I once again started back into this hobby about 11 months ago after not having any sw
fish for about 20-25 years. Things have changed since then! I set-up tank and cycled with damsels and small amount of lr
& arragonite last fall. The tank had two filter systems: Cascade 700 canister and a bio wheel.
Two months ago, I began to make changes to allow for stocking. I added a Cascade 1500 canister, and a Bak Pak skimmer, and took off the Bio wheel filter. I also started adding about 7lbs of lr
every 2 weeks and will continue 'til I reach about 65 lbs (currently at about 28 lbs).
I took damsels back and started stocking with desired fish. Although the tank originally was set-up with conditioned tap water, I did a 50% pwc
with r/o water before beginning with the new inhabitants. I also have been doing 10-15 gallon pwc
every 2 weeks with RO
Using the rule of 1 inch per 5g, my original list was for about 5 fish. Many of the lfs
said with the large amount of filtration I have, the main thing is compatibility issues and having fish that occupy different "swim space," and that with gradually adding more cured lr
and the new filters & skimmer, there is enough surface area and bacteria to support alot more fish as long as water parameters are fine.
So...here's what I have (all under suggestions of lfs
): 3 green chromis (1 inch each); 1 gs maroon clown (3 inches); 1 six-line wrasse (1 1/2 inches); 2 zebra (bar) gobies (each 3 inches); 1 long-nose hawkfish (3 inches); 1 blue hippo tang (3 inches); one yellow tang (4 inches), and 5 small hermits for clean-up.
After reading many postings here, it would appear that I am quite overstocked, and that tangs are NOT for this size tank. (Found this site AFTER the fact). Water conditions are 0 nirite, 0 ammonia, nitrates range from 5-20; ph 8.2. I have the salinity lowered to 1.019 since stocking to reduce parasites; also using garlic extreme with mysis and other foods, spirulina, etc. Everyone seems real happy, but I am worried about the advice I was given on stocking from the lfs
after seeing some posts here. The good news is I will be setting up a 125 g in about 3-5 months...relief!
For now, how do I keep nitrates lower and everything going smooth? I am feeding 2 times daily now, but I see many of your members feed once daily, or even every other day. The lfs
suggested a nitrate pad that is cut to fit inside filter chamber so I got that. It makes the water so clear it appears to not even have water in it and levels are coming down!
Sorry this is so long, but I would appreciate any other help and advice.