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Old 09-12-2003, 02:22 PM   #1
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completely green

i am very interested in starting a small reef tank, but i ma completely fresh on the topic. i have been doing some research, but i need more information. the tank size i am thinking about is about 75 gal.
how long should i cycle the tank before adding life? what kinds of life should i add first? second? how does a typical reef ecosystem work? what reef organisms live off the wastes of other organisms? these are just a few of the million questions that i have before i start the project!

in despirate need of advice,
ryan
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:36 PM   #2
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My best advice would be to sit back and read as many posts in these forums as possible. I don't even keep salt, but I feel that I am fairly knowledgeable just based on the fact that I read just about every post in all of the forums.
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Old 09-12-2003, 05:24 PM   #3
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i believe cycling can last 4 to 6 weeks depending on how you cycle it.to keep a successful reff you need to keep 3 sets of environmental conditiions chemical,physical,and biological must be maintained within a specific set ranges."chemical conditions"refers to the concentrations of various ions that are dissolved in waterin the aquarium. "physical conditions"refers to parameters such as temperature,light intensity,light spectrum,photoperiod,currents,structure,and substrate. "biological conditions" are associated with the interactions among organisms in the same area. this came from the book "your first marine aquarium" by barrons. ? 3. cleaner shrimp are scavengers,banded coral shrimp are scavengers,pepermint shrimp are scavegers,burrowing sea cucmber is a scavenger,brittle stars are scavengers, serpent stars are scavengers. ect....hth
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:22 PM   #4
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That question is best answered by sitting down at your computer and surfing for hours on end. Seriously. Before I started my tank, I must have read about 100 hours of all the literature I could find online about the subject. Not doing that will cause a lot of dead fish and wasted money. The people on this site are an invaluable resource. If it comes up, someone in here has tackled it before. And it is important to have a few different opinions, because, of course, there is not just one good way to do anything. You have to budget, then shop, shop some more, think about it, shop some more, and then buy whatever components you feel will help you most. As they say, in sw fishkeeping, nothing good happens fast, but anything bad happens real fast.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
nothing good happens fast, but anything bad happens real fast.

Great Words there
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:39 AM   #6
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First off, WELCOME to Aquarium Advice!

To answer your questions:

Quote:
how long should i cycle the tank before adding life?
This question can only be answered by Mother Nature. Cycling can take less than a week to 60 days. It depends Highly on what you use for aquascaping. (Sand, Rock etc...)

Quote:
what kinds of life should i add first? second?
Well, typically, the first additions to a system is detrivores. The cleanup crews get rid of all the unwanted algae due to cycling the tank and help provide a clean home for the next addition of your new fish.

Quote:
how does a typical reef ecosystem work?
I think I will leave this question up to Dr. Ron and the like, it is too long of an answer for this thread. Check Here for a brief overview of reeflife: http://www.reefrelief.org/coralreef/

Quote:
what reef organisms live off the wastes of other organisms?
This is the cleanup crew mentioned above, Hermits, Snails, Worms, Crabs, Starfish etc...

Quote:
these are just a few of the million questions that i have before i start the project!
Best suggestion is READ, READ, READ! I don't think anyone can stress it enough... Check out your local library for their aquarium books.. Find the ones you want to keep and then go buy them... I find it better than buying it and finding out that you don't like it. And then of course, check out all the posts on this forum... Lots of talent here to answer questions...Take your time and make it enjoyable. Many rush into it, to find it is a lot of work getting the system stable, and get frustrated... Never fear, it isn't as hard as it looks...
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