Question about Substrate in 55 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-08-2007, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question about Substrate in 55

Hi first iam new to this forum and to saltwater would like to say hi. I just started a 55 about 2 weeks ago I read where some ppl are going to no substrate which i think looks better so i went with nothing. My question is will this be ok? the guy at the fish store says this is bad and all im going to do is have problems cause of this...

I have a pen bio wheel 350,aquac w/ mj1200 , coralife aqualight 260watt, also a mj1200 for flow...I have only about 5 pounds of lr right now and a few damsels. Just did my first tests Ph7.4,ammonia 0,nitrite 0.25,nitrate 0.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-08-2007, 10:27 AM
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you need to raise the ph, 7.4 is very bad, also you have too little live rock if your using it as filtration, and your damsels are very bad to use for cycling since its cruel and not as good as fishless. Return the damsel

You wont have problems as long as you dont have sand burrying creatures and a lot of live rock.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-08-2007, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry gave wrong ph it is 8.4 i know i need more lr which i have to get 5 ponds or so at a time. I was told to use the damsels for cycling w/ lr why is it cruel? So lr only is better for cycling?
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-08-2007, 02:05 PM
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its cruel because you are using fish, there under a lot of painful and maybe even deadly stress, its better off using live rock only to cycle, just give back the damsels and get maybe 55 pounds of live rock and 20 pounds base rock, then let it cycle its way through. No need for fish to cycle
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-08-2007, 07:54 PM
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In my reading I came across an analogy as to why bare bottom tanks with fish isn't recommended. "How would you like to spend 24 hours a day every day in a bare room with a shiny floor". Besides... you are passing up on having more "live" in your "live filter". The sand will be colonized and add on to the natural biofilter.

As for the fish in the cycle... it can get dicy because the byproducts of cycling are harmfull to the fish. While hardy fish can survive the experience if the aquarist is uber diligent in keeping the levels low, it probably is like living next to New Jersey... only slightly less toxic. And by keeping the levels low to help out the fish, you are reducing the food that powers the blooms that cause the cycle to switch from ammonia spikes to nitrite spikes. There are probably hundreds of tanks a year that are cycled on fish... but as Tube said... with live rock you don't need fish.... so might as well save them the stress. See if your pet store won't help you out by giving you store credit on them.... probably will if as Tube suggested you buy the LR from them.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-09-2007, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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That does make alot of sence.. thanks.. it would prolly mess the water all up now if i went with sand eh?
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-09-2007, 11:55 AM
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You'll probably create a dust cloud when you add the sand, especially if you don't rinse it down well. If you are taking out the damsels and just having live rock in there though, the cloudy won't matter. If it won't settle down, or doesn't settle fast enough for you, a filter should take care of it.

I'm not sure how the damsel's' physiology will handle heavy particulate in the water. May not be a problem, but I'd get an opinion on it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-09-2007, 01:22 PM
It is possible to run a bedless system but I feel they look tacky.

As Rumply said, and I've made that same analogy here on this site, it just isn't natural and can cause your critters to feel stressed as their natural abilities to hide are compromised.

Keep in mind that the fish we keep are generally the bottom of the food chain and need to be sheltered from predation in the wild. In a bare tank those fish will always feel vulnerable leading to stress and strange behavior patterns.

Keeping a large amount of rock and substrate will also help stabilize PH, ALK, and CA levels as they will leech from the surroundings.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-11-2007, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well i went and got about 100 pounds of live sand put it in yesterday. today the water is as clear as it could be, so i turned on my protein skimmer and its going nutz with foam should i let it set off for a few days?
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