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Old 11-28-2006, 12:05 PM   #1
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1st thing to do.....

Hello everyone, I have been reading your forum for along time now and I have to say that you guys are simply the best ...everyone is so helpful.

I have decided to take the plunge into saltwater...what I was wondering if I am on the right track for now..1st thing is to fill the tank leave it overnight incase of leeks (with salt added) drain off some of the water and put in my live rock and base rock how I want it...put in the sand after that, hook up my ph, and sit and wait....of course test the water during the course also. I am using uncured live rock.

So does this sound like it would be the right way to start off

Anyone have any suggestions I would love to hear them..I am not sure how long it takes for the base rock to come alive..anyone have any suggestions as to time frame?
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:13 PM   #2
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WELCOME TO AA!!

Please do not cycle your tank with live animals. (It doesn't sound like you are planning on it, but I like to put it out there).

I would fill up the tank with plain water, just to test for leaks, there is no point in wasting the SW, in the event there is a leak. Either way is ok...
I would rinse the sand in FW to get out the smaller particles. Add the sand, then the base/LR.
What size tank?
I would suggest using a raw, unseasoned shrimp, from your local grocery store to help the cycle start (1 shrimp per 30gallons is usually suggested). Of course, depending on how much LR you have, that may be enough to kick start the cycle.
Do you already have a test kit?
I find this place awesome for dry goods:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the grim reefer
I am not sure how long it takes for the base rock to come alive..anyone have any suggestions as to time frame?
This will depend on how much LR per base you have, water conditions.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:38 PM   #3
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Well thank you for the welcome

My tank is 55 gals.....I think that I will be getting about 25 lbs live rock and about 30 base rock. Just a thought anyways. Live rock has the same value as gold per ounce I am sure...
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:49 PM   #4
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welcome as well, i'm pretty new at this myself. i also have a 55 that i just started about a month ago. with the help i have gotten here i have been lucky enough to have a smooth cycle, and get my tank running without any mishaps. just make sure your patient and every thing will wall into place. what is your filtration like, and your llighting? is this going to be a reef or fo/fowlr tank?
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:54 PM   #5
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I would shoot for 1.5-2Lbs of rock per gallon. This will provide the best natural biofiltration possible. I am getting read to set up a 125G. I will be using 150Lbs of base and 50-70Lbs of LR, from my LFS.
Mazilla had some good questions too.
Check this site for decent prices on base:
marcorocks.com
I'll be ordering from him this Friday.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:08 PM   #6
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I am hoping to have some fish, critters, and a couple soft corals in the tank...I am currently in the process of looking into lighting...my tank is deeper so I need to have a higher wattage..just have to keep looking..I was thinking of using PC lighting though...any thoughts on that one? The filter I was thinking of using is a rena xp2..should I maybe upgrade to the xp3? I am not ready to use a sump...I have to take little steps with this as its so foreign from freshwater....maybe my next tank I will use a sump but right now it will be a canister filter....

What kind of tank did you guys set up? Do you have fish in yours yet Mazilla?

I dont know about only having rock for filtration...I need all the help I can get to keep this alive so that is why I was thinking of the filter....that and I am a chicken.....
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
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I have a filter in my 55G, now, it only provides a little extra water movement, the sponges were nitrAte factories. I would skip the filter and spend the money on a skimmer, or better lighting. I don't believe PC lighting will work too well on a deep tank, with corals in it. I suppose you could get some low light corals and have them closer to the top (I'm not a reefer, so I could be off).
I will not be using a filter on my 125G, just the recommended rock per gallon.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:26 PM   #8
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Well I might just do that Roka and give it a whirl with the rock ipo the canister..I was going to purchase a skimmer too after the cycle was complete...you just saved me some money Love that....

If I do go the coral route it will definately be the lower light ones as I think that they are harder to kill....that wont be for a longtime yet...I want to get my base rock alive and that I am sure will take quite awhile...how long did it take your base rock to come alive?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the grim reefer
how long did it take your base rock to come alive?
I don't have it yet. For lighting, I believe you could use MH for deeper water penetration, for more of a variety of corals.
Don't skimp on the skimmer, it's best to get a good one the 1st time around.
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:23 PM   #10
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It's not the standard 55 gal tank size? How tall are we talking? 1.5+ lbs of base/lr is what tons of us use instead of canisters. With that much porous surface area it's enough for all your bio-filtration needs. That's also why a good current is important with SW tanks to move that water within/around the rock to filter the NH3 and the bonus is some of the NO3 will convert to nitrogen gas which escapes the tank.

A quality skimmer helps as well to remove the DOC before they can convert to NO3.

The reason we prefer this method of filtration versus canister/bio-balls/bio-wheels/ect... is that all the filtration is contained within the tank and a good clean up crew of red/blue leg hermits and various snails will help keep it clean with little maintenance.

As Roka said a canisters job is to trap waste and that waste builds up and raises your no3 levels and needs to be cleaned constantly.
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