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Old 05-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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After cycling, what to do with the lights and getting started

I have a 29 gal biocube saltwater tank. It finished cycling so I removed the shrimp, did a water change, and removed an inch of sand, as I had too much. My nitrates went from 5ppm to 15ppm. I guess because I disturbed things?? Anyway, a LFS told me to leave my actinic lights on for 8 hrs while cycling and afterwards turn my daytime lights on for four hours the first week and increase 1 hour per week till I get to 7 hrs per day. I have nothing in there right now but my live sand, about 25 lbs of awesome very porous rock that was dry rock. I now have 2 inches of substrate in the tank. I have no corals yet either. Why do I need to run my lights? Is it to get the bacteria used to it? Can't find any help on this matter. Also, will my bacteria do fine without feeding it with invert / fish waste until I'm ready to slowly add things? BTW, will be putting purigen, chemi pure elite, and a new floss in Saturday which will be three days after I removed some sand. Hopefully that will help with my nitrates. Please help!
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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You don't need lights on at all. All that's going to do is fuel algae growth. How long until you intend to start adding livestock?
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:54 PM   #3
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This weekend at the soonest. Was hoping to have my nitrates lower first. We have a fish place that does aquariums for people but isn't really a store. It's about 45 min. away. All the good stuff is 2 1/2 hours away in El Paso, TX. Is it a problem to wait so long?
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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Do fish and inverts have to have the lights on? I do have windows in this room but I keep the blinds closed. I know about the corals and then fresh water fish but you don't see much on the net about lighting with just inverts or fish. Maybe just about the lights making it seem like the ocean. Will it hurt anything if I don't use them till I have corals?
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:29 PM   #5
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Fish and inverts only need to see to eat. If they have enough light to do that, they will be fine. waiting a week to add livestock is fine. Your bacteria colony shouldn't die by then. If you are worried about it, sprinkle some fish food in the tank every few days.
Just remember to add livestock slowly. Don't go to the far away store and buy 5 or 6 fish. I would suggest adding one at a time. This way the bacteria colony will increase as the bio load increases.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:36 PM   #6
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Do fish and inverts have to have the lights on? I do have windows in this room but I keep the blinds closed. I know about the corals and then fresh water fish but you don't see much on the net about lighting with just inverts or fish. Maybe just about the lights making it seem like the ocean. Will it hurt anything if I don't use them till I have corals?

Thanks! I just figured on adding a few snails or maybe one fish. I'm in no hurry. Hurrying leads to disaster. Going to pick up fish very slowly since I only go to the city when we need to go to SAMs. You were very helpful, thanks.
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