Okay...here goes. All of this has been done with good hearted ideas but not with well researched execution. Some neighbors of ours started a 29 gallon salt water tank recently (past 4 months) and I have been envious but never really researched as something I would do. On vacation last week to the crystal coast we caught a sand dollar, "large snail" which we have now determined is a whelk, and kids found a small hermit crab they wanted to keep. I thought we could offer our treasures to our neighbors. It was the second to last day of vacation so we did several water and sand changes for them in the bucket and they survived the ride home. I rushed to the LFS
to find out what to do and if they were safe for my friends tank. Luckily my neighbor was hesitant but I was still on a mission to keep my beach finds alive. The LFS
warned that the sand dollar may get too big for a tank but should eat the frozen shrimp fish food and be relatively hardy. So here I am 3 days later with a 14 gallon bio cube, 10lbs of cured live rock, 2-3 inches of live sand, and water from LFS
's tanks. They said I would be okay with a fish or two, so also have a clownfish and white fin damselfish. I have been reading almost nonstop for 2 1/2days and have fluctuated from sheer panic to pure excitement. Several questions to follow because I am trying to move forward correctly (I realize many unforgivable mistakes have been made already):
1. I've read with cured live rock and live sand the cycle may not have as severe of spikes. Are my fish okay going through this? Will having the sand dollar, whelk and small hermit crab in the tank stunt the cycle?
2. Anyone have experience with sand dollars in a tank, sounds like they need a large and established tank for a chance. So any suggestions what to do with it now? I hate to think of starving it to death.
3. Whelks??? Do they eat corals or just other snails? Again, worried I'm starving it now, but if it is going to eat up my corals I need to get rid of it soon anyway. Though it is beautiful, any suggestions??
That's all for now. Once I figure out I have the system stabilized and ready for coral and other livestock I'm sure I will have more questions. I know to research before acting now. Thanks a bunch in advance for any light you can shed on my tank's development!!
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