got ethical husbandry?

Is this Bubble Algae


Supporting Member
Hello Reefers,

This is my first time setting up a reef tank and my tank is 3 days old - 17 gal reef tank

Day 1: Added Rock, Live Sand, Filter Media, Salt water
Day 2: Added A80 light, Heater (Set to 78F), Added Start up bacteria
Day 3: Added 2 clown fish to build up Ammonia in the tank

I see some bubbles on the bottom of the rock as seen in attached Image.
Fish don't seem to eat the pellets and pellets sink to sand bed and stay there. Fish always seem to be near the Return Pump. Should i use feeding tools to feed them?

Is the bubbles something to be concerned about? Do you guys recommend doing a water change every week for the first 2-3 months?

I have ordered the testing kit strips and they deliver tomorrow. Just little more concerned about the fish.


  • _DSC7817.JPG
    43.2 KB · Views: 50
  • _DSC7818.JPG
    51.9 KB · Views: 45
  • _DSC7821.JPG
    81.1 KB · Views: 49
this tank is too new to add any fishes. might have spiked ammonia now that there's bio-load. your clowns are stressed and that's one of the reason why they aren't eating.
Do you recommend a water change to reduce bio load ? Or use a protein skimmer.
I would try to siphon out the uneaten food at least for now with like a turkey baster. Any chance you could go to Neptune Aquatics and buy a piece of established live rock from their sumps? That should help kickstart your tank.

You actually don't need to run your light while the tank is getting started, it will help control algae.
Hello and welcome. Regarding water changes, you should be following the protocol for the specific bacteria that you added. Did you use Turbostart, Dr Tim’s, Brightwell, or which bacteria?

After that period, once your tank is up and running, you should do water changes at whichever consistent interval you can maintain. Every week, every two weeks, etc.

A 3 day old tank with brand new rock should not have bubble algae on it, and we can’t really see by the picture. I would suggest looking up pictures of bubble algae and comparing it. Nothing else common really looks like bubble algae.
I missing having my clown be that tiny. Stunning picture of the clowns and return pump head! Looks incredible for scale.

To stay on topic can’t tell what exactly is in the picture. Something I’ve noticed is blue light hides the algae in pictures. If you put all white light we can tell better. Don’t mess up your settings tho.
First welcome to the hobby and to Bay Area Reefers! As you're already on a "fish-in cycle" I'd highly recommend getting a Seachem ammonia badge and Seachem Prime. You'll need Prime to neutralize the ammonia once it gets too high. The badge gives you real time monitoring without having to whip out a test kit and run a test. For future tanks, I always recommend a fishless cycle and even better if you start it with established live rock.

Test straps are not accurate and shouldn't be used for a reef tank. Look into quality test kits like Salifert, Red Sea, Hanna. Stay away from API tests.

Biggest tip I always give to beginners is go SLOW. Never impulse buy/make impulse decisions and always ask a vetted more experienced reefer when you have questions. Learning as you go is doable. Also rarely trust what some LFS tell you. They are after your money first and know how to say the right things to new hobbyists so it sounds like they have your best intrest in mind.

If you can make it out to High Tide Aquatics, They are one of the only LFS in our area I would actual take advice from. Also if you are near Castro Valley, I can gladly give you some live rock so that your tank can process the ammonia and you don't poison your clowns with ammonia.