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Hi everyone! My cycle completed last weekend - ammonia and nitrites routinely getting processed fully in 24 hours after dosing to 2-3ppm. I started to get some cyanobacteria, and added a couple of hermit crabs to help. I also plan to do a 50% water change this weekend to help get the nitrates down. Had some questions about the filter media - I've read that a significant amount of the bio filter forms in the filter floss (in addition to the rock and sand in the tank - I also have some bio media, the highly porous stuff that most people put in their sumps - I added some of the balls to the middle chamber of my Fluval EVO XII)...so not sure when to start messing with the media rack. A) Is it okay to change the filter floss? Or should I wait for the bacteria to become more established within the liverock/biomedia? B ) Is it okay to add purigen to the media rack? C) As far as additional livestock go, I was planning to pick up a small fish this weekend to get things started and keep the bacteria fed (I'm concerned that without an ammonia source, the bio filter will shrink back to the tank's current capacity which is 3 small hermits, so not a lot of bioload) - maybe a yellow goby - and then add a pair of clownfish after a few weeks. Is this a good plan? Thanks in advance!
boxster1990 posted a topic in Beginners DiscussionHi Everyone! Really excited to join the community here and hoping that you all will have the patience for me as I am totally new to stewarding an aquatic ecosystem in my apartment! First things first, I'm based out of New York City, and have access to a pretty great LFS. They managed to pique my interest in the hobby by showing me a fully stabilized tank with CUC, two clowns (NOID), and a host of different coral species. They were selling this tank for $600 which, after doing all my subsequent research, seems like a pretty decent value - but I decided to learn everything myself, start from scratch, and take things slow. If there's one thing I've gathered from reading the forum so far, it's that patience is key. What I'd really love your help with is the following: A ) Peek at my shopping list (let me know if you have any suggested adds/swaps/removals) C ) Let me know if you think my "plan" below makes sense Shopping List Infrastructure 1. RO/DI System: AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter 2. Tank: Fluval 13.5 Gallon SEA EVO XII 3. Nano Circulation Pump: Hydor Koralia Nano - 240 gph 4. Heater: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 50W Aquarium Heater 5. Media Basket: inTank - Chamber One Basket 6. 5-Gallon Pail: Leaktite - I like this one because it is clear with measuring lines 7. 6 Outlet Surge Protector Strip (generic) Tank Supplies for Set Up and Cycling 1. Live Sand: CaribSea Arag-Alive 20 Pound Fiji Pink Sand 2. Ready to Use Base Rock: Carib Sea South Sea Base Rock (Got 2 x 10lb bags for choices when aquascaping) 3. Salt: Red Sea Coral Pro Salt, 55-Gallon Pail 4. Bacteria Supplement: Instant Ocean BIO-Spira 5. Food to Feed Tank: New Life Spectrum Thera A Regular Formula Testing and Filtration Media 1. TDS Meter: UBANTE TDS, EC and Temperature Meter 2. Digital Refractometer: Milwaukee MA887 3. Saltwater Parameter Test Kit: API Saltwater Master Test Kit 4. Reef Parameter Test Kit: API Reef Master Test Kit 5. Initial Filtration Media for top compartment of Media Basket (Reticulated Foam): AQUANEAT Reticulated Open Cell Foam Sponge 6. Chemical Filtration Media for middle compartment of Media Basket: Seachem Purigen for Freshwater and Saltwater 7. Biological Filtration Media for bottom compartment of Media Basket: CerMedia Marine Pure 1.5 -inch Bio Filter Media Spheres Other Accessories 1. Aquarium Silicone 2. Pump Siphon Cleaner 3. Fish Net Action Plan 1. Set up tank with mods (what do you recommend I put in the second chamber if the water is flowing through chamber one? Do I need the protein skimmer?) 2. Add rocks (not live, don't require curing), then sand, then mix water and add bio-spira 3. Wait for tank develop nitrogen cycle, testing and feeding as necessary, wait for appropriate parameters before adding CUC Questions 1. What can go wrong during this initial set up/cycling stage? What should I be on the lookout for? 2. Is the filter that I've contemplated above going to complicate the cycling process? Will the chemical filtration interfere with the bacteria that are trying to establish? 3. How long should I expect the cycling to take before I can add CUC? THANK YOU ALL FOR READING - sorry I know this is a long post...