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Old 02-02-2005, 02:33 AM   #1
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Cycle before live rock arrives???

So I'm pretty sure I read the other day a post where several people have pre cycled there tank prior to adding LR to help prevent any die off. For the longest time I read about most people cycling with the LR but I guess either method is practical ? Anyway I've been unable to find the post since and I'm trying to find articles on this pre cycle method so any help would be much appreciated!!! I'm also wondering if I were to go this method what have people had the most success with raw shrimp or ammonia additives??? Pros and Cons ??? And one more thing....what's the idea of using PCV under LR .....stability and to keep the LR from sitting directly on the botttom of tank, creating a dead zone??? Is this PVC piece like a cut off ring, I mean surely not a rounded surface??

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Old 02-02-2005, 06:22 AM   #2
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Right now I'm precycling with dead shrimp. I also jump-started with clear ammonia, but I can't claim that it had any real speed-up effect, because this afternoon will make 5 days and no appreciable nitrites have appeared yet.

As for LR supports, I'm going to use cutoff rings. I've read a lot on both sides, but to me it makes sense to err on the side of caution. Although my sand bed isn't particularly deep, I don't want to risk a rock collapse due to burrowing critters. I was going to build a PVC support, but I'm going to hold off until the rock gets here. I've read articles about people drilling the rock and inserting pegs to hold them together to make archways, etc. I don't know if I'll be THAT ambitious, but I'm exploring every possibility!!

30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:31 AM   #3
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You can cycle your tank before you get the live rock. I would add some base rock though so there is something for the good bacteria to grow on. Then your live rock will seed the base rock over time. Expect your tank to spike a little after adding the live rock. Like midiman said, the pvc is cut in rings and used to stabilize your rock. I used lr rubble in my tank though.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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"precycling" is not a bad idea. See if you can get some substrate from exsisting tanks from the LFS. I went to five and ended up with over 10lbs of free live sustrate. This should help start the cycle. As far as the LR goes, it really depends if it is cured or uncured. Uncured LR (such as fiji that is purchsed voer the internet) ussually has a lot of die off due to long shipping times. It will need to be recured by you. Cured live rock (from the LFS or a good company like liverocks.com) has had little time out of the water and very tlittle die-off. You can put uncured LR in your tank at the time of cyle. When using cured LR it is a good practice to pre-cure your tank so you can preserve as much of the life on the rock as possible. High ammonia and nitrites from the cycling process can kill a lot of benifical stuff on the LR. However, this can be managed through water changes to keep levels low. the downside is that it will likely prolong your cycle.
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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cycle, live, live rock, rock

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