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Old 10-20-2012, 05:58 AM   #21
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As in my tank is empty.... Can I pretend the tank is a bucket and add RO/DI water salt and rocks ... Fish won't be going in for over a week after initial set-up due to cycling and water testing etc
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:14 AM   #22
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Oh! Yeah. Just make sure the salt and water are mixed real good before adding the sand or you can get salt pockets stuck in the sand.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #23
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Kinda late here, but you can use all base/macro rock if you want. The term live really points to the bacteria living on it, which you produce through the cycling of your tank. Using live rock to seed the base isn't really necessary, helps but not needed. I like the look of natural rock myself, so I spend the extra on it. But it can be expensive, so if needed you can just use base rock. You just won't get any cool hitchhikers into your tank, but this also can be a plus.

Also, in terms of testing pick up an API saltwater kit. You want to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates for your tank. The instructions are simple and this test kit is affordable. In the future if you need to test for anything else, API tests aren't very accurate.

In terms of cycling your tank, it will take longer than a week. My suggestion is to just throw an uncooked live shrimp into your tank and let it rot. That will supply the ammonia. I've done this method and the pure ammonia method. Using a shrimp is much easier and less room for error on your part, I accidently overdosed my tank with ammonia and set my cycle back another month. You can get the shrimp at your grocery store easily, they might even be confused enough that you just want one that they'll give it to your for free.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #24
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One thing to keep in mind is that the hydrometer that you have may not be calibrated correctly. I bought the same one and it was off .06. I'd take a sample to you lfs and let them test it. That'll tell you if yours is reading correctly. When I do my water changes I usually put my new water in a large container and add the salt then I run a power head in it to make sure the water is circulating and the salt is dissolving. I let the power head run in there for at least 2 hours. Longer is better and slowly add it to the tank. Trying not to stir up the sand.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:12 AM   #25
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I have 55g reef and it took a month to cycle. I also use the Fluval 406, and I've had NO problems with nitrates. I do clean it out weekly, though. I also run a aqua C remora skimmer, which pulls out a lot of skimmate. The fish you're planning on are messy eaters, so you might want a skimmer to help keep nitrates under conltrol.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:13 AM   #26
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One more thing, I would suggest sand instead of coral substrate, food pieces get trapped in the coral stuff easier than sand, then it stays there and becomes nitrates.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:05 AM   #27
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Yes! Listen to beengirl! She has done more research than me I promise! She helps me Alot
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:07 PM   #28
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Beengirl can u walk me through your month cycle? What's your weight in sand and live rock? Any pics of tank? And what kind of fish do you have?
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:08 PM   #29
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I have a thread all about my 55g reef called "update of Beengirl's 55g reef" under "members saltwater tanks"-lots of pics and all my equipment is listed on my profile page. To cycle, I used a raw shrimp. I have 80# live sand, started with about 40# LR, have added some since then and have a little over 60# now, but you can have as much or as little rock as you want. If you want fake decorations, the BB will grow on that. Make the tank look however you like. The BB will find a place to grow- the sand, decorations, filter, any rock you might put in there, etc. Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:48 PM   #30
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I posted a new thread with 2 pictures of tanks that I admire and want my tank to look like.... Please read thread and give me your thoughts beengrl
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