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Old 09-20-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
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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:

Refractometer

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?)
Salt
Test kit
Ammonia
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).
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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$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.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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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?
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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Also, does the CUC come later? Or can you put them in during the cycle?
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:13 PM   #5
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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
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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Can they be in the tank during the cycle?
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:00 PM   #9
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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.

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
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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Old 09-20-2011, 11:03 PM   #11
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I will take that as a NO!! Saltwater is going to be a LARGE learning curve for me.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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Lol once you learn the basics, it's really easy.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:06 PM   #13
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Hopefully I can learn them over the next year or so. Then if all goes well and I save some cash I will convert my 140G to salt. With that I would then have to learn about sumps.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:09 PM   #14
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I would've gone for the 140g salt instead of this lol. Bigger=bigger fish.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #15
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Very tempting but I dont have the money for the lights. If I go salt on the 140g I will be going all out for reef and will get the best of everything.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:12 PM   #16
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Very understanding. I'm planning on buying a 240g but not for a reef, just a predatory tank lol. I don't really care for corals...
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #17
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I have a 240g. It is awesome!

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Old 09-21-2011, 01:07 AM   #18
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Very nice 240. Would look amazing with some saltwater in it . But yea. Going straight from freshwater to a 240 salt would be a stretch for anybody regardless of funds.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:00 AM   #19
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Thanks. If money were not an issue I would try it. I understand that the larger body of water will not have drastic swings in parameters like a smaller one. I am excited about the 29G though. Was looking at fish at my lfs yesterday and like the yellow tail damsel, clowns (of course) and the domino damsel. Will ask stocking questions once I am cycled. Thinking about 4 small fish and a small CUC.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #20
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No living creature should be in the tank during a cycle. Doesnt mattter if its ammonia or shrimp method. The high amounts of ammonia can kill your inverts or corals or anything else thats living.
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