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Old 10-10-2004, 03:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 6
New tank setup question

I just purchased a 72g bowfront and just assembled. Yay!

I have been reading posts on here and reading "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael S. Paletta and now have a few questions.

I'm basically confused on the live rock and sand/live sand substrate.

I plan on purchasing my live rock from liverock.com.

When it arrives I will have already had the tank setup up for proper salinity and temperature.

Here is where I now need some advice:

Do I just add the live rock to the tank and allow it to "cure" in the new tank (i.e. cycle the tank)?

And if so, do I add the live rock to the tank with no substrate in it (a la Paletta book) so that when the curing live rock has detritus come off it will be more easily siphoned when the tank bottom is uncovered? Is this really a good idea?

Could curing live rock kill the organisms in my live sand (assuming I had the sand in the already to sit the rock on).

My fear is maybe scratching the bottom of tank or killing the organisms in the live sand b/c the tank is cycling.

Also, Paletta suggests a 1/2 - 1 inch sand bed, but I see many people here at the forums have a deep sand bed of 3 to 4 inches. What are the pros and cons of this?

Should I add the substrate sand before placing rock in there, and then bury the rock like 1 inch into the sand (assuming I had a sand bed of 3 to 4 inches)?

Hopefully you can see where I am struggling. What would really help is just repsonses of a quick step by step procedure of adding live rock and sand on a new tank that other people at this forum have already done, and a quick synopsis of their thoughts on the pro's / con's of what they did.

I learn best by example.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. First goal is FOWLR tank, then advancing up to reef tank when more skilled.

Ch33ky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2004, 03:48 PM   #2
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I say that you should cure the lr in the tank with no substrate. you will just have to be careful not to scrach the tank. Also it will be nice to do your aquascaping right on the bottem of the tank. That way if any of your fish like to dig, they will not make all of your lr topple over. I am in the process of adding lr to a cycled tank. I setup a 10 gallon qt to put my fish in untill I am done with the lr and is safe to put fish back in.

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Old 10-10-2004, 08:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
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Here is where you are going to get several opinions...
Add rock and let that cycle the tank. dont worry about small scratches in the bottom you won't see them.
You can go either way which ever is easier for you. My 125 was set up with the lr and bare bottom ONLY because the LS did not come in. After a week the LS came in and I added it to the tank during the cycle. My LS is a live with tons of critters, they made it through the cycle with no problem and IMO the sand gave the critters from the LR a place to go.
To get less of a sand storm you should add sand to a dry tank cover with plastic bags, place a glass bowl in center of tank and pour water into bowl till tank is almost full then remove items, near clear water. Then add LR wiggling rocks so they get a firm base. Touching the glass bottom is preferred. The die off from the rocks will end up on the sand and will be food for the critter and clean up crew when you add them.
SB depth is all a matter of choice, I like a 3-4" bed others like 6+. A DSB you will see the sand through the glass and as the tank matures you will see the ugly blacks, greens that develop in the SB as it matures, this is why I prefer the 3-4" SB. Buy some test kits some beer and sit back and enjoy the 3+ week cycle. process.
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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