32 Coralife BC, first SW tank

If all else fails, let me know. I work in Las Colinas but I'm only there two days a week. I work from home the other days.
Not nitrAtes, you want to make sure your nitrItes go up and then back down, along with ammonia. Your nitrAtes will just keep going up until after your first water change.?I would follow this article by Marc -?http://www.melevsreef.com/cycleI use this and works every-time no issues :)Your chamber setup looks good!?I would definitely do the purigen full time and carbon periodically, maybe once a month or by direction on the carbon you get.Probably won't need cheato yet until you have a steady bio-load or it may just wither away without much nutrients to feed it.
?Thanks... Hadn't thought through on the macro and you're right - I'll post looking for macro once we're producing nutrients. ?Thanks for the purigen rec - ordered that and a media bag. ?I'm going to spend some time this weekend figuring out how to mount all the controls and equipment inside of the cabinet.And I'll stop at the supermarket for a shrimp on the way home :)
This is the purigen I get. It comes in a bag already to go! Treats up to 100 gallons, have one in each of my tanks.?https://premiumaquatics.com/products/seachem-purigen-100-ml-bag.htmlStart with this link and it helps the club too! :)?For future ordering :)http://premiumaquatics.com/#a_aid=DFWMASI just placed an order myself :p?
Thanks Mike!! ?I'll hit you up once I have some bioload -- wasn't thinking things through and don't want it to just wither away and die. ?I threw a jumbo shrimp in 18 hours ago. ?I have a LOT of flow in the tank - my sand is in dunes and the shrimp whipped all around until it wedged under a rock. ?I just tested and ammonia and trites are down to 0, and nitrates are up to 20. ?Salinity is hovering nicely at .025 which suggests my ato is working.Does this mean I'm cycled after less than 2 weeks?? ?I did put 45# of live rock and 30# of live sand into a 32gal tank and didn't smell much (any) die off at the beginning, so maybe I bought perfectly cured rock and I've been cycled since day one? ?Find it hard to believe, but maybe so and maybe I can look at a small CuC.
So that was a fast cycle! ?2 weeks and done. ?Looking at the plot of my WC readings; I think I got lucky with my LR/sand and the tank was cycled day 1. ?I only saw trace ammonia at the beginning, and steadily rising nitrates. ? The shrimp decomp experiment over the weekend went?straight to nitrates, so I added some critters :)Nano CuC for nano tank:6 trochus snail1 cleaner shrimpAnd 2 little coral frags from the 'discount' tank: mushroom and cerith.Mike I really appreciate the chaeto offer, but I went ahead and grabbed a handful from the shop while I was there. ?Salinity tested a little high 1.027, but I think my ATO is now properly dialed in so I shouldn't have any more evap. ?I did about an 8gal WC today, and topped with .5gal RO/DI.We have life!!! ?I've set the lights to 11 hours of daylight with 30 mins sunup/sunset, and moonlight the rest of the time. ?While the DT lights are off, I have the fuge light running for 12 hours, which I've read helps the pH remain stable and provides time for the macro to respirate. ?Does that lighting schedule sound good?Coupla questions... ?And this is a bad question to ask after coming home from the store with frags. ?Should I be providing any supplemental feeding for the frags? ?I have the Red Sea reef kit so I'll test for Ca, Mg, Alk and see what my levels look like, and put together a dosing schedule if I need to. ?Ditto the shrimp. I've read about feeding frozen from a syringe with tubing attached. ? I've also read conflicting reports saying they find enough in the rocks, but without fish to clean that seems dubious. ?LFS was convinced I needed no supplemental feeding with this crew but I'm not. ?(I'll pick up whatever else I need tomorrow)What's the downside to running no chemical filtration? ?My FW tanks are running great with strong bio and mechanical and nothing else. ? ?I have purigen and seachem's 180 micron bag, but I just couldn't bring myself to put it in when I set up my media tray before I put the critters in. ??Filtration now is skimmer -> water forced thru intank media tray with ... floss pads on all three shelves. ?Then Chaeto in the fuge box, then a sponge to the return pump to keep the macro out. ? Bio?filtration is 45# live rock 30# live sand in the DT.Maybe I'm crazy in thinking this, but with a young tank I'm just worried about hiding problems with chemicals.Thinking I might remove the fuge box and use the top tray for a floss pad, the middle tray for chaeto, and maybe some smaller chunks of good LR in the bottom. ?(Or chem) That cuts the amount of macroalgea I can have by 2/3, but in the space vacated by the fuge box I can stick a bigger skimmer in, Tunze 9001. ?(As far as I can tell, this is the best skimmer upgrade I can do on this unit -- the $30 coralife skimmer I'm running now gets mixed reviews, charitably. ?Small inner column and powered by a wooden airstone) ??View attachment 775
Wow that does seem pretty quick, mine always take 4-6 weeks. Did you ever see your NITRITES go up?View attachment 779I think your corals will be OK without supplement as long as you are doing weekly water changes. You will want to test the ALK, Cal, and Mag to be sure, but if that is all you have in there I don't think you'll need to add for now.I would give your shrimp something to eat at least twice a week, since your not feeding anything else, it has nothing to scavenge.Keep testing your parameters, if it looks like you need to add chemical then you can start. You don't have a big bio-load yet, but once you get fish you'll need to start running it.Just take it slow so your tank doesn't take a big crash....?
I did see 2 small nitrite spikes early on, but they cleared quickly and nitrate kept going up. ?I took your advice (and the great cycling link, thank you!) and threw in a raw shrimp Friday. ? Saturday AM nitrates were up, no ammonia no nitrites. ?PM nitrates were up higher, shrimp was red and slimy, no ammonia no nitrites. ?I got lucky with my rock, or I'm missing something... ?We'll see. ?It sounds like I have what is described in this link?. ?I'll be changing weekly, and topping off daily with RO/DI. ?I'll start testing for ALK, cal, and mag in addition to ph/ammonia/trites/trates tonight. ?Any suggestions on what to feed the shrimp? ?I'll stop by Apex Aquarium after work and see what they have. ?Also need to build a QT tank before I start getting fish, don't I? ? I'm thinking a pair of young clown's to start, and then that's it for fish for a while. ?Probably not for another few weeks to a month. ?I'm not going to add anything else for a while. ?Really appreciate all your help so far!
OK you are probably OK then, just keep a close eye on those parameters this early. Did you do a water change yet?They will usually eat about anything, pellets, flake, frozen mysis. About once a week I target feed mine just to make sure he does get something but I usually see him find something to eat when I feed the other fish daily.I would do a QT for sure. I got a cheap 10 gallon setup from Petco that came with everything. Tank, hob filter, heater, stick on thermometer and LED lighting. Just threw in a piece of vinegar cleaned PVC - T, ?an air pump filter and just do small daily water changes while I have a fish going through quarantine.Your welcome!
My shrimp eats any and everything I put in the tank. The fish won't touch the pellets but the shrimp loves them. As well as frozen brine shrimp and Mysis.
Great, thank you !! ?I'll grab some food for the shrimp tonight, and continue with daily testing.I did a 30-40% WC over the weekend, and am planning on 20%/week. ?(1 5gal tote :))I'll run by petco and get a QT set up. ?They had some super cheap 10g tanks at Dallas North Aquarium on consignment, but I missed out. ?(they weren't there yesterday) ?
Hi all -Quick update!  Everything is moving along nicely.  Rocks are coloring up, WC paramaters are all good, and the shrimp has been doing great.  Eats a bit of frozen 'marine cuisine' from my daughter's hand, and has molted once.The two frags I added are growing slowly, so that's good, and I haven't lost a snail.I'm growing a decent bit of cyano and green hair and also some slimy green algea, so I think it's time for more CuC critters.   My temp was also spiking up to 81, so I turned the lights down some and it's now staying under 80 all day long.  I've been doing ~5g WC's weekly.Plan this weekend is to add more trochus snails (have 6 now), tuxedo urchin, possibly something else.Then QT tank, then more coral, then a shrimp/goby pair.   I'll post a pic up tonight.  The only thing I've changed filtration wise is I've added the Tunze 9001 nano skimmer in chamber 2, and am running chaeto and floss in the intank media basket.  I still can't bring myself to put the purigen in for some reason, even though I have it standing by and have the room in the media basket.  
Purigen did wonders for my 20 gallon tank.  Nothing to really be afraid of there.  When turns brown and looks nasty pull it out, follow their regen directions, and it is ready to go for another month or two.Sounds like your tank is coming along quite nicely.  The uglies (Diatoms, algae, cyano) suck, but are something every tank moves through in one way or another.  I found that increasing flow helped with my cyano.  I also had to scrub it off the rocks and a few poor frags to get it to finally disappear.  Just keep up with your maintenance and bump up your CUC and you will do great!
Ok, I'm convinced -- I'll add the purigen.  I don't know why I'm hung up on 'no chemical filtration', when this whole endeavor is a chemistry experiment :)  I'll look at maybe adding a second powerhead.  I'm really excited to be getting involved in this hobby!   Attached are 5 pics...  I have a very long worm in the 2nd pic - bristle worm?  Also, what are the little green things sprouting out of the rock in the first pic?  Do you the rocks look bad enough that I need to pull the rocks out and scrub them? Thank you ! View attachment 1130
Hmmm, I can't tell very well by the pic, was thinking bubble algae but looks too bright, maybe the lighting. Do you think it looks like an algae or other life form?They don't look too bad. May want to take a toothbrush to them before you do your next water change and just make sure your not over feeding. Might reduce either your lighting time or intensity if adjustable. What are your phosphates testing at?
Oh good call, it looks a lot like bubble algea, but it is a really bright lime green.  I have 8 of them 'sprouting' on 2 rocks.  They're very small, inverted tear drops, very bright light green.  The closest I've found on the internet is this pic -- the bright green things on the lower left.
Came from this thread from 2008... (LINK) They're kinda cool looking, they could be a sponge?  But I'm not sure.  I have other sponge-like critters that are projecting really long clear tentacle seeming feeding lines.  Phosphates .16 and nitrates < 20ppm on the RedSea Pro kits.I turned daylight down to 9 hours/day of full light, and I'll go to feeding every other day.  I just re-read the thread and saw that you suggested feeding twice a day.  I've been feeding 1 'marine cuisine' frozen cube every 10 days or so; a little bit fed by hand every day.  I thaw a cube in the fridge in a plastic cup, and feed a small chunk every day. This is a pampered cleaner shrimp...I'm producing good skimmate in my skimmers.  I guess it's silly to run 2, but I have 'em and they're both pulling stuff, so not sure there's any harm.  My floss is also pretty nasty when I swap it out every week, so I'm pulling a lot of stuff out.  Also set aside a new toothbrush for algae scrub duty.  Thanks for taking a look man ! 
That pic is a little better, it could possibly be Neomeris but may take a bit until you can tell after it grows more.You might do a dose of Phosphate RX and get phosphates down to around .03 to choke out the green algae. I do that and then use a turkey baster or powerhead to blow off the rocks and let the filters catch it, then clean filters the next day.
Thank you, it's almost certainly Neomersis.  I looked very closely at the largest one, and it's darker on the tip and fuzzy, just like the pictures I found online.  Kinda cool that I'm growing macro-algea...  (Still new to all this, so easily amused by hitchhikers and new forms of algea)  I'll look into dosing Phosphate RX.  I haven't dosed anything yet, but that seems to make sense.  I'm going to a couple of LFS' tomorrow, and will post back with pics (better; I'll break out the DSLR instead of the iphone) if I add anything else.  I'm thinking a tuxedo urchin, some more snails, a peppermint shrimp (more aeptasia), possibly a conch, and maybe a couple more frags.  Thank you Chris!