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Old 01-12-2004, 11:33 AM   #1
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Sandstorm LR Question

Hi all,

Lots of questions about a brand new 46 gallon tank.

I got the salinity and temp to the correct levels, and I put 100 lbs of Old Castle playsand, of course it became very cloudy and foamy. After maybe 4 days it cleared up a bit, and I bought 20lbs of cured Live rock to cycle with. When I put that in, of course it became very cloudy again. After a couple days it cleared up somewhat, but the live rock became covered with a layer of silt, the tank looked like the surface of the moon. At that point I put in the base rock as well, and it of course became cloudy again. I have had a Fluval 304 filtering the entire time, cleaned it twice. No powerheads yet, they have been ordered. At this point, I cannot see the rock. The tank looks like hell!

So on to the questions. Is the tank going to become cloudy anytime I move anything in the tank? Should I just not touch anything for a couple weeks? Will I ever be able to aquascape without creating a sandstorm? Will the Live rock cycle the tank even though it has a layer of silt covering it? Should I turn on the Bak Pak protein skimmer, would that help? Should I put in a shrimp? Is live sand a good thing? My LFS said it was a waste and that the "dead" sand would become live from the rock. Should I have the lights on or off? When should I put in the powerheads, will they create a sandstorm as well? And finally, am I just being too impatient and worrying needlessly?

Thanks, I hope questions aren't too dumb. My copy of the Conscientous Marine Aquarist is on it's way from Amazon, but it's taking forever!
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Old 01-12-2004, 11:54 AM   #2
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Eventually, bacteria will build up on the silt in the sand and it won't be so easy to sandstorm. It took me about 2 weeks or so after adding the LR to get to that point. The foam is the part that I hated most.

The silt you can remove by blowing it off with a turkey baster (used just for the tank, not your mother's 40 year old used one).

I had my skimmer on.

Live sand is great. You wouldn't believe the critters I got in my stuff from www.liverocks.com as well as on my LR from them. Sand will become live from the LR, but not with the diversity.

I had the lights on.

And finally, I worried as much as you are.
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Old 01-12-2004, 12:22 PM   #3
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Thanks bro, I feel a little better.

Do you think 20lbs of LR will be enough to cycle with? Your tank looks great, I'm hoping to get that same light you have with the moonlights, but not for a while...
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Old 01-12-2004, 01:25 PM   #4
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By the way, don't be offended by that eyeroll emoticon, I just meant it to show that I was still a little worried, not that I wasn't happy with your response...

I saw in some old post that somebody got all offended by that little guy.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:11 PM   #5
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I thought that guys was just looking up to see the piano falling on his head. I would add the LR as much at the same time as possible, otherwise you will enter a new cycle or mini-cycle with each addition of LR.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:18 PM   #6
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Well I have 20 lbs of LR and 20 lbs of base. 100 lbs of playsand. I was hoping to leave it at that for now, and save my money for lighting.

So again, you think 20 lbs is enough to cycle with, or should I throw a shrimp in there?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:26 PM   #7
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Oh by the way, the tank is MUCH clearer now. I have the skimmer running, and the Fluval, and it's getting to be nice and clear. However, if I touch anything it makes a huge sandstorm, so I'm leaving it be for a while. I haven't done any water tests, so I have no idea if it's cycling or not, the LR was already cured.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:40 PM   #8
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I would suggest water tests to see where you stand, but there are those more informed than I about using LR to cycle.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:02 PM   #9
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just wanted to jump in, I have a 4-5 mth old reef 40g and am in the process of adding a 30 g sump/fuge- along with 30lbs of hirock.com base rock to bring my total LR to about (guess) 60 - 70lbs. I have cc and also dumped in a few cups of aragonit sand when I added the base rock. I had a major sand storm! But my clean up crew quickly cleared the film of the new and old LR. The aragonit sand settled and the tank is clear, my SB critters are still alive and well, my corals are open and fine- save the xenia who is still a litle shy.. my fish are happy with the new hiding places. Sandstorms are sometimes good for your system to kick up some of the funk in the nooks and cranies! I don't plan any more major re-aranging now.. will let it settle for a few and enjoy!
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40g show
30g sump/fuge (low flow)
2 PH's and via aqua 2600 sump pump
50lbs LR
2" cc on 3/4 plenum
3" sugar aragonite in fuge with hair algae
20w white NO in fuge
65w pc 50/50 (2 bulbs)
20w actinit 2 damsels
1 TR clown
shrooms and zoos
h2o quality is solid 0's. 80 d.
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