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Old 10-04-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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just a couple beginner'squestions

Hi my name is Leslie and I am just starting out.I got ahead of myself and just bought a tank and a fish and it died within three days...needless to say I am now researching like crazy to make sure I have a beautiful tank with just a couple fish to enjoy. I have gone to youtube, read articles and bought a step by step guide to saltwater tanks.Everyone says you need to start with at least a 30 gal tank because it is easier to care for and can house a few more fish;however, space is limited and so are funds so I am starting with a 25 gal tank.
I decided that I would continue culturing the piece of live rock I got with the fish in the 10 gal tank I bought but I have questions on how to proceed with that.I don't have any kits yet to test water but I read that every few days you should use a toothbrush to clean the live rock and when it no longer smells it is ready to be introduced to a tank with livestock.Is this correct or am I going to loose the live rock too?
Right now the live rock is in the same tank as the ill fated fish with the filter still running.I turned off the heater and the lights.Is it okay that I am doing this or should of I be doing something else?Any advice would be appreciated thanks!

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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Did you add the fish the same day you set up the tank? What kind of substrate are you using? When you first set up a tank you have to let it go through a cycle before you begin adding livestock.
When i started my 60gallon i used live sand as my substrate and added 30lbs of live rock. I also added "Bio Spira" by instant ocean which you can get at the local fish store. This adds nitrifying bacteria to the system and helps prevent fish loss. But your going to want to get test strips because before adding any fish you need to make sure your levels are ok.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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You're really gonna need test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. No real way around that. Your tank needs to cycle still. Read up on the nitrogen cycle. Leave the rock in there. Turn the heater on, the bacteria you are trying to get to multiply actually like it warm. Turning the heater up to about 84 will help cycle faster. Then when cycle is done and ready to add fish, turn heater down to about 76-78*F. You can leave the light off during cycling, will only encourage algae growth. Either buy some surfactant-free ammonia or throw a few raw shrimp in there. Then you'll need to wait about a month, during that time, check the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate every couple days. When cycle is done, do partial water change and you're ready for fish. But definitely read up on nitrogen cycle. Welcome to SW!
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