When is it okay to add more fish to a new tank?

THN4AU

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Back story: Brand new to saltwater. Been reading and watching videos for months now. Started my new 40B Thursday with 40lbs of live special grade sand and around 30lbs of caribsea life rock. Filled it up with Red Sea coral pro saltwater from the lfs, heated it to temp (76-77 on inkbird), dosed 4oz fritz turbo start bacteria, acclimated a three spot damsel from Petco (I know), and added him to the tank. His buddy didn’t even make it out of the bag. No lights yet. Working on two AI Primes.

I tested ammonia Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and today with my salifert kit. All read 0. Just cloudy water.

Since ammonia was at 0, I tested for nitrite and nitrate today as well. If I read it right, nitrite was around 0.2, and nitrate was around 10.

Fish still looks good. Hiding in rocks but eating well when fed. Slowly swimming farther away from his spot to eat.

Actually have four questions:
1. Should I expect ammonia to rise with one fish?
2. When is it okay to add more fish? I’d love to add a couple small clowns. I suspect when nitrites read 0, but that leads to my next question.
3. If nitrites are essentially harmless in marine tanks, why do people say wait for them to read 0 to add more fish if ammonia is already reading 0?
4. Unrelated- I’m feeding the damsel Omega One small pellets. Parts of my sand are turning pink. We accidentally left a lamp on across from the tank all weekend. Is this the beginning of some algae, or is it just low flow areas where food is breaking down?

I know it’s only been a few days since I started the tank. I know people say only bad things happen fast. Maybe this is my way of learning to be patient. Just trying to make sure I’m doing it right.

Thanks in advance!
 
BRS

blaxsun

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There are a lot of variables that govern how many fish you can typically support, including but no limited to: flow (both return and wavemakers), filtration, skimmers, reactors (carbon/GFO), how much rock and of course any cleanup crew.
 

Hellic

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1. Since you added a bacteria supplement you may not see a big ammonia spike. But it could still rise since your tank is not fully cycled.

2. I would not add more fish until your nitrites and ammonia are constantly 0. Honestly I'd wait at least 30 days imo if ammonia and nitrite is measuring 0. Once you start adding food, ammonia and nitrites can spike.

3. In high enough concentration, nitrites can still stress marine fish which can lead to disease, but they are more tolerant of nitrite.

I'm not sure about number 4. You may want to post a picture of it. Hope this helps. These are only my opinions but slow and steady is good since you don't have a strong bacteria population.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Hey this really is a good test for updated cycling science for sure this is how it will pan out if we searched google well enough:


-behavioral and disease limitations will set the number of fish, not the biofilter and not the ammonia carry.

There is no reef tank running on any board that fails to carry its true nh3 level at .002-009 in a display, be that a 1 gallon pico reef like mine with no fish, or MiamiReef's 300 gallon tank with huge anglefish well fed. that's what our surface area ratio runs at, even with bioload variation

any reef you see here, it runs that rate of conversion above for nh3 ammonia even if you add six new fish. There is simply not a corresponding rise in free ammonia outside this range, ask any seneye owner.


I'm aware old cycling constructs could not agree with this using api (.25 always) thats why no cycling articles mention this proof, it takes a collective of seneye owners to reveal the real trends regarding biofiltration in reefing. I study those threads and hunt them down commonly for logging.


examples: a reef tank is 150 gallons, has sixteen fish and is ten years old. it runs .002-.009 on anyone's seneye that is tuned and proven accurate via trimming.

if we instantly remove the sandbed all at once, the rate of change for free ammonia into nitrite step 1 stays .002-.009 which is fascinating. we robbed surface area, and still got the same filter ability.


if we add three fish while removing their sand, and remove 1/3 of the rocks at the same time the rate of turnover still holds the same

you have to surpass a few pounds of live rock right in the middle of the current system with so many fish to cause nh3 tipping that behavior and disease will regulate the numbers first.

There is not one example on the internet of a reef tank on a tuned seneye that doesn't run in the stated ranges. Show me one example that claims to be, and I'll show you a fresh seneye out of the box not trimmed yet.

We have never seen someone use so much bioload and so little live rock as to cause a tipping point. *disease-caused fish kills don't count, those overcome by sheer number anyone's filtration setup even when its overdone vastly.

the sand rinse thread has the exact scenario of adding fish removing rocks and sand checked on seneye, am relaying that particular job as a reason we do not have to worry about biofiltration limits in reefing, ever. Any degree of live rock used in the middle of the display water column where waste swirls is in excess of what a load of fish needs to run at .002-.009 ppm nh3.

live rock even marco rocks are this good of a biofilter, we are out to page 50 in the official sand removal thread doing all sorts of surface area removal jobs on file.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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in continuance from above, if a 32 gallon reef tank has a few fish and some maturation after the cycle its running .002-.009 no matter how many fish you run in it. If you pack clownfish to the hilt eventually it'll tilt and crash the whole thing but it would take more fish than any aquarist has ever posted to the internet for that to happen. add or subtract fish to any reef here, the steady range continues says any tuned seneye owner and to the happy dismay of bottle bacteria retailers.

bottle bac retailers know of this dynamic above, but don't write about it for obvious reasons.

if you asked a bottle bac salesperson, you're going to need some bacteria for this job.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I asked Dr. Tim himself one time about this occurrence he told me a fascinating answer: filtration bac can choose to work a little, or a lot, in the same relative numbers your tank's current (water shear) and nutrient levels reflect in the density of bacterial colonies. bacteria specifically do not have to grow in numbers or shrink in colony numbers in relation to bioload rise and falls (end of Dr. Tim's summary) up to a certain tipping point that we've never seen posted online. we've seen only hardware caused and disease caused fish kills as the tripping point (my summary of threads studied)

nobody has ever, ever, slowly overdriven a biofilter in a reef tank. it hasn't occured one time, ever where rock was in the middle of a display. all instances reported of this occurrence are api and red sea ammonia posts lacking TAN conversion from the instructions as proof of a stall. a good portion of those dosed Prime and didn't tell anyone, and water conditioners directly cause false ammonia positives on red sea and api.

there are no stalled reef tank cycles in reefing or seneye owners would post about that per 100 new owners. they all post the same range on displays, which connects all our tanks in a fascinating and free no purchase manner (my summary)
 
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THN4AU

THN4AU

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1. Since you added a bacteria supplement you may not see a big ammonia spike. But it could still rise since your tank is not fully cycled.

2. I would not add more fish until your nitrites and ammonia are constantly 0. Honestly I'd wait at least 30 days imo if ammonia and nitrite is measuring 0. Once you start adding food, ammonia and nitrites can spike.

3. In high enough concentration, nitrites can still stress marine fish which can lead to disease, but they are more tolerant of nitrite.

I'm not sure about number 4. You may want to post a picture of it. Hope this helps. These are only my opinions but slow and steady is good since you don't have a strong bacteria population.

I’m attaching pics of sand and fish. Thanks for your thorough answers. Pretty much what I thought. Good to confirm though.
413A7811-2263-402F-B263-7C6E14BC5D21.jpeg

CC812291-8A2F-4CA6-9A8B-911F99648451.jpeg

90FD95D0-ABAA-4A32-9DFD-CF0C0E198E61.jpeg

CB063FEF-C7E8-4798-8A8B-16727B0D93AD.jpeg
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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that thread is so relevant to the new claims, I always enjoy linking that thread of hey I just added 20 clowns all at once lets see what happens :)


Tou is making direct use of the shock absorber ability of live rocks. This is where the truck is loaded with so much granite in the bed the back end tilts down, but it can still travel at highway speeds not a prob. bottle bac was specifically excluded from that job as proof of what surface area can instantly step up to when asked. plus it wasn't like he added eight clowns/wow or eleven

no we did twenty and then ammonia tested it. cycling input gold.
 
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Hellic

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I’m attaching pics of sand and fish. Thanks for your thorough answers. Pretty much what I thought. Good to confirm though.
413A7811-2263-402F-B263-7C6E14BC5D21.jpeg

CC812291-8A2F-4CA6-9A8B-911F99648451.jpeg

90FD95D0-ABAA-4A32-9DFD-CF0C0E198E61.jpeg

CB063FEF-C7E8-4798-8A8B-16727B0D93AD.jpeg
No problem =) the sand doesn't look too bad I'd just keep an eye on it. I'm still not sure what it is in its current state. Best of luck to you! Your fish looks great. I'm sure he'll warm up to you more as time goes on.
 

Hellic

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that thread is so relevant to the new claims, I always enjoy linking that thread of hey I just added 20 clowns all at once lets see what happens :)


Tou is making direct use of the shock absorber ability of live rocks. This is where the truck is loaded with so much granite in the bed the back end tilts down, but it can still travel at highway speeds not a prob. bottle bac was specifically excluded from that job as proof of what surface area can instantly step up to when asked. plus it wasn't like he added eight clowns/wow or eleven

no we did twenty and then ammonia tested it. cycling input gold.
That was actually a great read. Really interesting to see how technology is showing us new things we didn't know before. Hopefully one day we will all have these in our reefs!
 

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