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Old 08-22-2004, 01:44 PM   #1
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Starter Update

Newbie questions...
I started a 55 gal tank 3 weeks ago with crushed coral substrate, 20 lbs live rock, 2 damsels, & 2 clowns, 2 blue hermits
everything is going fine, all chemistry is stable. Everything is lively. I'm seeing some cool stuff coming from the LR. I'm pretty sure the tank is cycled, even though I never saw any spikes in NH4, NO2.
My first question is, should I do a small water change, even though tank is clean? I plan on adding 20-30 more lbs of live rock, which, I know will start another cycle. Should I wait until after that cycle to do a water change? I only have a 5 gal water replacement set up as I plan on doing frequent changes. Should I increase that?
Next, the literature I have doesn't say anything about replacement shells for the hermits. After reading posts, it's obvious that i should put shells in, but should I have a variety of sizes all at once or wait for growth? I'm also going to get more hermits and cleaner shrimp after "2nd" cycle.
Thanks ahead for replies![/list]
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:39 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like you are moving a little fast. There is no need to add any fish if you are using LR to cycle. If you never had an ammonia spike it sounds like your rock was already cured. It never hurts to do water changes. Smaller changes more frequently are better than large ones less often. I never assume LR is cured until the tests tell me so. You should place the new LR in another tank or rubbermaid container with a ph and test for ammonia and nitrite. If it is zero after a few days it is safe to add. No reason to push your luck. I buy assorted bags of shells from Walmart and use them for the hermits.
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Old 08-22-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
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Thanks. I went on the advice of the fish store to add hardy livestock with the LR and it seems to have worked so far. I'll do what you said about quarantining the new LR.
One other thing, in my fresh water old freshwater tank, I would vacuum the gravel substrate in water changes. Can I do the same with the coral substrate in the marine tank? I have an undergravel filter.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:01 PM   #4
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The undergravel filter is your biological filtration so I would be hesitant to clean it too much. You could clean one half one week and the other side the next. What I remember is a reverse UGF is better than a standard one as it doesn't pull the detrius down into the bed, leaving it on top for easier removal. If the substrate gets too clogged your system can crash, so be light on the feeding.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:34 PM   #5
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buy assorted bags of shells from Walmart and use them for the hermits.

What section of the store?
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:39 PM   #6
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crafts maybe?
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:52 PM   #7
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crafts maybe

Guess that's why I never saw them. lol. I never make it to that part of the store. I'm a "go in and get what you came for" kinda guy.
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Old 08-23-2004, 07:53 PM   #8
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I got some from Sannibel island years ago. They're boiling now.
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