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Old 02-22-2005, 02:05 PM   #1
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When do I add what?

OK, I almost have all of my "stuff" - just waiting on my RO unit to arrive. I want to eventually have LR/LS but since I'm already waaaaaaay over budget on this I have a few questions:

1) I know LR will seed the DSB so it will eventually become live, but for right now will it speed my cycle by just adding LS? If so, how much should I get for a 75g tank (I already have a 3" - 4" base)?

2) Exactly when do I add the LS? As soon as the tank has salt water in it?

3) When do I add the shrimp and how many do I put in?

Also, I guess I'm a little confused about the PH's (I have 2). Do I aim them in the same direction (creating a whirlpool) or at eachother?

Heck and while I'm at it do I run my canister filter during the cycle?

Thanks for any answers you can give - as you can see I need all the help I can get :D

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Old 02-22-2005, 02:26 PM   #2
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Oh, and if you can't tell, the anticipation is just killing me. Right now my tank looks more like a terrarium than a fish tank :roll:

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Old 02-22-2005, 02:53 PM   #3
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I think the 3-4" base for sand is fine IMO.
I'm cycling my tank with rock - and with the sand already in place.

What's your planned source for rock? Some will die off and cycle the tank. Other sources - like Liverocks.com may not have enuf die of to cycle with.

So depends on when and what kinda of rock you're planning on.

On the PHs, I point mine at each other from the rear of the tank so they collide at the front glass.

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Old 02-22-2005, 03:00 PM   #4
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I'll try to help.

1. well cured or fresh lr is what will speed up your cycle. I don't think ls is gonna be enough.
2. in my opinion, you have plenty of sand right now and if your gonna be adding lr, I wouldn't bother with the ls.
3. I wouldn't add shrimp or anything else til your cycle is complete. You've seen the ammonia and nitrite spikes and done your first water change to lower nitrates.

I would aim the ph towards each other. And yes, you can run your canister during cycle, whatever media you are using will give the bacteria a place to grow.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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To keep the cost of LR down, you could order 75% base rock (2$/pound) and 25% live rock (5$/pound ordered on line). The live rock will seed the base rock and sand over time. Don't waste your money on LS. For that matter if you can find southdown playsand at your local Home Depot all the better since it is way cheaper. The sand just has to be aragonite (which I heard you can test for with vinegar?) and why not pay 3$ a bag for it rather than 20? You can start with a 2-3" sand bottom and add more later when you have additional funding. I'd get a few pieces of the rock now, even if you can only get base. The bacteria will reside/grow on that rock surface and begin providing bio filtration even before you have "live" rock in your tank.

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Old 02-22-2005, 03:32 PM   #6
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1- since you already have a good substrate down you can add a pound or two from an established tank to seed it. You can also buy some garf grunge to seed the sand bed( www.garf.org ).
2- add the sand asap because it will take some time to settle out.
3- I am guessing you mean cocktail shrimp for a fishless cycle. Once you have a place for the beneficial bacteria to grow you can add 2 shrimp to get going.

The PH pointing at each other will give a random current which is favorable over the whirlpool affect.

Running your filter would be a good idea for you as the media will give a place for the nitrifying bacteria to grow. I would leave out the GAC for now though.

As phyl said buy some base rock asap so you can have the good bacterias growing on it. The garf grunge I wrote about earlier will also seed the rock with bacteria and coralline quickly making it LR.
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Old 02-22-2005, 05:52 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the info!

Let me see if I have this correct...

1) I don't need to buy live sand.
2) Put a bunch of base rock in and buy some LR when my wife isn't watching :wink:
3) Put the shrimp in as soon as I add the water (yes, I was talking about cocktail shrimp - sorry for the confusion Fluff).

That brings up another question though - thinking ahead which do I add first, the fish or the cleanup crew?
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:29 PM   #8
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here's an interestin article that sums up the setup process pretty well. hope this helps.


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