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spoonman 09-20-2011 08:21 PM

Finally Gonna go Saltwater - 29 Gallon build
So, I just ordered my first pieces for my first foray into saltwater. Here are my first orders:


T5HO cheap light

I didn't go all out on the light because I don't know how long I will have the setup before I go bigger. I think the remaining things that I need are:

Live rock - $4/lb at my lfs for fiji (is this good?)
Test kit
RO/DI unit

Will cycle with live rock to hopefully have a short cycle. I have tons of lace rock that I think I will put in with the live to hopefully have a tank full of live by the time I am done. The guy at the lfs says to cycle with a couple of damsels. I think I will get the pure ammonia and do it right! I have learned alot from the good people here and dont want to torture fish by doing a fish in cycle. I am going to use a fluval 405 for filtration. What should I put in the fluval bins? Should I use a ph with the filter, or will it alone be enough flow? Perhaps a small Koralia? Also, is there something I am forgetting? I intend to start with just FOWLR for now and eventually if everything works out I will do some corals. I am taking this slow and doing it right the first time so bear with me. All advice and suggestions welcomed! Wife is not completely on board so cost is an issue (thus the cheap lights).

Sarcothelia 09-20-2011 08:33 PM

$4lb if it's cured is a good deal. The stuff at my LFS is 5.50 a pound cured which is considerably more, but pretty much every piece has a tiny colony or two on it. Even if it's not cured $4 is still nice especially since you can pick out each piece yourself.

You can just cycle with pure ammonia and add some bacteria (probably sell it at your lfs) until the cycle is done. I don't know about salt mix or RO/DI as I have a 24 and the deal they have at my LFS where buying $10 worth of stock gives 10 gallons of salt water free gets me all the water I need. If you plan on corals Elos makes wonderful test kits, and seachem makes good "cheap" tests for nitrates, ammonia, etc.

Don't put bioballs or anything like that in the bins. Add GFO if so inclined, but really sponges and carbon are all you need.

spoonman 09-20-2011 08:53 PM

The rock is cured and has some visible growth on it. It isnt purple like some that I have seen but it is definately live. I didnt think to ask about water. I think they sell it but I dont know the price. Thanks for the information! Would smashed up live rock or base rock be good in the canister?

spoonman 09-20-2011 08:54 PM

Also, does the CUC come later? Or can you put them in during the cycle?

kylekody 09-20-2011 09:13 PM

i added 2 yellow tail damsels, 2 red legged hermits and 2 astrea snails to help my cycle. and i still have one of the damsels, it didn't torture it at all, he seemed good to go. didn't seem lethargic at all. the only reason i lost one, was my clown fish messed with him and stressed him till he was dead. i didnt have any live rock jus 15 pounds of dead rock, and 20 pounds of "live" sand. and 15 LBS of crushed coral. so with all that live rock and sand, it will be a slightly faster cycle

spoonman 09-20-2011 10:43 PM

Glad that worked for you, but I am going to go the ammonia route. Just a preference. So the hermits and astrea snails would be ok whether it is a fish-in or ammonia cycle?

Sarcothelia 09-20-2011 10:48 PM

The ones with large displays often sell water. If I had a large tank I'd mix my own but the stuff they use in their 1k gallon display is the same they sell so it seems to be good stuff. The free 10 gallons with a 10 gallon purchase is promotional though really and they pretty much just want returning customers, don't think I've ever spent just 10 dollars to get the free water.

In smaller tanks such as yours (and mine) I prefer the use of Ceriths as they are less conspicuous than Astreas and don't get stuck when flipped over. I'd just get some Ceriths and Nassarius to stir the sand and that's about it. If you get hermits and snails at some point they may go after the snails for their shells.

spoonman 09-20-2011 10:50 PM

Can they be in the tank during the cycle?

spoonman 09-20-2011 11:00 PM

Just a quick pick of what the tank looks like now. I have 2 EBJD's that will be moved to my 140 and a raphael that will go in my 240.

slitherbomb 09-20-2011 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by spoonman
Can they be in the tank during the cycle?

Yes if you want them to die from high levels of ammonia/nitrites.

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