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Old 10-01-2004, 03:07 PM   #1
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Many Questions from a Newbie

Hello All,

The past weekend I spent numerous hours browsing through AA and learned a great deal. I have quite a few questions and was hoping to get some insight from the community.

1. I have had my 35 gallon tank, with crushed coral (florida) substrate setup for about 7.5 weeks but unfortunately didnt have time to pursue my tank further and have waited until now to start introducing life to it. I took a water sample to my lfs and they tested it, my nitrite was very high and he recommend a nutrafin cycle product that would help reduce the nitrite levels. I also purchased a testing kit. The salinity is ~1.024 and @ 77F. Is there anything else I can do to help reduce the nitrite levels? I added a small amount of substrate from my lfs' liverock tank to my system to help speed up the process as well.

2. My 35 gallon came in a kit form (tank, stand, substrate, salt, thermometer, hydrometer, canopy, light). It is a very simply Odell Flourescent canopy. I am plannign on adding 40lbs of LiveRocks.com keys liverock. I already planned on adding two blue cold cathode tubes for added effect (especially at night with the flourescent tube off) but should I change the flourescent tube/or retrofit the canopy as I want my liverock to have the necessary light it needs.

3. My lfs doesn't care any type of livesand and said that my crushed coral substrate should be fine. Opinions?

4. I was planning on adding two blue damsels before I get my liverock, is this okay?

5. What should I be feeding fish in my tank?

6. If i was to get 4 or 5 creatures for my tank, what should I get and in what order and over what period of time?

I'm sure all have many more questions later, thanks in advanced.

Raja Bhatia
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:27 PM   #2
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WELCOME TO AA!!!

1. Use only R/O water. and do regular water changes. Your Live Rock will also help keep the nirates low.

2. Live Rock should be just fine under normal florusent bulbs. I have mine under normal bulbs with no problems as of yet.

3. crushed coral is a hotbed for nitrates. I would greatly consider removing the coral and using argonite sand instead. It is worth it in the long run. ( and it just looks better.)

4. Um....yeah. You should add your Liverock slowly because you will see some amonia spiking. Also, you will want more live rock than that. I have 40 lbs in my 37 and it is not enough. If you look at my gallery, it looks good, but I was lucky enought to get rocks shaped in such a way that I could fake height. ( I have one rock that is only a few inches thick but very tall.) Most rocks are pretty much just round and when you get them in there and stack 'em up. they dont fill the space that well.)
Also, Damsels are mean little suckers, and will pick on everyone else. I have seen them basically kill clowns at my LFS.

5. Depends on the fish.

6. Depends on what you want to get. I am going to put 2 Perc clowns, a Coarl Beauty angel, and a watchman goby in my tank. In that order. ( possibly also a purple firefish, but I haven't decided yet.) Clowns are a good fish to start with. angels are more sensitive so they should come last when the tank is more mature. as always, aggressive fish should always come last. Be careful in what you choose. only small fish can fit in a 35 gallon tank. and alot of the fish you see in the store get VERY BIG!
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!!!
You need to get the tank to cycle first, that will get your water parameters in check. A good way to get that going is with the live rock. Please don't use damsels (tough on the fish), there are plenty other fishless method like the beformentioned live rock. Or you could even kick it in with a piece of uncooked cocktail shrimp.
If you want live sand, no worries your live rock will seed it with life. All you need is to get some dry tropical sand. Most LFS's will have that, the rock will do the rest of the work. CC can be hard on sand sifting organisms, fine sand IMO would be better.
I wouldn't add any animals until you get a good cycle (ammonia and nitrite at 0).
Let us know any other questions you may have.
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:31 PM   #4
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Will the liverock be okay if the nitrite level is high and what should I do prior to putting the live rock in my tank, should i been inspecting for any certain types of creatures at all or just dead life?
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Old 10-01-2004, 05:02 PM   #5
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So you've had nothing but cc in the tank for 7 weeks? I don't understand how you could have high nitrites if you haven't added any life.

Did you buy a filter? Or are you gonna rely on the LR for all the filtration?
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Old 10-01-2004, 06:39 PM   #6
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i have a emperor 280 as a filter, is this enough? i do not have a skimmer or anything else. for 7 weeks i had nothing but cc and water with a salinity of 1.025. I just bought 10lbs of argonite sand (florida) that i want to put on top of my crushed coral, is this okay ?
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:35 PM   #7
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i just added 10lbs of florida argonite sand
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