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Old 06-24-2004, 10:11 AM   #11
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The cycle length is different for every tank depending on what is in it. There's no real way to give you an exact timeframe. Only by testing will you know when its truly began, and when its done.

For a basic setup expect between 2 and 6 weeks for a cured and ready to begin tank. In any case, you're better off in the long run by giving it extra time and making sure you're ready. Rushing causes nothing but problems. Ask every person on this forum. About 95% of us have made that mistake at one point or another. Many of us after having all the experience needed to tell us it was a bad idea

If you go with a large amount of fully cured lr, and nothing but true ls, you will have essentially an instant cycle and be ready for fish in a couple days. This is because all the beneficial bacteria required for the nitrogen cycle will already be in existance and you'll only need a little time to make sure you're stable in ph, temp, etc..

The opposite, nothing but base rock and bags of playsand coupled with a couple cocktail shrimp will give you the longer end of the spectrum. As far as the nitorgen cycle is concerned, you'll have essentialy equal filtration with either method once the cycle is complete. The downside with nothing but bare rock is you'll have no additional fauna populating your tank and no color from the coraline algae.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:36 AM   #12
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well mixing live rock and base rock means that the live rock will have to seed the base rock, slowly converting it to live rock.

If you started with 80% live, and 20% base, you'd have pretty good filtration once the cycle was done. But if you did the reverse and had only 20% LR to start off with...you're going to have far less filtration after the cycle...meaning you'll have to stock VERY carefully and do lots of water tests, etc.

If a bunch of LR is too cost prohibitive, then go with the base rock, and just take things slowly and cautiously. If you can afford teh LR, go for it...I think you'll be happier with it and the results...which will be much more stable.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:52 AM   #13
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If you started with 80% live, and 20% base, you'd have pretty good filtration once the cycle was done. But if you did the reverse and had only 20% LR to start off with...you're going to have far less filtration after the cycle...
I think I disagree. The purpose of the cycle is to establish a bacterial colony that processes the waste in the system. From my reading, folks who cycle with no LR in their tank have a longer cycle time (in general). Folks who cycle with LR that they purchased on-line had a shorter cycle time (in general) and those who cycled with LR purchased from a LFS had an even shorter cycle (in general).

My theory behind this is the bacterial colonies.
With no LR, there's no bacteria and the entire colony must be built from scratch.
With shipped LR, the majority of the colony has died off, but there is still some there to "kick off" the colony in the cycle, giving it a faster start.
With LFS-LR, there's little to no die-off of the colony so the bacteria is there in full strength and ready to being processing waste.


Now, to answer the original poster. I think your biggest factor is your budget. IMO, I would buy 60-75% of base rock from your choice of distributor, and the remaining LR from wherever you can get it cheapest (or whoever has the rock you like the most). The cycle will probably last a week or two. The coraline and other life on the LR will spread to your base-rock over time. but you'll be too busy worying aobut the algae bloom that comes next to even worry about the coraline
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:49 AM   #14
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I would (and did) buy 100% LR from www.liverocks.com and have been overjoyed with the amount of life.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:27 PM   #15
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Keep in mind I'm coming from a FW background. I guess I assumed that LR didn't come with bacteria on it...just other organisms, some dead, which provide the ammonia for a cycle to begin.
It sounds like good live rock is seeded with bacteria...so if that's the case, then the difference between 20% or 80% wouldn't be that great...maybe knock a week off the cycle time or something...but not as much as I had originally thought.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:53 PM   #16
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Where is does help is in the diversity of critters and the amount of coralline algae.
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:55 PM   #17
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im gonna go 10lbs of live rock from live rock.com and 30lbs of base rock from hirocks on ebay....i have one last question a lil off the subject...but will i be ok with just baged sand in my fowlr tank or will i NEED to add a little live sand...i was thinking of getting the tank started withthe liverock base rock and baged sand and then later just adding one of those detrivor or garf grunge kits to my sand to turn it into live sand ( a month or 2 after i cycle and get a couple of fish in the tank) do this sound practical to u guys? im not in a hurry at all to convert my tank into a reef tank in anytime soon at all i think i will be plenty busy with a fo tank...so all the critters in the rock and sand can develope in time
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30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
6lbs Brazilian LR
35lbs sand (20lbs of lfs ls i think it cycled my tank faster)

3 blueleg hermits
4 turbo snails
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:12 PM   #18
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will i be ok with just baged sand in my fowlr tank or will i NEED to add a little live sand...i was thinking of getting the tank started withthe liverock base rock and baged sand and then later just adding one of those detrivor or garf grunge kits to my sand to turn it into live sand
There is no real need for LS if you plan accordingly. The 10 lbs of LR will give you some diversity from the start, it will just take a little extra time and TLC for the critters to multiply. If you eventually add the Grunge or detrivor kit (or both), then you would be just fine.

Cheers
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Old 06-25-2004, 12:11 AM   #19
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ok thanks alot guys....i think im finallly ready to get all most stuff and start my cycle...thanks alot for all the help, u guys really helped me plan my tank set up
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30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
6lbs Brazilian LR
35lbs sand (20lbs of lfs ls i think it cycled my tank faster)

3 blueleg hermits
4 turbo snails
royal gramma
gold stripped maroon clown
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