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Old 09-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #1
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Starting over

This might be a silly question, but when you are cycling your tank (fishless of course) should there be any LS in the tank? I ask because I am looking for sand to purchase for my tank and the Caribsea sand says to add sand to a cycled tank. I'm assuming you wouldn't want to add it before the cycle because it would kill off some of the stuff in the sand but I also thought the bacteria in the sand was what helped the cycle. I cycled my 30 gal with store bought LR and the caribsea sand.

Im doing a 120 gal reef tank and I want to make sure I do it right. Im getting a bunch of LR from a friend who has had it sitting in a 55 gal with no lights. Im guessing the rock will be a little ugly so I was planning on buying some good rock to seed it with. I planned on adding the rock AFTER the cycle because it is already cured. Should I cycle the tank without the sand or does it really matter?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:24 AM   #2
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The bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrites and nitrates live in the sand and rock. If you can, try to add the sand and cured liverock at the same time.
And later when you add more seeded liverock, add it a piece or two at a time. There is usually something that will die during the move process. The dead and decaying material is what produces the ammonia. The ammonia-eating bacteria have to have time to multiply to feed on this new "food" source and get rid of it for you.
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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I agree, the beneficial bacteria forms and lives in both the sand and LR.
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. I understand that LS and LR have beneficial bacteria in them. I was wondering if I should cycle the tank and then add the sand and LR. I would think adding the sand right off the bat would help the cycle but the bag for the Caribsea sand says to add the sand to a cycled tank. So, do I just toss the raw shrimp in the tank with water only and let it cycle and then add the sand and rock?

I'm assuming I need to wait until the cycle is over to add the LR b/c it is already cured (it was in a friends 100 gal reef then in a 55 gal for a few months b/c they had to tear down the tank when they moved. Now they are giving it away b/c they don't have room to set the 100 gal up again). There might be some die off when transferring it into my tank but I am guessing I wouldn't want the rock in there during the initial cycle with the nitrate spike because it could kill any hitchhikers that may be on the rock.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
I was wondering if I should cycle the tank and then add the sand and LR.
You want the beneficial bacteria to grow in the sand, cycle with the sand.
If the LR is from an established tank, you can probably just add it and not get much of a cycle, since the beneficial bacteria already is in/on the LR.
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There might be some die off when transferring it into my tank
Possibly a little, maybe sponges that are sensitive to air. I would wrap the LR in wet newspaper, that should help keep the die-off to a minimum. How far are your friends for you?
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:53 AM   #6
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They are about 15 min away...we can transport in buckets with water if we need to. So just add the sand and rock and toss a shrimp or 2 in there and let it go until the nitrite spikes? Or just let it run with the sand and rock and it will get a little spike? Thank for all the help so far!
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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I would add the sand/LR, test your water. Depending on how much cured LR you add might depend on if you even need to add a raw shrimp. You might want to wait a day or two and retest your water, to see if ammonia starts to spike. Some one feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
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