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Old 10-23-2004, 12:15 AM   #1
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How much LR should I get?

I'm soon going to have 70-80lbs. of base rock in my 55 gallon tank, how much live rock do you think I should buy in order to have it spread to my base rock (and not take forever)? I was thinking about 10-15lbs., do you guys think that would work?

My plan is to add all my base rock, then add the water and sand, let the tank cycle (fishless), then add the LR and wait until most of my rock has become live before adding any fish. Somewhere inbetween the last two steps, I plan to add some inverts.
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Old 10-23-2004, 12:57 AM   #2
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Hi Glomgold,
You probably know that the more LR you can get the better. However, seeding base rock with LR is a good way to save on setup costs. If you can put in about 20lbs LR with the 80lbs base rock you should be in good shape. Try to get 2-3 seperate pieces of LR so that you can spread them out amongst the base rock. Keep the LR towards the top so that it will get plenty light. I think that will help keep it thriving. Proximity to the base rock will allow easy migration of things like feather dusters etc. You don't need to wait for the base rock to become live before you add fish. That would take a helluva long time. If you are planning to use a sand bed then you should try to use about 20% live sand. That will seed the bed quickly and add a good deal of bio filtration. Also keep in mind that nitrifying bacteria which will populate the rock and sand will only survive as long as there is food in there for them. Therefore a period of time without waste from critters will allow the bacteria to die. I don't think there is any benefit to adding the LR seperately to the base rock and sand. I think you can/should go ahead and add the base rock first, followed immediately by the sand, including live sand, then put in your mixed saltwater (easier to put the sand into a dry tank) and then put the LR right in on top of the base rock. There will be a die-off from the LR which will kickstart your cycle. Once your cycle is complete start with 1 fish at a time (and snails etc.) and monitor the water chemistry. Hopefully there will already be enough bacteria in there to avoid another mini-spike. Thereafter you can add another fish a few weeks later etc., allowing the bacteria population to grow as the waste (food source) increases. Be very careful to not overfeed

Good luck !
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Old 10-23-2004, 01:02 AM   #3
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One other thing - be careful what water you use to fill the tank. The best of course is well mixed saltwater made from RO/DI water. There's plenty other posts about water in this forum so do a search. The initial tank fill is important because it will take a LOT of subsequent water changes to dilute any undesirable nutrients introduced with say tapwater. I made that mistake and paid for it I went out and bought a Kent Marine RO/DI unit and it was one of the best aquatic purchases I have made. It's expensive but give it some real consideration if you can.
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Old 10-23-2004, 11:38 AM   #4
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I would add the LR at the same time as the base. The die off from the LR may cause a new cycle if added later.
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Old 10-24-2004, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for your help guys (especially Brendan)! I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-24-2004, 10:59 PM   #6
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No problem. Good luck !

Oh yeah - one other thing. Do a little research into which salt mix to start out with. Switching later on can cause problems. I've been looking into this myself recently and I'm about ready to conclude that the only thing salt is truly useful for is replenishment of trace elements via regular water changes. Other more important constituents such as calcium and magnesium are best kept at appropriate levels via supplementation such as kalkwasser and epsom salts. For more info check out :

http://www.reefs.org/library/article...htbill_wc.html
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