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Old 06-01-2007, 10:19 AM   #21
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I cycled my 125 with 3 raw, unseasoned jumbo shrimp from my grocery store. All you really need is something that will decay to produce ammonia. I would suggest 1 jumbo shrimp per 30Gallons....my cycle took longer because I should have used 4 shrimp....
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:32 PM   #22
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does it matter if it is saltwater or freshwater shirmps?

also is this a good place to buy live rocks?

http://www.intmarinefish.com/liverock.html
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:37 PM   #23
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I don't think it really matters between SW or FW shrimp, you are just looking for one that will decay and produce ammonia. I am not sure about ordering from there. I believe I have seen some good posts about them.
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:44 PM   #24
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i 4got to buy the ammonia test kit... i only got ph, nitrate, & nitrite... is there anyway i can figure the level of my ammonia without the kit?.... thnx
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:54 PM   #25
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more Q's... and more to learn :)!!!!!!!!!(ready to start?!?)

Nope.

+++EDIT+++
Amonnia is the most toxic of the three, nitrItes following that and is a very important kit.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:22 PM   #26
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ok......... thanks for all the help guys, I got tons more of reading to do...
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:57 AM   #27
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IMO, in the beginning a skimmer is not critical. The one you bought is not better than nothing. It is an expensive lesson you have yet to learn. That is don't cheap out now. Better to NOT spend money and wait to make a purchase. There's very little you need in the tank to get started. Live rock is really about it. Even the crushed coral isn't necessary. I'd go bare bottom until I could afford proper sand before I used a product that was going to cost me in the long run with extra water changes, stress on fish, etc.

Return the skimmer and wait until you can afford the recommended model. Otherwise it will cost you nearly twice as much in the long run.
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:30 PM   #28
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thanks phyl... so i'll start out with nothing but live rocks?... and then add sand and skimmer later after cycle? also, can i put fish before I put in sand?
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:34 PM   #29
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IMHO, the ideal situation would be to add the sand and LR before you begin the cycle...if you intend to use LS as your substrate. Running a bare-bottom tank is another option all together. I agree with Phyllis in that a skimmer is not needed at first, especially during the cycle. Do your best to decide what you want long-term and begin to build your tank around that.
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:16 PM   #30
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Adding sand later will be a pain, but it IS doable if you're so strapped that you can't afford proper sand now.

If I had to choose between CC and BB to start my tank off with the expectation that down the road I'd change over to sand... I'd start out bare bottom. I'd rather not have the toxic waste dump sitting there that is bound to release toxins upon removal later. Is it better to add the sand now? Yes. In an ideal world you'd certainly add the sand NOW. I always have,but I have added more sand later and with the exception of the sand storm, there hasn't been any ill effect. Is it better to add CC now and change to sand later? No. If that HAS to be the case, I'd start out bare bottom.

MOST fish don't need sand. You'll have to check with your stocking list to see which of them like to burrow. Those will not be particularly pleased with a bare bottom tank. The rest won't care.

You can start the tank with 80% base rock (cheap) and 20% live rock, 1 bag of dry sand from the LFS (optional based on your thoughts from the previous paragraph), some power heads and a coctail shrimp. Everything else can come after the cycle. You can even plan for a sump and add it later on!

You don't need a skimmer to cycle. Truth be told? You really don't NEED RO/DI, especially if you're going to do a major water change (75-80%) at the end of your cycle to remove the nitrates. You can start with the RO/DI then.

Just my opinions, of course! In an ideal world, you'd wait until you had everything in order. If you're insisting on getting started ill prepared, best not to waste money on items that you'll want to throw at the wall later on! That will just drive your $/gal up to 60-70! Who needs to do that?!
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