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Old 03-27-2004, 11:37 AM   #1
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Help! I want to cycle!

This is the low-down. I have a 20gal. Prizim Hang on, H.O.T. canister filter, 2 pwr heads, heater, and 96watt Coralife quad. I mixed H2O last night and gravity and temp. are good. I plan to add live rock and a bag of Fiji Pink Carib-Sea Arag Alive (about an inch) today.

What should I do to insure a proper cycle? How often should I run lights? When should I turn on the skimmer and canister filters? On average, how long should the cycle period last? How much LR (real nice Fiji from nice Marine shop, lots of stuff growing on it) should I get. H20 changes? Any tips would be radical! 8O
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Old 03-27-2004, 01:28 PM   #2
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Have you read this ?? Check this link out.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=15
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:31 AM   #3
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Habitat,

Welcome to the forum. If you haven't checked out the articles yet, that's a good place to start. I'm guessing that the link from Dewey gets you there. I just started my tank in November last year and have found this site extremely helpful. I only wish that I had found it before I got started. Anyway, the general feeling here is to cycle without fish. Your LR and LS may cycle the tank. Many here suggest the shrimp method.

You should have around 1.5 lbs/gal of LR. I have a 45 gal with 60 lbs of LR. I'm not sure about the LR at the LFS, but I've heard there's a local shop in Herndon, VA (can't remember the name right now) that has LR for under $5/lb. I got my from liverocks.com for $4.67/lb and it was real nice. You'll find varying opinions about the water changes during the cycle. I don't have the years of experience that others have, but I believe that if there's no life in the tank, there seems no reason for H2O changes because there's nothing that will be adversely affected by the ammonia. If you have life, though, some things may not make it through the ammonia spike.

I can't help with the skimmer and timing questions...sorry.

Well that's my $0.02 cents. I hope it helps and wish you luck.

Jeff
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45 gal AGA
Sand substrate
304 Fluval
2 Maxijet 900 PHs
60# LR
1 Blue Damsel
1 Yellow Tail Damsel
2 Percula Clown
1 Yellow Tang (Small)
1 Peppermint Shrimp
3 Astrea, 3 Cerith, and Unknown Nassarius (LR hitch hikers Snails
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: Help! I want to cycle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitat
What should I do to insure a proper cycle?
As the others pointed out, the article of cycling without fish is a good place to start if the LR used is precured with not much life. If the LR is uncured and you have enough of it, then the die off from the rock will help you cycle the tank. Curing Live Rock? I didn't even know it was sick!!
. Instead of curing it seperately, cure it in the newly set up tank.

Quote:
How often should I run lights?
Depends on what might be on the rock really. If no outward life then you can leave them off for the time being. If there is some life, then only run them about 3-4 hours a day in the beginning. That will be enough to at least sustain the photosynthetic animals but hopefully not increase the chances of an algae bloom. Actinic only is prefered but with the 96 quad you will not have that option.

Quote:
When should I turn on the skimmer and canister filters?
If you have enough LR (20+ lbs) the canister is not even needed unless the PH's do not add enough water flow. All combined you are looking for about 200-300 GPH water flow for the tank less the skimmer. If you do use the canister, remove the media as it will not be needed and the space can be reserved for carbon/resin products occasionally. The skimmer depends on the rock as well. If precured, there will be little need for the skimmer in the first few weeks. If uncured you will definately need it running. In either event, having it going from the beginning will not hurt anything although it may slow the spread of coralline in the beginning.

Quote:
On average, how long should the cycle period last? How much LR (real nice Fiji from nice Marine shop, lots of stuff growing on it) should I get.
The cycle can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks. It depends on the ammonia source used and possible die off. For a healthy FOWLR or reef tank, 25-30 lbs of rock would be best but you can get by with just 20 lbs. The more the better within reason (and space).

Quote:
H20 changes? Any tips would be radical!
If uncured LR is used, daily water changes will be needed to keep ammonia from killing the life on/in the rock. The article link above will desrcibe it in more detail. If using the shrimp method and precured or dry base rock, you probabley won't need much in the way of water changes until nearing the end of the cycle.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 03-31-2004, 03:10 AM   #5
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forget about the bagged live sand, total waste of money...just get aragonite reef sand, your lr will make the sand live during the cycle...if you want some extra diversity in good bacteria, try some "CYCLE" in a bottle, it seemed to help my cycle

if it really is well-cured lr you will see only slight peaks and the cycle will be over in 10-20 days, mine took only 10

all else there looks good, don't forget a good test kit that specifies sw use

good luck
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srgetz
forget about the bagged live sand, total waste of money...just get aragonite reef sand, your lr will make the sand live during the cycle...if you want some extra diversity in good bacteria, try some "CYCLE" in a bottle, it seemed to help my cycle
I completely agree on the LS. No offense intended but the liquid bacterial products in a bottle are no different. IMO/IME they are just as much a gimmick as the sand.

Cheers
Steve
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