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Old 02-09-2006, 11:24 PM   #1
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Almost Ready to Add Water... I think... 5 More ?'s...

I think I'm about ready to start my Cycle in my 46 Gal Bowfront, and here are 5 more ?'s that I've come up with... I'm sure I'll have more, but it's a start...

Question #1 : Does the Type of Salt Mix I get matter? I see a few different kinds and one of my LFS had the Big 150 Gal Tub (Coralife I think) for about $40.

Question #2: I'm considering 60-80lbs total for my substrate, maybe 20 lbs of LS ($30 per 20lb bag) and a couple (or 3) 20 lb bags of Non-Live Sand ($20 per 20lb bag). Does this sound about right?

Question #3: The LFS has some cured Live Rock @ $5.95/lb that seems to be a fairly normal price... Not a ton of color on the LR in thier Tank, but not zero either. The LFS suggested 40-50 lbs of LR and another 30-40 lbs of Non-Live Rock. This is gonna be pricey if I do it this way, but may end up being best... Maybe I could go a little lower on the LR and more of Non-Live, be we will have to see.

Question #4: Glass top on or off of Tank duing cycle and/or after cycle?

Question #5: What order should I add the Water/LR and Substrate? Some people have said to mix the salt and RO Water then dump into the tank, get the right Salinity (if thats the right term) and Temp, then add the LR and Sand... Others seem to do it all at more or less the same time...

Any help is greatly appericiated...

I'm getting closer...

Thanks,
SW2
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:26 AM   #2
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The LFS suggested 40-50 lbs of LR and another 30-40 lbs of Non-Live Rock. This is gonna be pricey if I do it this way, but may end up being best... Maybe I could go a little lower on the LR and more of Non-Live
You can go with less LR and more base rock. You could switch those numbers and be fine. Maybe go with 30 lbs of LR and 40lbs of base rock. If the rock is cured be sure to add raw shrimp!

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What order should I add the Water/LR and Substrate? Some people have said to mix the salt and RO Water then dump into the tank, get the right Salinity (if thats the right term) and Temp, then add the LR and Sand...
I would mix your water and salt in a sperate container(s) 24 hrs before you are going to put it in. After writing that i just realized were talking 46 gal so maybe try this. Fill your tank with water and then get the salt at the right level. When that is done add the sand. If you are in no rush dump it right in and the water will clear in a couple of days. On the other hand if you want to avoid a large sand storm you could use a pvc pipe to reach the bottom and pour the sand in the pvc and spread it around. Either way i would wait to add LR until the silt settles.
You could do it that way or do the mix the water, then add sand then LR all in an hour, its totally up to you.

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I'm considering 60-80lbs total for my substrate, maybe 20 lbs of LS ($30 per 20lb bag) and a couple (or 3) 20 lb bags of Non-Live Sand ($20 per 20lb bag). Does this sound about right?
To me that sounds like a lot of substrate but it all depends on how deep you want your bed. Save yourself some $ and buy all non live sand and just ask the LFS for a cup of LS out of an established tank. You don't even really need the LS because as your tank cycles it will turn your sand into LS.
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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The way I did it was to add all the sand first in the tank (didn’t have base/lr during cycle but would add this as well after sand) 80lbs will give you about 3” bed which is fine and the same amount I used in my 55 gal.

I then slowly added the RO water (now have ro\di) up to about 4” to the top lip (about 5 gal short). Then I mixed all the salt needed for the tank (usually around 1 cup per gal, just follow directions) in a 5 gal bucket by hand for about 5 minutes and let sit overnight. Some just add salt directly to tank but I didn’t want it just sitting on the sand till it dissolved personally. In the morning I remixed the salt for another 5 minutes and slowly added to the tank and turned on my two power heads. After 6 hours I tested the sg and adjusted as needed. Within 2 days all was crystal clear.

I would not cover the tank at all during or after the cycle as long as:
1: Your lights are high enough to avoid getting splashed or have a cover on the lights themselves.
2: You don’t plan on getting any fish that are known jumpers.
If you do have to cover your tank it’s best to at least leave 2+” off in the back (usually the plastic piece that goes on the end) so your tank doesn’t build up CO2 and affect your O2 and PH levels.

The lfs price of lr seems about right. As far as color and “life” on the lr I wouldn’t worry about it too much since all can be added later. Even 10 lbs of “live” rock would turn all the base rock to live within a year or two and be just as biologically beneficial within a month so personally I would just buy as much as you can afford of lr and leave it at that. The money saved by getting more base could be better spent on a quality skimmer
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips...

I picked up 40 lbs of Sand today to start with, 20 lbs of Live (Dry) and 20 lbs of Base... I can add more down the road and am not really looking for a 3" base or anything... 1 to 1.5" I think will suffice at least for now.

I also picked up some Salt Mix and will be trying to fill the tank this weekend. Will go back early next week to pick up some LR after I have Water/Temp and Salinity stable. The LFS recommended "some" LR, but maybe not the whole lot to begin with...

I guess we will have to see when I go back next week.

My New Light should be here on Monday too... I ordered a 36" Coralife Lunar Aqualight that I found for under $180 NEW that didn't sound too horrible. (and in CA, so UPS Ground in 2 Days, not counting Weekends).

SW2
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