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Old 01-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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OK, this may be a dumb question, but here goes

1st I Add the Saltwater
2nd Live Rock
3rd Live Sand

Do I have that correct?
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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Rock first. You may want to put plexigalss or star board to protect the glass bottom. 2. Sand, finally water. pour the water onto plastic bags ( like the one the sand came in) to help minimize stirring the water. You will get a sand storm regardless, but it helps with how long you have to wait before it settles.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks.

So I am OK taking the live rock I have & placing it before I put in the water?

How much working time will I have with the rock, before I risk die off or damage?
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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Yes you should be fine. You will have some die off regardless. There will be enough BB to help shorten your cycling time. Still though, you want to keep it as short as possible. Try to keep the rock moist. Don't let it completely dry out.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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My preference is to drop sand in and immediately after start adding the salt water and let that run for days then add live rock and wait.. But I have a tank just to make salt water. If you don't just do water, sand, then rock. Rock last because if not you have to take an extra step and blow off the sand that landed on your rock
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:58 AM   #6
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Thanks Tilo, Doing it today
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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I don't own a saltwater tank so my following statements are purely opinions. But from my exp working in a big pet store chain in NYC I learned you almost never want to expose live rock to the air.

When a customer baught live rock we put 2 bags into the tank one to use as a glove and one to use as the transport bag so the rock never touches air in our store.

Live rocks do best in established tanks. If you don't see algae your tank won't support a live rock for long. Good luck tho
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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Respectfully, you sound like you need to do a lot more research before you do anything today. Check our articles section on cycling a sw tank. You also need to understand also the dif between base rock (nothing live on it), cured live rock (none to little die off), and uncured live rock (lot's of die off - which can serve a good purpose in a new tank needing cycling).

Pleeze, take some more time and do some research before you put anything in that tank - if I'm not too late already. I know its hard to check the enthusiasm in this hobby.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input.
I have been doing research for over a year.
I have he many freshwater tanks & finally am getting a saltwater.

The rock I have came from one guy (turned out to be a former co-worker of my husbands) who has done saltwater tanks for 20 yrs. the rock he gave us is a good mix or base & live. As he was tearing down a tank.

My question about which to do first was simply because I have read multiple information on different ways, on forums, Internet, books & from advice. The 1,2, 3 I listed, seamed to be what the majority has said.

Just from this post alone, I already have different awnsers, so I guess it is what I feel I need to do will work best for me.

Also, as much as I want to avoid die off, the rock will become live again from what I have researched & I have all the time I want to cycle without fish. I am no hurry & do not have fish or even fish ordered, honestly, if it takes till late summer to cycle, I wouldn't even mind.
Thanks again
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Reason I thought you needed more was the reference to "Live" sand. Don't waste your money pls. Nothing can live in a sealed bag on a store shelf. Dry, aragonite sand will do just fine and is MUCH cheaper.

Also, consider this. Fill the tank 1/2 way with water. Add the recommended salt for the full tank, minus 20% maybe for rock displacing the water. What I'm saying here is that a 75g tank will not hold 70 gallons of water when rock and sand is used. Turn on a powerhead to mix the salt. It can a couple hrs to make the hard salt dissappear. While rinsing the heck out of the dry sand for a good while to get most of the dry dust out of it, add the rocks and landscape them to your liking. Feel free to stack against the back wall. Keep it 2" from the side walls to clean better there. It will get ugly later. Add the sand. I like 2-3". You don't want rocks sitting on top of the sand only.

Anyway, that worked for me.

Finish off with SW mixed to bring you to your target salinity level. By a refractometer.

Good luck!
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