I wonder which nutrients where in excess. Plants need quite a few and it's usually an imbalance that causes algae - ie too much of one. The main nutrients include: Light (for the sake of plant growth it can be counted as one) Organic Carbon (CO2 is ideal) Nitrogen (taken from ammonia, nitrite or nitrate) Potassium (K) Phosporous (often taken from phosphate PO4)
Ph/gh/kh is important to plant growth too. Then there are various micronutrients so if the water is overly soft or ph is low that could indicate a problem.
So if you can test for those or some of them it might give you an idea. Tank test kits are fine for testing ponds so you're ok with that
What test kit are you using and what are the results? If you want to see if your test kit (or your methods) are up to scratch get a test done by www.tanktests.co.uk for comparison. Many serious keepers get an occasional test done by a third party like this just to be sure.
Standard tanks normally only have enough light for soft corals to do well but you can have corals. I think there are a few lps corals that are not too bothered about light as long as they're target fed. God knows what the lfs was thinking. Mushrooms and leathers (soft) would be a good place to start. Don't rush out and fill your tank but try one and see how it gets on. Once it's well settled you can add another.
It might not be white spot, sounds more like a fungal infection at the moment. Let's hope.
First thing, get the fish out of the display tank and quarantine for 4 weeks, this is essential with all new marine fish. If you introduce a parasite like whitespot it's impossible to treat in a tank with live rock without massive collateral damage.
Check all the water parameters too.
Once he's in quarantine you should be able to get a photo to post up so we can help you diagnose and advise treatment if it's needed. If it is whitespot then you will have infected the entire fish stock and it's likely they will all have to go into quarantine for medication together but lets cross that bridge if it comes to it.
no problem, oh I realised I didn't explain why I asked about the ph. If the PH shifts dramatically the bacteria could die back. (There are several different strains of the same bacteria that thrive in differing water conditions) and sometimes the biological processes in a new aquarium cause rapid PH fluctuations especially in soft water areas where it can become too acidic to support the bacteria (if you're kettle doesn't scale up with tap water then you're in a soft water area) Looks like your water is alkaline and thus probably quite hard so you wont have to worry about this.
As a related side note, knowing the PH and hardness of the water is quite important for your selection of fish. Neon Tetra and Corydoras for example thrive in soft acidic waters where as most livebearers like Molly, Guppy and Swordtails like harder waters. By selecting fish that are naturally suited to your water conditions you can improve your chances of success and the long term health of your new pets
AquaTrekkie wrote: Morning So now do i just wait until ammonia is less than 0.5ppm and top up again? Then wait till nitrite os Zero?
Yes that's pretty much it. Generally I would advise testing daily and when the ammonia is less than 2ppm and adding 2ppm at that point. As long as you have some ammonia and not more than 4ppm every day things should progress nicely. You keep doing this until nitrite and ammonia are zero the day after your last topup - then you do a large water change to remove excess nitrate and top up the ammonia to 2ppm again, carry on for another 3 days or so ensuring that you still get zero readings 24hours after the top-up. At this point you can be confident the tank is cycled and safe for the introduction of fish.
As nitrates will rise you may want to do 20% water changes at the weekends to keep them in check, this prevents the need for the massive water change at the end. So long as you don't change out much more than that and don't forget the dechlorinator this will not harm the cycling process.
Sounds like the cycle is complete. The bacteria are converting the ammonia into nitrite and the other bacteria are converting the produced nitrite into nitrate.
Now you need water changes to get the nitrate back to tap water levels. It may take several changes of 40-50%. After that carry on for a couple of days topping up ammonia as you have been just to ensure that nothings been upset and the ammonia and nitrite are still being converted. Then you'll be ready to add fish