Still Researching, but have a few questions!

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by Zechenia, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. Zechenia

    Zechenia Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    I am still in the research stages of Marine Aquariums, so me actually purchasing much of anything (besides books, which are in the mail ;D) is a few months out. My current plan, which is a pretty slow approach, is to pick up an all-in-one unit (leaning toward Biocube 29 HQI... unless there's something better out there in the same price range!), and then use baserock (25 lbs). I plan on seeding this with some live rock. After allowing this to cycle for a good while, I hope to add a clean up crew, then wait even a while longer before finally adding fish (at this point, the fish are something I havent even thought about. I want everything else set up first). Eventually I would like to add some coral, but that's still a LONG way down the road.

    However, I do have a few questions. Am I correct that during cycling I should leave the lights off, and avoid water changes, but use all the other equipement (filters, heaters, skimmer)?

    Also, how much live rock should I seed with? I've heard some pretty nasty stories about unwanted hitch hikers, so I am hoping that by using more baserock I will limit the probability of picking up the bad ones :)

    My last topic (atleast for this post! :)) is about sand. I've heard crushed coral isn't a good option, and I already was leaning in the direction of sand (thinking black at this point). However, do I need live sand? or since I am not in a hurry, would the live rock be enough to seed the whole tank? Also, how much sand should I be looking at for this size tank?

    Thanks so much!
     
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  3. Shackman23

    Shackman23 Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    I left all my lights on in my tank, like a normal day, also i used 40lbs in my Biocube and it gave me about 2.-3 inches, and if you have pretty established liverock it would seed the sand, but if you use whats called reefbugs, its in powder form and you mix it with saltwater, i used that and it established my rock very well, the only unwanted hitch hiker i have is a bristle worm, which doesnt bother me at all, The biocube HQI is a good starter! and as far as black sand goes, I currently have it in my 57 gal, i LOVED it at first, then once my tank got more stuff in it, i hate it if anything do what im planning on doing, and mixing it with some white sand! Good luck!
     
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  4. Zechenia

    Zechenia Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Ok, thanks! I will def look into reefbugs. The sand color is something I've been battling in my head, haha.
     
  5. divott

    divott Giant Squid

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    swure , leave the lights off. unless you just want to look at your creation. lol. no need to run your skimmer during the cycling process. you wont need a large piece of LR to seed with.

    id stay away fr4om the crushed, black sand would look awesome. and it depends on the depth of sand bed you want. but as a quick guess, proabbly about 30 lbs should do you good

    good luck wit5h it all, and so great youre doin reseqrch first. congrats
     
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  6. MoJoe

    MoJoe Dragon Wrasse

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    Welcome and you're definitely doing the right thing with researching the hobby before diving in. The more you know about it before doing any of it, will give you a much more successful first foray into pretty much whatever you do.

    I'll try to answer a few questions for you:

    - You don't need to have your lights on during the cycle

    - Yes, avoid a water change until you tank is fully cycled, then do maybe a 25% one prior to adding anything into the tank

    - in terms of how much live rock to base rock ratio, some say you only need 10% live and 90% base to seed. This will definitely cut costs for you and possibly help with any unwanted hitchhikers. Howerver, when I started my 55g tank I opted for 80% live and 20% base. As long as you buy really good quality rock from reputable sources, you are fine doing more live than base. The great thing about seeding the tank with lots of quality live rock, is that it will speed up your cycle. I honestly had an overnight cycle because I added a large amount of good live rock. A small amount will seed the base, but your cycle will definitely take a bit longer. It's up to you on what's more important, I couldn't wait and had the funds so I opted for getting the most quality live rock I could.

    - go with aragonite for the sand, stay away from crushed coral, it traps debris and junk that will only raise your NItrate levels. It also can be too sharp for bottom/sand dwellers. I used Ocean direct Carribean live sand, but live or not, it will become live, you can also seed inert sand with a few cups from an established tank.

    - depending on how deep a sand bed you want, I usually stick with the equation of 1lb of sand per 1g of water in the tank. But right now I have 60lbs of sand in my 70g tank and it's fine, so you could get away with say 20lbs of sand for your 29g or if you want to go deeper, maybe 30lbs-40lbs, it's all personal preference. If you are interested in sand dwellers you may want a deeper sand bed.

    hope these answer help a little bit, best of luck!
     
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  7. Aaron.Herk

    Aaron.Herk Sea Dragon

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    I would look at craigslist as well as you can find some very good deals that have everything inlcuded. Other than that a Biocube is a good tank.

    You don't need to run your lights when you are cycling.

    You won't need much live rock to seed the base rock. Especially if you will have a low bioload due to no fish for some time. What types of fish do you plan on down the road. This will have some impact on how much total rock you would want.

    What other equipment will you be getting. You shouldn't need the skimmer when cycling. I would use the heater though. Just in case you get some of the good hitchhikers.
     
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  9. saints fan 420

    saints fan 420 Expensive Colorful Sticks

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    well your doing everything perfectly..i read multiple books before i started with reef tanks..this site will give you tons of info as well..welcome
     
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  10. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to 3reef.

    Leaving the lights on during a cycle may increase the intial algae growth. I always leave them on and the algae came and went normally. I think it is more of a personal choice. You are correct avoid water changes until the cycle is complete. Running the heater is fine and a skimmer is you have one, allows it time to break in.

    Just a few pounds of cured LR like 2-5 is fine. Just carefully inspect it for the usual nasties like aiptasia, majanos, problem algaes.......

    Nope you can use just dry sand and it will be just fine. I would try aragonite or research it and see if you like it.

    The Bio-cube HQI is a nice tank. I run a nano and have had just about every type of nano that is AIO. The bio-cube is my second favorite.

    Good job on all the research, it show in the content of your questions.

    :)
     
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  11. Zechenia

    Zechenia Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    At this point I'm not really sure. I know I want a pair of clownfish, but apart from that, I haven't gotten to the point in my research where I've shifted away from equipement/setup stuff to fish stuff.

    And thank you all for the quick replies!

    Edit: Corailline, what was your favorite All in one?
     
  12. robl45

    robl45 Flamingo Tongue

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    i'd guess the JBJ, imho thats the best one.