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Old 05-08-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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New 75 gal Tank Started... Need advice

Ok, my brother and I decided to do a SW fish tank, and before I knew it, he started already.

I know this is a little late, but I was trying to do a little research, he just started doing stuff already.

Here's what we've got:
75 gallon tank
Water filter running w/o filter
Sand non-live
Live Sand
2 water heaters

This is the current situation: All the above is in the tank, with about 3 shrimp tossed in to start the cycling? process (the goofball chopped it up and then tossed it in). This has been running like that for a week now.

I've got a few questions/concerns to ask the all-knowledgable people here:

1) The (chopped) shrimp looks like it's got a caccoon around it... Is that ok?

2) There is now orangish-yellowy long grainy stuff showing up on the sand... what is that?

3) I think we should get some live rock since the tank is still new. What is the best (and cost effective) way to do it?

4) I don't know the Nitrate/nitrite levels since the goof thought the ammonia strips were enough... I plan to get a kit that has testing for nitrate nitrite ammonia. Also plan to aquire a protein skimmer and Powerheads. Any advice as to which kits are good, brands that are good, and requirements necessary for any of the above would be fantastic.

As for pictures, I will try and see if I can get some tonight.

Thanks for your time
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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Try this for your testing:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113074

Get a refractometer to test your salinity, I found my hydrometer was quite a bit off:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113074

If you are looking at cost, I did the same thing, I just added some LR a little bit at a time.

I'll let the more experienced folks chime in about the tech stuff, I just spent a lot of time comparing prices....

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:38 PM   #3
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Yes shrimp is supposed to look like that. Yes if you can get the LR in there now it would be ideal. Several places to go online for it. My favorite is www.liveaquaria.com . And you will need test kits to know if your cycle is over. Good Luck.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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I would get uncured LR and place it in to help with the cycle. Placing cured LR in your tank as it is still cycling would "kill" the cured status of the LR. You can usually get uncured LR cheaper than cured LR. Get test kits for ammonia, pH, nitrite, nitrate at a minimum, and make sure you have something to test your SG.

I will recommend that before you place any fish, snails, shrimp, crabs or anything else alive into your tank that you do some research. As the tank is cycling, you still have time to read up, and prepare yourself to successfully run your tank. Rushing into this hobby usually is the worst thing you can do.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Be prepared for your cycle to last 4-6 weeks and I almost forgot , Welcome to AA
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:47 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the replies

Wow, this stuff really does get to be expensive

I'll try and see if we can find some live rock at the LFS as well as the testing kits. Probably find some online as well since it'll probably be cheaper.
Since live rock will be going in, is it necessary to have external water filter in place as well?

As for refractometer, is it really worth the $$ to go out and get one?
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:40 PM   #7
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External water filter isn’t necessary if stocking with 1.5+ lbs of lr per gal and you have good water movement within the tank using ph. I would get a skimmer though.

Buying a $45 refractometer will ensure more accurate results then the swing arm or floating hydrometers. IMO it’s not a “must have” item if doing a FO/FOWLR tank but if you are considering a “reef tank” then it should be gotten. If not keep your sg closer to 1.022 to compensate for any inaccuracies.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:53 PM   #8
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It took me a little while to find a place with not too much water movement to keep the arm from swinging.

On a funny note, my old hydrometer fell onto the substrate and my pincushion decided to use that for camouflage....
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:33 PM   #9
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You could start with some base rock from www.hirocks.com.

That way you could get a decent start and add better rock later on.
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:53 PM   #10
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If you are in Phoenix, I'd be happy to give you the hirocks I didn't use on my tank.
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