seabass

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  1. So, what are you planning on buying?
  2. Just follow the fishless cycling guide. You're essentially on the Day 3 step (waiting for ammonia and nitrite to drop below 1 ppm before adding more ammonium chloride). Then continue the process until done. Don't worry that you aren't in sync with the days listed in the guide. It's the steps that are important, not the timeline. Your tank should be fully cycled before your vacation. When finished, do a large enough water change (or series of water changes) to lower nitrate below 10 ppm. Then you are ready to start stocking your tank. But you should still go slow. However, if you have an upcoming vacation, I'd wait until after you come back to start stocking your tank.
  3. I'm sure some of it is just micro algae. You know, the type that grows on your tank walls which you scrape off every week. Yeah, if you can brush it off in a 5 gallon bucket of water, that'd be best. I like use water from the last water change. Feeding light might dictate a small cleanup crew of carnivores. However, the amount of algae in your tank should dictate your cleanup crew of herbivores. Unless you are dealing with bubble algae, I'm not a huge fan of emerald crabs. And even then, they tend to spread it as much as they eat it. Plus, they tend to be more opportunistic than hermit crabs. You might try a turbo snail instead. That said, it's natural to have some algae in your tank. You just want to be able to keep it under control.
  4. Can you blast it off with a turkey baster, or siphon it up? If so, it could by cyano. It's not coralline and doesn't look like diatoms or even hair algae. Although it could be some sort of hair algae covered in cyano. Have you tried brushing it off with a toothbrush? What does your cleanup crew consists of?
  5. Not really. The API phosphate kit is mainly for freshwater (it's a high range kit), so I'd get a low range kit instead. I'd also hold off on getting calcium and alkalinity kits until you get some coral.
  6. I wouldn't worry about a negative impact from your livestock.
  7. It can also release a lot of organics into the water column. In some cases it can even cause an ammonia spike.
  8. I agree with Maria and flatlandreefer, it shouldn't be a problem in your case. However, you shouldn't stir a mature sand bed that hasn't been stirred in awhile, a deep sand bed, or sand bed with lots of fauna (worms, pods, and other micro-crustaceans, as they can be buried and suffocate).
  9. "Nitrate does not bind to rock or sand. Unless there is ongoing decay of dead organisms attached to the rock (or detritus settling onto it), they are not a source of nitrate." - Randy Holmes-Farley
  10. Welcome to Nano-Reef.com. Kat is right about listening to the store owner. He has led you astray on most of your livestock choices. While it might still be possible to purchase livestock from him, do your own research before buying anything from him (even if it means having to go home to check something out first). Next, you are right to put a pause on any new livestock purchases until you get this problem resolved, and the tank becomes stable. This guideline of no additions when dealing with problems applies down the road too. I actually think your rock has enough bacteria on it. Not that adding more cultures would hurt anything, I just don't feel that's you main problem. It seems logical that used water would be beneficial for a new tank. However, it's unnecessary and likely a contributing factor of your high nitrate levels. The rock contains most of the nitrifying bacteria (and some denitrifying bacteria), not the water. I want you to check your source water. It could be high in nitrate, thus making water changes ineffective at lowering nitrate levels. You should be using RO/DI or distilled water (which should be nitrate free). Then mix your own saltwater with a decent salt mix. Also 10% water changes will do little to lower high levels of anything. If using nitrate free water, a 10% water change can only lower nitrate by 10% (often not detectable by a test kit). I would perform 25% water changes once or twice a week until nitrate is under 10 ppm. That would take at least nine 25% water changes. You could do larger water changes, but there is more risk of shocking your inhabitants with sudden changes. Obviously 50% water changes will lower levels faster (requiring only four partial water changes to get nitrate below 10 ppm). That's a month of 50% weekly water changes to get nitrate to an acceptable level. You're also making an assumption that nitrate has caused your problems. But it might be more accurate to say that it contributed to them. However, let's take care of the nitrate issue first and move on from there. Condy anemones can be attractive, but they are not host anemones, they move more frequently than some other anemones (which can cause problems for coral), and they can potentially kill fish. A rock flower anemone would be a better choice, but are still not host anemones. BTAs are an acceptable host anemone; however, your tank is a little too new, the water quality is too low, and you should have some more experience before getting one. So take it slow. Keep reading and researching. Do lots of water changes. Keep your mechanical filter clean (daily of possible). Keep us informed on your progress. And don't be afraid to ask us about any new livestock purchases prior to buying something.
  11. It shouldn't affect the nitrogen cycle. But you'll want to correct the specific gravity prior to adding any livestock. Looks like this was needed practice.
  12. I'm offended Charles. Just follow the process. You want ammonia AND nitrite under 1 ppm before dosing more ammonium chloride. If ammonia OR nitrite is above 5 ppm, do a water change to bring it down below 5 ppm (then wait for it to lower to under 1 ppm before adding any more ammonium chloride). I agree, no need to run any chemical filter media during this process. And yes, a water change is simply removing some old saltwater and replacing it with new saltwater.
  13. Just do a water change before you go, and another when you get back. It should be fine.
  14. I'd be reluctant to keep most angelfish in a 24 gallon Nano Cube.