Live rock is here


90lbs of oolite caribsea (very fine)
60lbs of bio-live by natures ocean (fine)
30lbs of reef grade sand caribsea (very coarse)

the bed is about 3.5 inches

*40lbs base rock: "reef bones" caribsea (looks cool and we got a great deal)
90lbs live rock: from marine center (wet, no slime, and smelled fresh)

We rinsed the live rock.

we're putting flake food in the tank

We do have a rio 2500 power head and a visitherm heater.

We do not have a filter of any kind yet. What do you recommened we buy?

*Can we put the base rock and live rock in the tank now?

The tank is still a bit cloudy. And, the sg is 1.024.

thanks for your input,
Nancy and Rick]
[I never have. How high is your ammonia reading? It only lasts a week or two.]
@RickHarris wrote:
[Okay said:
[Yes, put the live rock in.

As far as filtration, I remember you talking about doing a sump at the meeting. Another option is a CPR hang-on sump/refugium too. Its about 15 to 20 gallons of space, deep and thin and it hangs on the back. There's also an ecosystems type. They're good but expensive. Then you can use either a Remora hang-on skimmer or have a second sump under the tank where you put a skimmer. These are harder to hide but they are way easier if you don't care so much about that. The cloudiness will probably stay until you attach some kind of filter and put a sponge in it for a couple of days to get those little particles out.]
[You should add all the rock and start skimming immediately. Add some Fritz #9 (saltwater) to get additional bacteria in there for the base rock. Add a 1/4 of the bottle at first. Add 1/4 every other day until it is gone. I like to do that because some of it will get skimmed out, and as the tank cycles through each stage a different bacteria takes over, and you want to have some fresh soldiers in there. If you want to add a little flake food do it later, the bacteria will have plenty to eat from the live rock die off at first, (even if it smells fresh) so you are only stressing your skimmer and adding nitrates that will need to be removed later. A reef is a slow building process. Each bioload item added will create a mini cycle as the population of bacteria adjust to the amout of food available. If you add a lot of fish, corals, or change your feeding amount or schedule, the bacteria have to adjust. The more mature your tank becomes, the less apparent this will be.

Run the lights a few hours each day and ramp it up over two weeks to full light period. You will have algae! Don't worry, you can get rid of that in due time. It's just part of the of the deal.

Aquascaping: Drain the water down 50% or so. Bury yor base rock as deep as you can, preferrably down to the glass, but don't grind the glass too hard. Try to leave the sand as open as possible, i.e.,places where rock meets sand tends to trap detritus. Plus, caves are cool! Get a couple epoxy sticks and stack your rock the way want it, using epoxy at the contact points. Epoxy won't stick to the rock, so form it down over the bottom rock and up over the top rock. You are making a socket where the rocks fits together. Coralline algae will cover it quickly so don't mind the bright white glow of the epoxy. This will prevent avalanches later. Don't stack it higher than 75% of the tank depth, leave ledges to add corals and keep it as flat as possible.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off but in setting up a new tank there are so many variable to consider that I could write a book, literally, and mistakes are more costly in $ and heart ache than having a good plan and spending the money to do it correctly.

Good luck and keep looking here to the board, we will get you through it man!]
[Do you have any pics of the rock you got from TMC? I was gonna get some from them at one time but didnt...I would like to see what it looks like from someone who has it....]
[Marc- the amonia is 4.0+ total (4. being the highest the test shows)

We're using try tab tests- what do ya'll use or recommend?

The rock is in... we bought a cpr bak pak IIr today, it's up and running. we have a rio flowing over the rock. the sg and temp are where they need to be. and the tank is really clearing up! it's kinda cool just watchin the stuff blow around on the rock...

thanks for the info on setting up.

newmariner- funny, we meant to take a pic of the rock still in the box. But, we forgot. We'll have some pics soon & we'll post them. Right now, it's covered in sand.

[Nancy, 4.0 is really high. I've not had an ammonia reading in so long that I went back to my test kit just to see what that is on the chart. If you are testing it daily, keep doing so. It should drop very soon, and your nitrite will go up at the same time.

I used Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit for years. Now I only use Salifert, as well as any old stuff lying around that needs to be finished off. (Seachem for example... I threw out all my Tetra stuff)

If you ammonia doesn't start dropping in another 48 hours, I'd suggest a decent sized water change. It will slow down the cycle some, but help your LR from having more die-offs. After all, you paid for the LR to be "live" right? :)]
[we did a minor water change this morning- about 30%. we would rather preserve what life is in there, even if it prolongs the cycling. we have time.

we'll keep testing.]
[May I make a suggestion and get rid of the rio for a maxi-jet
or something. The rio may cause you problems down the road. ???]
@Please_fly_AA wrote:
[May I make a suggestion and get rid of the rio for a maxi-jet or something. The rio may cause you problems down the road. ???] said:
[They supposedly fixed the problems with the Rios leeching copper into the water. THey replaced the copper impeller with a plastic one. There are other problems too, but they do seem to last better than they did at one time. I just tend to loose faith in a company that would use copper parts in an assembly that's for use in a reef where all the inhabitants are copper sensitive!! I haven't bought any since.

Nancy/Rick. I am a little suspect of that 4.0 reading. It isn't too impossible though. The rock alone will create a lot of ammonia for the first few days, but your test may be bumping that number up a little on you. You might want to try a salifert test just in case, but it's not a big deal. You are goign to have ammonia. Most things will survive as long as it doesn't stay that high too long.Without fish though, your ammonia should go down in a few days.]