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Old 10-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #31
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Oh and by the way get invertebrates after everything is stable! They are sensitive to parameter fluctuations!
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #32
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All live things (rock and sand) is a great route. But the mini cycle could permanently scar a hardy fish with ammonia burns and shortens it's life span drastically. The rotting shrimp is what makes it cycle! That's what creates the ammonia! If you really don't want to put anything in the tank, then put all the live sand and rock in, and after a day test your parameters. After the ammonia and nitrites are mostly down, put a clownfish in. Then do water changes EVERY DAY. This method isn't very ethical if I could say, but it works. I really recommend the shrimp. Remember cutting corners and being impatient will come back to you later.
+1
I wouldn't subject a fish to ammonia it is an extremely stressful and can scar the fish or kill it if you do not keep on top of water changes. I would just toss the shrimp in give it 3 weeks to a month then slowly add livestock. Patience is key in this side of the hobby!
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:50 PM   #33
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All live things (rock and sand) is a great route. But the mini cycle could permanently scar a hardy fish with ammonia burns and shortens it's life span drastically. The rotting shrimp is what makes it cycle! That's what creates the ammonia! If you really don't want to put anything in the tank, then put all the live sand and rock in, and after a day test your parameters. After the ammonia and nitrites are mostly down, put a clownfish in. Then do water changes EVERY DAY. This method isn't very ethical if I could say, but it works. I really recommend the shrimp. Remember cutting corners and being impatient will come back to you later.
Mm, thanks;
I'll probably shorten the cycle, though, and change the water daily, but for how long? Until it's stable? And 25% or 10% water changes? Thanks for all this great advice, by the way; and I may go for a nano-reef. What are some pros and cons to that, and is it any more difficult to maintain?
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:56 PM   #34
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Mm, thanks; I'll probably shorten the cycle, though, and change the water daily, but for how long? Until it's stable? And 25% or 10% water changes? Thanks for all this great advice, by the way; and I may go for a nano-reef. What are some pros and cons to that, and is it any more difficult to maintain?
You can't "shorten a cycle" they're all about the same. You can only do things to speed it up. And still wait at the least 2 weeks before adding anything at all. And it's also gonna be a pain to do a water change everyday if your buying premixed water? On my 10 gallon, I do a 1 gallon water change once a week. I'd seriously just slow down and take your time.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:57 PM   #35
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Mm, thanks;
I'll probably shorten the cycle, though, and change the water daily, but for how long? Until it's stable? And 25% or 10% water changes? Thanks for all this great advice, by the way; and I may go for a nano-reef. What are some pros and cons to that, and is it any more difficult to maintain?
If you are cycling with the fish id say 50-60% changes whenever ammonia goes up. If you want a reef you will need good lighting and very little to 0 nitrates. Definitely less forgiving than a fish only with live rock set up but not to hard if you were to do beginner corals.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #36
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I dont know if anyone has already said this but always use RODI water!!!! If you dont have one you can get one from BRS or from your lfs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:02 PM   #37
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Mm, thanks; I'll probably shorten the cycle, though, and change the water daily, but for how long? Until it's stable? And 25% or 10% water changes? Thanks for all this great advice, by the way; and I may go for a nano-reef. What are some pros and cons to that, and is it any more difficult to maintain?
Until you get readings of zero ammonia and nitrites, and then low nitrates.

Ah reefs. My favorite. Haha. Well:
Pros:
-Beautiful
-lps (large polyped stony) corals of some types can host a pair of clowns
-gives you experience for the future
-more eye catching to non-aquarists and aquarist alike!
-some corals (GSP/green star polyps for example) grow so fast that you can frag it for store credit

Cons:
-Definitely need to keep up on water changes
-Need more expensive lighting
-need to limit evaporation to keep a stable salinity (this one is for especially nanos)
-more food is necessary for some corals (I'd steer away from those as a beginner)
-higher filtration is necessary

Is it harder to maintain? Yes and no. If you keep up on your water changes with just fish like you're supposed to, then it's really no different. But some people slack thinking "ah they'll be fine". With that attitude your corals will be dead within a few months. I'd start out as a fowlr. Get all your fish and inverts, and then add the corals. Take it very slow. The more time you spend, the more experience you get. The more experience you get, the easier it will be.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #38
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If you want a reef start with some zoanthids, and polyps. They are easy and require little light. Have you thought about lighting?
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:06 PM   #39
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If you want a reef start with some zoanthids, and polyps. They are easy and require little light. Have you thought about lighting?
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Start with green star polyps, Xenia, mushrooms or zoas. Very hard to kill and most grow like weeds once established.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #40
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For a begginer get some T5s. They are pretty cheap and reliable but not as good as LEDs. They will heat up your tank. I have T5s in my reef and they took the temp from 78 fto 80f
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