Adam - are you joking? It's tufa rock bought from the shop!!
flameangel - too late! I have a Red Sea Prizm Deluxe coming soon. Got it half rpice. The old skimmers are apparently noisy, but their newer ones have an 18 blade impeller as opposed to the 12 blade one, and are quieter than they used to be. If it's too noisy though I'll change it as it's in the lounge.
I had 2 pulsing xenias and a mushroom rock which were doing really well until my ammonia spike.
Once the tank has settled down I might try some more of those, and maybe a cabbage coral, those three (apparently) being the easiest to look after. With the better lighting and now the RO water unlike before, hopefully it will make the tank a nicer place!
Just as a quickie question without going off topic too much in here for too long, I have 2 x T8 bulbs in the hood - 1 marine white and 1 marine actinic blue. I'm thinking of getting a luminaire with 4 x T5 bulbs. This would, I assume, be better for keeping the polyps?
Re: Potential serious problem - advice appreciated.
I've tested the ammonia with two different test kits every day for a week. I doubt their results will be any different to mine!
You could argue that all fish, in their own way, are not suitable for a new set up - you have to start somewhere, and I took what advice I could, but for the most part, as long as you ensure compatibility, it's just as much about learning yourself - everyone says different things, and if you took all the advice ever given to you, you would never get anywhere.
I am aware I could have stocked a little too quickly - but that isn't what caused my ammonia spike. Something hapenned in my tank, which I'm still not sure of, and the ammonia went through the roof overnight - before that my levels were perfect, with no cause for alarm. All the other readings are still spot on even now.
The fish were bought from various sources, and have been fine up to now.
You say the prizm isn't a decent skimmer - many would dissagree with you - again, everyone has different opinions/experiences - that's the one I've ordered, and I'll give it a go and judge it myself - many people have said to me (not shop people either) that it's an excellent choice.
I wish I knew what went wrong - but I don't, so I can't say why it happenned.
In any case, it will give me the chance to evaluate the situation, and give me the knowledge and experience to improve things and avoid it happening again (if I ever do work out what went wrong).
I appreciate your advice - don't get me wrong, but nobody seems to know the root cause of why the ammonia went through the ceiling overnight - if it was the stocking levels, it wouldn't have been that sudden. If it was due to not having a skimmer/live rock, it wouldn't have been that sudden.