I wanted to say hello to everyone and say "thank you" in advance for any future advice.
I started cycling a 20 gallon tank (standard) about 1 month ago. I have about 5 lbs crushed coral (on the bottom), 20lbs of live sand on top of that, and 15 lbs of live rock. It's an old freshwater tank, so I probably do not have all of the high speed equipment that everyone would prefer I have to run a saltwater tank. I have a standard florescent light, but I am getting a T5 HO
light with LED
(for moonlight) in the next couple of weeks. I made my own DIY Coke bottle skimmer (seems to be working pretty good - lots of skim mate, but more water than I would like), and I have a Tetra Whisper EX70 HOB
powerfilter. I made my own filter pads from some pond filters, and I am also using the filter pad that came with the unit which holds charcoal in the middle. I want to try to make it a refugium, but I do not know if it is possible since the pump is in the middle of the unit. I also have a Hydor Koralia Nano 425 Aquarium Circulation Pump, 425 gph
My ammonia peaked at 2.0 about a week ago, but has since dropped to 0. I added a emerald crab and 4 snails once it hit 0. Next week I am adding a clean-up crew from Reefcleaners.com. (5.5 gallon package and some extras)
Over the next year I want to add a pair of ocelleris clowns (these will be first - probably in 3 weeks), a blenny, a neon goby or two, maybe a wrasse or a firefish, and a couple of hermit crabs. I might throw a peppermint shrimp or cleaner shrimp in there as well. I still have some research to do before I add all of that, and of course I will check minimum tank size and compatibility first. I mostly working on keeping my snails alive for now
I know the 2 inches of fish per 5 gallons of water rule. If I add more, I will be sure to include a sump or a refugium. I just want to get the clowns in for now.
My PH is steadily climbing. When I started it was at 7.9, but it is not at 8.1. I purchased some pH Up from API, but further research said that it might crash my system, so I am holding off since it is climbing on its own.
I do need help identifying something, and I posted it in this thread last night:
Brown tubes on live rock
I look forward to any comments from the forum. Have a great Thanksgiving as well.