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Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Plans

Ok, so here are my plans for my tank and its status at the moment. Please let me know if I'm on the right track or not!

Tank Status:
-Crystal Clear water with a salinity level of 1.020
-Daily check of Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, pH, & Alkalinity - Everything Perfect!!!
-Water Temperature of 76F
**Nothing alive yet as I wanted to get everything up and running w/ perfect water conditions (this is Day 3)

Future Plans:
1. Today, going to buy livesand to add a layer on top of my aragonite/crushed coral substrate (is this ok??? I have the tank filled, will it be ok to pour the live sand in even with the tank filled????)
2. Tomorrow, going to buy 10lbs of LR - in two weeks will by another 5-10lbs with a plan of having a total of 20lbs of LR in the tank
3. 2 weeks from now, will buy my first fish or two. I will probably start off with 2 clownfish
4. Plan on having about 6-7 fish, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2-3 anenomes, 1 starfish, and possibly a sea slug and/or clam

How does this look? Any suggestions?
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:47 PM   #2
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just keep a check on your levels after you add live rock once everything is settled then get your fish
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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I personally would remove the CC and replace with sand. If you add sand now then it will eventually find it`s way through the CC and under it. It`s pretty easy to remove and replace with sand. Just siphon out the CC with a hose and take a PVC pipe and run the well rinsed sand down the pipe to where it needs to be. You`ll have a small sandstorm but not like if you just through it in. Just a suggestion.

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Old 07-06-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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You can't really measure your parameters of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate yet - you have nothing alive in the tank.When you get live rock, your tank will go through a cycle and build up the beneficial bacteria needed to support the fish. Please don't add fish until this cycle is completed - you can't really say that you're going to get fish in two weeks because the cycle may not be done yet. Anemones require a more established tank to do well - don't add them right away.

How big is the tank? You need 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of live rock per gallon in order to successfully support the bioload of the fish and corals. For a 29 gallon tank, you will probably need more rock than 20 pounds. You can cure it right in your tank since you have nothing alive in the tank that would be harmed by the resulting ammonia and nitrite spikes. After the tank cycles, if you would want additional rock, then it would be best to cure it in a separate tank.

When you do test your parameters, please post the exact numbers from your test results, rather than saying they are perfect or ok. The numerical value helps us better determine where you are in the cycle.

Here are some articles to get you started:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ick/Page1.html

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ate/Page1.html
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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Those are some greatarticles Deb gave you. Please read them to get the concept of cycling.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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Alright so just to update, I ended up not having crushed coral for a substrate like I thought I did - I made the mistake. It's strictly aragonite. I understand completely about the live rock and all and will be picking up about 10lbs of it today. Next week I will be away on vacation so the following week I am going to buy another 15 lbs. I'm definitely going to wait until the tank cycles before I put any livestock in there. I want to do all this right. What do you think of live sand? Yes or no? And how am I going to put it in the filled tank without having a sand storm in there????
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
Just siphon out the CC with a hose and take a PVC pipe and run the well rinsed sand down the pipe to where it needs to be. You`ll have a small sandstorm but not like if you just through it in.
As far as the sand storm I already suggested this. I say get dry sand. I really doubt the validity of "live" sand. The dry sand will become live over time.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:15 AM   #8
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Ok, here's an update...

I bought 11lbs of cured LR yesterday and put it in the tank. I plan on buying another 10lbs or so before the end of the week. Should I still plan on sticking one raw fish (as it said in one of the articles provided to me)?

Thanks for your help everyone!
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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I would use raw uncooked shrimp. Shrimp breaks down better then fish and your tank will have less fats that will only take longer to decompose. for a 29g one large cocktail shrimp is enough.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #10
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One thing I missed in the above post, Your salinity is to low. Try to bring it up to ~1.025.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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I would use raw uncooked shrimp. Shrimp breaks down better then fish and your tank will have less fats that will only take longer to decompose. for a 29g one large cocktail shrimp is enough.
It's cured rock, why the suggestion to shove a whole shrimp in there to muck up the water before trying a more limited ammonia source (say ammonia or small amount of fish food) to test for the cure ratio of the rock?

Your salinity and water temp are at the low end of the spectrum.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:42 AM   #12
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Question

So should I put the shrimp in or not? Im buying 10 more lbs of LR today making it a total of 21 lbs as of this afternoon. I plan on buying more but for now, I think that should suffice without fish in the aquarium. Im going to max it at around 25-30lbs of LR before I put fish in. The temp as of last night was 77F and the specific gravity was between 1.020-1.021. Ill raise the temp up a little bit. I want the nitrogen cycle to start so what is the best way to do get the ammonia level to rise. I did read the article about putting a raw shrimp in there.

Also, to raise the specific gravity, should i just pour in some salt or what??
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #13
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No - never just pour salt into an aquarium. It would burn the fish and corals if you just pour it in undissolved. You don't have any inhabitants now but it's a good habit to get into of properly mixing, aerating, and aging your saltwater before adding it to the aquarium. As far as raising the salinity, you could top off with properly aged and prepared saltwater instead of your RO water until you reach your desired SG, or you could do a series of water changes with water prepared to 1.025 SG. Whatever you do, make sure it's a gradual process. You're probably not going to see a change in salinity after just one water change, which is a good thing, especially if you did have animals in there.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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When I pick up the LR today, Ill ask for some additional water from one of their tanks, that'll probably be good I would assume? Am I correct in thinking that?
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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No, I would not do that. Stores often keep their SG lower to keep parasites at bay and because it's cheaper - they don't use as much salt that way. It tends to be OK for the fish (hopefully) because the fish aren't there long before they're sold to someone with a proper SG. So no, that's not a good solution for you. Also, mixing store water with your water is always discouraged. You just don't know what is in there - maybe some parasites, or maybe they did use some meds or other additives. When you acclimate fish (you can research and ask about that before you get fish!) you always throw out the store water/acclimation water and don't add it to your tank.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:09 PM   #16
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Ok, I will take that into account. What I will do today is buy the LR, then make a couple of gallons of SW and put it in the tank. I should put the raw shrimp in there though right - as I read in your article?
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #17
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So am I correct in thinking that this is Cured LR. It`s been in a tank right. If the rock is cured then you might not see a cycle. It makes no difference on the shrimp as it will provide an ammonia source to keep the nitrifying bacteria alive.You could use a few flakes a day if you want instead. Most folks when the start dont have cured rock so their tank goes through a cycle. IMO it wont hurt to use the shrimp. Just use 1 small one.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:00 PM   #18
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if cured, very very small.. Your water will thank you.

'I bought 11lbs of cured LR yesterday and put it in the tank.'
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:32 PM   #19
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I should add a point to my previous post. You can buy premixed saltwater at most lfs stores. I don't know if that would help raise your salinity or not - you'd have to ask at what SG they mixed it to. Buying premixed saltwater is ok. Getting saltwater from their display tanks to add to your tank is not recommended.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:51 PM   #20
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if cured, very very small.. Your water will thank you.

'I bought 11lbs of cured LR yesterday and put it in the tank.'
There is an on going debate about using LR instead of a raw shrimp or pure ammonia to cycle a saltwater tank. You can do it in any of these ways. If you used just the LR it will take you longer to cycle your AQ. The ammonia concentration would be low and the cycle would be slower. Adding pure ammonia is a great way to, except if you add to much pure ammonia or the wrong kind of ammonia. The shrimp method is simple, you can't OD your water with it. If at the end of the cycle you still have some shrimp left...take it out and throw it away. You can't take an OD of ammonia out and most new people to saltwater want their cycle to be done "yesterday" so waiting for the LR method is a real test of their patience. IMO
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