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Old 06-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Question Beginner help for Saltwater aquarium

Hi guys I am new here and new to the whole aquarium thing. I bought a 30 gallon tank kit. I have a filter, heater, thermometer, 2 pieces of 3 to 4 pound live rock and the proper lighting and i have one bag plain sand and the other is a bag of live sand. I also obviously put the right amount of salt in it also. I checked the water with a hydrometer and that came out good. I set everything up and let it rum like this for about 8 days. The I added a snail, peppermint shrimp and a Goby. A week later i just added in two damsels, i am not sure what kind if anybody can help me identify them that would be great. I am pretty sure I did something wrong as i have read that you are supposed to let the tank cycle? I am not really sure what that means. My understanding is that you just let the tank run for about a month to let the aquarium get used to everything or whatever. I called a petshop and they told me that an aquarium has not began to "cycle" until there are some fish in it which is why i just bought the two damsels. Somewhere alone the lline i think i have messed up. What is cycling and am i doing everything ok. One last thing, how do i keep my tank and fish healthy. I have no intentions of doing any reefs and just want to make sure im maintaining a safe and clean place for my fish. Thank you so much
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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If you bought your live rock already cured from the fish store this will help you kick start your cycle and keep your fish doing ok for now. Here are a few articles that will answer your questions.

Cycle your salt tank

Curing live rock? I didn't even know it was sick!

Ammonia conversion to nitrate
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:08 PM   #3
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Those are good articles. Read the one esp. on cycling. If ammonia gets too high you`ll need to do some PWC`s but it will slow your cycle down some. This will need to be done to keep your tankmates alive.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:27 AM   #4
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Thanks guys i appreciate the help. The one rock i bought i think needs to be cured. I bought it and waited four days to put it in because nobody told me that it had to go right in my tank. This time when i bought my live rock i bought it and put it right in and it was already cured they said. I will have to read them articles i appreciate you taking your time to help me. Besides what you stated am i doing everything right and have all the right things. BTW My diamond goby is kind of aggresive towards my damsels not sure what kind they are. He has calmed down a little since i put them in but is this common
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Fish can be aggressive at first yes, just make sure you keep an eye on them. Also, your damsels (no matter what kind) will eventually become very territorial and aggressive. It just comes with them growing up. You should have at least one pound of "live" rock per gallon for a proper filtration system. The little hang on back filters aren't nearly as important in saltwater as they are in freshwater.

Make sure you read those articles very carefully, welcome to AA, feel free to post any other questions you might have. The first rule of saltwater is nothing happens fast, so dont rush into anything or it can be devastating.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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when you say the hang on back filter in not nearly aas imprortant does that mean eventually when i get enough live rock i wont even need it. Thanks for the help and any advice for a begginer is appreciated. Your saying i should have 30 pounds of love rock
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Once you have a pound of rock per gallon it provides enough surface area for the bacteria that helps maintain your tank and you won't need the hang on back filter. Hang on back filters main function is usually to provide that surface area with the little ceramic rings or bio balls or something of that nature. You can still keep it around because it can be helpful later on if you want to run phosphate media or activated carbon.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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Ok thank you very much. I wish i had some more live rock it so empty with only 2 pieces lol. If i did not cycle my aquarium properly when do i know when its safe to consider it cycled successfully and safe to start adding more fish
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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When your ammonia and nitrites are zero the cycle is finished.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
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so regardless if i cycled my tank correct or not and no matter what i did right or wrong as long as my tests for ammonia and nitrites come in at zero it is cycled and i am in good shape? One other thing how come some stores turn off their lights in there tanks. Should i turn mine off every once in a while or what
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