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neowind712 posted a topic in General DiscussionSo I have been doing reef aquariums for 10-15 years. This go around I want to try something new and I was hoping you guys could give me a little guidance on what to expect. Here is the scenario. 2.5 Gallon Pico Aquarium All in One Live Sand purchased from PetSmart in a bag Scoop of sand out of LFS established aquarium Fully Established Live Rock from LFS Salt Water from LFS So my question is based on the live sand and the established LR that I have purchased and had in the water in less than 30 minutes during transport, what type of cycle should I expect? Will I see a full cycle of 4-6 weeks? Will I see any cycle at all? Will I see a quick cycle of 1-3 weeks? I know its impossible to say for sure, but just looking for opinions. Thanks, Neowind712
Hello! So, I've been interested in biology in general from a pretty young age, I've had and still have various freshwater tanks since before middle school or so, and I'm going into my senior year of college now in San Diego(pretty moderate climate). A half a year ago or so I got the saltwater bug, and have been lurking on a bunch of forums and such learning about corals specifically. The final straw was when my boss, who has a 300 gallon reef tank at my work, told me that he would give me frags for free from pretty much any coral in his tank. So, I decided to make a reef tank, with the goal in mind that I'm a broke ass college student and so I'm going to spend as little money as possible. I've read all over the place about how the bigger the saltwater the tank, the easier it is to maintain, but that's obviously not 100% true as evidenced by everyone's experiences here. I decided to go for a challenge for my first saltwater tank by using a 2.5 gallon vase, and Maritza the Vase Reef was some of my primary inspiration. The only equipment running in it are an airline and a heater(and a battery powered thermometer to check the heaters not fritzing), as well as the light which is a I think 10watt compact flourescent 50/50 bulb. My phone's super crappy right now, so I'm going to try and borrow someone else's for a little and then I will upload pictures. It has been running for probably four months or so now. The first month was rough but I attribute that to the fact that I used an old heater, it malfunctioned and basically turned everything to soup. Since then though I've been steadily adding more and more corals, sometimes 3 a week, sometimes I won't add any for a month. The only not coral livestock I put in there that didn't come with the live rock is a small hermit crab and a bumpy red crab I took from the tidepools(sshhhhhhh). The only coral deaths I've had have been mushrooms which weren't able to attach high enough and were pulled into the bumpy crabs lair and eaten, and a small stock of pulsing Xenia which shriveled up over the course of a month or so. All the corals I have now are growing or at least static in their growth and don't seem unhealthy. I've heard that pulsing Xenia actually like slightly higher nitrate and phosphate levels, and so that's why I think they died, because my maintenance consists of weekly 90-100% water changes/glass scrubbing as well as taking the main rock out and scrubbing algae and detritus off with a toothbrush. I do the huge water changes because the tank is so small, and I also put quite a bit of reef roids into the tank the day before I clean it and change the water. Another thing which is fairly unconventional, but I haven't tested my water in any way since starting the tank. I rely on the fact that I buy premixed water from a reputable store and change basically all my water out with fresh water with the right parameters. Yes I still top off with RO/DI water from evaporation, I just keep the water level consistent though instead of using a refractometer. Only reason I don't test is because I'm on a tight budget. I have a feather worm in there and I've heard that they are VERY sensitive to water conditions and so I just make sure he's doing good and all is well. I'll try and upload pictures later today!