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Old 05-16-2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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Livestock and/or sand will have some amount of beneficial bacteria, but they need an ammonia source to feed off of. That is generally done "fish-in", which is basically what you mentioned with freshwater. The bad side of that is you are exposing your fish to high level if ammonia and nitrites, which at best causes damage and at worst kills them. The more humane way is to either use ammonia or throw a shrimp in the tank (not live shrimp, the kind from your grocery store). The shrimp will decay and the bacteria feed off of that.

Google saltwater cycle and read a few articles, so you have a clear idea of how this process will unfold. They will explain way better than I can.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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You will want to get a saltwater test kit too. Don't use the test strips, go with liquid. You will use this moving forward after you add fish to make sure your parameters stay in check. It's easy to do. Good purchase with the refractometer! Much better than hydrometers.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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If you don't know the difference between those types of tanks to keep you need to do a lot of research before you even think of buying anything because you don't know what you are talking about.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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I think you're asking the right questions, getting good answers and taking away the important information. Keep asking the questions and I think you'll be ready to stock your FOWLR tank once your cycle is complete.
You're right not to run a skimmer during the cycle as it removes those ammonias you want to build up in the cycle. I would add the cocktail shrimp Todd mentioned for the cycle vice ammonia as it is easier (no chance of getting the wrong ammonia or over dosing) albiet less controlled. With the Fluval filter, you will need to ensure you clean it regularly as they can cause a build up of nitrates if you don't. But they do provide a nice place to run other medias for control of nitrates, phosphates and silicates. Again, not during the cycle.

If you're going to add more rocks as well, do it during the cycle. That way you don't have to cycle them in a seperate container.
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