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Unread 04/29/2020, 10:23 AM   #1
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Sk8r's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 34,628
Blog Entries: 55
The definitive Am I to.

It's real easy to miss the ammonia spike entirely and be left wondering, am I or am I not?

There's also an easy test. Drop a tiny pinch of ordinary fishfood into the tank every day. (I actually just start this way, and cycle in about 4 weeks.) Continue to drop the fishfood into the tank. If you still don't see ammonia---in your daily check---the cycle very likely sneaked past you. You MIGHT be cycled.

But just to be safe, start off not with a fish or coral, but with a tiny cleaning crew, couple of snails (NOT margaritas: they die in warm water) ---and a couple of micro hermits: scarlets are the best. I have one that's at least 5 years old and still going. They're fairly tolerant of problems. If they thrive (keep adding that fishfood daily: they have to eat, and your tank is too young to feed them yet)---you can start your first fish in quarantine---(Why not put it on in? BIG reason. If it brought ich, ich spends 3/4 of its life not on fish but in sandbeds. You do not want that nice new sandbed infested with ich. So be double and triple sure your first fish is ich-free, and free of other nastiness, too. Familiarize yourself with (google the pix) ich, fin rot, lymphocystis, and gill flukes, for starters.

When buying that fish, look at how the water is piped inside your fish store. Do not buy from a tank with sick fish or from any tank connected to that tank via a common sump. Do not buy a fish with flaring gills, (fluke or ich) or one being picked on by others. A pity-buy can be real expensive. Leave the sad cases for an expert. And remember, if you're in love with a particular fish, there WILL be another of that species eventually. Talk to the store owner, make a request. It may be seasonal availability, but it will come around again. Buy only when you're ready; and remember, the word 'rare' means 'it doesn't last long' and certainly won't in the hands of a novice. You are BOUND to make a few mistakes with water salinity and quality before you get the hang of it all. Pick species that are fairly hardy, and for gosh sake---ask to see the fish book (there's a big one that most stores have for reference) and look up or just ASK the adult size of the fish. 'Dory' grows up to a foot long. A naso tang gets to be a foot and a half. And no, tank size does not limit their growth.
Happy reefing.


Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.

Last edited by Sk8r; 04/29/2020 at 12:37 PM.
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