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A Tropic Marin Tank (5): The Cycle - Part 2

After the first part of the cycle, we are now ready add more complex life forms to the aquarium. The fish have been fed for the last 30 days, making the total tank age about 60 days. At this point, the microbiome in the reef tank is mostly established, and we need to introduce more life. We need to introduce alge and coral. For this, we must turn on the light!

As the lights are turned on, they are adjusted to create the same light conditions as what we want for the corals. This means there is no adjustment with lower light for a period of time, the algae will find a balance, and we want to grow the coralline algae that prefers higher light. Contrary to growing lower light coralline, which then is killed off with higher light as we increase the light.

The rocks are soon covered in diatom algaes. Traditionally, this is the beginning of what is called "the ugly phase". Referring to the settling of different algaes, the ugly phase is named so because of the brown coloration disturbing the pristine white rocks and sand. But the algaes are needed. We want to grow simple algaes which can be eaten by snails and don't compete with corals for trace elements. So any complex green or brown algaes are removed weekly as they appear.

The first corals are also added to the tank. Hardy and slower growing corals are added first. Euphyllia and porites especially. We add these corals already to seed the tank with the microbiome they bring in their holobiont. Again, biodiversity is the goal.

With the addition of corals and light, we can now experience coral growth. And for that reason, we now need to dose for coral supplementation and health, which will be covered soon. Salty Salutations, Samuel (sc)

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