How To Cycle A 10 Gallon Nano Reef Tank With Dry Rocks

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inveterateaquarist

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HI there,

I have decided to have a small 10 Gallon nano Reef tank for myself.
I bought the:

I don't have:
So, my questions are:
  1. Do I need a Protein Skimmer/Sump tank for a 10-gallon tank?
  2. From the following pictures that I've provided does, my cycle is going in the right way?
  3. Is that a right way of cycling a Reef Tank with a frozen Shrimp in it?
  4. What is the proper way to cycle it?
Please see the all the pictures below!
Thanks in advance for all the answers.
 

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stella1979

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HI Congrats on the new setup!

Bad news first? Please do yourself a favor and pick up a refractometer to replace your hydrometer. Hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and with salinity being the number one issue with small marine setups, you'll want an accurate tool for measuring. The refractometer will be your best friend in that regard.

1. No, you absolutely do not need a skimmer or a sump on a small tank. A refugium would be nice to keep nutrients low, and you're already halfway there with the Aquaclear filter. A simple DIY project with the AC50 and the addition of a plant light and some chaetomorpha macroalgae would be all you'd need to turn your HOB into a filter/fuge. More on that later if you're interested.

2. & 3. There are many ways to cycle a tank, with dead shrimp certainly being one of them. Personally, I prefer to use pure ammonia, as this way I can put a measured amount of ammonia in and there's no waiting for shrimp to rot. However, I'm not saying you should change things up as you're already on your way. Ammonia is very, very high though, and some will say that's fine, while others say that very high ammonia can stall a cycle. I don't know if it's true, but particularly since we'll only be adding a small bioload to nano tanks, I do prefer not let ammonia get over 2, nor nitrites over 4, nor nitrates over 100... just in case there is some truth in high numbers stalling a cycle. That said, your nitrites and nitrates have risen, so the cycle is moving along. I am a little concerned that I don't see ammonia going down though. You'll have to make the call for yourself, as you'll find the advice about high numbers stalling the cycle, and you'll also find advice telling you not to do any water changes so as to not disrupt the cycle. In my own experience, I have kept numbers low via water changes whenever nitrites got over 4 or nitrates over 100. Ammonia never got so high in my experience due to using pure ammonia.

Soooo.... if I were in your shoes, I'd get the rotting shrimp out, then watch for a few more days. If that ammonia level didn't go down, I'd bring it down with a water change.

4. Hahahaha... you'll find lots of opinions there, but as said, I use pure ammonia and dose the tank up to 2ppm. Then, wait for it to convert. If nitrites get over 4ppm, I'll do the smallest water change possible to bring it to 4ppm or less, then dose ammonia again. When the tank can covert a 2ppm ammonia dose to 0-ammonia, 0-nitrites, and some level of nitrates in 24 hours, then the tank is cycled.
 
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inveterateaquarist

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stella1979 said:
HI Congrats on the new setup!

Bad news first? Please do yourself a favor and pick up a refractometer to replace your hydrometer. Hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and with salinity being the number one issue with small marine setups, you'll want an accurate tool for measuring. The refractometer will be your best friend in that regard.

1. No, you absolutely do not need a skimmer or a sump on a small tank. A refugium would be nice to keep nutrients low, and you're already halfway there with the Aquaclear filter. A simple DIY project with the AC50 and the addition of a plant light and some chaetomorpha macroalgae would be all you'd need to turn your HOB into a filter/fuge. More on that later if you're interested.

2. & 3. There are many ways to cycle a tank, with dead shrimp certainly being one of them. Personally, I prefer to use pure ammonia, as this way I can put a measured amount of ammonia in and there's no waiting for shrimp to rot. However, I'm not saying you should change things up as you're already on your way. Ammonia is very, very high though, and some will say that's fine, while others say that very high ammonia can stall a cycle. I don't know if it's true, but particularly since we'll only be adding a small bioload to nano tanks, I do prefer not let ammonia get over 2, nor nitrites over 4, nor nitrates over 100... just in case there is some truth in high numbers stalling a cycle. That said, your nitrites and nitrates have risen, so the cycle is moving along. I am a little concerned that I don't see ammonia going down though. You'll have to make the call for yourself, as you'll find the advice about high numbers stalling the cycle, and you'll also find advice telling you not to do any water changes so as to not disrupt the cycle. In my own experience, I have kept numbers low via water changes whenever nitrites got over 4 or nitrates over 100. Ammonia never got so high in my experience due to using pure ammonia.

Soooo.... if I were in your shoes, I'd get the rotting shrimp out, then watch for a few more days. If that ammonia level didn't go down, I'd bring it down with a water change.

4. Hahahaha... you'll find lots of opinions there, but as said, I use pure ammonia and dose the tank up to 2ppm. Then, wait for it to convert. If nitrites get over 4ppm, I'll do the smallest water change possible to bring it to 4ppm or less, then dose ammonia again. When the tank can covert a 2ppm ammonia dose to 0-ammonia, 0-nitrites, and some level of nitrates in 24 hours, then the tank is cycled.
Hi, thanks for your reply I do really appreciate it.

First of all, I’ll definitely will get a refractometer as you advising.
Secondly, could you please provide a more detail information about the DIY Refugium with AC50 and plants light?

Thirdly, I see that the ammonia s the way to height but I still waiting till it’s drop by itself, but from my understanding that it has to drop slowly when the Nitrate is rising but it’s still keeping that height. Maybe, I’ll try as you suggesting to take the rot shrimp off the tank, and see if it’s lowering down.
 
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Hi, no problem, I like to help when I can.

I'll be glad to help how I can with the AC50 modification too. Both myself and Culprit are currently running AC refugiums with great success, but we are not the originators of the idea for sure, and there's more than one way to do it. So, instead of writing it out, I'll provide you with some links.

Diy Aquaclear Refugium

I made a DIY Aquaclear refugium! Pic heavy.

 
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stella1979 said:
Hi, no problem, I like to help when I can.

I'll be glad to help how I can with the AC50 modification too. Both myself and Culprit are currently running AC refugiums with great success, but we are not the originators of the idea for sure, and there's more than one way to do it. So, instead of writing it out, I'll provide you with some links.

Diy Aquaclear Refugium

I made a DIY Aquaclear refugium! Pic heavy.

Wow. Thanks a lot for a such good of way to build a nano refugium.
But I how some questions:
Does it safe to make that kind of modification to AC50/AC70, I mean if I will be away on vacation or somewhere for a week at least, does it safe leave it running?
Or it might be better to buy a 5 gallon tank and make from it a nano refugium with all those chambers?
Thanks again
 
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To be honest, I've never thought that it wouldn't be safe to leave an Aquaclear running while away on vacation and such. I've been using an Aquaclear filter normally on a freshwater tank for years, and our reef tank has an AC70 that is modded into a refugium. That one has been in use for a year now without any problems, and yes, it has been left running when we've been away from home, for up to a week. When we've been away from the reef tank, the biggest concerns were salinity, flow, light, and temperature. Never did the AC70 refugium cross our minds. I suppose, like any piece of equipment, it could break down, but so could pumps, the heater, the light, or the automatic top off.

From a size standpoint, a larger refugium/filter would be considered best, but you should also consider if it's worth it to you to plumb a little sump to work with your nano tank. I can't say that more space and water volume is a bad thing, but I really don't think sumps are necessary, and thus not worth it with smaller tanks.
The rock in a marine tank will host the beneficial bacteria necessary for a cycle, so we can avoid needing large amounts of biomedia, and our little AC70 refugium has keept nitrates at zero on our 20 gallon reef tank the entire time it's been running.
 
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stella1979 said:
To be honest, I've never thought that it wouldn't be safe to leave an Aquaclear running while away on vacation and such. I've been using an Aquaclear filter normally on a freshwater tank for years, and our reef tank has an AC70 that is modded into a refugium. That one has been in use for a year now without any problems, and yes, it has been left running when we've been away from home, for up to a week. When we've been away from the reef tank, the biggest concerns were salinity, flow, light, and temperature. Never did the AC70 refugium cross our minds. I suppose, like any piece of equipment, it could break down, but so could pumps, the heater, the light, or the automatic top off.

From a size standpoint, a larger refugium/filter would be considered best, but you should also consider if it's worth it to you to plumb a little sump to work with your nano tank. I can't say that more space and water volume is a bad thing, but I really don't think sumps are necessary, and thus not worth it with smaller tanks.
The rock in a marine tank will host the beneficial bacteria necessary for a cycle, so we can avoid needing large amounts of biomedia, and our little AC70 refugium has keept nitrates at zero on our 20 gallon reef tank the entire time it's been running.
Your right it’s not worth it for such a small tanks.
I have a fresh water 55 gallon tank as well but without any refugium /sump tank etc. and it doing fine with weekly water change.

What the light fixture are u using for your AC70 DIY refugium?
 
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stella1979 said:
To be honest, I've never thought that it wouldn't be safe to leave an Aquaclear running while away on vacation and such. I've been using an Aquaclear filter normally on a freshwater tank for years, and our reef tank has an AC70 that is modded into a refugium. That one has been in use for a year now without any problems, and yes, it has been left running when we've been away from home, for up to a week. When we've been away from the reef tank, the biggest concerns were salinity, flow, light, and temperature. Never did the AC70 refugium cross our minds. I suppose, like any piece of equipment, it could break down, but so could pumps, the heater, the light, or the automatic top off.

From a size standpoint, a larger refugium/filter would be considered best, but you should also consider if it's worth it to you to plumb a little sump to work with your nano tank. I can't say that more space and water volume is a bad thing, but I really don't think sumps are necessary, and thus not worth it with smaller tanks.
The rock in a marine tank will host the beneficial bacteria necessary for a cycle, so we can avoid needing large amounts of biomedia, and our little AC70 refugium has keept nitrates at zero on our 20 gallon reef tank the entire time it's been running.
BTW I've done a partial WC about 15-20% for my 10 gallon reef tank as you advice but the Ammonia still keeping that heigh over 8ppm dark green and Nitrite is between the 1ppm - 4ppm which means all the water parameters stayed the same as from prevues test 2 days ago.

Do you think should I wait till it's going to change by itself? Because I thought that when the Nitrite is rising then the Ammonia should goes down but I have all of the Ammonia 8ppm, Nitrite 1ppm - 2ppm, Nitrate 20ppm or close to that.

Do I need to do Ghost feeding tank or there is no need as the cycle already started? Because I heard that after a shrimp I have to start a ghost feeding and wait till I see the Nitrite is goes up and ammonia is down, plus to that the Diatoms have to appear. The Diatoms I think starting appearing Brown coloured on rocks.

Or should I perform one more a water change about 20 - 50%? or wait?

Thanks
 

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stella1979 said:
To be honest, I've never thought that it wouldn't be safe to leave an Aquaclear running while away on vacation and such. I've been using an Aquaclear filter normally on a freshwater tank for years, and our reef tank has an AC70 that is modded into a refugium. That one has been in use for a year now without any problems, and yes, it has been left running when we've been away from home, for up to a week. When we've been away from the reef tank, the biggest concerns were salinity, flow, light, and temperature. Never did the AC70 refugium cross our minds. I suppose, like any piece of equipment, it could break down, but so could pumps, the heater, the light, or the automatic top off.

From a size standpoint, a larger refugium/filter would be considered best, but you should also consider if it's worth it to you to plumb a little sump to work with your nano tank. I can't say that more space and water volume is a bad thing, but I really don't think sumps are necessary, and thus not worth it with smaller tanks.
The rock in a marine tank will host the beneficial bacteria necessary for a cycle, so we can avoid needing large amounts of biomedia, and our little AC70 refugium has keept nitrates at zero on our 20 gallon reef tank the entire time it's been running.
I did one more a partial Woter Change 20 -30% and this time the Ammonia drops a bit but the Nitrite is droped as well.
I'm scarred that it's going to slow down my cycle as I've droped the Nitrite a bit, or think that fine?
 

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So... the water change you did was not a lot of water, and there's a handy video that illustrates how effective water changes are on bringing down parameters. You might find this interesting.

So you see, a small water change will not make a big difference. Another thing to consider is that your ammonia level could easily have been over 8ppm, but that is as high as the test reads. Have you ever heard of a dilution test? This is where you would use, for example, 50% tank water and 50% bottled water, or any water that you know is ammonia free. You would then run the ammonia test as normal, but multiply your result by two. Since these tests are for 5ml of water, you can also do a highly diluted test at 1ml tank water with 4ml bottled water, then multiply your result by 5. A dilution test is often handy with nitrites as well. This is the best way to get an accurate answer when your regular results are at the top of the chart.

1. If it were me, no, I would not wait. Instead, I would do a larger water change, which will still leave enough ammonia in the water for the cycle to continue moving along. I should say again though, there are many ways to cycle a tank. My way has worked for me, while I know of and respect several aquarists who bring ammonia way up high... though I don't know that many bring it up quite as high as 8ppm. There is rarely a need for such a strong cycle unless multiple large fish are being added at once.

2. You do not need to ghost feed at this time, as there is plenty of 'food' available for the bacteria. While you have ammonia and nitrites, you do not need to add more organic material that will break down into more ammonia and nitrites. As long as they are both already present in the water, the bacteria will grow. When you have removed and/or processed it all, meaning ammonia and nitrite test at 0ppm, and you have nitrates, you could then add an ammonia source to continue feeding the cycle. Be careful not to let nitrates get too high. If you need to, you can do a water change to bring that level down too, then feed the cycle.

3. Think we've already covered that, and as I'm writing this I see that you did another water change. I think you'll be just fine. There is still plenty of ammonia and don't forget that the nitrite level will continue to rise as that ammonia level is processed. You look to have about 2ppm ammonia and 0.5ppm nitrites, which is just what I would like to see at this stage of the cycle. Please try not to worry, 0.5ppm is a high enough nitrite level to continue feeding the nitrite converting bacteria... and you've now given the remaining ammonia somewhere to go without bringing your nitrite levels through the roof!
 
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stella1979 said:
So... the water change you did was not a lot of water, and there's a handy video that illustrates how effective water changes are on bringing down parameters. You might find this interesting.

So you see, a small water change will not make a big difference. Another thing to consider is that your ammonia level could easily have been over 8ppm, but that is as high as the test reads. Have you ever heard of a dilution test? This is where you would use, for example, 50% tank water and 50% bottled water, or any water that you know is ammonia free. You would then run the ammonia test as normal, but multiply your result by two. Since these tests are for 5ml of water, you can also do a highly diluted test at 1ml tank water with 4ml bottled water, then multiply your result by 5. A dilution test is often handy with nitrites as well. This is the best way to get an accurate answer when your regular results are at the top of the chart.

1. If it were me, no, I would not wait. Instead, I would do a larger water change, which will still leave enough ammonia in the water for the cycle to continue moving along. I should say again though, there are many ways to cycle a tank. My way has worked for me, while I know of and respect several aquarists who bring ammonia way up high... though I don't know that many bring it up quite as high as 8ppm. There is rarely a need for such a strong cycle unless multiple large fish are being added at once.

2. You do not need to ghost feed at this time, as there is plenty of 'food' available for the bacteria. While you have ammonia and nitrites, you do not need to add more organic material that will break down into more ammonia and nitrites. As long as they are both already present in the water, the bacteria will grow. When you have removed and/or processed it all, meaning ammonia and nitrite test at 0ppm, and you have nitrates, you could then add an ammonia source to continue feeding the cycle. Be careful not to let nitrates get too high. If you need to, you can do a water change to bring that level down too, then feed the cycle.

3. Think we've already covered that, and as I'm writing this I see that you did another water change. I think you'll be just fine. There is still plenty of ammonia and don't forget that the nitrite level will continue to rise as that ammonia level is processed. You look to have about 2ppm ammonia and 0.5ppm nitrites, which is just what I would like to see at this stage of the cycle. Please try not to worry, 0.5ppm is a high enough nitrite level to continue feeding the nitrite converting bacteria... and you've now given the remaining ammonia somewhere to go without bringing your nitrite levels through the roof!
Thanks a lot for your time and advice I’m really appreciate it.

As I have done the second WC, I won’t touch it and leave it cycle it by itself for now and just will be doing a testing.

And when the time comes when the Ammonia, Nitrite will be 0ppm then I would slowly start a ghost feeding.

I have left a couple more questions to ask you:

When should I add a Cleanup Crew? Crabs, snails etc
When should I add a coral and which one is better for a beginners?
What about Diatoms? I think they start appearing a little bI on the rocks I brown coloured. Do I have to wait till they are died of and add the cleanup crew or a can add them even if the Diatoms is present in a tank?
The tank is cycling without led light, does impact on the cycle process?

I’ll make a couple of pictures when mine line fixtures will arrived.

Thanks again
 
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Sounds good. And, questions are welcome.

1. Add your cleanup crew as soon as the cycle is done. They'll love munching on whatever algae is leftover, even diatoms.

2. I moved rather quickly with my own tank. If you feel you've got a good light and stable water quality, you may do the same. So, immediately after the cycle and a big water change, I added a small cleanup crew, 4 snails. I was no longer dosing ammonia and only feeding snails a little, so with maintaining a strong cycle in mind, I added my first small fish a week later. 3 weeks after that, I got my first corals. In the meantime, I was testing to watch the nitro cycle and also tested weekly to make sure calcium and alkalinity were stable. I still do that, and after getting several corals in the tank, I began testing for magnesium as well. These are known as the Big 3 and you want to make sure all are staying stable and at the right level for corals.

As for the first coral, I highly recommend a Duncan. It's an LPS coral, and a lot of sources will tell you to start with softies like Xenia, GSP (green star polyps), and zoas. I did just that, and xenia was happy, GSP was moody, and I only thought zoas were happy... so I ended up buying several more before discovering that my tank wasn't supporting zoas for some reason. I'm not saying this would happen to you, just advising you to be careful. Zoas aren't the easy growers that some say they are... but Duncans are. Duncans are very hardy, fun to feed, and grow very easily. I started with one polyp, but the first growth spurt turned it into a 7 polyp colony. Now each of those polyps is growing multiple 'pups' and it's become a more than 20 polyp colony. Unlike zoas, a Duncan's growth is exponential.

As for GSP and Xenia, well, both are lovely, but both are also capable of growing like wildfire. This means they should be isolated on their own rock in the sand. Otherwise, there is danger that they will encroach upon and kill your other corals. I almost lost control of my Xenia. It was popping up in several places... until I tore it out like I meant it. That was kinda rough, but again, I'm not saying this will happen to you. Just keep them well isolated with a good bit of sand between them and your main scape rocks. My Xenia was on its own rock, but I don't have a lot of sand room, so as the Xenia grew its polyps could touch the main scape, and it walked its way right over.

3. You can and should remove diatoms whenever you do a water change, but no, you don't have to worry about removing them for your cleanup crew. The algae eaters will love diatoms, so you'll have them to help at that point. A diatom phase is normal in a new tank and should exhaust itself over the next several weeks.

4. The light does not have an impact on the cycle. In fact, I recommend cycling with lights off to limit algae growth. I also cycled with the lights off and didn't turn them on until the cleanup crew was added. I also only started with about 7 hours per day of light, and slowly increased it from there. This was another effort at not having a very bad algae outbreak, which I did not. Every new tank will go through an ugly phase with diatom growth, but I would not worry unless some of the real nasty stuff shows up... like dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria, or the really tough, deep-rooted nuisance types of algae. Luckily, none of these terrors ever showed up for me, though I do still deal with the occasional diatom bloom and some green hair algae now and then. This occurs when the tank experiences a change in bioload or nutrient levels, for example, new fish and/or corals are added and the feeding regimen changes.
 
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stella1979 said:
Sounds good. And, questions are welcome.

1. Add your cleanup crew as soon as the cycle is done. They'll love munching on whatever algae is leftover, even diatoms.

2. I moved rather quickly with my own tank. If you feel you've got a good light and stable water quality, you may do the same. So, immediately after the cycle and a big water change, I added a small cleanup crew, 4 snails. I was no longer dosing ammonia and only feeding snails a little, so with maintaining a strong cycle in mind, I added my first small fish a week later. 3 weeks after that, I got my first corals. In the meantime, I was testing to watch the nitro cycle and also tested weekly to make sure calcium and alkalinity were stable. I still do that, and after getting several corals in the tank, I began testing for magnesium as well. These are known as the Big 3 and you want to make sure all are staying stable and at the right level for corals.

As for the first coral, I highly recommend a Duncan. It's an LPS coral, and a lot of sources will tell you to start with softies like Xenia, GSP (green star polyps), and zoas. I did just that, and xenia was happy, GSP was moody, and I only thought zoas were happy... so I ended up buying several more before discovering that my tank wasn't supporting zoas for some reason. I'm not saying this would happen to you, just advising you to be careful. Zoas aren't the easy growers that some say they are... but Duncans are. Duncans are very hardy, fun to feed, and grow very easily. I started with one polyp, but the first growth spurt turned it into a 7 polyp colony. Now each of those polyps is growing multiple 'pups' and it's become a more than 20 polyp colony. Unlike zoas, a Duncan's growth is exponential.

As for GSP and Xenia, well, both are lovely, but both are also capable of growing like wildfire. This means they should be isolated on their own rock in the sand. Otherwise, there is danger that they will encroach upon and kill your other corals. I almost lost control of my Xenia. It was popping up in several places... until I tore it out like I meant it. That was kinda rough, but again, I'm not saying this will happen to you. Just keep them well isolated with a good bit of sand between them and your main scape rocks. My Xenia was on its own rock, but I don't have a lot of sand room, so as the Xenia grew its polyps could touch the main scape, and it walked its way right over.

3. You can and should remove diatoms whenever you do a water change, but no, you don't have to worry about removing them for your cleanup crew. The algae eaters will love diatoms, so you'll have them to help at that point. A diatom phase is normal in a new tank and should exhaust itself over the next several weeks.

4. The light does not have an impact on the cycle. In fact, I recommend cycling with lights off to limit algae growth. I also cycled with the lights off and didn't turn them on until the cleanup crew was added. I also only started with about 7 hours per day of light, and slowly increased it from there. This was another effort at not having a very bad algae outbreak, which I did not. Every new tank will go through an ugly phase with diatom growth, but I would not worry unless some of the real nasty stuff shows up... like dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria, or the really tough, deep-rooted nuisance types of algae. Luckily, none of these terrors ever showed up for me, though I do still deal with the occasional diatom bloom and some green hair algae now and then. This occurs when the tank experiences a change in bioload or nutrient levels, for example, new fish and/or corals are added and the feeding regimen changes.
OMG, you scared me regarding the Diatom Bloom, Reen Hair Algae, Dinoflagellates, Cyanobacteria. I've googled and checked what it looks like - and it looks very ugly on reef tank
I know you can't just be avoided this stages, but I'll try to keep it clean.

1. BTW, How do you remove those: Diatom Bloom, Reen Hair Algae, Dinoflagellates, Cyanobacteria - just scratch them from the rocks and vacuum the sand?

2. Could you send links for the product that you using for the testing a: Calcium Alkalinity Magnesium, so that I can order it in advance?

3. Do you buy your corals from the fish store such as PetSmart, Big AI's or from the eBay and Amazon? And, where is better to buy corals?

I have got a Big AI's fish store close to my home, so mostly a do a shopping there, but the price for some coral is up to $600/each I was in shock, to be honest that the way to much for me for such small tank

Thanks again
 
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stella1979 said:
Sounds good. And, questions are welcome.

1. Add your cleanup crew as soon as the cycle is done. They'll love munching on whatever algae is leftover, even diatoms.

2. I moved rather quickly with my own tank. If you feel you've got a good light and stable water quality, you may do the same. So, immediately after the cycle and a big water change, I added a small cleanup crew, 4 snails. I was no longer dosing ammonia and only feeding snails a little, so with maintaining a strong cycle in mind, I added my first small fish a week later. 3 weeks after that, I got my first corals. In the meantime, I was testing to watch the nitro cycle and also tested weekly to make sure calcium and alkalinity were stable. I still do that, and after getting several corals in the tank, I began testing for magnesium as well. These are known as the Big 3 and you want to make sure all are staying stable and at the right level for corals.

As for the first coral, I highly recommend a Duncan. It's an LPS coral, and a lot of sources will tell you to start with softies like Xenia, GSP (green star polyps), and zoas. I did just that, and xenia was happy, GSP was moody, and I only thought zoas were happy... so I ended up buying several more before discovering that my tank wasn't supporting zoas for some reason. I'm not saying this would happen to you, just advising you to be careful. Zoas aren't the easy growers that some say they are... but Duncans are. Duncans are very hardy, fun to feed, and grow very easily. I started with one polyp, but the first growth spurt turned it into a 7 polyp colony. Now each of those polyps is growing multiple 'pups' and it's become a more than 20 polyp colony. Unlike zoas, a Duncan's growth is exponential.

As for GSP and Xenia, well, both are lovely, but both are also capable of growing like wildfire. This means they should be isolated on their own rock in the sand. Otherwise, there is danger that they will encroach upon and kill your other corals. I almost lost control of my Xenia. It was popping up in several places... until I tore it out like I meant it. That was kinda rough, but again, I'm not saying this will happen to you. Just keep them well isolated with a good bit of sand between them and your main scape rocks. My Xenia was on its own rock, but I don't have a lot of sand room, so as the Xenia grew its polyps could touch the main scape, and it walked its way right over.

3. You can and should remove diatoms whenever you do a water change, but no, you don't have to worry about removing them for your cleanup crew. The algae eaters will love diatoms, so you'll have them to help at that point. A diatom phase is normal in a new tank and should exhaust itself over the next several weeks.

4. The light does not have an impact on the cycle. In fact, I recommend cycling with lights off to limit algae growth. I also cycled with the lights off and didn't turn them on until the cleanup crew was added. I also only started with about 7 hours per day of light, and slowly increased it from there. This was another effort at not having a very bad algae outbreak, which I did not. Every new tank will go through an ugly phase with diatom growth, but I would not worry unless some of the real nasty stuff shows up... like dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria, or the really tough, deep-rooted nuisance types of algae. Luckily, none of these terrors ever showed up for me, though I do still deal with the occasional diatom bloom and some green hair algae now and then. This occurs when the tank experiences a change in bioload or nutrient levels, for example, new fish and/or corals are added and the feeding regimen changes.
Sorry for bothering you that much with all of that questions but I have a couple more to ask you .
So, I’ve made a HOB AC50 Refugium as per you advice from the links that you provided (photos provided below). But I’m not sure about the lights for that Refugium - which one to pick?

I have provided a photo that I interested into buying for this refugium, could you tell me is that go No to work to grow chaeto?
 

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stella1979

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It does look like that light will do the job, and I like that it's on a gooseneck so you can position it best. Culprit has a similar one, but it has two gooseneck lamps attached to one base. This allows him to light the chaeto from two sides, which is nice. Perhaps he'll be around soon to link us to the one he's got.

For myself, I think it's a bit of an overkill regarding intensity, (chaeto will burn if I don't flip it often), and I had to mount this light to shine from above, which is maybe not ideal, but it does the job. Anyway, here's the only fuge light I have experience with.
 
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inveterateaquarist

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stella1979 said:
It does look like that light will do the job, and I like that it's on a gooseneck so you can position it best. Culprit has a similar one, but it has two gooseneck lamps attached to one base. This allows him to light the chaeto from two sides, which is nice. Perhaps he'll be around soon to link us to the one he's got.

For myself, I think it's a bit of an overkill regarding intensity, (chaeto will burn if I don't flip it often), and I had to mount this light to shine from above, which is maybe not ideal, but it does the job. Anyway, here's the only fuge light I have experience with.
OK, then I'll buy it and see how it goes.

I did a water test again to see ho is it going, but the results were not impressive the Amonnia still keeping height, and Nitrite is rise too.

Do you think just live as it is, and wait Or do a Big Water Change again? (please have a look at the photo).

Thanks
 

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