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Old 09-01-2004, 12:21 PM   #1
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Newbie Question 2

I made another post talking about rock. I am very new at this and I have another question.

Monday Night I set up my tank. Put in the salt, water, hooked up the heater and filter. Been taking SG and Salinity readings. My SG is approx 1.024.

Here was my basic game plan. I ordered 45 lbs of LR from liveaquaria.com which was supposed to be here on Thursday. I was going to go ahead and put the rock in on Thursday and then run up to my LFS, take a water sample for them to test and providing my other levels are good, pick up a few damsals to start my cycle. My rock shipment has been delayed til next week. Should I proceed in my plan and go ahead and add my damsals (providing my tests are good) or wait until the rock comes in.

Any advice would be good.

TIA

Wes
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75 gal SW tank, Eheim 2215 Filter, 45lb Figi Premium LR, 2 Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump Model 900

5 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs, 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs, 3 Emerald Mithrax Crabs, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, 10 Cerith Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 6 Bumble Bee Snails, 16 Turbo Snails, 1 Brittle Sea Star

Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Foxface Lo, Coral Beauty Angelfish, Sailfin Tang, Scooter Blenny
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:36 PM   #2
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DON'T CYCLE WITH FISH! There's no reason to risk the health of fish just to cycle your tank.

Do a quick search on the forums here for all the information about fishless cycling. Your live rock may have enough die off on it to cycle the tank, but the shrimp method is very popular too.

Again, don't cycle with fish...it's unnecessary, and more difficult than a fishless cycle.
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:41 PM   #3
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everything i read says to cycle with fish......even my LFS says use damsals (that could just be for the sale though). Is it personal preference to do fish vs fishless cycling. Will the fish cause the cycle to happen faster than without the fish?
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75 gal SW tank, Eheim 2215 Filter, 45lb Figi Premium LR, 2 Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump Model 900

5 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs, 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs, 3 Emerald Mithrax Crabs, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, 10 Cerith Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 6 Bumble Bee Snails, 16 Turbo Snails, 1 Brittle Sea Star

Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Foxface Lo, Coral Beauty Angelfish, Sailfin Tang, Scooter Blenny
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:46 PM   #4
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You're reading the wrong books, and yes the LFS is either old skool, or just wants to make money by selling you fish that'll probably die.

If you cycle with fish you have to monitor ammonia and nitrite, and if either gets high (more than .5ppm ammonia and 1.0ppm nitrite) you have to do a water change. Essentially you'll end up doing water changes to the tune of 10%-25% every day, which means you'll spend a lotta cash on R/O water and salt, just getting the tank up and running.

Compare that to tossing in a single, uncooked cocktail shrimp, and just testing the water every few days to see how the ammonia and nitrites are doing...and then at the end doing a water change to bring nitrAtes down to a reasonable level, and then you can add fish. Its cheaper, and pretty much fool proof.

You absolutely cannot rush anything in a saltwater tank. If you do, you're setting yourself up for frustration and failures. If you do it slowly, methodically, and correctly, the tank will run itsself, and you only have to do simple maintenance...and enjoy the fish.
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:55 PM   #5
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I think you have helped me make up my mind Mal. Considering I just set up my tank on monday night, is it too early to start cycling?
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75 gal SW tank, Eheim 2215 Filter, 45lb Figi Premium LR, 2 Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump Model 900

5 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs, 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs, 3 Emerald Mithrax Crabs, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, 10 Cerith Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 6 Bumble Bee Snails, 16 Turbo Snails, 1 Brittle Sea Star

Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Foxface Lo, Coral Beauty Angelfish, Sailfin Tang, Scooter Blenny
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:42 PM   #6
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The tank is cycling. The rock will set up a cycle on its own. You can help it along by using the raw shrimp method.
Agree with Malkore, no need to put any fish through that. The rock and raw shrimp will set up a fine cycle.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:46 PM   #7
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Agreed!! Cycle with the shrimp, and LR. It will all end up better in the long run. And IMHO when your cycle is finished, you could start with a fish that you are more likely to keep, other than a damsel. Damsels are cheap, but in the long run, they are a pain in the royal rump. Just pick you out a hardy clown or something like that.

PS. Just make sure your tank is finished cycling before you add fish.
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Old 09-01-2004, 04:06 PM   #8
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Good job Air. 5 kudos for making a good decision, despite all the bad information you were given before coming here.

Like these other guys said, as soon as your tank's setup, has the right salinity and temp, its a great time to start the cycling. The live rock should start it, and the shrimp will help too. YOu can also just toss in a little flake food every day, but the shrimp is a nice, hands off way to do it..but it can get a little smelly since the shrimp does rot.

It can be depressing to have a tank running with no fish in it, but it sets you up for success.

I do recommend getting a smaller quarantine tank too. When your cycle starts to come to an end (no ammonia, nitrItes start to drop) you can get your first fish and quarantine him for a week or so, to watch for any signs of illness/parasites.

You really cannot medicate your main tank...nearly all the meds will damage inverts, and kill the live rock. In addition the rock and sand will absorb the meds, which only makes things worse.
A 20gallon tank is a great Quartine tank size, and allows you to have 1 fish in there without having an established bio filter, as 1 fish doesn't produce enough waste to make the water toxic in a short time period. Alternately you can seed a sponge filter in teh main tank for a couple of weeks, then put it into the filter on the Qtank, so you do have a bio-filter.

with a Qtank, you need to be able to tear it down 100%, so you won't put substrate in there, or live rock. PVC pipes are good though as they provide 'caves' for hte fish, and won't absorb meds, and are super cheap to replace.
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