Had my tank up and running for 2 weeks now. 15 pounds of cured LR and 20 pounds of live sand in a 14g biocube. Salinity 1.026. Temperature 80-81 usually. Testing roughly 0 on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Nitrate might be slightly above 0, but it's hard to tell with the test kit. (API Saltwater test). There was some coralline algae on the LR that came with it from the start, but it's definitely starting to spread to the other rocks and grow in places. Lots of feather dusters popping up, some starfish (brittle and another type), and some little things that look like sand fleas running around the bottom and over the rocks. The tank is definitely starting to come alive.
I plan on adding a CUC from reef cleaners in a week, but was thinking of maybe buying a hermit crab (a small one) or two to make sure the tank is cycling correctly. I don't *think* I've had a diatom bloom, but from what I've read, I might not have one at all.
That's where I'm getting a bit confused, actually. Some people say that I'm going to cycle no matter what, while others say that since I'm adding cured LR, I won't have much of a cycle, if one at all, while others say I can stock now since I bought cured LR...just trying to see a consensus here.
Also, anything wrong with buying a hermit crab or two this weekend to put in there? What do I need to look for there? I know I don't want the big ones for the tank, that's for sure.
Hey I started a tank about 2 months ago and used live rock from the lfs that had been in their tank quite some time and live sand as well, I never saw the ammonia rise and I tested everyday , same for nitrite,
So 25 gallon tank, 25 pounds live rock, 40 pounds of live sand all in all.
Nitrates peaked a bit when I was trying to train a mandarin to eat frozen as there was a bit of excess feeding, but as of now I have 2 electric blue crabs , a Halloween crab and a bunch of ceriths, I have placed shells everwhere in the tank and to be honest I don't even think the crabs care about the snails, the crabs I bought were already in shells bigger than the cerith snails so that may be the reason.
Oh and of course there is some fish and Shrimp.
Anyway just thought I would share my experience so far in case it helps.