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This is a discussion on Cycling within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> i have a 29 gallon tank with live sand thats it. how long will it take to cycle? is there anything i can get ...

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:23 PM   #1

i have a 29 gallon tank with live sand thats it. how long will it take to cycle? is there anything i can get to speed up the cycle? what kind of fish do you recommend?
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:47 AM   #2
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What kind of sand did you buy? Was it CaribSea AgraAlive? This type of sand will cycle your tank in a day, sometimes you won't see a cycle at all! Do you have test kits? Test for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia. Do you have any Live Rock? How deep is your sand?

Before you add any livestock, you will want to get your Alkalinity and Calcium to acceptable levels and stay stable at those levels. Alkalinity is measured in dKH, and an acceptable level is between 8-12 dKH. Calcium is measured in ppm, and an acceptable level is 400-460 ppm. Keeping these levels steady will create a more comfortable and natural enviroment for the livestock you introduce.

In a 29 gallon I recommend a pair of clowns, a goby, maybe a few shrimp (a pistol would be a great mate for the Watchman Goby), maybe a Hawkfish. I would go 4 fish tops of this size. Definitely no Tangs, no Angels (you could get away with a Flame or other dwarf, but I would then say just that and a one or two other small fish), and no Triggers. Are you going full Reef? Corals?

Last edited by wake49; 10-29-2009 at 06:56 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
yes i do have that kind of sand. its been running for about a week now. i do not have live rock yet. i was thinking just a couple pieces of live rock and a clown fish. i have the testing supplies. i have about 2 to 3 inches of sand. what do you think i should do from here?
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:51 AM   #4
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We need a lot more information. In saltwater aquariums the details are extremely important.

What is your filtration? exactly.
What testing equipment do you have? And what are the test results?

On the subject of sand depth, you have it exactly wrong. Sand needs to be at one of two depths. You need to stay less than 1'' in depth, or you need to increase to 4''-6'' depth. Levels under 4'' and over 1'' tend to accumulate detritus without providing effecient denitrification. In your tank, given the absence of live rock, I think it would benefit greatly if you increased the sand depth to 5''.

You should also go ahead and add some live rock. If cost is an issue, you could order a 25 pound shipment of dry rock from Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock for $75.
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