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Old 08-14-2003, 01:46 PM   #1
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Just started 30gal

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and to saltwater. I just setup a 30gal tank two days ago, temp is at 80F have 1lb of live rock. I put in live sand on the bottom that came live with bacteria so the bag said. Yesterday I put in two domino damsels to help cycle the tank. How do I know when the tank has cycled? I'm not quite sure what the next step is. Eventually I want to have some clownfish with an anemone, and some cleaner shrimp. Possibly some other fish. Any help and advice you can give me would be great. The salinity is steady at 1.022 and I used a 5in1 test strip to make sure the PH and Nitrite Nitrates are all good.
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Old 08-14-2003, 01:55 PM   #2
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You're going to need a lot more live rock. I'm in the middle of being told that most people would reccomend a 1.5-2 ratio of live rock to water. So 1.5-2 pounds of live rock per gallon. A thirty gallon tank may be susceptible to rapid changes in ph, nitrate, nitrite, and other chemicals, but I'm not entirely sure on that.

General rule to any fish tank is 1" of fish to ever two gallons. I don't think damsel's get very big, and some types of clownfish don't get very big, either, so I think they would be good fish for a 30gallon, but only one, maybe two. A shrimp or two, too, might work, but I wouldn't put much else fish-stock wise. Some fish can get territorial and cause problems in tanks that they aren't given enough room in.

The anemones need very stable tank conditions and lighting, as far as I know, and I've been told over and again that they are pretty hard to keep alive in captivity.
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Old 08-14-2003, 02:07 PM   #3
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are you talking about the sand at the bottom or the actual rock lookin thing, I have a piece of rock in there that looks like coral, it's about 7" long and 4" in girth... I need a lot more? it wont all fit...

And How about the cycling, how do i know when that is done?
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Old 08-14-2003, 02:14 PM   #4
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first thing I would recommend is taking the damsels back to your LFS. the tank cycle is extremely rough on fish and should be done without them. You can read this article in our articles section describing the cycling process without the use of fish. Basically buy one cocktail shrimp from your local grocery store and drop it in the tank. It will provide all the ammonia you need to kick off the cycle for your tank without subjecting any living fish to the harsh conditions of a cycling tank.
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Old 08-14-2003, 02:39 PM   #5
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The stuff in the bottom is live sand, not live rock.

Where did you buy the piece that you have in your tank at the moment? If it's live rock it would have come from your local fish store, and it would have been in a saltwater tank. It should have living things or 'hitchhikers' on it that will help your tank in the cycling process. It should actually be pretty heavy, and it doesn't look like it would all fit, but it should. The fish will enjoy having the rock.

Important, though, to remember that the rock -will- displace water. You have a thirty gallon tank, but there won't be 30 gallons of water in it. You have to account for the bottom sand, the live rock, and whatever else. You'll probably end up with about half the water volume of the tank, maybe more. I don't know why I forgot to mention that before ^.^() sorry!

I agree with BillyZ, though, about the shrimp. While I didn't know you could do that, it makes a lot more sense than putting fish in and hoping they survive the ammonia spike. It's less expensive too, and less harmful to the fish.

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Old 08-14-2003, 02:54 PM   #6
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i have about 1 lb of rock in there, i listed the dimensions earlier, it was $6/lb and came from a saltwater aquarium. do i need more?
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:04 PM   #7
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I would deffinitly reccomend more rock. you'll want around 40-50 pounds of rock at least. you can buy base rock which is much cheaper than the LR and just add, say, 10-15 pounds of LR the rest base rock. The algaes and such from the LR will spread to the base rock. it sounds like a lot of rock, and it will take up a good portion of the spacein your tank, but it is necessary if you're not going to have any other forms of filtration.


why don't you tell us a little more about your set up and what you plan on having in it in the long run?

btw... Welcome to Aquarium Advice
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:22 PM   #8
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the only filter that is in the unit is whisper power filter 30.... i will pickup more rock today. this is gonna cost some dough.
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Old 08-14-2003, 04:31 PM   #9
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Saltwaters are pretty expensive... x.x I realize that now. But if you're going to do something, might as well do it right the first time. Chances are it would cost more to screw up and try again.

You're probably going to want some sort of protein skimmer, too, and make sure it has good water flow. I've learned so much in the past three days... Just hang around here and read other's posts, you'll learn so much.

~Sparkle
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:49 PM   #10
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I agree with sparkle about the skimmer. I would suggest hang on back skimmer like a CPR BAK PAK...thats what i have running on my 30 gal. Most people say that if you have LR and LS, that the only other form of filtration you need is a skimmer. I have a fluval 204 canister filter with carbon in it....it also helps with water movement.
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