This is my first time posting here, or on any forum for that matter, but I have been doing so much research the last 3 weeks that I thought It'd be smart to ask for some help. I have a great LFS
that I have been using for years, but I moved and am now 45 minutes away so I'm a little more on my own.
I just converted an old 29 gallon hex into a FOWLR
system. I live in an apartment and it is just easier for me to buy premade salt water from my LFS
where I get my fish. I have been cycling this new tank for 2 weeks fish-less. I bought 20lbs of live sand and 20lbs of cured purple coraline covered liverock and then another 10lbs of live rock seeded out of a 5 year old aquarium and transferred in a bucket of tank water to my new tank. I am also running a reef octopus HOB
-1000 skimmer rated for a 100 gallon aquarium, a fluval heater and a 425 gallon per hour powerhead. The only thing the skimmer has pulled out was a very minuscule amount of light yellow water.
I started testing my water about 1 week after I installed the tank because I'm colorblind and seeing those colors is near impossible so I'd only be able to bring the water to the LFS
to get tested. When I did (a week ago) the LFS
said that my readings were .5 for ammonia, .0 for nitrates and .0 for nitrites and that it looked like I had just started cycling. So I bought an API master kit and have my girlfriend help me with the colors so I'm not driving so much. Today my parameters have been:
Ammonia .25ppm, Nitrite .00ppm, Nitrate .00ppm.
I called my LFS
and told them the news, they said I should have probably had something by now and that with all the LR
it might have cycled that quick, they don't want me to add any fish yet, and I don't either for a few more weeks, but they think a CUC might be ok. But my thoughts are:
If it HAS cycled would there even be ammonia? And if it has and there is nothing for the bacteria to eat, will it start dying off?
My PH is also worries me, it keeps measuring at 7.4 which seems low. I haven't been doing anything to the tank except taking measurements with the test kit. Is that PH normal?
I appreciate all the help. Eventually I'm sure I'll ask about stocking advice.
Jack- Colorblind Photographer and Aquarist