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Old 02-02-2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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set everything up and cycle it (maybe 3 weeks by adding a cocktail shrimp??) and then add about 50lbs of live rock and wait for a hopefully shorter cycle
Was that his suggestion? Seems like you can kill two birds with one stone here and use the live rock to cycle your tank...should be shorter that way too.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #12
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****UPDATE**** Sorry to change topics but After our discussion, I left with a beautiful 50 gallon Show by Oceanic [30x18x18] AquaClear 110, 40lbs of sand, and salt mix.

Jeff


Hey Jeff... Congrats on the Bigger Tank... And welcome to the hobby!

I started with pretty much the same setup as you... mine is a 45gal and I had an AquaClear 500 which is the old name for the 110. I started my cycle with 80lbs of sand(DSB) and 50lbs of LR. In the AC500, I just added all the LR rubble that came with my Online Order of LR. I also purchased a HOB AquaC remore Pro Protein Skimmer.

I quickly realized I wanted/needed a sump. So, I added a 10gallon tank I had in my garage to the system and built a DIY overlfow out of PVC.

My current setup has the 10gal tank under my display tank with all the equipment in it (Skimmer, AQ500, andheater).
Next I will try to incorporate a refugium into the sump.. If it wont work, I will upgrade to a 20gal sump...

It's addicting!
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:35 PM   #13
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It was just my idea. I was planning on piecing it together to avoid large outlays all at once. I'm getting excited to see some water though!! I will probably wait till I get the LR and just set it up at that point. My last major expenditure (prob most important) is my lighting. Can I cycle the live rock and sand and run it with the 20-watt normal output flourescent light strip that came with the aquarium? I would like to wait a few weeks before I buy the lights just to split up the cash flows!! Or should I wait it out and get the lights so I do everything at the same time with the light levels that I'll be using?

Also, while I'm on that question...are corals the only "light sensitive" critters or do the live rock (bacteria) and fish need to be under quality lighting from the beginning? This seems like a basic question but I can't find any threads to answer it!!

Thanks again,

Jeff
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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I usually like to start the cycle sans all light for about 4 days, and then gradually bring it up...5th day, actinics for 4 hours, 6th day actinics for 4 hours, daylight for 2, and so on until gradually I have my full lighting on after the 10th or 12th day. That's just me, though. It seems to cut down on initial problem algae growth during the cycle
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #15
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I cycled my tank with the SAME bulb you have (perfecto 20W). After adding my first 2 clown fish, I realized I needed a nicer light. I just didn't like the way the tank looked for a regular light..

I recently added the Nova Extreme Pro T5 light to my tank. I had a Diatom Bloom that lasted a couple weeks but has since burned itself out. I still get occasional Green Nussiance Algae on my glass which requires some manual cleaning. Other then that.. All seems to be going GREAT...

I was toldthat you can keep the 20W lighting for as long as you only have a FOWLR tank. When your ready for Corals you'll need better lighting.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:18 PM   #16
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I was toldthat you can keep the 20W lighting for as long as you only have a FOWLR tank. When your ready for Corals you'll need better lighting.
Yup... agree. The only thing that "needs" light are the corals. Coralline algae (the purple stuff that encrusts your rock) needs light, but only a little. And that'll take a while to really take off so there's no need for good lighting just for it.

The fish don't need better lighting, but you'll enjoy their coloration better under more intense lights. But if you're looking to put off the lighting purchase, I'm sure you can deal with a few months of drab looking fish.

One thing you might do though when you add the new lighting is don't add the lighting and the next day get corals. I'd plan on waiting a month or two after the new lights to put corals in. With the increased lighting, the whole biological system might go through an adjustment period with possibly some nuisance algae to deal with.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #17
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Thanks for all of the great advice guys. I'm sure I'll have a lot of new questions when I get her up and running. Just thought I'd share a recent missed opportunity with you though. A LFS decided to dis-continue their salt water livestock and sold everything they had. LR was $1 a pound and all fish were $5 no matter what they were. I heard about it a week after the fact!! AAArrggh!!

-Jeff
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:36 AM   #18
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It might've been a blessing in disguise that you missed it. I'm thinking that if they were getting out of the SW end of things that their livestock/rock wasn't that good to start with. If their stuff was great (and people wanted it) then they probably wouldn't have been getting out of that end of things.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:18 PM   #19
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What are the down sides or bad things that come from poor quality or cheap live rock? Is it a bad thing to use cheap live rock with a new setup?
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:06 PM   #20
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When selecting live rock....Cured pieces are best. That means that they have already had all the organic matter that died off during the transit and selection process well...die off and gorw beneficial bacteria. Also...Look for porous pieces. Heavy, dense pieces don't have as much space for bacteria to colonize, and should be avoided. Also, pieces with big holes allow for your various wards to inhabit and hide (important for some species). Anyways...I like to find some that have good coralline algae growth if possible. This is sometimes purple, pink or green. It encrusts the rock. Having some of this present makes it easier to later grow more on the rocks, and it will look spectacular. Most LR available comes from Fiji. It's, for the most part, pretty good rock. It's what I have in my tanks, and I have many beneficial hitchhikers that came in on those rocks. (Some, not so good, lol) It costs around $4.99/lb. in my neck of the woods. You can order from Fostersmith.com boxes of it for cheaper. Also, a LFS in my area sells rock from the MArshall Islands for around $14.99/lb. Too rich for my blood, but it does have some good algaes and coral colonies attached to it.
If you're stocking a large tank, you can use dead LR, or base rock, on the bottom and LR on the top to save money....just takes a bit longer for the proper colonization of bacteria and such.
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