Reef Nano Christmas gift, PLEASE HELP


Reefing newb
Hello, I'm totally new to this hobby and to forums,I could sure use your advice. My son gave me a 14g nano tank and I really love it even though I think I'm flirting with disaster. He decided it needed to be set up on christmas day. he brought Ocean direct caribbean live sand, a small bag of sand from his tank, instant ocean reef salt, 3 blue leg hermits, 2 dwarf red tip hermits, a scarlet reef hermit, a cerith snail, a turbo snail and three small pieces of live rock (about a pound) also he brought what he called skeleton rock. I lost 1 blue leg during the cycle and my nitrate is still a little high. now I have green algae and that really nasty red slimey stuff. I have bought 3 books and just ordered another one recomended here. I have done some water changes and the nitrate is going down, I turned off the lights yesterday. I think I need to get more live rock if I can get this algae under control. any advice would be greatly appreciated
Kat its nice to have you here Im new also but the folks here are ultra-knowledgable. I would suggest getting more live rock the folks here say 1-2lbs of live rock per gallon and most gravetate towards the 2lb side.
Thank you for the welcome, what do you think of the rock skeletons should I leave them in or replace with live rock? will they become live rock?
Im not really sure what skeleton rock is. I imagine if just a base rock that eventually the live rock you have will seed it with the living organisms eventually. The more knowing people will be chiming in soon Im sure and they are more qualified to answer. While your waiting skim through some of the posts in the Newbie Forum they have a wealth of info and if you find something you dont understand do a search<its in the smaller writing at the top of the page> and youll get a bunch of places to make it more clear. youve come to the write place Im a member of a few different forums and this is the best one in my opinion.
From what Ive gathered the living organisms on the live rock are basically a needed bacteria and healthy needed coraline algae and they act as a natural biologic filtration system and also they will use the excess nutrients that the green algae, the red stuff sounds like cyano bacteria, does it have little bubbles on it? that might be a good search for you.
I'm pretty sure its cyano bacteria, I just hope I am doing the correct thing to get rid of it. I dont think I have any coraline at all some appeared I think a while back but the live rock piece is so small I think the crabs may have eaten it they spend alot of time on that rock
I would also like some information about the filtration for the 14g nano. I have been told to leave the charcoal filter in by my LFS and my son tells me that later I should take it and the bio balls out completely after the live rock starts to work. also the LFS said there is a protein skimmer in the system, should I add one?
I would get rid of the bio balls and add a small protein skimmer. You can run carbon to help clean the water but only use the carbon for around a week. It will end up leaching nitrates back into your tank. I can't recommend a good skimmer for a nano, because I have never had a tank that small. I don't know how much water movement you have but you may want a small powerhead.
Should I wait until I have more live rock before removing the bio balls? also my pump flow rate is 137 gph (520 L/H )
The bioballs shouldn't hurt anything yet. I would just remove them about a third at a time when you get more rock. For water movement look for dead spots in the water. That is where you will get problems with algae.
Start adding more rock until you get to 1 to 2 lbs per gallon. The live rock will serve as your main source of biological filtration. You can leave the skeleton rock in -- it will be seeded by the live rock and become live itself.

Once you get enough live rock, then you can remove the bioballs. If left in, the bioballs can become a nitrate factory and lead to algae problems.

Definitely get a protein skimmer. If you have enough live rock and a protein skimmer, you will be all set for filtration.

Leaving your lights off right now will help with the algae. Algae outbreaks are really common for new and cycling tanks. It can take several weeks to get over it, but this is normal for a new tank, so don't worry.

The most important thing right now is to not add any more animals until your water parameters are stable and the tank is done cycling (ammonia and nitrite at zero, and nitrates below 20, as close to zero as possible is preferable).
Thank you all for such good advice, I'm in no hurry to add any animals until I feel the tank is ready. I know I have a battle ahead learning on a small tank but I really want to learn. will it be difficult for the hermits not having the light on? and How will I know when its safe to turn them back on?
Welcome to the reef Kat.I usually suggest leaving the lights off 3 or 4 days when starting a battle with algae and cyano.It wont bother your hermits or snails at all.Mines usually more active when the lights are out any way.And its something we all have to go through no matter what size system we've got.
I just wanted to say thank's to everyone, my tank lights have been off for 2 days and it already looks a little better.
Kat you are doing fine. the algae bloom is expected and is part of the maturing process. if you can stand it just let the algae run its coarse if it is red slime. add about 4 astea snails to help with the cleanup. do not add anything else and concentrate on getting your water parameters in order. You can remove the bio balls but will need to make sure the protein skimmer is working at maximum to airiate the water and remove protein. test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. good water movement and stable temperature and salinity are a must for the nano system and be careful to not overstock or stock too quickly. good luck and welcome to the site;.
Sounds like everyone has ya pretty much covered.
So that leaves me to Welcome you to the site...

Post Pics when things clear up .
Algee is part of the new tank cycle. Do a 1/3 water change at least once a month. This will help with the algee problem. Do you have a skimmer? This will make a big differance. Keep tank running at all times. How long are your lights on? The red velvet can be controlled by a product bought at a reef store or on line. You will need to do water change 48 hours after using this product. It works well ,and does not harm your fish or corals.
Welcome. I just started up my 24 gal a couple of months ago. If you have any questions feel free to PM me. I have probably gone through the same thing.