This post is part 4 of the epic reef series.
Waiting for the cabinet for our 90 gallons is soooo long… Sebonaut and I tend to have little patience, so we went out and bought even more live rocks(see Part 2). With more surprises! This post will also show you the evolution of the tank after 2 weeks.
Good and Bad Tips
In our purchases of living rocks, we had some mishaps. In a shop, we were told that the rocks are transported wrapped in newspaper and therefore not very wet when the shopkeeper receives them. He added that live bacteria were well preserved inside and released when the rock is submerged in the water. A bit naive, we believed this unscrupulous (or terribly misinformed) seller and we bought two rocks. Back at home, we started to doubt. A quick search and the help of passionate aquarists on the FB Reefers Ville de Québec group confirmed our suspicions: if there was life on these rocks, it is now well and truly dead. Traders are supposed to keep them in a pool of flowing water. Well, let’s say we considered the high price paid for these rocks as the cost of the lesson … After a few days, we see that nothing lives on these rocks, but they will eventually colonize bacteria like other dry rocks (but they more expensive).
Fortunately, one of the group’s enthusiasts sold live rocks that he no longer needed at a much lower price. We bought a few and this time we were not disappointed! These rocks are full of life and have been added to our 30 gallons aquarium. There are even tentacles coming out of the rocks; they are starfish with long legs! In addition, we have a small green mushroom coral and other flowering plants that grow on one of the rocks. We will continue to wait for the big aquarium, but at least we have something to look at!
In the small 10 gallons aquarium, the algae quickly multiplied. We have tested the water, and the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels seem to be zero. The initial peak that is supposed to occur in the first weeks of the nitrogen cycle has probably passed. Therefore, we decided it was time to get small detritivorous and algivorous organisms. The first arrival was a pretty hermit crab with blue legs. As he seems to be comfortable and the equilibrium of the aquarium was stable, we gave it 4 other friends and empty shells in anticipation of their growth. Hermit crabs change shells when they grow up.
A turbo snail (yes, that’s really the name of the species) joined the aquarium to help us get rid of the algae. Again, after a few days, we decided to add another one in the 10 gallons and two more in the 30 gallons aquarium that’s full of rocks as the algae are starting to show up there too. It was started a little after the small aquarium and it is going through the same steps.
Regularly, I stop in front of one or the other aquariums to look at it. It’s nice to discover new fan worms, strange plants or starfish legs. Looking in the evening, we also found a bristleworm. It was like the other one we had removed (see Part 2, fireworm), but it is all white. If this is the case, it is not dangerous, it would even be rather beneficial to the ecosystem. In any case, we did not manage to catch it and it hid among the rocks. We’ll see if it resurfaces …