but, I have to keep the majority of the wee sea beasties interesting or else I will lose interest.
Also, I have a cycling question. I set up the tank 4 days ago. The water chemistry results have been rock solid. They are as follows: pH 8.1, alkalinity 4.5meq/L?, nitrite 0 ppm
, nitrate 10ppm, free ammonia 0ppm, total ammonia 0.01ppm, temp 72F, specific gravity 1.025. As I understand it, cycling is basically the establishment of groups of living organisms who's byproducts are fodder for the next group until you end up with nitrogen. I have been assuming that the increase and subsequent decrease in concentrations of ammonia, followed by, nitrite, followed by nitrate were due to the increase of the organisms that feed on those byproducts multiplying in number due to the available food until the populations reach equilibrium (of sorts). So, what am I to interpret from my water test results? Especially if they continue this trend for the next week or so. It seems to me that people like to throw out cycling a tank like it is a magic phrase. So, how does one know when their tank is cycled?
Also, does anybody have any suggestions for tank mates? Thanks to all in advance for taking the time to read this!