New tank setup........... catastrophe ensues

I need to thank dunk and moliken for their help too they gave me some live sand, a nice piece of live rock and some algae and coral to help cycle my tank there was even a stowaway snail in the mix

Lookin good

Thanks Tim. Did you end up going to Mr. Coral

No prob. No but it’ll b here tues

added more live rock tonight (thanks to snuba) and it looks alot better already i will post some pics in a little bit. also my tank is almost done cycling as of last night ammonia is 0, nitrites are dropping and nitrates are dropping.

here are the pics as of now. i will probably end up rearranging later on but this will work for now

::thinking:: I’m curious, which method are you using to cycle your tank? Are you just using the “bio” solution that they sell at the store? Cups of live sand from tank members? Live rock? It seems a bit too soon for your tank to be fully cycled, I’d be a bit hesitant about adding anything within the first 2 months.

What worked for ME was a combination of the above mentioned, with the addition of the “shrimp” method. It significantly increased my bioload during the cycle process, resulting in less of a system acclimation while I slowly added my first corals.

If you’ve almost completely cycled after . . . a week and a half?? (correct me if I’m wrong) . . . perhaps not enough material was introduced to do a significant enough cycle. I’m sure you will start seeing the advent of another ammonia spike due to the addition of the new live rock. With each new addition of (insert live rock, sand, coral, fishy), you increase the demand for bacteria to breakdown the waste. With available bacteria suitable to your system stabalized, the introduction of more waste-producing organisms cause an unbalance of the equation . . . more waste being produced than can be consumed by available bacteria. This causes another ammonia buildup (spike), resulting in a mini cycle (depending on the size of the load you introduced). During the cycle, more bacteria is produced to handle the increased waste load until you reach equilibrium. This happens EVERY TIME you add new organisms to your tank. As time progresses, you will build up enough of a “biofilter” that future additions won’t cause as much of a swing in parameters. (ie: 2+2=4, and 1000+2=1002 . . . the same addition of “2” to a larger quantity doesn’t have as much of an impact, whereas it has a much greater change to a smaller available quantity).

I’m lookin out for you, bud! I don’t want you to get excited and add alot of critters only to have them die, and you get frustrated. Please, somebody, correct me if you disagree.

I got some live sand from a few members, live rock, some bio-activ sand, used a shrimp for the ammonia. The shrimp is gone completely and it will be 2 weeks tomorrow. I was only planning on adding a few hermits and snails once it is done cycling I wont worry about any fish till after I get some inverts in and make sure it stays stable. But thanks for the advice, I have seen some people say their tank cycled in a week and some say it cycled in 2 months so I will just go by my water tests to be sure

dajohnson02 i completely agree with you. sometimes in the beginning a tank can seem to be balanced but will often spike when adding new things to the tank and ive seen a few tanks crash because of this. patience is critical. I waited a little over 2 months to add anything to my 55 gallon and it drove me crazy! verdict_in Not that you are not being patient you are definitly doing a great job so far and the tank looks great.
Id just hate to see all of your time money and effort go to waste. Keep sharing and good luck to you!!!
You seem to be on the right track and you have alot of help here!
take care!

so is it too soon to add a few snails and hermits even if my tests read 0 on ammonia and nitrites. and not massive amounts of them maybe like 5 snails and 3 or 4 hermits just to start raising the bioload a bit.

Inverts are some of the most fragile species common in marine reef tanks; I would personally wait.

I thought that since many of the snails and hermits were tidal species that they were hardy and could handle imperfect water just like in nature especially swings in ph

ben, what will the cuc eat? be patient. hav u had a diatom bloom?

Well wasn’t planning on a cucs yet just a couple snails and a couple hermits I did have a small bloom that cleared itself up but that was a week ago

what will the crabs and snails eat?

By “cuc” he meant “clean up crew”, which includes snails, crabs, and scrimpys. If your tank is cycling properly, you will see a large buildup of diatoms which will cover your tank in a brown “power”. It’ll cover the sandbed almost completely, and it will be all over your rocks. My cycle concerned me for how much bloomed . . . everything turned brown, but this is normal. If you’ve had a small bloom, where only a bit showed up, I’d wait to add creatures.

I would focus on adding a quality lighting system on your tank next, it is the lifeforce of your system and nothing will be able to survive without one. Looking at your pictures, it looks like you haven’t added sufficient lighting yet. The fixture you will need will be very different from a typical freshwater hood lamp. If you’ve already researched this or discussed it, forgive me for repeating the info. This may be the reason you haven’t had a sufficient bloom as of yet.

Think of this time as a blessing while your waiting for things to stabalize in your system. Do some research on which corals will do well together, get your live rock the way you want it, and do some reading on the food you will be feeding your animals. There are a few people on this forum that believe that you should get corals that grow together naturally in the wild, vs. having a “zoo” of different corals. Perhaps something you could look into.

Hope I’ve helped! Best of luck, and keep up the patience!

Thanks. Yeah ive been looking at fixtures probably gonna get a 4 bulb t5 unit

Water parameters as of last night
ph: 8.0
Temp: 79-80
Salinity: 1.023
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <5ppm (was around 20ppm a few days ago)

Everything looks great water is crystal clear ill wait a week or so to make sure everything stays stable and maybe it’ll be time to add something

Bring salinity to 1.026 for corals

Yeah I was gonna raise it a bit. Its hard to not just go out and buy a bunch of stuff to put in the tank