Starting a reef tank, please advise.
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Starting a reef tank, please advise.

This is a discussion on Starting a reef tank, please advise. within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Hi everyone, Last week I got a Red Sea Max 34 gallon Nano tank. This past Saturday I filled it with Nutra Sea Water ...

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Starting a reef tank, please advise.
Old 03-26-2007, 07:18 AM   #1
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Starting a reef tank, please advise.

Hi everyone,

Last week I got a Red Sea Max 34 gallon Nano tank. This past Saturday I filled it with Nutra Sea Water which is supposedly pre-cycled, salted, etc., added 30 pounds of live sand, and 42 pounds of live rock. I have a few questions that I hope somebody can help me with.

1) The styrofoam box the lfs gave me the live rock in was pretty dirty and the rock had small pieces of sytrofoam in it so I washed the rock under freshwater before putting it in the tank. Did I kill off the beneficial bacteria that makes the live rock live?

2) I understand that once I have coral/inverts in the tank I will need to keep the light on for 10 hours a day or so. Until they are added, do I need to keep the light on for the live rock so that the beneficial bacteria that makes it live won't die? If so, how many hours should I keep the light on for?

3) I was told that the temperature should not fluctuate more than 2 degrees per hour and should not get to 81 and never to 82 or above. Does the same hold true for when there is only live rock in the tank?

4) The lfs told me to take out the large white filtration cubes that came with the setup. They told me to keep the carbon but take the white cubes out because those are for fish only setups. It came in the "Complete Reef Setup" though, which I thought was awfully curious. I followed the lfs advice and took it out. Should I have? Sorry but I forget what the cubes are called at the moment.

5) I added a few fancy hermit crabs and a gigantic snail to the tank just so that there is some life in it for the next week while the pre-cycled water that is ready for fish/inverts right out of the box cycles (I got many conflicting opinions from several lfs I spoke to about how long I had to cycle the tank with the pre-cycled water and the live sand). I know that once the tank is stocked there will be things for them to scavenge, but for now is there something I can/should be feeding them? I think the snail eats algea but so far we have been keeping the light off when we are not there and there is no algea to speak of and probably won't be unless we start leaving the light on for the live rock.

6) Right now the tank is teeming with micro-bubbles and has been since I turned it on. I checked what I could, but taking things apart is such an ordeal because the components in this "all in one" system are situated so tightly that getting to most of them requires disassembling the hood, unthreading the wires through their special nooks and crannies, lifting out other components, etc. I plan on calling the manufacturer today. In the meantime, though, can days of constant microbubbles harm the live rock in any way?

Finally, I doubt anyone who doesn't know much about reefs has read this far because this post has only consisted of questions, but I'd like to add a word of caution to anyone considering a reef tank... unless you've got good, local friends in the hobby who can hook you up, it's a deceptively expensive proposition. The sandless, skimmerless, live rock-less, creature-less nano itself is only the tip of the iceburg...

Thanks so much everyone,
Mike
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
 
i can answer a few

The live rock probably lost the bacteria AND the other life forms like invertebrate and corals under freshwater

I think a tank with no corals should get about 8-10 hours of light a day

Are the white filter cubes zeolite?

Micro bubbles sill probably kill sponges since no air should touch them, possibly some other corals but i think it should be alright (just think)

Can you define pre cycled water, bacteria lives on surfaces not water so the water wont hold bacteria in it.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:54 PM   #3
 
Re: Starting a reef tank, please advise.

Hi everyone,

Last week I got a Red Sea Max 34 gallon Nano tank. This past Saturday I filled it with Nutra Sea Water which is supposedly pre-cycled, salted, etc., added 30 pounds of live sand, and 42 pounds of live rock. I have a few questions that I hope somebody can help me with.

Quote:
1) The styrofoam box the lfs gave me the live rock in was pretty dirty and the rock had small pieces of sytrofoam in it so I washed the rock under freshwater before putting it in the tank. Did I kill off the beneficial bacteria that makes the live rock live?
I have had to wash my rock with tap water has the LFS used newspaper to keep it moist it it was stuck every were. Nothing happened to mine. Has long has you only rinsed and didnt soak.

Quote:
2) I understand that once I have coral/inverts in the tank I will need to keep the light on for 10 hours a day or so. Until they are added, do I need to keep the light on for the live rock so that the beneficial bacteria that makes it live won't die? If so, how many hours should I keep the light on for?
Just leave the light on for 10 hrs now. The corraline algea that lives on the rock uses the light. But you should get away with 8 hrs.


Quote:
3) I was told that the temperature should not fluctuate more than 2 degrees per hour and should not get to 81 and never to 82 or above. Does the same hold true for when there is only live rock in the tank?
My temp is always at 82 degrees. Its good to match the temp of the water that you are getting the corals from. Also the live rock it shouldnt matter.


Quote:
4) The lfs told me to take out the large white filtration cubes that came with the setup. They told me to keep the carbon but take the white cubes out because those are for fish only setups. It came in the "Complete Reef Setup" though, which I thought was awfully curious. I followed the lfs advice and took it out. Should I have? Sorry but I forget what the cubes are called at the moment.
I say get rid of the carbon to the live rock is the filteration. I have no carbon in my 14 gallon nano. THose cubes you dont need either. THey are like bio balls.

Quote:
5) I added a few fancy hermit crabs and a gigantic snail to the tank just so that there is some life in it for the next week while the pre-cycled water that is ready for fish/inverts right out of the box cycles (I got many conflicting opinions from several lfs I spoke to about how long I had to cycle the tank with the pre-cycled water and the live sand). I know that once the tank is stocked there will be things for them to scavenge, but for now is there something I can/should be feeding them? I think the snail eats algea but so far we have been keeping the light off when we are not there and there is no algea to speak of and probably won't be unless we start leaving the light on for the live rock.
That snail might not live, unless it finds grazing algea somewhere. Leave the light on as metioned above. So algea will grow. But buy a scraper so you can clean the glass to as he wont be able to do the job by himself. Also if its the water I think it is your supposed to be able to add fish right away as its taken start from the ocean. I have never heard of anyone using it. So cant tell you if its good. I would put one of the fish you want in there so it will help it cycle and the snail and hermits might have something to eat.


Quote:
6) Right now the tank is teeming with micro-bubbles and has been since I turned it on. I checked what I could, but taking things apart is such an ordeal because the components in this "all in one" system are situated so tightly that getting to most of them requires disassembling the hood, unthreading the wires through their special nooks and crannies, lifting out other components, etc. I plan on calling the manufacturer today. In the meantime, though, can days of constant microbubbles harm the live rock in any way?
As for those call the company Its sucking air somewhere. Mine doesnt produce micro bubbles.

Quote:
Finally, I doubt anyone who doesn't know much about reefs has read this far because this post has only consisted of questions, but I'd like to add a word of caution to anyone considering a reef tank... unless you've got good, local friends in the hobby who can hook you up, it's a deceptively expensive proposition. The sandless, skimmerless, live rock-less, creature-less nano itself is only the tip of the iceburg...

Thanks so much everyone,
Mike

I already known about this one, also might I add is that if you try to go the cheap route it will show and cause problems later on.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
 
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Thanks so much for the input! There's so much to this but it really helps to get advice from people who have been there.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:46 PM   #5
 
give it some time admin and you will be able to do things without worrying about it. :D
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:15 PM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Administrator
Thanks so much for the input! There's so much to this but it really helps to get advice from people who have been there.
I started out were you are now. Everyone has.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #7
 
coral tanks are ridiculously expensive.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
 
this isnt helping me, i got to keep saving up grr....... 2 more years until i can get a job
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:06 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musho3210
this isnt helping me, i got to keep saving up grr....... 2 more years until i can get a job
get an under the table job Mush, I have had one since I was your age, I think the summer before freshman year too. Yah, thats when I started working for my trainer. I dont see any of my money as it goes straight to horse, but it must pay nice because board is expensive, mare eats a lot and farrier is nearly as much as board haha. Stable hand is the way to make money.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
 
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I could see mush on the working end of a shovel, lol.

Admin I think Mike has set you up pretty well. I'd still recommend keeping your temp below 82F as temps that high speed up metabolism and can cause some corals to crash out. If you plan to wash the ceramic once a week and replace the carbon that often your tank will sparkle. if not, don't run them as they will end up polluting the tank from neglect.

Rinsing the rock will kill a lot of the beneficial organisms, but fortunately many of them will survive deeper in the rock. Keep in mind that live rock is shipped moist, not under water, and a lot of life still exists at arrival. Next time use tweezers.
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