Biocube 32 with sump - skip cycle?

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nickng

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One week after the purple fire fish, added an Azure damsel. 1st fish mistake… should have picked the smallest one and added it last. The damsel now doesn’t take kindly to any new fish added.

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sometime around end of July ie around second month mark and just after adding the damsel, lfs gave a test palythoa to see if tank is ready to take in corals.
 

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Haha…. driving in Boston is interesting too say the least. The “T” ie sort of an mis-mash subway and tram system contributes to the confusion as well. Well I live in the “villages” newton/waban that’s at the edge of Boston. Rarely go into Boston because of the stressful traffic. Oh do you mean the “Quincy” Irish accent? Or the Boston city area way of speaking.
The Boston city way!
 

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sometime around end of July ie around second month mark and just after adding the damsel, lfs gave a test palythoa to see if tank is ready to take in corals.
Careful handling the paly due to toxins. A couple of horror story threads on this forum.
 
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Careful handling the paly due to toxins. A couple of horror story threads on this forum.
Oh yes, I was told generally not to squash palythoas outside water. And don’t handle it if one has cuts/sores on skin that could come in contact. That said, the lfs guaranteed the test ones aren’t toxic

Anyhow, the idea is to observe how fast the single large poly opens up as soon it enters my tank and how rapidly it grows new polyps. And if any change in coloration.
 
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For the record, palythoa placed in the evening around 8pm when lights started dimming in the tank. Polyp was closed and opened fully early morning next day.
 
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One month later, in Sept, palythoa grew 2 polyp, total 3 polyps. Added a 4 polyp/head orange Acan as well. Started to run three bags of nano sized chemipure-blue. Not so much for phosphate issue, but to have some carbon as preventive measure to absorb any chemical secretion from the palythoas and zoas that I plan to add. Apparently some of that can affect other coral growth?
 
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End of Sept, started to have green algae buildup on tank wall. Time to introduce the turbo snail. During this period the hermit crabs molted.

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quite a few things added n Sept, a 4 head orange Acan, followed by a Green hammer a week later and fire and ice Zoa colony.
Added two bottles of nutramar copepods into tank. Did this to seed the tank for the eventual introduction of a mandarin fish.
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Tank condition at the end of Sept..Midas Blenny added to tank. The Blenny has a lot of character. Damsel tried attacking Blenny, after two aggressive bite attempts, the Blenny literally used its long tail to “smack” the damsel. Blenny gets along well with the other fishes.

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Blenny in a home it found in the rock. And damsel knows not to be a jerk around the Blenny. The Acan is on the frag rack
 
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Circled the hole/crevice the damsel sleeps in at night
 

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Added a royal gramma at end of September. Gramma was about the same size or a little bigger than the damsel. The damsel kept attacking the gramma. Despite the slight size advantage the RG was not able to defend itself. Fish died after a week. Tried to move the RG to the sump but was too late. The damsel made several bites on the body of the RG. And in one evening completely ripped the RG’s fins.
 

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October, another month with a lot of tank activity. Added the following:
Skunk cleaner shrimp
Purple Zoa mini colony.
Mandarin fish,
Caribbean Zoa,
Warpaint scoly
Candy Apple Zoa.
Free unknown orange zoa
More copepods into the tank and sump
 
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Purple Zoa colony and Caribbean Zoa and mandarin fish. Coralline spreading all over the other rocks.
The pincushion urchin was added much later during 1st week of Nov
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No aggression from Damsel towards the mandarin fish, very interesting. Damsel stared and flashed its fin at the mandarin on the 1st day but mandarin just ignored and slowly weaved around the rock work. Since then both fish ignore each other. One thing I noticed is that the mandarin sleeps near the base of a rock out in the open. But it goes completely pale and puts a sort of white slime coat while sleeping. Colors come back and no sign of the white slime in the morning. Must be a kind of defense mechanism.
 

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No aggression from Damsel towards the mandarin fish, very interesting. Damsel stared and flashed its fin at the mandarin on the 1st day but mandarin just ignored and slowly weaved around the rock work. Since then both fish ignore each other. One thing I noticed is that the mandarin sleeps near the base of a rock out in the open. But it goes completely pale and puts a sort of white slime coat while sleeping. Colors come back and no sign of the white slime in the morning. Must be a kind of defense mechanism.
Ya, the mucus coating smells bad and tastes bitter. Protects it from being eaten.
 
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BTW the mandarin came from the other shop that sold me the emerald crab. They just managed to get the fish to eat frozen food. Fish started eating brine shrimp on 2nd day in tank. I was told to not shut off the return pump completely during feeding but vary the intensity so that it kind of blows the frozen brine around just a little so that it looks like it’s moving to entice the mandarin. As a precaution, I put in extra copepods ordered from Algae Barn
 
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Started running a Simplicity 120DC skimmer sometime in the 3rd week of September. Recommended water level for the Simplicity 120 skimmer is between 7 to 9 inches. 8.5 inches works out perfect for my system. Had to add about 1 more gallon of water to the aquarium to increase the existing water height of 7.5 to 8.5 inches. Skimmer pulls out nice dark skimmate.

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Also found an asterina hitchhiker that came with a Trochus snail. Didn’t want it in the tank.
 

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