Questions about feeding bacteria after cycle

AFK1911

New member
A little history 1st. 36 gallon tank was set up 10/22 with 40 lbs live sand, approx. 20 lbs dry rock that was soaked in a vinegar bath and set in heated saltwater since 10/1, and about 5 lbs. of live rock from LFS. Put in raw shrimp on day 1 and removed on day 2 due to smell. Fed sinking pellets once a day unitl 10/30. Removed them from tank 11/1 because it looked like they were growing some sort of white mold around them. Started seeing ammonia on 10/23, started seeing nitrite and nitrate 10/27. Ammonia peeked at 1.5 on 10/27, nitite peeked at .5 from 10/28 to 11/1, and nitrate peeked between 20 and 30. I tested today and ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate was between 20 and 30. I did a 12 gallon water change and nitrate is about 3.

So that brings me to my questions. Since there is no algae growth, diatoms, or anything other then what is on the 5 llbs. of live rock, should I add a couple of snails and a couple of hermits. I would love to add something to the tank, but there isn't really anything to eat.

Should I add them and give them some sort of food like flakes or something? Should I wait until I see some sort of algae growth before I add them? If I wait to add them, won't my beneficial bacteria die off without something to fuel it? If I just feed the tank some flakes without snails or hermits, I am afraid that they might grow the funky white mold-looking stuff that the pellets developed. I am definitely leaning towards adding snails and hermits, but what would the best thing be to feed them if I do?
 

AFK1911

New member
I should also add that I just put a sponge filter in the DT to accumulate some of the beneficial bacteria so I can use it to start my QT tank. I want to keep the bacteria thriving in the DT to seed the sponge as soon as possible. Once the QT is up and stable I will then buy fish to put in it.
 

Reef Frog

New member
That white stuff could actually be a bacterial colony often referred to as flocs. A natural thing and almost certainly nothing to worry about. It sounds like your cycle is progressing nicely. I'd add a snail or 2 within the next week or two and see how they do. Add more as the algae phase begins. If they die the developing bacterial filter will process them. In the meantime I'd continue light ghost feedings until you add your first fish, and then the nitrogen cycle should go on auto pilot.
 
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