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Old 03-16-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
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Proper Order To Set Up a New Tank???

ok... so i am completely new to saltwater tanks.
i just bought a 14 gallon biocube and am setting it up for the first time.

i was an idiot and added my live reef sand substrate first before adding the water and mixing salt. so it was crazy cloudy when i mixed it up (obviously). didn't think that through...
anyway, that was friday night and now it's sunday, but the tank is still cloudy.
it cleared up about 50%, but i'd think it would be totally clear by now.
also, i added some live rocks friday and tried to move them around (now that i could see them!) but as soon as i touched them it got totally cloudy like immediately. i'm afraid to move them around anymore...

is this normal? should i just dump everything and do it again properly, by getting the water set up before adding the sand?
i was told it was good to cycle the sand and a couple rocks along with the water on initial set-up... does it really matter?
should i just go straight water for a week, then add sand and live rocks?

here are a couple pictures of the tank right now:

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Old 03-16-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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It doesn't really matter how you do the initial set-up. Because you are now working with sand it will get cloudy much easier than any other type of substrate. Give it a week to completely settle and it will also have time to cycle. Patience is crucial. BTW! Welcome, and the tank looks great! Make sure you have the warranty on the Biocube the ballasts have a tendency to go after about 6 months.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:55 AM   #3
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It doesn't really matter how you do the initial set-up. Because you are now working with sand it will get cloudy much easier than any other type of substrate. Give it a week to completely settle and it will also have time to cycle. Patience is crucial. BTW! Welcome, and the tank looks great! Make sure you have the warranty on the Biocube the ballasts have a tendency to go after about 6 months.
so i hear! i'm definitely keeping all receipts and warranties for this bad boy... got it all in a little pouch inside the stand.
thanks for the welcome!!!

any advice on what order to start introducing more rocks, coral & fish?
i have 20 lbs. of the live argonite reef sand and 4 lbs. of live rock.
my plan is to wait a week for the cycle , then add another 6 lbs. of live rock... then wait another week and look around a couple specialty fish stores (no Petco or Petsmart!) and buy a couple more small rocks w/ mushrooms & various coral... then buy a couple frags to plug in the gaps in the rocks, add a couple anemones and a feather duster or two.

in about a month, i was planning on buying a couple fish...
in my research, i think i've decided on 2 clowns, a yellow watchmen goby & a shrimp. then maybe a couple snails.
any advice on those? i don't want to add too many...
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:08 AM   #4
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Cycling is going to take more than a week. Think more on the order of 4-6 weeks - that way you won't be too disappointed. You really want all your live rock in their to start with. If you add more later, it will just cause another cycle unless the rock is fully cured. (Fully cured = $$$). The article section here on the site has several good "how to cycle" articles that will help you out.

It's good to introduce fish first and then wait several months for your water parameters to stabilize before adding corals. A 14g tank is going to be pretty tough to keep an anemone alive in - just because it'll be tough to keep the water clean enough and the lighting just isn't good enough on those cubes. Just giving you a little heads up there.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:18 AM   #5
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thanks man... some people have been telling me one week, but i've been seeing more and more saying one month. i guess i should be more patient!

thanks for the advice! the anemone was a long shot. i'll probably stick more to shrooms and a couple frags, then letting them grow.

i'm only buying fully cured live rocks. i don't really mind the money... more concerned w/ quality... i'm also staying far away from Petco or any generic store like that. i'd rather deal with a fish specific store that knows what they're doing, than some high school kid just working at a pet store to make a buck.

i guess i should look into adding a couple more rocks while i let it cycle.

thanks again man...
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Yeah, sorry. I meant, the sand will take a week to settle and then that could be a week your cycle. I agree, up to 6 weeks for many people for a cycle for sure.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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I also agree with 4-6 weeks. Patience is a good thing.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
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I also agree with 4-6 weeks. Patience is a good thing.
thanks guys. actually, when i woke up this morning, the water was like 90% clear, and now it's looking perfect. i even found what looks like a baby feather duster hiding on one of the rocks!

now i have to go buy another 6-10 lbs. of live rock to add to the collection, so i can let it all cycle together, then... the waiting game. i'll let it sit for at least a month.

my cousin just moved his 2 dogface puffers over from his 55 gallon to a new 130 gallon, before letting the water cycle, and they got ick... they're looking alright now, but he almost lost them!

i'm in no rush... i'd rather do it right...
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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Yeah, it's so hard not to impulse buy. When I go out I always get nervous it won't be there to buy the following day. Keep us updated with pictures for sure.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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updated pictures

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Yeah, it's so hard not to impulse buy. When I go out I always get nervous it won't be there to buy the following day. Keep us updated with pictures for sure.
here's new pictures now that the water is clear:
i'm going to buy another 6-10 lbs, of rock tomorrow, then update the pictures.

[IMG]file:///F:/DCIM/100CANON/IMG_4175.JPG[/IMG]




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