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Old 07-13-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
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Talking My 45 Gal. Reef Build - First Timer

Thought I would start a thread on my first reef tank. I have had a FW tank in the past and decided to convert to a reef tank as a birthday gift to my wife. She loves the fish but not the upkeep. Sat. I cleaned the old tank, installed the equipment and mixed the salt water. On Sun. morning I added the bacteria and the live sand. Sun. evening I added a couple of power heads. Today (Wed), I hope to add the live rock.

Here are the details as I know them. (Ok, so I didn't pay that close of attention to the equipment I was sold to make the conversion and I am at work and not near the tank).

45 Gallon Tank (36"L x 12"W x 24:T)
Eheim Clasic Model #221 (I think that is the model #)
(2) Max Jet 400 Powerheads
ViaAqua 150W Heater
36" Aquatic Live Dual T5 HO Fixture
Glass Top

Question:
Once I install the live rock, will it begin to cycle or do I need to kick start the process in some way.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
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The live rock can kick start a cycle, when I firsty cycled I also used pure ammonia as well, to get my ammonia up to 4ppm so I would have a solid bacteria colony.

But try the live rock, take your water parameters and see where youre at. Some people get quite the spike with LR.
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180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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put a pinch of fish food in your tank it will decompose and give your BB something to eat
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I picked up a mix of base rock and live rock last night and got it installed in the tank. I will post a picture in a minute. While the tank cycles, should I be doing an water changes and/or filter cleaning? Once established, how often should I do the water changes and filter cleaning?
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:25 AM   #5
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No need for pwcs until cycled. Filters can be cleaned, but after everything settles they shouldnt get dirty hardly at all.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Thank kurtyboh. What is the best procedure for cleaning a canister filter?
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #7
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As mentioned above, I installed live rock on Wed. evening. 24 hours later, I find these two critters. Not sure if they are a problem that needs to be delt with. My questions are these:
1. Are they harmful?
2. Will they survive when the tank cycles?
3. If there are two, should I expect more?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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Progress so far.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #9
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Progress update...
6 days after installing the live rock the Brown Algae is kicking in. Thanks to lots of great advice, I now know I better cut back on the lighting a bit.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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Tank looks good, looks like some quality live rock you got there.
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180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Tank looks good, looks like some quality live rock you got there.
Checked one place and was going to come back to buy the rock from them that afternoon. A little latter, I stumbled on this store and thought I would check it out. He had great rock at what seemed like a good price. Bought about 20 lbs of LR and 10 lbs of BR all for about $150.00. {Man, this is an expensive sport} hehehehe
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:48 AM   #12
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Yeah it is LOL. I have over 200lbs of rock in my 125g alone, luckily I had some established rock from my 55g so I went with alot of base rock. It's only been a short time and you almost can't tell the difference anymore.

Just wait for the lighting, now thats some sticker shock lol
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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LOL on the sticker shock for lighting. Being an electrical contractor I know what LED cost. At the same time, I better not skimp on lighting in my business. LOL
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:15 PM   #14
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Knowing I have a bit of time before I start with the livestock I figure now is a good time to learn how to introduce them. Anyone have some links that would give me a good class on it? (Ten bucks says Carey will) LOL
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #15
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lol. Introduce what, livestock? And unfortunately I'm not the queen of links, just for hardware. hehe I shopped ALOT for all my tanks so I'm kinda familair with alot of the gear.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:27 PM   #16
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Yes, livestock. Fresh water were easy but I haven't a clue how to add fish and coral to a saltwater tank.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:33 PM   #17
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The coral is easy, when your water is all good and you have lights needed then its just a matter of picking out ones that you like and putting them in the proper location in the tank.

Since you just started I would add livestock slowly. I generally add a small cuc (cleanup crew) first then add a fish or two. If youre after clowns they might be a good first set of fish to add.

With my SW fish I temp acclimate for a good 20-30 min then put them into a separate container to which I add tank water every few minutes for about 2 hours. If the water fills up the bag/container then just dump some and keep adding. You want the bag/container to be mostly your tank water when you move the fish. And never ever put the fish stores water into your tank, just net or scoop the fish and add it.

Thats fish adding 101, carey style LOL

When I add inverts like shrimo I usually go for over 2 hours as they are very very sensitive.

Hope that helped.

As a side note, in my FW tanks, I float for 20-30 min for temp then do the same thing with a container but only do it for about an hour. I havent lost a fish yet due to bad acclimation in any of my tanks. I may be going overboard, but better safe than sorry
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:31 PM   #18
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Great info Carey. That is exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #19
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Our family is growing. Meet Abbott and Costello. Since they are clown fish I figure that is a good name. But, I may need to change it to George Burns and Gracie Allen in a couple of months. While they are both males right now, the larger one will turn into a female once it establishes its dominance.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:18 PM   #20
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Our family is growing. Meet Abbott and Costello. Since they are clown fish I figure that is a good name. But, I may need to change it to George Burns and Gracie Allen in a couple of months. While they are both males right now, the larger one will turn into a female once it establishes its dominance.
I have been over ruled. Since these are my wife's birthday present she has chosen Lucy and Dezi. I guess it is hard to argue. Don't think you find any better clowns then those two.
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