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Old 10-18-2004, 01:39 PM   #1
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hello, i am new and have a couple questions

my name is doug and have dabbled in salwater before but has been some years. First: y tank is 55 gallons, i have 1 1/2 inches of sand with 20lbs of live sand on top...i have 30 lbs of base rock with 50lbs of Fiji live rock on top. my lighting is 1 40watt 10,000k bulb, 1 50/50 40 watt bulb. and 2 20 watt 5000k daylight bulbs. i have noticed signifigant growth on the rock as well as some feather dusters...and some are red in color while others are brownish patterns. I plan to upgrade my lighting to a compact flourecent in the near future....my question is

do i need to feed the live rock? if so what?
i bought the live rock online came next day air...i have been curing this for 2 weeks now, i have been watching amonia and has really none yet, i have had very little die off....and have lots of young critters growing as well as green hair and plants. i plan on starting to add fish in 2 more weeks....should i wait longer? i guess thats it for now

thanks for your time

Doug
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com

Sounds like you have things off to a good start. I think waiting a couple more weeks will be ok as long as you remain not seeing any amonia. Have you added anything to the tank that would produce ammonia though? (such as a single uncooked shrimp from your local deli? (see our article on Fishless Cycling))

other than an ammonia source, you don't have to really feed the tank. If it will be a while before you get fish, it might not be a bad idea to drop in a small amount of fish food just to keep critters fed and an ammonia source in the tank.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:22 PM   #3
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Ok I am relatively new too but here is what I can tell you... The 5000k bulbs have jsut about no benefitial contributions to the aquarium... I believe the 5000s are mainly FW bulbs but you will probably never find a SW hobbiest using them (that isn't new). CFs are a good start and probably adequate for a 55... I personally have 4x65w CFs in my 55g... 2 are 10000s and 2 are atnics. I think most people will recommend somewhere in the area of 4-6 Watts P/G... I think 55s and lower can do wiht a bit less probably because of how shallow our tanks are... I would stay around atleast 4wpg if possble. If your LR was sent overnight you shouldn't have to do much curing since you probably had minimal die off. 2 weeks is more than sufficient IMO. You do not "feed" LR but you should keep your calc and ak levels at a stable rate. Some say all you need is consistent water changes to accomplish this but your best off getting a test kit. You may want to use some kind of suppliment or even pellet/flake food for any hitchhikers you recieved with yoru rock until you add enough fish to make waste food for the inverts. While you are pretty vague about what water parimeters you have I think you may be able to add a damsel or two (best to cycle with) in the next few weeks. Don't make the common mistake of buying expensive or pretty fish for your first one. The stress level will def hurt some of the more fragile guys. Damsels have been known to survive a nuclear winter. Get a few first and let them sit for a few weeks and watch the water levels. Once everything goes down to 0 you can start adding desired fish. You may or may not want to keep the damsels after the tank cycles. While some are descent looking... they can get very territorial. Keep your eye on them and if they start causing problems bring em back to the LFS. Most will either take them as a donation or give ya a few bucks.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:25 PM   #4
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the growth on the rock will also use stuff in the water, such as iodine, calcium ect.., people who very rarely do water changes have to supplemnt their tanks with these minerals, but if you do regular water changes the new water will cary a significant amount of them to keep the growth healthy.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:38 PM   #5
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i would steer clear of damsels, they are more trouble than its worth- catching them is **** near impossible once they are in there. also, cycling with fish is not teh best way to go, it is extremely inhumane. like billyz said, use uncooked shrimp. thereis an article on exactically how to do it in the articles section.

i would suggest getting a book too, such as the contientious marine aquarist by robert fenner.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:53 PM   #6
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ok, sounds good so far. My water parameters i have not really tested other than amonia....i figured that with the live rock in there it would cycle itself? i plan on monthly water changes 8 to 10 gallons? as far as other stuff to test for what? for now should i change the daylights for actinics?
also since my amonia is at nil...then are you saying i should drop some food in there? or is it safe to add some fish? i plan on hospitalizing any fish in a 20 gallon first...any suggestions as to what to put in the hospital tank? (treatment?) I do not need to worry about feeding the feather dusters? i bought some plankton stuff and put a little in there last week....but i cant get close enough to them with out ducking back in.
any ideas?

thanks for all the info so far

doug
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:13 PM   #7
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Damsel as starter fish...

11 years ago I thought I would add a damsel to my new tank to ensure it was fully cycled and prepared to keep things alive. He's still there!
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:25 AM   #8
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Bio-Spira. I have used it to cycle my tank and control a spike (long story..wasn't thinking too clear..) Its about 20 - 25 bucks and you wont have to flush lil nemo when your done. Takes about 48 hours and then you can fully populate the tank. If your like me and like to know what your getting, heres the link..http://www.marineland.com/products/m...L_biospira.asp
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:52 PM   #9
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you said that ammonia is 0 now, but have you been testing it all along? you should have seen a spike in ammonia and then a gradual decrease back to zero. if this has occured, your tank has probably cycled. also, go out and buy yourself a good quality test kit, test your nitrates and nitrites and report back. if these are zero, your tank has probably cycled and you can SLOWLY begin adding fish... and by slowly i mean ONE AT A TIME!!! youll be happy you took your time in the end.

i wouldnt switch your bulbs for pure acticincs, because they give off blueish light. get 50/50 bulbs- 50% actinic and 50% daylight.

hospital tanks are a wonderful idea. in mine, i dont add medication unless i see that there is a problem- i just observe closely.

as for the feather dusters, dont worry about feeding them directly, i would just add a little to the water column, and they will get it eventually.

now what kind of fish were you thinking about??? fill us in!
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:59 PM   #10
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Welcome sirfishmaster!!

Gonna go fish only, or reef? Yes, fill us in!

Glad to hear you subscribe to the QT practice.
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