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Old 04-27-2005, 04:49 AM   #1
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Need some pointers

I am slowly setting up my tank, piece by piece as it were. I have a 20 gallon, and right now I have about a 2-3 inch sandbed with sand I collected from the ocean a few days ago. All I have in there right now is a strong powerhead. I have 3 unidentified snails in there right now.

Anyway, I have a few questions, since I'm doing this in stages.
1. The tank seems to be going through a mini-cycle right now, showing some slight ammonia levels. I think this may be to the fact that the sand comes from temperate waters, and may not have done as well as I hoped to warmer temps. I've put some fish food in there to keep any bacteria thriving, as well as the snails. When I add my live rock and base rock, will this throw it back into another cycle?

2. Should I wait until the current cycle its going through to finish before I add my live and base rock, or does it matter?
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:24 AM   #2
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When I add my live rock and base rock, will this throw it back into another cycle?
Your tank is cycling right now, from the life in the LS. As far as the LR and another cycle, it depends on the LR and whether it is cured or not. Also, how much die off is present on the rock.
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Should I wait until the current cycle its going through to finish before I add my live and base rock, or does it matter?
This is another "it depends" question. If you put in LR that is fully cured and has a lot of visable life on it (like from liverocks.com) the cycle can harm some of the life. Most would say wait until you have cycled first befor eadding it. If it is uncured or needs to be re-cured, you can throw it in the cycling tank. Base rock can go in at any time, the sooner the better.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:34 AM   #3
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Your tank is cycling right now, from the life in the LS
So do you mean it is normal for a tank to cycle with any type of live sand, or that I'm having alot of die off in the sand?

So it would probably be better to have completely cured rock then, and a finished cycle
I'm not sure where I'm going to get my rock, probably from an lfs. I'd love to get some from liverocks.com, but the shipping costs are too high unfortunatley.

I guess I'll throw the base rock in now, which should help the cycling I'm guessing. Thanks Lando!
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:42 AM   #4
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So do you mean it is normal for a tank to cycle with any type of live sand, or that I'm having alot of die off in the sand?
Yes, the life in the sand is what is kicking off the cycling process.
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So it would probably be better to have completely cured rock then, and a finished cycle
Once again, it depends. I would suggest checking out www.liverocks.com for some of the best aqua-cultured LR you can get. It comes to your door fully cured and covered in life. Most LFS change much more for rock of a lot less quality. With shipping you will only be spending about $5 a lb from them. Once your tank has cycled (ammonia and nitrite have spiked and dropped and you have detectable nitrates) You can just put the rock in. You may see a small ammonia spike from the addition, most likely not.
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guess I'll throw the base rock in now, which should help the cycling I'm guessing
I will not really help the cycle. There is no life on the base rock to help with this. It will, hoever, provide a good environment for beneficial bacteria to grow on (which is it's main purpose). It will become live over time. The addition of some good quality LR will help with this.
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Thanks Lando!
You are welcome
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