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Old 05-13-2004, 12:23 PM   #1
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Confused about timing of adding critters

OK, here's what I plant to do, I'm just not sure about the timing of it all

New 38g tank, PC lighting
40-50lbs LR
3" sand bed (20lbs Live Sand, 60lbs Dead Sand)

Dead Shrimp method, Tank get's cycled..

Now then, assuming I have some LR hitchhikers (and they're good ones not Mantis shrimp or anything) ...

"Detritivore kit":
When do I add it? If I have LS do I need it? How long will they live in the sand if there's no fish producing crap for them to feed on?

"Cleanup Crew":
This is crabs, shrimps and snails right? I assume the snails can subsist on algae, but what will the shrimps eat?

Do I have that in the correct order, Detritivores then Cleanup crew?
How long can this little eco-system run before I add fish? I would prefer to wait for several months to be sure everything is stable, but I'm not sure if leaving out the fish for too long is a good or bad idea.
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:58 PM   #2
steve-s
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Re: Confused about timing of adding critters

Quote:
Originally Posted by gear-head
"Detritivore kit":
When do I add it? If I have LS do I need it? How long will they live in the sand if there's no fish producing crap for them to feed on?
Depends on the sand. If bagged wet sand from the LFS it will at most have some types of aerobic bacteria. If from an aquacultured source or a matured tank, then it will have most of what you need already. Detrivor kits can still add needed biodiversity. In either case, you won't do any harm adding the detrivors. Until you add waste producing animals to feed the "bugs", simpley add a few sinking pellets a couple of times/week. That will feed them and at the same time help maintain your bacterial populations until fish are added.

Quote:
"Cleanup Crew":
This is crabs, shrimps and snails right? I assume the snails can subsist on algae, but what will the shrimps eat?
Same as above, a few sinking pellets here and there will help. For the first little while there will still be a decent amount of "tidbits" from the rock but that will not last. When you first add the "crew" err on the lower side. Until the tank matures some and the waste producing animals are added there won't be much of a sustained food supply for everyone and the peelets will only go so far.


Quote:
Do I have that in the correct order, Detritivores then Cleanup crew?
Doesn't really matter but if you give the detrivors the first go, it will allow them to get established before the larger carnivors are added that will hunt them the same as the leftovers.

Quote:
How long can this little eco-system run before I add fish? I would prefer to wait for several months to be sure everything is stable, but I'm not sure if leaving out the fish for too long is a good or bad idea.
As long as the tank is fed, they will last indefinately. A food source for the animals/bugs and an ammonia source for the bacteria. Although fish produce waste and in turn feed the food chain, you can do the same thing yourself without fish.

Cheers
Steve
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