I think I read too much and from too many different opinions I've flat out confused myself. I read the article on here about fishless cycle and many other posts from people starting their tanks.
New tank starting FINALLY (been waiting 6 months with an empty tank)!
65 gallon reef tank
20 gallon refugium
20 gallon sump
Rock and sand come in this week. I ordered 105 lbs of Marco Dry Key Largo Rock and 120 lbs of sand.
So I put the sand, rock, saltwater, all equipment in just how I want it and then add 3 fresh shrimp to start the cycle keeping the light off the entire process. I'll get an ammonia spike which grows bacteria that produce nitrite. Then get a nitrite spike as new bacteria grows and eats the nitrite, then produce nitrate. The ammonia and nitrite levels go back to zero. Whole process taking up to 8-10 weeks.
My questions are:
1) How often do PWC
and how much during the cycle process? I've read every other day 50% and I've read once a week 10% like a normal tank, whats the benefits of each because every other day at 50% is a lot for salt!
2) The PWC
will remove the nitrates and after the cycle I can then add my macro algae to the refugium or can they go in from the start?
3) I need to add small amounts of fish food each day after the ammonia spike to keep those bacteria growing or do you just leave it be throughout the whole cycle with just the raw shrimp?
4) Since it is all dry rock/dry sand there are no other little critter like copepods, beneficial worms and such so the tank must be seeded somehow. If I take some LR
out of my existing tank and some sand from my existing tank that solves this problem? How long before these critters take hold in the new tank and I can move the LR
back into the current tank? And I put this LR
in from my existing tank AFTER the cycle is complete?
5) The CUC goes in after the cycle is complete, but do I also put a fish or two in at that time as well? If not do I need to feed the CUC?
I've just read way too much and am really second guessing myself so I need some reassurance that this is correct since I'm starting with all dry rock/sand.
thanks! Can't wait for the rock, sand, and overflows to come in this week so I can get started.