First, the basics:
29 gallon tank, no sump.
30 pounds of Caribe Sea (sp?) aragonite substrate.
35-40 pounds of base rock.
25 pounds of Solomon Islands live rock. Doesn't smell at all.
2 Maxi-Jet 1200 power heads.
filter for mechanical filtration.
Set up the tank with water/salt only 6 days ago, let it circulate.
Bought the live rock 2 days ago (Saturday), and added the aragonite, base rock, and LR
Water parameters on Sunday, and today:
Nitrate: 20 to 40 (hard to read the test)
I've seen a couple of small 'creatures' crawling on the LR
so far, looks like a tiny crab-like thing, and a tiny shrimp-like thing.
So, some questions:
A) When can I expect ammonia to start appearing? Of course, I'm assuming that this rock isn't already cycled, the guy at the fish store said maybe in 3 weeks. I'm wondering if I should add a dead shrimp.
B) Should I do water changes while it cycles, or just 'let it run'?
C) The PH
should be around 8.2, right? Mine is too low, how can I raise it? Simple baking soda?
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!