The following weekend I prepared the water and put it in the tank along with a power head and a 200 watt heater and waited for the tank parameters to stabilize. My original plan was to use about 35 lbs of old LR I had laying around for half a decade. I bleached it out and soaked it for multiple weeks in RO water.
I found a local online reef club and started looking at the classifieds. I found a local reefer that was tearing down a five-year old 65g reef tank and every thing was going. I got ~30lbs of live rock from marshal island and figi for $40. Awesome LR, Lots of sponge/tunicate stuff on it. It also came with four blue legs in it.
So, after I got all my LR cleaned up and in the tank, I threw a deli shrimp in to start the cycle. That was on the 10th. I tested for the essentials every other day and only saw a slight increase of ammonia three days after the shrimp was in. This morning, the 16th, my ammonia and nitrite are zero, my nitrate is up between 5-10 ppm. That's according to my API test kit.
I guess I can take that as a fast cycle! I found an exoskeleton of a copepod floating around and fished it out. I threw it on the microscope. If looking at that at 100x was not cool enough, I found a bunch of micro-organisms swimming around in the water.
The growth is good so far. The sponges seem to be growing and I notice new spots of coralline growth. One draw back of all the LR I got is that it came with a bunch of aiptasia . I used Aiptasia-X today and got rid of all the ones I could see. After I was done, I found 5-6 really small ones left. I'll get those SOB's soon enough! I did find something else growing that looks like some sort of flat anemone. If anyone could ID it and let me know if it is a nuisance would be appreciated.
My Mods thus far include:
Removed false bottoms in chamber 1 & 2
Opened up the flow all the way across between chamber 1 & 2
200 watt heater in chamber 1
Built fuge light with 12 watt 6500K Compact florescent
Chaeto on the way. Should be here in a few days
Koralia Nano 425
CUC: (Will be here in a few days. Big thanks goes to John at Reefcleaners.org highly recommend this site!!!)
-26 Dwarf Ceriths
-11 Florida Ceriths
-6 Large & 5 Small to Medium Nerites
-4 Blue leg hermits (already in the tank)
Photo of tank one week after live rock was put in.
Photo of unknown anemones in orange sponge
Cool picture of yellow and pink sponges
Nice piece of black sponge
I got a bunch of purple sponge growing as well
That's it for now. More to come once the CUC and chaeto arrive...