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Old 07-18-2008, 12:11 AM   #11
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I would always quarantine your fish and to be quite honest, the hobby realm is rather forgiving in comparison to professional procedures. Preparation is key in precluding diseases before they take foot-hold.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:14 AM   #12
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Thanks man I need to go to bed. Gotta get up early to set up tank. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:47 PM   #13
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Picked up my tank,light and stand today. Thanks for all you guys help. Going to use LS. Actually buying from Petland. Surprised that they are very helpful and knowledgebale being a hain and all.Going to go with 20 lbs live sand to begin cycle. They have base rock onthe super cheap that they place in the tank they transfer LR out of. It actually has some growth on it and guy says it will become live over time. Good idea or not? Plan on buying RO water from LFS. Only .50 per gallon. I need to learn to mix and regulate water myself. Should have sand and BR in tomorrow or Sunday afternoon. Pics to follow after set up is complete. Thanks to all for your help. AA rocks. Gotta vote and hit the sack. Once again. Thank you all very much. Can't wait to start sharing experiences. Anyone in Metro-Atlanta fell free to respond if only to say hello. Looking forward to meeting some fellow addicts. I have yet to begin and I am already hooked for life.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:00 PM   #14
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If you haven't purchased already, you can use dry aragonite for a sandbed and uncured liverock will help kickstart your cycle. No need to pay extra for bacteria in a bag. I dislike baserock just because of the ugliness, but that is personal taste. "Live" just means bacteria have populated within the surfaces. If it is placed in a vat with other liverock then most likely it is already "live."
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:21 PM   #15
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Yes I understand your philosophy totally, However I would rather pay 10-15 dollars more for the live sand and about 1/2 price for the base rock. It is caribbean rock and really has some good growth on it. Strongly considering adding a little LR They do have some good looking smaller pieces with some beautiful corraline algae on it. This is my first attempt and I know I am commiting the cardinal sin going this route and cutting corners but I do feel pretty confident. Don't have NFS yet as I know setting up and cycling can be both challenging and fun not to mention very educational. Thanks for your input. I am always open to suggestion and even a little constructive criticism.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:04 PM   #16
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If the rock has been in a tank long emouhg to have growth on it then it is LR not base. LR just means rock that have beneficial bacteria coating all the surface area.

My base rock colored up over 6 months to were you can not the difference between the base and LR.

Carribean rock is denser than Pacific rock (not as porous).

The LS in a bag is not LS. It's just wet sand. Better to get the dry aragonite.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:44 PM   #17
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O.K. I got the tank set up last night and it looks pretty cool. Used 20 lbs. not so llive sand. 14 lbs partially live /base rock. Ended up buying pre-mix salt water from store. Guy at store says SG is good. Bought a floating thermometer with a built-in hydrometer and it reads 1.018. I read that they aren't totally accurate, but I guess I will trust the guy on this since he probably knows a lot more than I do. Also put in a Domino Damsel on reccomendation from associate. Water parameters have not changed from last night SG reads 1.018 Temp: 78 ph 8.0 Ammonia 0 Nitate 0-5ppm. Should I be testing for nitrites and phosphates as well or anything else? I was kinda leary about the damsel but the guy at the store told me he should be okay. He seems to be doing fine and readily ate last night and this morning. I fed him a tiny bit of frozen krill/brine shrimp. Guy said to feed him one of the blocks over the course of 3-4 days. I really was against putting the fish in there and told myself I would not do that until tank was cycled but he seems to be doing really good an appears happy. I do have some extra water on hand and a spare tank on hand I could put him in if things go haywire. Thanks for all you guys' help. There is some really good stuff on here which reminds me need to vote. Thanks again to everyone here. Will post pics when I find my camera AA rulz.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:09 PM   #18
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BAD LFS ADVICE. You instincts are correct in that you need to cycle your tank first. Read How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish and return the damsel to the lfs. Is that damsel on your list of livestock you want in the tank?

While your tank is cycling come up with a list of fish you would like to keep. LiveAquaria has a compatibility chart to help you decide and they show how large a tank each fish needs too,

Get yourself a refractometer to measure SG. The swig arms are not consistent in their readings and should not be trusted.

You should also use the small tank as a QT tank and QT every fish for 30 days before adding it to the main tank. Get a small HOB filter with a sponge or a biowheel. I keep the biowheel in the sump of my 125 so I have it available for my QT tank when I need it.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:19 PM   #19
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Eek return the domino damsel immediately if its not on your eventually wanted stock list. Not only is it better to do fishless cycling, dominos are some of the most aggressive of the damsels and will harass and possibly kill any other fish you add after.

Take my advice as a newbie in the saltwater community as well.. please buy a QT tank - you can get a cheap 10 gal set up for about $30 ( filter, light, etc). I made the mistake of buying non qt clowns from a lfs here, put them in my tank, they had ich, and showed signs within a few days, one died, and both contaminated my aquarium - couldnt keep fish in the main display for 7 weeks. You'll save yourself some headaches and save your fish if you get a qt. I'm just now putting my first clown inthe main after 7 weeks.. frustrating!

btw, you'll save yourself a lot of money if you buy a large 5 gal container of salt mix and mix it yourself. a $30 ( roughly) bucket makes about 160 gals at 1.021 sp gr. Ive seen 2 gals of the premixed water go for about $10-15 on the shelf and about $1 a gal from the lfs - but I wouldnt trust the water if you cant trust their advice. Its really easy to mix most salts too, as long as you follow the directions.. which are pretty streight forward. I personally use reef crystals.

Anyway, welcome to the hobby and feel free to ask q's here before buying anything / talking to your lfs
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:28 PM   #20
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Thanks catmel. The domino damsel is on my wanteed list. I will probably introduce some chromis that ca be paired and rearranging the rock to create additional territory and hiding places,
. My hope is that DD will not harrass the newcomers with the odds stacked against him. Starting to ammonia to go up a little and slight prsence of nitrites and nitates. I have a sparse 10g that i can use for QT but I woud probably be just as well off to buy another setup with everything. How do you manage water parameters in a QT?
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