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Old 03-03-2005, 12:06 AM   #1
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LS without LR to get cycling?

Ok, being from Alaska (see post) my selection of LR is pretty sad, little life and almost no color. No to mention $10-12 per lb! 8O
I can get the bags of LS with no trouble.
My question is this... Can I start the cycling process with LS and add in the LR when it arrives via mail or if a miracle happens and can buy locally? Not planning any fish or shrimp purchases until LS, LR are both cycled, and don't mind the wait.
Once the sand is in the tank, I just need to add an occassional flake of food to keep the proccess going, right?

Just trying to not kill my fish!
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:53 AM   #2
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I would wait becuase once you have your sand in there, getting rock to pistion is somechat difficult. If you add rock first, It is at the bottom of the tank and more stable. If you add it after sand is in, rock may have sand between it and the bottom, creating dead zones, and if something ever burrows under, it can disrupt your entire rock structure. But, you could still get it to work, it is up to you.

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Old 03-03-2005, 03:45 PM   #3
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Bagged LS is not really LS anyway. Unless it comes right out of the ocean or an established tank system, its just substrate with bacteria.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:56 PM   #4
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I agree with both replies. Laying down the rock, then adding the sand will ensure that shifting sand doesn't cause the rock to fall and crush any inhabitants, or damage the glass walls.
And I wouldn't waste money on 'live sand' when a bag or two of aragamax (or similar aragonite sand) would work just as well and cost less.

What you might wanan do is go with 10-20% live rock, and the rest 'dead' base rock. You won't have as many cool hitchhikers, but the base rock will eventually get colorful, and will be seeded with the 'live' bacteria.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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