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Old 07-25-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
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New set up question

I have been lurking on this site for several months while deciding on what equipment to use for my FOWLR tank. I have had my tank set up for two weeks now, with 65 lbs of live rock, 2.5 in sand bed. The rock I have is FIJI rock and I purchased it at a lfs already cured . The live rock has been in the tank for a week now, I thought from alot of reading on this site , it might trigger my tank to cycle , with die off but I have not seen any die off at all on the rock. All of my testing levels have been fine. Hence the addition of the raw shrimp. I have a few questions:

1) Should I add more live rock or is 65lbs enough , I have a 55 gallon tank

2) What should I expect as far as my cycle with the live rock present?

3) About an hour after adding the raw shrimp, my daughter walked by the tank and asked me when I bought the crab ........ I went to look at the tank and there was a small crab picking at the shrimp. I must have startled it because it made a quick getaway back into the rock. Are the hitchikers on the rock going to affect the cycling process in anyway??

4) Could someone elaborate on night time lighting ?




I have been a successful freshwater hobbyist since my college days 20 years ago , about two months ago we moved to Maryland and live right on the Chesapeake bay , my hubby begged me to try saltwater so here I am . If anything I am typically OVERLY cautious I am a nervous wreck about eventually adding fish to the tank , hehehe

I dont know if its relevant, I have a wet/dry filter system, three maxi 1200 power heads, protein skimmer, t-5 HO X2 flourescent tubes, jager 200 watt heater, thermometer, refractometer, test kits for everything including alkalinity. Plus back ups for anything in case something fails I think I covered all the bases.

Thanks a million!!
Laura
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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1. 65lbs is probably good. The rough estimate is 1.5 to 2.0 lbs per gallon, so you're close to the low end. But it really depends on how dense the rock is and what you want your aquascaping to look like.

2. With the fully cured live rock, you might not see any ammonia at all. If you start seeing an increase in nitrates, with no ammonia or nitrites, then you know your bacteria is doing it's job and you're about as cycled as you're going to get. (This is how my tank originally cycled as my LR was fully cured also.) You either have that scenario, or you'll see a slight bit of ammonia that will quickly go away. I'd continue testing for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates just so you know where you're at.

3. Sounds like you got a freebie hitchhiker! The crab will not cause issues with the cycle. If you do end up with ammonia or nitrites during the any cycle that might happen, it might cause issues with the crab as inverts can not tolerate these as much as fish can... which isn't much to start with.

4. I assume you mean the LED lunar lights? I leave my lunar lights on all the time, 24/7. My lighting cycle goes something like this:

before 9:30am - all lights off, except for lunar
at 9:30am - actinic (blue) lights come on, lunar still on
at 10:00am - 10k (white) lights come on with all other lights
at 8:00pm - 10k lights go off, all other lights stay on
at 9:00pm - actinic lights go off, lunar lights only thing on

Most people leave their main (10k/actinic) lights on for 8-12 hours depending on their lighting needs. The longer the light cycle, the more chance you have in having algae issues.

Sounds like you're on the right track with everything. Being overly cautious is not a bad thing in this hobby! Taking it slow and easy in the beginning is a great way to start, and a great way to continue.

Oh... and welcome to Aquarium Advice!
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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If your LR was already cured then you might not see much of a cycle. Keep monitoring it to be sure. You have a good amount but you might want to add some more down the road. If you can already get it cured then it wont be a problem to add it straight to the tank. Just keep it wet between the LFS and home. I dont have any nite time lighting so I cant help you there. My screensaver is the only nite time lighting they get LOL. You equipment list looks pretty good.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Thank you for the quick responses and thank you for the welcome!!

Thanks for the lighting information, I would like to have the lunar lights as my tank is in a main area of the house and we do a lot of entertaining of my husbands business partners , I have a black background for my tank so when the light is off its really dark . I see there are multiple color lunar lights do you use one color or several different colors?

Soooooo next question, if I dont get an ammonia spike , do I let mr. raw shrimp simply decay or do I pull him out at a certain point?

I saw the crab again I am going to see if I can identify him , if not I will put a picture up he keep pulling at a peice of the shrimp.

The LFS where I can get the rock already cured puts in in large bags with tank water then packs in styrofoam containers for the short car ride home, so it stays wet at all times.

Thank you again for the quick answers and support
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Post the pic of the crab on our ID forum.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid
Thanks for the lighting information, I would like to have the lunar lights as my tank is in a main area of the house and we do a lot of entertaining of my husbands business partners , I have a black background for my tank so when the light is off its really dark . I see there are multiple color lunar lights do you use one color or several different colors?
I've got the blue lunar lights. Those seem to give off a more natural "moonlight" look. Just to let you know... most lunar lights don't give off enough light to really show off the tank. Maybe during those entertaining times, you can just keep the lights on longer - or just shift your "daylight" period more towards the evening.

Quote:
Soooooo next question, if I dont get an ammonia spike , do I let mr. raw shrimp simply decay or do I pull him out at a certain point?
I'd probably leave it in until you get a measurable increase in nitrAtes, then pull it out. If you see a continual increase in nitrAtes without any ammonia, they you're most likely good to go. Be gentle getting Mr. Shrimp out - it's not as solid as it appears!
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