This is the second time around for this tank, I have a 40Gal long, that I got very lucky and had given to me, it was up and operational at the time, but due to some un-forseen circumstances about a year and half ago we had to move. So the tank had to stay "out of commision" for about a year and a half.
In January we bought a house and I finally got around to getting it set back up..
, I added water, about 20 lbs of Florida crushed coral, 16 lbs of base rock, and a 15lb bag of live crushed coral, then kicked the sump on March 27th, three days later I added 5 damsels and for the next 2 weeks have been adding pieces of Live Rock (Pukani and Fiji). I have been very diligent with testing the water btwn 3 and 4 times a week but have seen little change in any parameters. The only significant change (which IMO
wasn't "MAJOR") was my ammonia level raised btwn .25 and .5 ppm
on week two, but it is back down now to a little less than .25ppm. I used Biozyme as per instructions starting on week 2 and weekly since. My current levels are:
Nitrate 5 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
SeaClear 150 wet/dry, Penguin 150 BioWheel, SeaClone 100 Protien Skimmer and a rotating powerhead.
Some other interesting milestones:
1. Late week two, I woke up to a beautifully brown tank 8O , so I stopped into the LFS
and was advised to add the following: 3 Turbo snails, 10 crabs (3 scarlet hermits and 7 blue legged) and 1 queen conch. 2 days later all the brown was gone!! That cleaning crew was awesome!!!
2. The live rock that I had been buying had small amounts of purple and green coralline algae. Today I am seeing purple and green tint all over the base rock and new growth on the existing live rock (which shocks the heck out of me), also I had purchased several pieces of lr
that had snake polyps and zoathus on them, they "appear" to be thriving. I see new growth on them as well.
The wife is starting to get very impatient 8O , (she thinks damsels are TOO boring)
,but has expressed a surprising interest in the tank, and is pestering the crap out of me to add fish (Nemo, Nemo's "PAD", and Dory) to be more precise
, but I am leary about doing so because I didn't see the tank "cycle" the way I thought I would and do not want to spend the money and kill the fish in a week!! I consider myself to be an extreme newbie even though I have had a freshwater tank with Oscars for years and been successful at it.
Is it possible that I missed the nitrogen cycle?
Do I not have enough bioload to start it?
If things weren't right with water quality and filtration I shouldn't see things as healthy as they are, right?
I read some of the experts posts cycle times of 4 - 6 weeks, and I am NOT
one of them so I anticipate it should take me a longer time to "get it right".. right?
Is it possible that biological organisms in the wet/dry could have gone dormant for that 1.5 years and not died, which would have made the cycle process quicker?