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Old 12-13-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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"Getting Started"

I was wondering if all you experts were to start a brand new tank waht would you do differently from your last time. Were would you begin? What order would you purchase your hardware, at what point to you being your cycle? .... Simple getting started question posted on one thread... i believe this can really help alot of people out on this website (including myself)

As of now I have my 55 gallon, my T5HO 216watts, my Wet Dry filter with bioballs, waiting on my canopy to come in... just wondering what your next few steps in the process would be?
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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personally, take out the bioballs and use live rock rubble instead.

I think for me I would get all the hardware setup and ready to go before i even fill it, i have a tank right now with everything except some power heads and its running through fresh water just to help me clean it the lazy man way lol. if i was doing it all from scratch all brand new gear i would probably setup with everything and have it ready to go, then fill it with salt water, aquascape then put in the sand (didnt do that the first time i setup a tank and rock has fallen and got moved around) then watch the cycle.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
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I would go larger next time around. I want a tank that is deeper (front to back) my last tank was 120g and I loved the shape but eventually wanted to go larger to have more space for larger fish and more corals. I will most certainly have a reef ready tank next time around and I will drill it for a closed loop as well.

Always a good idea to have all the equipment before getting started.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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If I were to start over I would've also went bigger. I would've also purchased a RR system and instead of using all LR I would have used base rock.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:52 PM   #5
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id leave the bioballs they do a really great job of filtering
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:55 AM   #6
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i would get rid of the wet/dry completely, and put together a sump, made from the largest standard tank i could fit under the stand. then i'd order a quality protein skimmer rated for 2 x my tank volume. then i'd fill it with water.
i can get live rock for the price of base rock so, i'd order a box or two of that and when it came in, drill holes through it and use acrylic rods to make rock towers. aquascape, and then wait (the rock would cycle the tank nicely).

then i'd vacuum the tank with my water change and then add my dry aragonite sand.
wait till it clears, and then add livestock.

btw, i wouldn't use a 55 for a DT. it's too shallow front to back. a P.I.T.A. to aquascape and you can't keep tangs for very long(humanely).
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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i would get rid of the wet/dry completely, and put together a sump, made from the largest standard tank i could fit under the stand. then i'd order a quality protein skimmer rated for 2 x my tank volume. then i'd fill it with water.
i can get live rock for the price of base rock so, i'd order a box or two of that and when it came in, drill holes through it and use acrylic rods to make rock towers. aquascape, and then wait (the rock would cycle the tank nicely).

then i'd vacuum the tank with my water change and then add my dry aragonite sand.
wait till it clears, and then add livestock.

btw, i wouldn't use a 55 for a DT. it's too shallow front to back. a P.I.T.A. to aquascape and you can't keep tangs for very long(humanely).
So you're recommending the tank cycle be done without sand in the tank at all? What if I was using around 75lb of new dry sand and around 25lb live sand from someone else's tank?
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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You can cycle either with or without the sand to start. You want the rock sitting on the bottom glass (use base rock there) and add the sand after that.
Dry sand will create a sand storm in the tank until the bacteria coat it making it just heavy enough to settle. In my tank that took about two weeks, so you may want to consider curing the sand in tubs outside of the tank and adding it later in the cycle. The sand storm can also take a toll on power heads with all the sand particles going through them.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:34 AM   #9
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Can the sand be cured in tanks outside of the display tank with just RO water and some water circulation?

This is the sand I'm looking to purchase today.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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its gotta be saltwater in the other tanks. and dont get rid of the wet/dry its putting alot of oxygen back in the tank/ best filtration on the market.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:55 PM   #11
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Get some 20 gallon BRUTE tubs at Lowe's. All Rubbermaid BRUTE products are food grade so they won't leach. You need to use saltwater to cure the sand. You don't need a powerhead, but a small heater will help (unless you keep area the with the tubs warm). You do need to stir the sand every couple of days. Don't put the sand more than 2" - 3" deep in a tub.

Wet/Dry systems are FAR from the best filtration, unless you want a Fish Only, or a FO with some LR tank. A wet dry completes 2 of the three stages of the nitrogen cycle. It is very good at converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. Hence its reputation as a nitrate factory.

If you want corals, or are lazy about partial water changes a wet/dry cannot compete with LR (1.5 - 2 pounds/gallon) along with a good skimmer. Add a DSB (deep sand bed [>4"]) and a refugium with some macro algae and you have a natural system that takes care of the complete nitrogen cycle.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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sand doesn't need to be cured. why i suggested to cycle the tank with the rock and no sand is because after a cycle all sorts of debris will be all over the tank bottom. it's die-off from the rock. it's much easier to remove that without sand present.

i personally wouldn't use 25 pounds of sand that's from an established tank without thoroughly rinsing it. i probably wouldn't use it at all, because it will be a P.I.T.A. to rinse it enough for my liking. maybe a cup or two from that tank and the rest dry (also thoroughly rinsed) sand.

that's not true that a wet/dry is the "best filtration on the market". a trickle filter is better for fresh water applications IMO.
where are you getting your data from?
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:43 PM   #13
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sand doesn't need to be cured. why i suggested to cycle the tank with the rock and no sand is because after a cycle all sorts of debris will be all over the tank bottom. it's die-off from the rock. it's much easier to remove that without sand present.

i personally wouldn't use 25 pounds of sand that's from an established tank without thoroughly rinsing it. i probably wouldn't use it at all, because it will be a P.I.T.A. to rinse it enough for my liking. maybe a cup or two from that tank and the rest dry (also thoroughly rinsed) sand.
Thanks! That makes good sense. I figured the sand should be present during the cycle but if that's not the case then that's fine too.

I'm going to be running a refugium in my sump. What about putting the sand from my friend's tank there instead of the main tank? I plan to thoroughly rinse (saltwater rinse) both the new and "live" sand. Is there just no real benefit to using the sand from another tank after it's been rinsed? From what I've read it helps "seed" the new sand. Maybe you're saying this because only a few cups of their live sand will have the same effect as using 25lbs of it?
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #14
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well, people say there are many micro-critters...microfauna...etc. in the sand from an established tank...but i only believe that to be true if someone actually introduced said organisms. if not, then you will have the same organisms in your sand bed in a matter of time anyway.
yes, a few cups is recommended because it will limit the amount of detritus you put in the tank.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #15
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A cup of two from an established tank will see the tank, but so will LR.

Although you don't need to cure the sand, it will cause sand storms in the tank when you add it later, that's the only reason to cure it outside of the tank.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:26 PM   #16
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How long to cure the sand? How long can i let mixed water sit if it has a powerhead and heater in it?
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