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Old 01-11-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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New here and need some advice!!!

I am starting up a 35 gal saltwater reef w/ fish and looking for some advice. I have gotten some mixed advice from different people. Our town only has 1 LFS and they say if you get the LR from them that you don't have to let it cycle but, everything that I have read said that you still need to let it cycle for aleast a few weeks. I guess what I am asking is what is true what do I need to do? Also, do I let it cycle with the lights on or off I have a 150w metal halide. also, I would like advice and how much LR is enough for an aquarium this size and when do I need to add the clean up crew. also, how long do I let the lights run....sorry for all the question but it looks like yall know what yall are doing and I want to do it right...

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Old 01-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA

If your LFS is selling "cured" rock, then it is true, you won't need to cycle to rock. But you still need to cycle your tank, but using cured live rock cuts the cycle time drastically. I would let the tank run about 2 weeks with the cured rock, check your paramaters and you would probably be good to go for a clean up crew.
Lights on or off won't help speed anything up, but if the cured rock has some coralline growing, the lighting will be helpful.
Usually 1 to 2 lbs of rock/gal is good depending on the density of the rock. You might get 50 lbs of real dense rock and it looks like hardly anything there or 50 lbs of lighter, more porus rock and can't fit it all in the tank.

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Old 01-11-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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You came to the right place.
Let's start this way, if you get enough cured LR (generally, the rock in the tanks that your LFS has their livestock in), say about 1.5-2LBs per gallon, you may see little to no cycle at all. You will want to get a test kit, one with ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, pH tests. This will get you started (stay away from the test strips) and learn how to test and watch your water chemistry.
You want to wait until the cycle is complete before you add any livestock, including a clean up crew. You can cycle it with your lights off or on, it doesn't really matter.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for such a quick reply... I got a reef test kit and a saltwater test kit. All I need now is my protein skimmer and my LR. But I wasnt sure what skimmer to get? Also, when running my light how long should they run? also, should I combine LR with fake rock or just use all LR....
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:56 PM   #5
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Skimmers are one of the parts to the puzzle that you should not skimp on. There are several out there that would do well for your size tank. Though you have to decide are you going to have a sump or just use a HOB style skimmer. If you want a HOB the Remora series from Aqua C is a great place to start. As for the LR I would buy enough LR to get things started but add base rock (dry rock) to the tank to get the LBs you need.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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I agree with Ziggy953 that skimmer is the best choice for your tank.. I would order about 30 pounds of live rock and 30 pounds base rock. In my opinion dont go for the live sand just get some basic sugar fine sand and seed it with a little bit of live sand from your LFS or even if you purchase the cheaper uncured rock you can cycle your tank with it and the Sand will become somewhat live from the bacteria on the uncycled rocks. And definatley get a RO/DI unit first you wont regret it here is where I got mine http://www.melevsreef.com/ro_di.html I love it very fast and only 200 dollars shipped.. money well spent.. And Test your tank for Amonnia,Nitrate,Nitrite,PH,Alkalinity,Calcium,Magn esium,Phospates once per week.... Just some things I learned thought I would share. Good luck

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