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Old 03-17-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
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Length of cycling period?

So, I tried to talk my bf out of cycling with fish, but he wouldn't here of it. So off we went to buy four damsels. Now that we have them in our tank (poor little guys), how long do we need to wait before adding LR? Should we just keep running tests until we see our spike and then the levels all drop to zero, or is there a standard amount of time? 90 gal tank, btw. Also couldn't talk him out of the CC, so its in there too.

thanks for the help!

P.S. On the post which "rocked the boat," I have to agree that it makes just as much sense to put in shrimp when they are cheaper, don't eat and serve the same purpose. But, our damsels aren't sulking or miserable. Not an ideal situation for them, but we plan to keep them in our tank once it gets fully set up and their strife should be worth it in the end.
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10 gal hex, FW w/ baby angels.

55 gal FW, 8 angels (various genetics).

90 gal SW, 2 blue chromis, 1 three stripe damsel, 60 lbs LR, Christmas Tree worm, long spine urchins, 2 brittle stars, 8 hermit crabs, 3 bumble bee snails, 2 margarita snails, 2 Ocellaris clowns, Regal Blue Tang, Chocolate Chip star, pygmy angel, bangaii cardinal, yellow tang, LTA, carpet anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, and still growing!
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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So you've not added any live rock, but plan to? Wow, that's going to be a real pain, because there's a very huge chance that adding live rock will prompt another mini-cycle of the tank, putting all the fish into jeopardy again.

Typically a tank cycle takes from 4-6 weeks to fully complete. Sometimes it's 3 weeks, sometimes its 10 weeks. 4-6 weeks is really just an average.

Smack your boyfriend for not listening to you...you had the right idea, no CC, no fishy cycle.

Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:18 PM   #3
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Kudos to you for at least trying to talk him out of the fish... in a perfect world, but alas.

If you get rock from www.liverocks.com (really good stuff) you can put that rock right into your tank and hopefully stunt the cycle time. Since LR.com rock has so little die off it won't add much to your cycle and since it is so full of life it may well pick up the pace and run with it saving your damsels from some of the damage caused to them by breathing ammo. Frequent water changes to keep the ammo at a reasonable level will help. You don't need off the charts ammo to feed the cycle.

Damsels are pretty hardy and will probably survive this if you keep it in check. Damsels are also *notoriously* vicious fish and are likely to terrorize anything else you put into the tank. They're just not nice. Once you get a heap of live rock into the tank you're going to have to all but pull it out to remove them. Chromis are just as hardy and a much more peaceful alternative (and they look cool when they school). Just a thought!

What are your long term fish plans for the 90? Reef or FOWLR?
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I didn't realize that we should have added the LR first. We already have about 8 pounds in another tank, that we will move over (after we shake out the darn crab that keeps eating our new additions!). We have a LFS that has excellent LR, the only one we've found that actually harbors life once we get it home. I would love to be able to do a reef aquarium and keep all of the beautiful corals, but I don't think we don't have the right type of lighting. We are just using 4 VHO strips 48" long (2 white, 2 blue if it matters). The girl at my LFS said that it should be okay for keeping a couple of anemones to keep our clown happy, but I don't think it will work for coral. So we are planning on FOWLR. We hope to get about 80 or 90 pounds of LR. Long term livestock plans (slowly of course) are false perc, blue tang, chocolate chip star (all of which we already have in a much smaller tank and I'm dying to move them into their new home); we would like to add a naso tang, coral banded or peppermint shrimp; brittle star; sand sifting star; horsehoe crab; two flame scallops; one or two more false percs and eventually a lionfish. I have not yet done any research into how all of these guys are going to get along sinse we are still at the very beginning of the process. But those are our thoughts so far. Do you see any obvious problems or conflicts?

Also, how do I decide how much LR and how much base rock to use?
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10 gal SW QT tank, sanddollars, hermit crab, snails

10 gal hex, FW w/ baby angels.

55 gal FW, 8 angels (various genetics).

90 gal SW, 2 blue chromis, 1 three stripe damsel, 60 lbs LR, Christmas Tree worm, long spine urchins, 2 brittle stars, 8 hermit crabs, 3 bumble bee snails, 2 margarita snails, 2 Ocellaris clowns, Regal Blue Tang, Chocolate Chip star, pygmy angel, bangaii cardinal, yellow tang, LTA, carpet anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, and still growing!
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:07 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, mentioned all of the fish I want and forgot what my bf wants (like his opinion matters anyway the big dummy). He wants some gobies, a yellow tang and one other fish that I can't remember now.
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10 gal SW QT tank, sanddollars, hermit crab, snails

10 gal hex, FW w/ baby angels.

55 gal FW, 8 angels (various genetics).

90 gal SW, 2 blue chromis, 1 three stripe damsel, 60 lbs LR, Christmas Tree worm, long spine urchins, 2 brittle stars, 8 hermit crabs, 3 bumble bee snails, 2 margarita snails, 2 Ocellaris clowns, Regal Blue Tang, Chocolate Chip star, pygmy angel, bangaii cardinal, yellow tang, LTA, carpet anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, and still growing!
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:22 PM   #6
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You'll have to make a decision on the lionfish. They'll eat any fish that will fit in their mouths, so if you struggle to keep these damsels alive, it'll all be for not in about 2 minutes with a lionfish in there.

If you really want a lion, you might want to rethink some of the tank mates and create a preditor tank.

And from what I remember, horseshoe crabs get pretty wide. Someone may be able to help more as I've never owned one but I think they need a lot of space eventually. - could be wrong.

- Skins
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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I think you'll find in your research that the lion will eat any fish that will fit in his mouth! That's why there isn't one in my tank right now. Drat because I think they are *soooo* beautiful! I also think that with your lighting you'd better be able to keep mushrooms, zoos, leathers, Xenia (maybe even some frogspawn, brain, etc) much more easily than an anenome. At least that's the impression I'm under (and also why I don't have one of those)!

The live rock is great to add first because it will hold the bacteria for the denitrification process. That surface area (often very porous = more surface area = lots of space for the bacteria to grow) provides the place for the bacteria to grow while your cycling. Not necessary, but very helpful.

Glad to hear that your LFS has nice live rock. That isn't something you hear in the industry very often. Mine charges upwards of 7-8$ a pound for live rock that isn't nearly as purple and full of life as the stuff that comes out of the gulf and keys rock from LR.com (at 5$/pound shipped to your door). I pick up my base rock locally but have had my LR shipped in from LR.com. The live rock that I put in from LR.com halted my cycle dead in its tracks.

Looks like you have quite the wish list there! Just make sure that you research each animal carefully before you add it to your system to reveal any incompatibilities or difficult feeding patterns among them.

For inverts you should also look at the skunk cleaner. What a great little shrimp he is. I think every tank should have at least 2 of those! Personality out the wazoo! LOL!
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:32 PM   #8
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You want at least 1lb of rock per gallon of water, up to 2lbs. If you fully cure the rock separately, it won't (or at least should not) cause any mini-cycle when added to the display tank. Liverocks.com rock is really good stuff, and arrives fully cured 90% of the time...otherwise it'll be mostly cured. I suggest their Keys Rock...very pretty stuff, moderate hitchhiker numbers (less chance for bad hitchhikers).

If you mean 'not live rock' when you say base rock, then you want a good 20% of your total rock poundage to come from live rock. 80% base rock..which eventually gets seeded with coralline algae and all the beneficial bacteria.

Stocking: Do lots of research...lionfish can be very aggressive. Don't overstock. This is saltwater...not freshwater. Salt tank, general stocking suggestion of 1" of fish per 5 gallons of tank space. This is not a hard and fast rule..but as you can see, it equates to a couple percula clowns in a 20gallon being the max fish load.

Lighting: 48" VHO bulbs are 110watts. you have over 4 watts per gallon. 6-12 months down the road when the tank is stable, you might try a small, low light anemone. As for corals, there's quite a few you can keep with your lighting: most any soft mushroom, yellow colony polyps, button polyps...to name a few commonly available types.

And, chocolate chip starfish are not reef safe. They will eat soft corals.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help guys. I had no idea the lionfish would be that aggressive. We had thought he would be the last to go in. He may not get to go in at all. I'm going to do some more research on curing LR as it is something that I don't fully understand yet. I'm so glad to hear that we will be able to keep corals at some point. I thought we would have to spend several hundred dollars on expensive lighting to be able to keep them. My LFS has some beautiful stuff, and I just found out that a new LFS is opening soon (that'll put us at about 7 w/in 30 minutes of home). Our wish list is extensive, and I doubt will be able to get them all, even if we wanted them. Hate it that the chocolate chip star wont be compatible with corals later on. He's been in our other tank for over a year. One more stocking question for you, will I have any trouble introducing two more false percs with my existing one. He is being moved into the new tank first (after it gets done cycling), but he is already really good friends with our Blue Tang. I read that the dominant clown in a group is always the female, followed by a male, and then all females. Is that true of all breeds of clowns?
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10 gal SW QT tank, sanddollars, hermit crab, snails

10 gal hex, FW w/ baby angels.

55 gal FW, 8 angels (various genetics).

90 gal SW, 2 blue chromis, 1 three stripe damsel, 60 lbs LR, Christmas Tree worm, long spine urchins, 2 brittle stars, 8 hermit crabs, 3 bumble bee snails, 2 margarita snails, 2 Ocellaris clowns, Regal Blue Tang, Chocolate Chip star, pygmy angel, bangaii cardinal, yellow tang, LTA, carpet anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, and still growing!
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:01 PM   #10
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So after taking a minute to read the article on curing LR, it looks like our LR from our existing tank would be safe enough to add to the new tank. Or is my thinking wrong? It has a few small feather dusters and a clam attached to it. After looking at pics of LR from LR.com it looks like my impression of the LR from the LFS was niave and we will be ordering from there. Much less expensive also! Thanks again for all the help guys.
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10 gal SW QT tank, sanddollars, hermit crab, snails

10 gal hex, FW w/ baby angels.

55 gal FW, 8 angels (various genetics).

90 gal SW, 2 blue chromis, 1 three stripe damsel, 60 lbs LR, Christmas Tree worm, long spine urchins, 2 brittle stars, 8 hermit crabs, 3 bumble bee snails, 2 margarita snails, 2 Ocellaris clowns, Regal Blue Tang, Chocolate Chip star, pygmy angel, bangaii cardinal, yellow tang, LTA, carpet anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, and still growing!
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