This is just to blog about my saltwater aquarium for maintenance record.
It is a tank running Berlin System, 25 gallon. Lighting is 2 white light compact fluorescents (Coralife Actinic 65W, 22 inch, $49.99) and 2 blue light (Coralife 50/50, 55W x 2, $49.99). Its filtration system uses live rock and bioballs. Other than the filter pumps, original owner sold me extra pumps to create some kind of current in the tank (now I understand high current helps corals to grow).
First week I was too anxious and forgot to turn on the protein skimmer that about 4 or 5 days later the tank water turned into yellowish green and I had to change water completely. Then in about 7 days it became yellowish again, though the water test (pH, ammonia, nitrate, etc) was all okay. I emailed the original owner and he had no idea too but suggested I did another complete change includeing substrate.
I followed his advice and 7 days later, it’s no longer yellowish but still cloudy. I asked the owner of Saltwater City who the original owner used to buy fish and corals from. He suggested me to make the protein skimmer work harder. But I couldn’t find the knob to do this as his system on display in his shop is different from mine. So I had to email the original owner again and he pointed it out for me through email. I did and 2 days later, water is clear!
So I think I can go buy a fish soon, maybe another week.
Lessons learned: Let the aquarium break in before you introduce any corals or fish. Waiting period needs patience. Cloudiness of water can be caused by: 1) residues from gravel, as my experience showed; 2) normally occurring bacacterial growth, which could be happening right now in my aquarium. As time goes by, cloudiness will dissipate through a combination of settling, filtration, and the biological cycling of the tank. Let nature take its course and add fish only after the water has cleared.