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Old 07-20-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Need some input on what I currently doing.

So i decided to get into saltwater after doing well with Freshwather.
I've done a lot of reseach on saltwater so i think i go the basics down. Here's where i have so far.

I setup the tank on 7/3/09. 90 Gallon take with overflow in it.
Wetdry filter with a Rio power head.
t5 lights
100 pounds of uncured rock. (I did a great job cleaning them as best as i could).

I want the tank to cycle with the uncured rock.

it's been 17 days since i started the tank. i've been doing water checks. My ammonia was very high at the begining, but now it's down to almost zero. My nitrite is at a peak and my nitrate is at 80.

I will be putting in a aquac remora skimmer on wednesday when it arrives. I also have a small 20 gallon tank powerhead in the tank helping to circulate the uncured rock.

Current issues: i have a deep six hydrometer and the suggested reading should be 1.022. when i first mixed the water as suggested by the salt intructions i got a reading of 1.016, but i didn't konw if the hydrometer was right. Once the tank was filled i added salt to get it to 1.022 which is where it is now. I went to the beach this weekend and i took some water back home to test it and i got the reading at 1.016 (i live in Long Island, NY). So i just ordered a refractometer from ebay which i should be getting soon in order to figure out if the hydrometer is faulty, as i am getting a reading for 1.022 from my tank water, but 1.016 from beach water.
That's just one issues.

I've been reading about the nitrifying cycle and i found out that drastic temperature changes will affect the bacteria.

My apartment has no breeze and it's very hot compared to outside. i haven't cared much about it because i don't have fish in there yet. but the water temp has been as high as 84 degrees, and as low as 76 degrees, it was not been dramatic because it changes on it's own which means that the temperature changes very slowly.

Here are my questions:

Do i need do add powerheads to my tank setup? or is the wetdry with the rio pump enough?

Is the fact that the salidity could be 1.028, bad for the nitrifying cycle? and is the tempature at 83 degrees bad for the nitrifying cycle?

Since the rocks were not cured, but the ammonia is now at almost zero, but the Nitrite at a peak mean that the rocks are not cured yet? should i add some bacteria from the petstore in order to speed up the cycle process? or would that be useless if the rock is not cured yet.

oh and one last thing. I've been using tap water with stress coat and when i first mixed the saltwater i forgot to add the stress coat to the water before i added the salt (this happened with only about 15 gallons of the 90 gallons.
Also i have done two 15% water changes since 7/3/09.

I have not added the sand. I have 75 lbs of NOT live sand taht i purchased from the pet store where i bought the tank from. I read somewhere that i should not add the sand until the rocks are cured, which means zero ammonia and nitrite.

THanks in advance.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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1. Welcome to the site!
2. Powerheads (phs) are great for adjusting flow to eliminate dead spots and balancing out your pH.
3. Hydrometers seem to give different readings based on water temp. Good choice on the refractometer.
4. In order to kepp your temp stable, use a floor fan to blow across the surface of the water to help cool.
5. If you are reading 0 ammonia and a peak in nitrItes, your cycle is almost complete and you should see the nitrAtes rise. I wouldn't add anything else to the tank.
6. I'm not sure is stress coat is used for a dechlorinator...if so, you can probably add it to the tank water...I don't use anything since I am on well water, so you may want to wait for others' to chime in.
7. Add the sand now, rinse well and be ready for a sand stor for a few days. I'm not sure why you would add the sand after the cycle since it hosts quite a bit of the beneficial bacteria that the rock does.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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thanks a lot for the input.
Another sites stated that i shouldn't add the sand until the rock cures, and that the rock is not cured until both ammonia and nitrite are at zero.

Now that u mentioned dead spots, the middle comparment of my sump has bubbles on top of the water that don't move whatsoever. It's definately a dead spot, is that a bad thing.
And the powerheads: I am trying to avoid having to see anything hanging from the tank, that's why i got the coverflow tank. So are powerheads really a must?
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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While it's true, the rock is not truly cured until the ammonia and nitrItes hit 0, you could go either water with the sand (I've not heard of the adding sand after the cycle)...I simply cycle the sand with the rock.
If you have bubbles that don't move in your sump, you can add a small ph to move that water, otherwise, it will start to get that oily slime on the top.
As for phs in the tank, if you feel you have enough flow, then you should be good, only time will tell. Phs can help to redirect flow and give your tank the "chaotic" flow of the ocean. Sometimes the overflows are just not enough.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:31 PM   #5
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I know that I cured my LR and sand at the same time. I dont know why they would say you cant do it together. IMO not very good advice but That`s their opinion. I`ve set up alot of tanks for friends and always did both at the same time. Anyway welcome aboard to AA and good luck on your tank.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for you input guys. well aparently the sand would host the stuff taht needs to come us the uncured rock, and over time it would release it back into the tank. But now that you guys say otherwise, i will mix some water tomorrow and start to slightly wash the sand.

So adding bactera to the tank right now from the LPS wouldn't speed up the process, since the rock is not cured yet, right?
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:41 AM   #7
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Well, some folks have gone that route. I personally like to use the raw unseasoned jumbo shrimp (1 per 30 gallons) and let nature take it's course....plus it's much cheaper and guaranteed. This also gives me time to move rock and plan my tank....
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:46 AM   #8
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1. You are going to need a couple of PH's in that 90. 2 maybe 3 koralia 3's.

2. take the media out of your wet dry and put in LR.

Sounds like you are well on your way
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
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Take the media out? Just the balls, not the sponges right? i can definatey stick some live rock in the middle compartment. What if i don't take the balls out?

Also, the protein skimmer. i'm getting the AquaC remora. I know i can put it in the sump, which is what i want to do. But somehow i feel like having the overflow is only getting the top portion of the water, and nothing on the bottom. Would the skimmer be better on the actual tank?
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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yeah the live rock is better than the bio balls. just crush it up or your LFS might give you some rubble. The skimmer is fine in the sump. I don't really know about how the mechanical filtration works on a tank with overflows. maybe someone else can explain. my shrimp and bristleworms take care of all the excess food and I usually vaccum very well when I do a water change.
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