It’s been about 1 month since my last blog update. I have since got the system up and running with live-rock, fish and some coral frags. I cycled the tank with roughly 50 pounds of live-rock and a dead jumbo shrimp. I also added some cheato in my sump. The tank cycled in less than 3 weeks, the ammonia and nitrite spikes were hardly detectable. The live-rock and cheato defiantly sped up the process.
As you can see by the photos below, I had a small issue with algea during cycling. Once the cyle process was completed most of the algae had died off. I then purchased 5 Mexican turbo snails and 15 blue leg hermit crabs to clean up the rest of the unwanted algae. Within 3 weeks it was all gone. The only algae present in the system at this time is in the sump /fuge area were I have my cheato.
The first inhabitants were a pair of black clowns and a couple of green chromis. I found the clowns in a local classified, got a really great deal. The down side is one of the black clowns took a swan dive out the tank on the 3rd night after arrival. Sucks to lose such a nice and somewhat rare fish.
Once I was certain that the system was cycled and steady I went ahead and added a few easy to care for corals such as green start poyps (GSP) and a green branching montipora. Calcium and alkalinity were both in check, 400 cal and 9 alk respectively. Obviously they will not stay at these levels for very long once corals are added, I would have to start dosing very soon or perform frequent water changes to maintain levels. Since CAL / ALK depletion is very low at this stage, water-changes alone would do the trick, but were is the fun in that?! I will be dosing kalkwasser AKA limewater. More on this next time
Here are some pictures of my tank and corals at this stage of my build.
On the next update: Kalkwasser AKA Limewater for maintaining Calcium and Alkalinaty