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Old 08-21-2015, 02:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm gonna do mostly dry rock to start and maybe a piece or 2 of live rock.
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:22 PM   #12
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Just my personal preference, I would rather get a nice chunk of coralline covered live rock to seed the tank then rely on a couple snails and hermits to seed a whole tank. + I like the majority of hitchhikers I've had come in on live rock. Vermetid snails and hydroids are the worst thing I've delt with. All the crabs/ shrimp or things that won't spread can go in the refugium and the rest can be fixed with a dip or just plucking them out. I think it's pretty neat seeing what goes on after lights out in a tank with live rock over dead rock even if there's a little more work involved.


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Old 08-21-2015, 05:04 PM   #13
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Another thing, how can I start a cycle? Everyone says use a cocktail shrimp but I can't. Is there any other things I can use, like a few shrimp pellets?
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:21 PM   #14
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You can use anything that decomps...I say to avoid flake and pellet food as it will swamp your system with phosphates. This of course is why I say an uncooked shrimp normally. If this isn't something available to you you can simply use pure ammonia to dose the tank up to 2 ppm to start the cycle. As you test the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels you will know to dose back up to 2 ppm until all ammonia and nitrite are consumed in a 24 hour period to know you can safely add livestock to your tank.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:25 PM   #15
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You can use anything that decomps...I say to avoid flake and pellet food as it will swamp your system with phosphates. This of course is why I say an uncooked shrimp normally. If this isn't something available to you you can simply use pure ammonia to dose the tank up to 2 ppm to start the cycle. As you test the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels you will know to dose back up to 2 ppm until all ammonia and nitrite are consumed in a 24 hour period to know you can safely add livestock to your tank.
+1 the shrimp is suggested because it's easy. Pure ammonia works just as well as the shrimp. Most people get theirs at Ace Hardware.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:34 PM   #16
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I believe the 'test' to see if it's pure is to shake it to see if it bubbles? I really don't recall atm.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:36 PM   #17
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I believe the 'test' to see if it's pure is to shake it to see if it bubbles? I really don't recall atm.
Yeppers. I've never personally seen it with surfactants in it, but some have. If all else fails you can find it online easily enough.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:00 PM   #18
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you can wrap it in wet news paper or put in 5g buckets with sw , you prob would need a few
buckets.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:11 PM   #19
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So I dose the ammonia back up to 2ppm every day until the nitrites and ammonia are at 0 and the nitrates are at a safe level?

And then once all nitrites and ammonia are gone I can add some hardy inverts such as hermits and snails?
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:18 PM   #20
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You don't have to do it daily...but once you get to the point you dose to 2ppm and the ammonia and nitrites are gone in a 24 hour period you are ready to do large water changes to get your nitrates down to 0 and add fish.
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