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Old 04-09-2006, 12:37 AM   #1
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new aquarium and carbon

hi, i finally got a salt setup. its a 55 gallon and its got a fluval 304.
when i bought the tank, the guy gave me like, 50 little packs of carbon, i think tetra brand. what exactly does this do, and should i or should i not put it in my filter.

Also, i've got the sg to 1.023 i think is what it was last i checked. should i lower this to .o22? or .021?

Last, i put in the sand, aragonite i believ. (sorry i cant remember any of the name brands now that i got the stuff) but i rinsed it out for like, an hour and it finally seemed pretty clear. I just rinsed it in a big rubbermaid tub. However, when i put it in the tank about 4 hours ago, it was really cloudy, which i pretty much knew would happen because it always happened in my freshwater tanks. But it still hasnt cleared up yet tho.
On my fresh tanks, i just use playsand, so i dont know if that is heavier and sinks easier?

but any tips on how to clear it up would help, or do i just need to wait it out?

Oh, one last thing. Is it ok to put in some crabs/shrimp and stuff while its cycling? or should i wait till after? If i can, what kinds would be good for just community?

And for the record, there is no liverock in there, just a good sized piece of lacerock, and a fake rock. It is going to be a fish only tank for at least a year or so, so i'm not worried about corals yet, unless there are some that require no special lighting because the only light i have is the regular flourecent that comes w/the tank.

thanks, and hopefully all my questions can be answered, because theres lots of them.

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Old 04-09-2006, 04:55 AM   #2
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The water will clear up on it's own, but may actually take a day or two. The aragonite is pretty cloudy stuff

I also have a Fluval 304 running on my 50 gallon, but I only use it to give me a little extra flow, and to run carbon which I do about 1 week per month. Initially I was also using the foam inserts and the bio-beads that came with it. I gradually added enough liverock to the tank to take over the biological filtration and cleaned the fluval out. I was getting too much nitrate build up using the foam and beads. Now it just has a compartment with some liverock rubble in it and sometimes carbon. BTW the carbon packets made for the Aquaclear filters that say 70 gallons on them will fit perfect in the compartments inside the 304 and that's what I usually buy. Running the carbon once in a while will keep your watter nice and clear. I start to get a little yellow tint if I don't do it.

I would hold off adding anything living to the tank until after it cycles, then start with a small clean-up crew. There's a good article available here on the site regarding fishless cycling.


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Old 04-09-2006, 11:04 AM   #3
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ok thanks. I dont have any liverock tho, so the cycle will take a long time wont it? and for the carbon, how long do you let it run in there?
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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The cycle will take the usual 4-6 weeks. the only way you can really 'skip' cycling is if you have 1.5-2lbs of already cured live rock. even then, I only suggest stockign with cleanup crew for a week, then start adding fish slowly.

carbon is effective for about 7 days. after that it uses up its chemical absorbing properties and should be replaced.
carbon helps absorb the chemicals released by corals, which the corals use to compete for space on rocks. Survival of the fittest. The closed, small aquarium just builds these chemicals up more readily.
some swear by carbon, some never touch it. I'll use it from time to time.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:57 PM   #5
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Some people use chemipure which is a resin and last longer than regular GAC. I do agree that dont add anything till your cycle is done. Also like to reccomend that you do go with LR. It is good biological filtration. But it`s up to you. All we can do is recommend our experiences. Good Luck.
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