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Old 11-13-2003, 04:25 PM   #1
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Some questions

These might be stupid questions...but...

Is it "okay" to set up a tank (which will eventually be a reef tank) and have it running with just the live sand and/or live rock for awhile? I mean...as in...just allowing the sand and rock to grow and cultivate for months before adding fish. Or will the organisms on the rock eventually die out without other elements added?

My second question is....in what order do these things go into the tank once it is set up? Water first? Then salt? Salt-mixed water and then sand? Sand and then water and salt and then rock? Ack! Help? :p

Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:03 PM   #2
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First off, YES. It is very common practice to add your sand and rock and let that be for a good while before adding anything to make it a "reef" tank.

As for your other question, here is what i would do. Mix up you saltwater to the desired salinity, in a seperate container. Let that sit and add the sand to the bottom of the tank. Then a good trick is to put a plate at the bottom of the tank on top of the sand and pour your water on to that. That way you stir up the least amount of sand possible, and therefore it clears quicker.

Don't freak out. The water will be cloudy for a couple days, if not a week. That is ok, it will clear. But that is a very long winded version of how to do your initial setup. HTH

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Old 11-13-2003, 05:09 PM   #3
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How long is awhile?

You can run the tank like that without much problem. The only thing you need to be careful of is to add small amounts of food to the tank about twice a week. This will help maintain the fauna and keep some of the bacteria present for when you are ready to advance the tanks developement. Be mindful to go very slowly when you are ready to add animals to the tank to allow the bio filter some additional time to catch up.

To be honest if you are looking at a couple of months time, it may take that long to cycle depending on how you go about it.

Quote:
My second question is....in what order do these things go into the tank once it is set up? Water first? Then salt? Salt-mixed water and then sand? Sand and then water and salt and then rock?
Many people will have varying opinions about this one but personally, I would go sand, then rock and then add your "pre-mixed" saltwater to the tank. In the initial set up, there is no one correct way really.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:32 PM   #4
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Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a few months with nothing but live sand and some base rock, then a few months with the live rock...and then possibly 3-6 more months on top of that.

I'm thinking it would probably be more wise to get the sand, base and live rock and do that all together?

My main reason for asking is that I want to work on this slowly, but also, finances MAKE me work on this slowly. So, I'm trying to decide if saving the money to buy all of the above at once and clump them in together is more wise/better option than buying the above seperately and introducing them one at a time, or at least slowly?

Thanks guys!
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Old 11-13-2003, 11:51 PM   #5
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You can do as you've suggested as long as you remember that just because there is no immanently visible animal life does not mean there is none. Feed the tank a few times a week for bacteria and whatever fauna comes along with what you add. When it comes time, I would suggest getting the lights before the LR. Base rock does not need the light but the LR will to support the coralline.

Since you have somewhat made the descision to create a reef tank, now would be the best time to decide on the coral animals that strike you most and save accordingly for the appropriate light set up that will give you the best possible chances for success.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:44 AM   #6
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Any suggestions on corals for a newb?

The fish I've been looking into and reading about are: clownfish(I know for sure I want clownfish), gobbies, blennies, basslets, cardinals and damsels. I'm not planning on having all of them in there at once, just these are the ones that have caught my attention. I also believe they are all compatible for the most part, reef safe, and "easier" for newbs to handle? Please give me any suggestions there too, as I can't garner all my "knowledge" from websites and books!

Thanks again!
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Old 11-14-2003, 08:09 AM   #7
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Your first concern with coral is lighting. Some, not all, contain a symbiotic algae that need light to make food. It is recommended to have 3 to 5 watts per gallon. (You will want closer to the high end for stony corals.) Some good starter corals are Colt, Leather toadstool, Mushrooms, Green start polyps and Daisy polyps. These were some of my first choices and they are still thriving.

As for fish, do not overstock. When choosing the fish, you want to consider the size of it when mature. Use the calculator in this site to determine how many you should have. With to much of a bio load, you will constantly be battling to keep the water stable.

Howard
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishtender
It is recommended to have 3 to 5 watts per gallon. (You will want closer to the high end for stony corals
Watt/gal can be a good rough guideline when considering soft or LPS corals but when it comes to higher light demanding animals such as clams and SPS you will need to think in terms of tank depth. The deeper the tank, the higher the wattage will need to be and greater need for MH lighting. That can be moreso determined once you've decided what types of corals you want to keep. Lighting can be quite pricey, so be sure on your choice. Choose the lighting that best suites your eventual goal, not your immediate needs.

As far as the fish you have chosen, all are reef safe but some will not be able to be housed together depending on the exact type/mix you opt for. Personally, I would nix the damsels. They are quite aggressive and can easily rule the tank depending on what you get.

Cheers
Steve
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