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Old 10-31-2004, 12:01 AM   #1
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Newbie jumped in with both feet! Thoughts? Advice?

Hi gang! I'm in the process of setting up a 120 gallon reaf ready Oceanic tank. It has an Aquatics Pro Clear 200 wet/dry filter with a protien skimmer & overflow, a danner mag drive 1200 pump, 2 heaters, turbotwister 3x UV, current dual satellite with moonglow, 100# of lace rock, 2 bags of dry sand and 2 bags of live sand.

I'm not sure where to go from here. How do I get my tank to start cycling. I've read advice that says to wait before adding fish... but without the fish what's going to start this tank cycling?

Any help would be appreciated!

Phyllis
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:14 AM   #2
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Phyllis,
Before you go any further, buy a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. Also, go to the "articles" link on the home page here and read up on the Berlin method of filtration, DSB's, and fishless cycling. You are at the point now where you can either do some research and set up a VERY nice tank or you can make costly mistakes that, while they may not doom your tank to failure, will cause you many headaches. You may find that you don't want to use the wet/dry in it's current configuration. You may also want to hold off on using the UV. It's nice to have one for emergencies, but I don't think it's needed all the time on most tanks. What is your goal for this tank? Reef? FOWLR? Have you thought about what types of corals you would like to have if any? Also, if the live sand you have is the commercially bagged variety, all you will get is some bacteria (and that is debateable). You'll want to seed your sand with some true LS from an established tank to get the pod and worm population started. JMHO. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you have though...we'll be glad to help.
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:12 AM   #3
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Yes--listen to loganj!

To specifically answer your question about cycling, the preferred method around here is to cycle with live rock, with or without the addition of a piece of raw shrimp. That will give you a cycle without harming any fish--and leaving you with a couple of damsels you probably won't want in the end.

Enjoy the research--it's really a lot of fun.
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75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:20 AM   #4
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i've acclimated mollies to SW for cycling...found them a little easier to catch than those devil damsels.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:37 AM   #5
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I used the dead, raw shrimp added when I placed in my LR method to cycle my tank and it works like gangbusters. after the cycle was over I had a bacteria bloom (which is normal) and that lasted a couple of weeks. after that, I waited until all my parameters were rock steady for a while before I added my first fish.

All in all it took about 2 months. Sure thats probibly overkill, but the key to this hobby is paitence, paitence, paitence.

-Matt
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Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 10-31-2004, 09:39 PM   #6
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I just used live rock to cycle my tank. I put it in and waited like two months! It took all I had to wait that long but it was worth it
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote of the day (or at least this thread 8) ) - - "Phyllis,
Before you go any further, buy a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner." - Loganj

Believe me, you will appreciate being able to know what inhabitants you're gonna want, equipment and lighting needs to support them, and info on starting up. Little things like testing the equip w/fresh water, what Nitrates, Nitrites, and ammonia do, the value of QT tanks and understnding the cycling process.

And of course, WELCOME TO AA!!!

Read and research. You got a nice tank there. Gotta do it justice. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:47 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the warm welcome! I'm RUNNING to my local book store in search of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"! Looks like the bible around here. I've now read over the articles on this site and am feeling a little bit more informed.

As for reef or FOWLR we're going to start with FOWLR and move to Reef when we're running a stable tank so I don't envision adding any corals for a while.

I'm having a hard time convincing my hubby to throw shrimp from the grocer into the tank, but I'm still working on him. Wish me luck!

I ran a 700Gal pond for a four years and had happy long living inhabitants to it (6 Koi & a goldfish). We've since moved and I left my friends behind. It was in missing them so dearly that led us to do the tango with a salt tank. Hopefully we can be as successful in this water as the last. My biggest hurdle at this point is calling it something other than a pond, lol.

I've been reading posts about LR which look far more interesting than the LR that I see at our LFS (doesn't look so live to me, really). My big fear is it coming with something that I don't want in my tank! I've got control issues with what goes in there, lol. How do you manage your tank when you're throwing in something that contains the unknown? At this point I won't know if the inhabitants are frineds or foes!

Thanks for all of your advice and thanks again for your very warm welcome!

Phyllis
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:03 PM   #9
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Good for you Phyllis. Another salt addict. Just post back if you have any questions on anything. I think you will find this forum both enlightening, and informative. Again, welcome to AA!

Mike
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:24 PM   #10
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I don't have the threads at my fingertips, but if you do a search on "liverocks.com" you'll find bunches of threads from people explaining all the ways they sorted through the LR to get rid of Unwanteds: freshwater dips, carbonated water dips, just staring at each piece for a while, putting it in the (no fish) tank and setting out traps . . . kinda fun! One thing I'm learning fast is that the control issues gotta go. You'll find weird new stuff in the tank every day, and who knows what the heck it is! (Well, someone knows, but not me.) It's not just a tank; it's an adventure!

ETA I heart my goldfish, too.
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Rebecca
75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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