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Old 01-28-2005, 01:20 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
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Sump design looks great! Should work well for you. That fuge is the place to put any "bad" hitchhikers.

You are totally on with your research, but I guess it comes down to this. Every time you add something to the tank, it is going to produce the ammonia. whether it is alive or dead. You certainly can reduce that cycle time by getting a lot of live sand, and high quality live rock that will have very little die off. The ammonia will spike, as QS said because the tank is not used to having that bio load in it. Things may die because of it. Hitchers are a bonus, you can always get more.
Don't expect a lot, and be pleasantly suprised when something makes it. Fish cost a lot and they are a different story.

It would be a good Idea to get salt in there and get it all settled, because the process will start faster.

It would be impossible to get live rock and expect everything to live, but by providing the bacteria in live sand a little while ahead of time you will help.

You did not mention any live sand. You also did not mention how much rock you are getting. In a 29 gallon, if you add 30 lbs, it certainly has a different effect than a 150 gal adding 25 lbs, or 100lbs.

I don't know how to link a thread, but in the last few days, I know that I saw a thread on how fast people had cycled there tanks. The overwhelming majority said that if they used ls and lr, there cycle was minimal. That is what I would expect for you.

Last, remember, Opinions... everybody has got one.

Worst case scenario, you do your best. Best case scenario, You do your best!

The whole thing is a learning process and I do not claim to be a master.

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Old 01-28-2005, 04:58 AM   #12
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As I've come to expect around here, the info in the replies was very helpful. I will be using live sand, and will add 35 or 40lb of LR from liverocks.com. I mixed up my SW last night, and the sand will go in as soon as it arrives. I'll pick some shrimp on the way home (1 for the tank, the rest for a nice dinner treat for me!).

What do you think of the idea of using a hang-on filter to start the cycle with a shrimp even before the sand arrives, and gradually reduce the bio media in a switch-over to LR? Too much?

One more thing to add. The LR is the media where the nitrifying process can take place.
And de-nitrification as well, correct, through anaerobic bacteria in the nooks and crannies of the LR?


if the live rock is already cured, why isn't IT already "cycled"?

because the nitrifying bacteria population need to catch up with the water volume in the system.
Which is why the guy from liverocks told me that the spike from his LR would be minimal, i.e., his rock is very high quality, but there is always at least some die off.

SO... I guess I'll add the LR and a shrimp and a keep a watchful eye on things. I have a tanksitter who is tank-o-phobic. I'll be here for two weeks after adding the LR - then it's off to Sicily for a week to work on my Italian. I hope the cycle is far enough along by then so that all he'll have to do is top off the water.


30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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